Carrie Rengers

East Coast Varnadore shop relocating to Wichita

Jamey Varnadore makes an adjustment on a “Mary Poppins” costume.
Jamey Varnadore makes an adjustment on a “Mary Poppins” costume. Courtesy photo

It’s not often that someone picks up an entire store from the East Coast and moves it to the middle of the country, but that’s what Jamey Varnadore is doing.

He’s bringing his Varnadore costume and vintage clothing shop to Wichita and adding new fashion as well.

“I’m very familiar with Wichita and love it a lot,” Varnadore says.

His mother, Irilla Varnadore (whose maiden name is Couch), is from here. Varnadore also went to Wichita State University for a time.

He’s been a costume designer in the greater Charlotte, N.C., area for the past 20 years. Varnadore says he’s selling part of his business and packing up the rest.

“I’m ready to ease up a little bit,” he says of designing costumes.

He’s accumulated a lot of costumes along with vintage clothing.

“Sort of just a combination of wild and crazy … theatrical costumes and vintage clothing,” Varnadore says. “It’s not like you would find anywhere else.”

Varnadore has customers who do re-enactments and like steampunk styles. He also has costume designers and dance teachers as clients.

Though he hasn’t made a final decision on a Wichita site, Varnadore says he has scouted some places and narrowed it down to a few. Most are between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet. He’ll be visiting next month to finalize a site.

“My goal is to be open in September,” Varnadore says.

He says he and his mother “have a whole ton of family” in Wichita.

“It just seems like home when we get there, so we’re really looking forward to it.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers