Bootstrapped design and manufacturing company Convivial is reaching out with a clay-covered hand from its West Bottoms production space to plant a Crossroads retail concept, said Chentell Shannon.
“I feel grateful and I feel honored and excited and scared — I mean, growing a business is scary,” laughed Shannon, founder of Convivial.
“I am honored by the support that we’ve received [throughout the process],” she added. “My husband always says that Kansas City is a supportive place for the arts. I am someone that is more skeptical, or at least I like to see things before I believe them, so that actually has been really wonderful reality in especially this last year.”
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Verdant — to open spring 2019 in the Monogram Building — is expected to be Convivial’s “expression of the garden category,” she said, with the shop offering planting services, bouquets, and ready-to-go gifts like greeting cards, mugs, and vases.
Click here to stay in touch with Verdant’s journey.
“We are excited to provide a place where people can walk in weekly and throughout the day, and not have to climb four flights of stairs to find us and access us,” said Shannon. “It’s a little bit of a nicer presentation than when people come in to shop in our studio.”
“My husband and I are always looking and I think that’s our general flow is that we’re constantly thinking of new things and seeing what options are,” she added.
Once the duo saw the Monogram had opened spaces, they jumped at the chance to work from a site with ties to the historic landscape of Kansas City, she said.
“I just feel a lot of nostalgia toward that space and we feel honored to be able to take it over and try to hopefully make it as loved as it was and make it as functional as it was,” said Shannon.
Convivial is expected to continue its work and provide stock for Verdant’s needs — though the botanical shop might manufacture exclusive pieces — from its newly expanded production facility and studio, she said, noting the company recently grew from a 2500-square-foot space to a 8,000-square-foot space.
Click here to schedule a tour of Convivial’s production space.
Another focus for the growing team is the Mosaic Beautification Program, she added.
Mosaic is an initiative orchestrated with the help of design lead, Nicole Conroy, to reduce waste as a company, and use the broken pieces from damaged stock to create mosaic murals on KC buildings, said Shannon.
“The vision is that we’re reducing waste and then putting it into something that is really beautiful,” she said. “There is a community component to it where we’ll actually have people come out and help us with the installation of the murals.”
“A value that I learned in my time studying community art is that people will take care of their city and invest in their city more if they’re involved in building it,” she added, noting Convivial receives signups for volunteers every week since announcing the program.
The team is currently workshopping three design proposals and hope to execute on at least one in 2019, Shannon said.
Click here to sign up to volunteer with the Mosaic Beautification Program.