Carrie Rengers

Yoder Outlet opens to sell merchandise not traditionally seen in Yoder

There’s a new carriage in Yoder, but it’s not the kind you might find an Amish resident riding in down the street.

Instead, you might find one on a Coach bag at the new Yoder Outlet, a designer outlet store that Donna Baber has opened at 9807 S. Main St. in downtown Yoder.

“Everybody’s telling me it’s something totally different than has ever been in Yoder,” Baber says of her store.

Besides carriages, Yoder is known for meat and pies, but designer handbags? Name-brand clothing? Four-inch platform shoes? Not so much.

Baber says there’s “nothing like this around.”

The store is something of Baber’s retirement hobby. She spent a career in customer service, partly as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines and as a customer-care worker for the airline. She’s also taught debt collectors how to do their jobs without getting the reputation that sometimes goes with debt collecting.

“I’ve always wanted to open a store,” Baber says. “I have always done shopping for everyone I know.”

The 1,800-square-foot store, which had a soft opening on Thursday, is divided into a couple of areas.

One part of the store sells antique furniture and home decor.

“I love knicky-knack things,” Baber says.

She also has glassware and “whimsical gifts.”

The other part of the store has handbags and clothing that Baber says she’ll sell at 50 percent off of retail prices.

“I cut out the middle man,” she says of making deals with top stores. Baber says merchandise often will be overstocked items that she can make a deal on.

Baber says she’ll carry a limited amount of each item.

“I don’t like to have a dozen of the same thing.”

Baber says Yoder Outlet was an instant hit on Thursday with a stream of customers.

“I’m not bragging, but I have just been flabbergasted.”

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

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