Carrie Rengers

1950s window displays come to downtown Wichita again

When Lux developer Michael Ramsey asked designer Cindi Gentry to create some holiday window displays at the Candela event space in the building at First and Market, she took inspiration from her childhood.

“I just remember downtown when I was a child,” she says. “Mom and I would ride the bus, and there would be all these great window displays.”

Since the building was built in the 1950s, Gentry suggested a ’50s-style home look with pink appliances and authentic toys from that era, including a puppy lying by a fireplace whose stomach goes up and down as he “breathes.”

What she’s created is a step back in time with items that belonged to her grandparents.

Gentry delighted in “just the nostalgia of the whole thing and getting to use some of the props that I’ve had stored for years, saying to myself, ‘I’ll use those some day.’ 

“It’s just kind of come together from here and there,” she says.

There are three vignettes in the windows and a larger scene in the event space itself.

“It’s so big that I had to put something in there.”

Gentry has a company called Dabble.

“My business cards say ‘expert dabbler’ because I just dabble in so many different things.”

She does calligraphy, Christmas decorating, personal gardening, window designs, staging and hat and costume making.

“Just whatever suits my fancy,” she says. “I’ve just built up quite a clientele.”

With an assist from Paige Jordan, who helps on a lot of her projects, Gentry says she’s had fun “bringing back that old-time Christmas walk-by-the-window display.”

She says there aren’t plans that she knows of for seasonal displays in the Candela windows.

“No, but that would be fun.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers