Editor’s note: Startland News explored Mid Coast Modern’s Westport storefront as part of the newsroom’s five-part holiday gift guide that identifies locally made goods and supports the call to shop small. Click here to read the multi-day gift guide as it develops.
Westport streets aren’t filled with as much cheer in 2020, Matt Bramlette said, entering a holiday season that’s almost certain to bring slower sales and fewer smiling faces to Midcoast Modern.
“Holiday shopping typically accounts for one-fourth to one-third of our entire yearly income,” Bramlette, the store’s owner, said of the holiday shopping season.
Masked-customers browsing the store will find trinkets and treasures from such local brands as Tigersheep Friends and Bramlette’s own Bear Soap Co. in addition to goods crafted by makers like Hammerpress and Green Bee.
“Mid Coast Modern was started out of a love for creativity and small business. As a designer, it was a way for me to incorporate art, design, and commerce,” Bramlette said.
Click here to shop Mid Coast Modern’s online store.
Such a stance is what’s kept the doors open and Bramlette’s spirits alive this holiday season — while also giving local makers a shot of energy when they need it most, he said.
“I’ve always wanted to support other small businesses and we do that by carrying only small brands,” he explained.
“We are an outlet for many local artists, designers, and small businesses to get their product out in a retail environment,” Bramlette said, adding reduced foot traffic and a rise in COVID-19 cases won’t stop shoppers from accessing such goods.
“We get a bit more online orders than usual. We have spent a lot of time on the website and hope that gives our customers a great option to still shop if they don’t want to be around other shoppers this season.”
The ability to provide such an outlet — and offer hope and joy to makers in a time that demands it in heavy supply — is why Mid Coast Modern exists, and why customers looking to shop local this holiday season should support the store, he said.
“As most small business owners will tell you, it’s a dream to start a successful business from scratch. And to have a business that helps other small businesses in the form of local makers — it benefits the local creative community and is a great place for customers to have local options,” Bramlette said.
Five picks to support local makers
The Startland News team selected a handful of products from within Mid Coast Modern to showcase the variety of Kansas City-made or designed gifts available for purchase.
GREEN BEE HOLIDAY TEA TOWELS — $12
Handmade in the heartland, Green Bee Tea Towels are equal parts festive and handy when cleaning up holiday messes.
SEW KC HATS & TEES (FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY) — starting at $20
From kids to adults, Sew KC, Ampersand and other local brands have you covered with unique, modern designs that celebrate Kansas City from head to toe.
PICKWICK & CO. “MAHOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS” CANDLES — $24
The smell of victory lingers for Kansas City Chiefs fans — and for Pickwick & Co with their “Mahomes for the Holidays” candle.
WHITNEY MANNEY CLUTCH — $20
Bold and bright, Whitney Manney is leaving her mark on Kansas City with wearable and carrayable works of art.
CROWN & HEART EARRINGS — $36
Crown & Heart designs make a statement — and they are as fun as they are versatile, said Sara Kharatyan, owner and designer.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.