The founders of Ulah, the men’s store that recently opened at Woodside Village in Westwood, believe they have a winning combination that appeals to an often-overlooked market.
“The retail industry has been so used to catering to women and men were kind of tacked on,” said co-owner Buck Wimberly. “We feel it’s because people haven’t been creating the right spaces for men.”
His partner Joey Mendez added, “I think we’re pretty new. I don’t think there are other places like this in town.”
It’s not just a clothing store, they emphasize, it has a variety of products aimed toward men who like some style in their lives. The 1,600 square-foot shop at 4707 Rainbow Blvd. is the first store to open at the new Woodside Village apartment and retail development.
“We’re calling it a men’s apparel and lifestyle store,” Mendez said. “Mostly clothing, but a full range of clothing from suit separates to denim, and gifts, jewelry, greeting cards, fragrances, skin care…full lifestyle for a modern guy.”
Some of the designers whose clothes are sold there include J. Lindeberg, Moods of Norway, 3×1 Denim and Original Penguin.
The name of the shop came from a chance encounter in Denver where they saw a children’s store called Tellulah Jones. The “ulah” just stuck with them as rustic and modern at the same time.
Mendez is a former buyer for the men’s department at Hall’s and Wimberly was a brands strategist for Hallmark. The two met one another 10 years ago. Through their travels together to places such as Austin, Texas and New York, they decided Kansas City was ready for a new concept catering to men.
“We want it to be a comfortable hangout and bring the social aspect back to shopping,” Mendez said.
They’ve found a receptive audience so far with several hundred people reportedly coming to their opening Oct. 20. The co-owners live nearby in the West Plaza neighborhood of Kansas City, and belong to the Woodside Health Club next to their shop.
They believe that people using the health club will find it easy to stop by, and the traffic on Rainbow coupled with the growth of the Woodside Village residential development will provide a steady base of customers.