Johnson County Museum unveils new shop, selling ‘Kansas swag’ and wares from local makers

The Johnson County Museum officially opened it revamped Museum Store after about a month of construction. The store, which sits in the commons of the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, will sell locally-made items that connect museum goers to the history and culture of the area. Photo credit Nikki Lansford.

The Johnson County Museum officially celebrated the re-opening of its new and improved Museum Store with a ribbon cutting this week.

Located at 8788 Metcalf Avenue, the store sits in the commons of the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center.

 

Many of the items sold in the shop are a nod to the local history on display at the museum. Some featured items include retro Kit-Cat Klocks, midcentury-modern inspired housewares and unique Kansas-made apparel.

Museum members receive a 10% discount on all store purchases as part of their membership package.

“We’re especially excited to feature several regional makers,” Sarah Vacik, the museum’s visitors services coordinator, said. “Like the museum’s award-winning exhibits, these locally-made items connect us to out history and culture.”

New and seasonal items will continue to rotate throughout the year within the store.

The ribbon cutting ceremony took place in front of the store’s entrance. The dignitaries on hand included several Johnson County commissioners, including former Overland Park mayor Ed Eilert, center back with black mask. 

Museum director Mary McMurray said the expansion of the museum store was a team effort. She said it took months of collaborative effort from multiple organizations to come up with a design and plan.

“I thank all those who pushed us creatively at every opportunity, and made sure to design the building to help it stand out and also fit in with the building as it was intended,” McMurray said.

Construction on the project began back in early September with the installation of glass walls in the commons area of the Arts and Heritage Center. Later, graphic decals depicting bright colored flowers were added, which designers hope allow the shop to fit in with aesthetic of the museum.

The Johnson County Museum itself began as an all-volunteer organization in 1967 with the mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the county with the community.

The store is the latest expansion to the museum, which has seen several changes since it relocated to the Arts and Heritage Center in 2017 during its 50th-year celebration.

“With this expansion, the museum store will be a destination on its own,” McMurray said. “Looking for some Kansas swag or to support a local maker? It’s all here – and the staff will even put it in a gift bag for you. It’s so convenient.”