Inside JCPRD: Sunflower jelly and teeny-tiny tinsel trees…buy local from the Johnson County Museum Store

The store has been something museum staff have dreamed about ever since opening at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in 2017.

By the Johnson County Museum

The newly expanded Johnson County Museum Store is the perfect place to pick up unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list. From mid-century modern housewares to locally designed T-shirts, the store offers a range of treasures for all ages and interests.

“We’re excited to showcase many talented Johnson County and regional Kansas makers in our store,” said Sarah Vacik, visitor services coordinator and purchasing agent for the museum store. “As a county museum, our history is shaped by our people. At our museum store, our retail selection is, too! The ‘buy local’ mentality really resonates with our visitors.”

The Johnson County Museum Store features a variety of Kansas-made jellies and jams with interesting flavors like wild sunflower and gooseberry.

Kansas-made candles, kitchen towels, art prints, and jellies have quickly become some of the store’s top sellers. “Patrons are looking for something unique – and that’s where we shine,” said Vacik. “Sunflower jelly, John Brown stickers, Kit-Cat Clocks, and teeny-tiny tinsel trees aren’t things you’re able to find just anywhere. These items make great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers!”

One local vendor featured in the museum store is Kinfolk Created. The company designs a wide variety of Kansas-inspired shirts, stickers, and more. “As Kansas natives, we are passionate about our state and its unique story,” says Kinfolk Created owner Bryan Lisbona. “We tell that story through our designs while building champions for Kansas.”

Kinfolk Created has even created museum-exclusive products for the store, including an adorable “Made in Johnson County” onesie. Lisbona and his team are proud to be featured in the store. “From day one we knew the Johnson County Museum would be a perfect destination for Kinfolk products. We skated the ice, burned through tokens, and frequently missed the seven pin here at King Louie. We consider ourselves blessed to be a small part of this amazing organization.”

Since the museum is also home to KidScape – the wildly popular children’s exploration venue – the store also carries a variety of children’s books and gifts. These kid-pleasing finds range from native Kansas stuffed animals to KidScape-inspired building block sets and old-time toys. Another popular item for youngsters is handmade aprons – perfect for a day of Christmas cookie baking with a little one!

“In the short time the museum store has been open, it’s already proven to be a terrific addition to the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center,” said Museum Director Mary McMurray. “It’s exciting to see people stop in their tracks to take a peek in the store. We’re thrilled to be able to provide more opportunities to connect to our county’s rich history through the products in the museum store.”

The museum store also features holiday-themed items, including teeny-tiny tinsel trees!

The store has been something museum staff have dreamed about ever since opening at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in 2017. “We were merchandising on rolling shelves that we had to tuck away into the back each night,” remembers Vacik. “It really limited the quantity and nature of the items we could offer. Now, we’re able to expand our inventory, and it’s truly been rewarding!”

This holiday season, the store promises to be a popular stop for museum goers and local shoppers alike. Be sure to check it out for yourself and see what’s “in store” for you!

The Johnson County Museum Store is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed on major holidays. Museum members always receive a 10% discount on all museum store purchases.