Carrie Rengers

Sweet pea green paint and orange awnings attracting attention at 302 N. Rock Road

Love it or hate it, “everybody” has a comment on the sweet pea green on this building at 302 N. Rock Road, says tenant Eric Fisher.
Love it or hate it, “everybody” has a comment on the sweet pea green on this building at 302 N. Rock Road, says tenant Eric Fisher. The Wichita Eagle

Not since James and Monica Smits painted their Aspen Boutique building periwinkle has a color attracted as much attention in Wichita as the new sweet pea green – now complete with orange awning – at 302 N. Rock Road.

“Everybody’s talking about it,” says Eric Fisher, whose salon is in the building. “Everybody.”

Fisher says building owner Jamie Coulter, whom he calls a marketing genius, showed him about eight color swatches on the side of the building.

“He said, ‘Hey, we’re going to get some attention,’” Fisher says.

He says Coulter asked him what he thought of sweet pea green, which Fisher refers to as lime green.

“My comment was, ‘Hey, if I had to bet money, I’d bet it on you,’” Fisher says. “Everything he does turns to gold. He’s got the Midas touch.”

Coulter’s wife, Kimberly, says when her husband bought the building, which is home to their Plaid Giraffe, in the 1980s, it was brick. Then he had it painted beige with black, then ochre with chocolate.

“We wanted just to spice it up,” she says. “It’s bright, and it’s happening, and we’re hoping that everyone feels the same.”

Not everyone does.

Kathy Hanas, a client of Fisher’s, says the green reminds her of “the crayon you wanted to throw out” of the crayon box as a child.

“Now don’t get me wrong,” she says. “I like green, and I like bright colors, but that one for some reason … it’s just a little bit too much, you know what I mean?”

Hanas says she thinks of the color as “green slime reincarnated,” which her husband told her is just a little too much of a criticism.

“Maybe it looked a whole lot better on a paint chip than once he got it up there on the wall,” Hanas says.

Fisher says he’s heard mostly positive comments.

“What they’re saying behind my back, I have no idea,” he says. “We haven’t caused any car wrecks there yet.”

He says some of his out-of-town clients joke that “we saw it when we got to Ponca City.”

Fisher says there’s a chance the awnings will be replaced with the seasons.

“You’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” Kimberly Coulter says.

She says the sweet pea is “happy, and it has energy.”

“If they have a negative thought,” Coulter says of others, “God bless ’em.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.