Carrie Rengers

Blank Nation Apparel pops up at NewMarket Square

Pop-up stores, which inhabit a retail space for a matter of days or weeks, are a popular trend in large cities.

Now Chicago resident Brooke Conrady, a Wichita native, is opening one here at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road.

“I wanted to do a holiday boutique just introducing my brand to Wichita,” she says.

The store, Blank Nation Apparel, will be by Marshalls from now through Dec. 31.

“It’s kind of nice I get to test this market and this area,” Conrady says.

She and her husband, Andrew, may be moving back to Wichita. If they do, she’d like to open a permanent shop here. She says it’s handy to have the pop-up shop first.

“It’s kind of good. I’ll get a lot of feedback.”

Conrady went to Wichita State University for two years and then moved to Chicago and received a fashion degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She then worked for other brands as a designer before starting her own.

“I was ready, and I knew what to do, so I created Blank Nation Apparel,” Conrady says. “The way I design is everyone’s a blank canvas, and without fashion, we would be a blank nation.”

Conrady sells in boutiques throughout the United States, particularly in the South. She also sells through online retail outlets such as Rue La La, HauteLook, Zulily and Ideeli.

Her pop-up store will have apparel and accessories, such as jewelry and scarves, and some gift items.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal for the NewMarket space.

Conrady says she’ll donate 5 percent of her total sales to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program to give toys and other items to children.

Her wish this holiday season is that everything will work out for her and her husband to return here so she can then have the permanent store.

“We really want to be back here.”

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