Choose Wichita > News > Business Spotlight: Dead Center Vintage
Business Spotlight: Dead Center Vintage
Written by Anna Laurin
Dead Center Vintage (DCV) is a locally owned vintage shop focused on sustainability and ethical consumerism through secondhand shopping. Owned by four friends — Lazarus Massey, Gabrielle Griffie, Morgan Goodwin and Kenzie Borland — the store came about from their shared joy of finding the perfect vintage piece. Since graduating, Kenzie and her fellow co-owners have strived to create a unique shopping experience in downtown Wichita and have won back-to-back awards for Best Women’s Apparel, as well as Favorites in Men’s Apparel.
DCV opened in early 2020. It was affected, like many, by the pandemic. Through the shut down your store remained, eventually reopening your doors to customers. Can you talk about your team’s experience and what you learned as young business owners?
Our shop opened about six weeks before the pandemic shut down non-essential businesses. Thanks to Wichita’s generous support through our grand opening, gift card sales and online shopping, we were able to navigate that very tough period and keep our doors open through the shutdown.
It was such a unique dynamic as a team during that period, because we were all so young and we were navigating how to run a business. There was so much we were learning as business owners and to throw a pandemic in the mix was so unexpected for even the most experienced business owners. I feel like we all figured it out together as a small business community and I really valued that.
Being a locally owned business in Wichita, Kansas — the Dead Center of the heartland — in what ways has the community been supportive towards your goals?
I feel like older generations of businesses have been really supportive and affirming towards us as young business owners. I think, for me personally, there was this fear that we would be looked down on for being so young and figuring things out, but I think the majority reaction to our business has been overwhelmingly supportive and exciting. There is definitely a lot of support for young entrepreneur in Wichita.
Your business has been involved in the community in many ways from hosting local vintage collectors and First Friday artists, to representing the store at flea markets and other events. Are there other ways close to your hearts you participate or support the community?
We are a community fridge location, meaning we host one of the many free fridge resources available for anyone in need. During the winter, the donation locations are in need of grab-and-go snacks, hand warmers, gloves, socks and blankets. More information can be found on our pages or on the ICT Community Fridge Project Facebook page.
Customers can find the store's events, new items, calls for hiring and team photos on your social media channels @DeadCenterVintage. Does DCV have a website?
Dead Center Vintage is planning to launch our new online store in the spring! In addition to the re-launch of our onlinec store, any future Dead Center Vintage events, announcements and hiring opportunities can be found at deadcentervintage.com. We can also be contacted there to set up appointments for buying your vintage clothing!
Speaking of events and the website, you recently posted about Dead Center Vintage’s three-year anniversary! Are you planning on celebrating?
We are celebrating our three-year anniversary February 24-26! The three-day event offers a 30-percent off everything in-store sale. Plus, for every purchase over $10 customers will receive a special three-year anniversary enamel pin designed by Wichita State student Hayden Moore. They are only available February 24-26 and while supplies last! Stay tuned on our Instagram for more details.
We are grateful for the community support since Dead Center Vintage launched on February 1, 2020. It is like a dream come true.
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