You know the big box stores -- Amazon, Target, Walmart. They have everything. They also have nothing when it comes to “one-of-a-kindness.” Everyone has that same “Live Laugh Love” sign for a reason.
They say when visiting anywhere new, you should shop like a local. It’s true. The locals know the restaurants, the quickest route to somewhere, and they know the businesses. They know the family-owned small businesses especially. We gathered some of our favorite small businesses that even a few locals might not know about.
If you’re looking for unique shopping -- here’s your list.
The comic book, “Amazing Fantasy 15” is where you’ll find the first appearance of Spider-Man. It’s not a cheap comic book. It sold for $15,000 on Christmas Eve a few years ago at Elite Comics. After that sale, Elite Comics always stays open on Christmas Eve. Whether you’re looking for a rare comic book or wanting to introduce comics to your kid, Elite Comics’ inventory is always changing but the location never does. Elite Comics has been in the same location for 29 years. Elite Comics gets shipments weekly and are always buying new collections. It’s a definite must-stop.
Vinyl records has been and always will be cool. Formerly located in Downtown Overland Park, Vinyl Renaissance & Audio moved just down the road and they’re better than ever. It’s a vinyl record collector’s dream. You don’t have to be a record collector to appreciate Vinyl Renaissance. You just have to appreciate music. Rock, classic rock, country, jazz, death metal -- everyone appreciates some form of music. Take the kids to show them what shopping for music really looks like. Browse CDs, cassettes, vinyl, and music systems. Vinyl Renaissance & Audio also offers posters, apparel, and modern audio equipment.
It’s true -- you can fish in your own backyard. You don’t need an ocean or a large lake to fish. A pond, small lake, or stream is all you need to fly fish. In fact, Indian Creek, Mill Creek, and Tomahawk Creek have some of the best fly fishing around. K&K Flyfishers is easy to spot off 87th -- look for the fly fisherman practicing in the adjacent yard. K&K Flyfishers not only has all your fly fishing needs but they also provide classes for new anglers. And when you get really good, K&K Flyfishers hosts trips to places such as the Rockies, Alaska, or the Bahamas.
Shopping for furniture is like shopping for luggage. It all has a single function and they start to look the same. McNary’s Furniture and Restoration does not sell mass produced furniture. McNary’s Furniture and Restoration is located in Downtown Overland Park. When you walk in, you’ll see unique, custom pieces of furniture for sale. There are wall panelings, mantels, shelves, and tons of home goods. Whether you have a wood project in mind or just want a cute cutting board, McNary’s is a great little shop for truly unique items.
What does Travis Kelce smell like? The Green Door Book Store can give you a whiff. Or an imaginary whiff. Just close your eyes and pretend it’s him, okay? “Kelce’s Cologne” is a candle scent. And it’s one of many candles you’ll find at The Green Door Book Store that you won’t find at Yankee Candles. This indie bookstore has the best quirky gifts for others (or yourself, we don’t judge): socks, bags, art supplies, aprons, mugs, drinkware. And books, of course! Get comfy on the couch and find your next favorite story to dive into. There is also an awesome kid-section where older kids volunteer to read to the little ones. This indie bookstore is much better than Amazon.
It doesn’t matter what day of the year you step into The Family Tree Nursery’s greenhouse. It’s the perfect weather for life surrounded by green. It’s a beautiful place to shop, that’s for sure. You might even find yourself having a seat in the lounge area. Family Tree Nursery is filled with garden trinkets, nice bouquets of flowers, candles, wall decor, and inspiration. The inspiration is everywhere. Bring your own coffee while you shop! Equinox, the coffee store inside Family Tree Nursery is under construction and will be complete in 2022.
Everyone loves food. The Tasteful Olive is the perfect shopping stop for aspiring chefs. Unless you eat out at every meal -- everyone is a chef when it comes to The Tasteful Olive. The Tasteful Olive is bursting with over 60 fresh olive oils, gourmet oils and naturally-flavored balsamic vinegars. This charming shop also has spices, sauces, olives, and pastas. Ask about their cooking classes too! It’s the perfect gift for anyone who loves food.
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