With one shop just south of the Country Club Plaza, Kristopher Koenig decided to open his second location in the “Plaza of Johnson County.” Frankly Basic women’s boutique opened earlier this month at One Nineteen shopping center, 4569 W. 119th St., between Z Gallerie and North restaurant.
“That area at 119th and Roe is the Plaza for Johnson County, and One Nineteen has great local businesses like the Roasterie, Standard Style. And Feng is moving there. They have national tenants like Lululemon and Trader Joe’s,” Koenig said.
The entrepreneurial bug bit early for Koenig, who operated lemonade stands and mowed lawns as a child. But then he planned to major in pre-med before switching to anthropology, a choice his father tried to steer him away from by giving him a copy of book on what kind of career he could plan on with such a degree. That attempt may have backfired because the book pointed out that even the chief executive officer of a nationwide bank had such a degree.
After graduating in 2002 from the University of Kansas, Koenig worked as a mortgage banker and then in investment relations for American Century Investments. After his mother died in 2004, he flew to Paris, one of her favorite places, to scatter her ashes. A Paris boutique that he visited caught his eye — especially the way the store displayed the merchandise.
“The clothes were the most important thing, not a bunch of doodads on the walls. It was a clean, fresh feel,” he said.
In late 2005, he founded Frankly Basic in Waldo, giving the boutique the same streamlined look that he found so appealing at the Paris boutique, putting the focus squarely on the clothing and accessories.
After an early 2007 fire destroyed several businesses on the block, including Frankly Basic’s space, the boutique moved to the Crestwood Shops, at 327 E. 55th St. With that store running smoothly and with a strong support staff, Koenig was ready to expand.
The new Leawood shop offers a variety of styles from a trendy faux fur vest by BB Dakota to an ethnic print cardigan by Press to an electric-blue sweater with gold sequins on the shoulder by Thml. Most items are under $100.
“We stray above that from time to time if we find a line we like,” he said. “I think many boutiques are owned by women who buy what they would have in their closet. I buy as a pure buyer. I can pick what someone in her 20s would like or for someone who is a more mature client.”
Frankly Basic will have its grand opening event from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday with items 10 percent off.
Also at One Nineteen
Orvis, a family-owned mail-order and retail business founded in 1856, opened at 4357 W. 119th St., Leawood, on Sept. 15. It plans a grand opening Oct. 19-21, and will include giveaways and a chance to win a two-person, half-day guided fishing trip. The company specializes in high-end fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods equipment and upscale men’s and women’s apparel. It has more than 50 stores. It had previously operated a store in Town Center Plaza, but that location closed in 2001.
In a Feng update, the upscale women’s boutique plans to move to the center by mid-to-late October. The store, which sells apparel, accessories, eclectic home decor and gift items. The shop will remain open at Hawthorne Plaza, 5029 W. 119th St., Overland Park, until the move to One Nineteen, 4553 W. 119th St., Leawood, just across Roe Avenue.
Parisi Café hopes to open before Black Friday, Nov. 23, in its previously announced space in Leawood’s Park Place, 5245 W. 116th Place, across from Tallulahbelle’s.