The West Bottoms might be known for its vintage shops, but a just-opened maker collective full of new retail is hoping to add to the neighborhood’s narrative.
12th Street Post — a mixed-use retail space with about 80 local makers and vendors at 1501 West 12th St. — celebrated its grand opening Dec. 2.
The new project is led by Austin Mosier, who owns West Bottoms Plant Co. and Untamed Supply with his partner Tristan Carlson.
“It’s just a little something different in the West Bottoms,” Mosier said. “We do have a small vintage and thrifted area. But it’s all mostly new products — all made by Kansas City (vendors) — and then lots of plants, of course. … I love all the vintage, but it’s fun to be a little different. We’re the newbie down here.”
12th Street Post has something for everyone, said maker Annie Austen — whose jewelry and accessories are featured in the shop — and the space has the potential to bring a different crowd to the West Bottoms.
“Really providing representation to the 70-plus local makers that are represented in here is so important to us,” she said, “but also just adding a little different flair to that typical West Bottoms fare. I love a vintage find. I love shopping in the West Bottoms and this really just expands upon all the fun things that are happening here already.”
After having to move out of their former West Bottoms Plant Co. location at 11th and Mulberry streets, Mosier said they were hoping for room to quickly grow, although the historic post office building has a little more space than they bargained for.
“This was really one of the only spaces available in the West Bottoms,” he explained. “We kind of wanted to upsize, but we didn’t know it was gonna be this big necessarily. Then we just ended up having a group of friends who also were needing spaces. So it kind of happened very naturally. We haven’t really had to look for people to be artists here.”
The retail space in the new building is about three times bigger, according to Mosier, which has allowed them to double the number of local makers that they carry.
“We’re still kind of growing that, too,” he added.
On top of the retail space, 12th Street Post will offer studio and working spaces. The resident businesses include Amity & Vine Salon (which offers pay-what-you-can hair cuts and complimentary yoga classes), Annie Austen, MackBecks, Motion House Studio, Untamed Supply, and West Bottom Plant Co.
For Austen — whose jewelry and accessories can also be found at Shop Local KC and Bella Patina in the West Bottoms — having the studio space is a game changer for the business she started during the pandemic, she said.
Click here to read more about Annie Austen and her business.
“We started it in our house and everything kind of took off quicker than what we expected,” she continued. “When we were sort of manifesting as a dream studio space, we really wanted to be in a collective environment where we weren’t just isolated in some specific shop. We were going to be in an environment where other people were growing their businesses, as well, and where we could also monetize whatever space we were in. So it’s perfect for us. We are able to have a booth and events downstairs. We have our studio upstairs for private events or for me to make a mess and work away.”
Mosier is hoping to be able to host pop-ups, charity events and artist fairs in the expanded space, he said. The shop also is planning Third Thursday events, which will allow customers to tip extra in order to gift a shopping or service experience to someone else.
They also would like to eventually add a coffee bar or space with grab-and-go food, Mosier added.
“12th Street Post is about celebrating community and the incredible businesses that are excited about collaborating in a unique shared space that supports creating,” he explained in a news release. “We’re so excited to reinvigorate shopping in the West Bottoms in a new way that offers customers the chance to meet the owners behind the business, explore unique pop-ups, and experience a new way to shop and support local.”
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.
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