Janelle King was selling Wichita flag swag before the city’s flag became so cool this summer, but the Workroom owner now is taking her Wichita pride one step farther.
She purchased a 1969 VW Microbus and covered it with a Wichita flag decal and now plans what she’s calling flag swag pop-ups around the city.
King says she’ll do it “very much kind of food-truck style” where she pops up at events or outside other businesses, such as the Hopping Gnome where she’ll debut it on Thursday, to sell Wichita and Kansas products.
That could be flag patches or mugs or Kansas T-shirts or art of the Wichita skyline.
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“It’s not that the merchandise is really what’s driving it,” King says. “It’s the pride.”
The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce has been using the flag to promote the city’s 145th year, and other businesses are selling flag-related products as well.
“It just has blown up,” King says.
She says there’s a new mentality that “we don’t have to move to another city. We can be a cool city.”
King says that’s more of a movement in the central part of the city, and she hopes her bus can help expand it.
The bus also is a good billboard for her store, says King, who has a marketing background.
She offers merchandise and design services out of her shop at 150 N. Cleveland.
King has named the bus Kitten because just as she giggled over her new kittens recently, she giggled at the thought that she just bought a bus.
“My goal and vision is to really just create some fun out of it.”
King hopes people follow Kitten on social media, “like, ‘Kitten’s on the move.’”
Since getting the bus finished this week, King has already had offers from people wanting to buy Kitten.
King isn’t selling.
“She’s kind of part of the family already.”