June 15, 2024


Youth trendy style

Styling into women’s vogue, ULAH sees its next year in model extensions, not duplicating outlets

When ULAH opens its initially women’s keep concept this drop, it is anticipated to be just the very first retail extension of the well known upscale men’s boutique — and a signal the manufacturer is fine-tuning its specialized niche immediately after a significant e-commerce change.

“We currently have a massive consumer base — and a great deal of them are girls, which is fantastic,” mentioned Joey Mendez, co-proprietor of ULAH and the forthcoming LUNA by ULAH. “From the commencing, they’ve been telling us ‘You fellas will need to include women’s garments,’ but we were adamant about not interrupting the men’s area that we’d made. Then the prospect arrived to do it in a individual house.”

LUNA is established to open two doors down from ULAH in the Woodside Village reside/perform centre at 47th and Rainbow. At 1,300 square ft, the area — a previous Eat Suit Go spot — is smaller than ULAH, but nevertheless presents a lot of home for an approachable, on-development mix of completely ready-to-use women’s apparel, equipment, presents and household accents, stated Buck Wimberly, co-owner of ULAH.

“The seem and feel will be very similar, but a very little softer with a lot more female touches and the identify Luna enjoying into the astrological concept, and the moon’s this means as a representation of creativity and female energy,” he explained.

Envisioned as a enhance to ULAH, LUNA’s appear is motivated by the moody shades of the desert landscape at dusk — an surroundings the engaged couple hopes delivers out the finest energies of the folks who store with them.

“And despite the fact that at ULAH, we provide ‘men’s’ clothing, and at LUNA, we’ll sell ‘women’s’ clothes, equally organizations will be inclusive and we want any gender to truly feel at ease procuring at both of our stores,” Mendez emphasised.

“We just can’t improve that the complete market breaks types into men’s and women’s trend but we’re likely to do what we can to be inclusive,” Wimberly extra.


“We wanted to give fellas their personal house to shop that was comfy, welcoming, experienced a complete range of solutions for just about every factor of their daily life — from active use to denim and relaxed to dressy,” said Joey Mendez. “And then also be a gift location for components, fragrances, candles and regionally designed products, household accents and interior design and style as a provider.”

“We’re not seeking to be too tremendous, substantial-conclude designer, but also not far too stylish in fast style.” 

“And then we also required to make guaranteed we had a array of area to regional, and nationwide to worldwide brands that can all sit collectively,” Buck Wemberly extra. “We did not just want to be a area Kansas Metropolis item store, but certainly needed to have it in the blend.”

Brand name creating

The ULAH workforce sees chances forward to develop the brand name — which also consists of the Wimberly-led ULAH Interiors + Design and style — past the obvious.

“We fantasize all the time … ULAH Data … we enjoy music,” Mendez mentioned, laughing. “ULAH Nightclub could be enjoyment, even while I’m kind of previous these days.”

Wimberly struck a far more major tone, but bolstered the concept of bringing the ULAH principle of approachable, but upscale activities to existence in new strategies.

“Rather than opening a number of new men’s retailers or a further women’s keep in the close to foreseeable future, I see us continuing to diversify our manufacturer extensions into other groups — not just duplicating what we’ve by now made,” he stated, noting the enlargement into women’s merchandise was the initially example. “Kansas City’s massive, but it is not that significant, so if we made a decision to open up a lot more merchants, we’d probably decide other areas.”

“Similar marketplaces to Kansas City,” Mendez additional. “Cities that are expanding and that have a void in retail — but we wouldn’t open up in destinations like New York or LA.”

ULAH initially debuted Oct. 20, 2016, in the Woodside store. Because then, the item offerings have shifted and been refined to match customer tastes, modifying seasons, and solution mixes, but the notion at the rear of the retailer continues to be, Wimberly said.

“When we have been building our principle, we felt like retail experienced qualified fellas to loathe buying,” he stated. “Meaning, in most sites where by adult men could store, you could possibly really feel intimidated or like it was pretentious or like you could possibly have to be component of some form of clique. We preferred to tear all of that down and make it come to feel like you were searching with friends.

“We want you to come to feel like you can arrive in and men and women are listed here to support you — that you are not on your possess. In the starting, we’d have men appear in and say, ‘Well, I really don’t have my wife with me I really do not have my girlfriend with me.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, we’re right here for you.’”

Redesigned for on-line

The sturdy customer assist at the basis of LUNA’s anticipated launch also helped maintain ULAH afloat in the course of the pandemic, Mendez and Wemberly said. When they shifted to online purchase achievement after COVID-19 pressured the storefront to briefly shut in spring 2020, e-commerce prospects kept them likely.

“It was seriously discouraging mainly because January, February, March have been terrific months, and we had been looking at an raise, hitting our ambitions. We considered, ‘This could be our calendar year,’” Wemberly mentioned, adding that the pandemic knocked the wind out of the duo. “We were being just like, ‘Man, is this likely to be the factor that finishes us lastly? After surviving all the other points we’ve survived via the decades?’”

A new emphasis on e-commerce and social media advertising and marketing — credited mainly to Joanie Meyer, a previous graphic layout intern from Johnson County Neighborhood University who rose through the ranks to develop into ULAH’s promoting and artistic supervisor — served the keep make it to the other facet, Mendez stated.

Now the brand is running even stronger than in early 2020, Wemberly explained, acknowledging the rare positives of the pandemic.

“It genuinely accelerated a behavioral modify that we had hoped would take place organically around time — forcing persons to use our e-commerce web page more than at any time right before,” he reported. “And now we’re viewing the added benefits.”

Click on below to store ULAH on line.

Daily life alongside one another, areas apart


In March, Mendez and Wemberly physically relocated ULAH Interiors + Layout to a new house in just the Woodside centre after yrs of co-finding the two companies inside of the ULAH storefront. Wemberly experienced been running the design organization from a stock room even though Mendez orchestrated ULAH from a mezzanine over.

“It was time,” Mendez claimed. “Both firms and our teams had been escalating, and we were just overcrowded.”

The move gave the pair some a great deal-desired area apart, they admitted, noting gratitude that they now never usually sense like co-staff.

“For the initially time in like 4 several years, I can essentially textual content him and just question like ‘How’s your working day going?’ For the reason that when we’re in the very same room, living and performing, there is no separation or home for that,” Mendez said.

“As a enterprise owner, you cannot truly steer clear of getting do the job household,” Wimberly included. “We have to just unplug we try not to function on Sundays, but it’s all even now a procedure. … Perhaps someday we have Saturdays and Sundays off — or it’s possible just every other Saturday off I can see that working day coming.”

Elise Alexander, Joey Mendez, and Buck Wemberly, LUNA

Elise Alexander, Joey Mendez, and Buck Wemberly, LUNA

Pinpointing and establishing further management inside of the business is important to having extra time to themselves — and escalating the manufacturer, they mentioned.

Bringing in Elise Alexander as a lover to enable run LUNA is a component of that technique, they reported. A longtime residential customer of ULAH Interiors + Structure, she was amid the girls clamoring for ULAH to increase into women’s vogue, Mendez claimed, noting she provides a fresh new stage of view.

And the timing is excellent, he extra, as purchasers return in-man or woman, trying to find trend ideas and new outfits for likely out in a write-up-pandemic entire world.

“I feel men and women imagined super everyday could be this new norm, but buyers are hungry to be styled and stylish — to wear issues that are a small far more enjoyment and dressy,” he stated, emphasizing ULAH and LUNA’s distinctive ability to move in. “Casual is in all probability right here to continue to be, but I don’t consider that usually means it has to be plain.”

This tale is attainable many thanks to assist from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a personal, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a geared up workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic improvement. The Foundation will work to alter situations, address root causes, and crack down systemic limitations so that all men and women – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the option to accomplish economic stability, mobility, and prosperity. 

For much more information and facts, stop by www.kauffman.org and link with us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

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