Cover Story

Group Effort: West County Center

Each change in season brings new trends, colors and collaborations in the fashion world, and stores at West County Center in Des Peres are right in the mix. Kindred, a new boutique collective that opened in the shopping center late last year, is planning a spring full of bright, fashionable styles. The store offers clothing and accessories from several local sellers in one large, inviting space.

Kindred at West County Center is one of two such collectives; the other is in Overland Park, Kansas. Sean Phillips, marketing director for the mall, says the stores were launched as a way to help small retailers pool their resources, enjoy better exposure and increase foot traffic. Local merchants currently represented in the West County space are Addi & Ains, Adorn, Ashley Jayne, Brooke and Sloan, JuJu B’s, Knitted Belle, Parker & Co. Boutique, Rustic Twine, and Solayne Designs.

“Often, a boutique owner looks at the local mall and says, ‘I can’t afford to rent or staff a space there,’” Phillips notes. “These are major considerations for small retailers, and it really can limit their customer base. At Kindred, we’ve made it possible for these entrepreneurs to share a brand identity and have a strong presence in a high- traffic area. It’s a beautiful space in a great location on level one near major retailers like Nordstrom and Gap. We love working with both national and local retailers, and we think this is a great way to bring them together.”

Phillips says putting several merchants under one umbrella encourages consumer bonding with a trusted brand, and that’s good for business. At Kindred, the diverse lines of clothing and accessories are arranged by current trends and local ‘flavors.’ There are shirts and hats that spotlight St. Louis, and plenty of home decor and gift items as well.

Adam Pfeifer, founder and owner of Kindred, says the collective’s spring apparel lines promise to be vibrant and fresh. “We will have lots of leopard and snake patterns, floral prints, stripes and color blocking,” he notes. “Lavender, coral, hot pink, blue and neutrals will be the top colors.” Rompers, long skirts, midi-dresses and denim jackets will be on the racks, as well as distressed looks and throwback styles like crop tops and bodysuits. Ashley Jayne boutique co-owner Lauren Rizzo says hair accessories are another focus of the spring lineup. “Statement hair clips, barrettes, pins and hair scarves perfectly complement the season’s looks,” she says. “With new, diverse styles coming in each week, you can find pieces that really speak to you.”

Phillips says Kindred already is proving to be a winning concept for merchants and consumers alike. Participating boutiques are expanding their reach, shoppers have more exciting options, and the benefits are tangible for all, he notes. “Working with retailers who understand the importance of local business has always been important to us,” he says. “West County Center isn’t just a mall, it’s a destination, and we enjoy making it possible for everyone to be successful here.”

Kindred at West County Center is a boutique collective offering clothing, accessories, home products and other items from several local merchants in a warm and inviting space. Pictured on the cover: Fashion bloggers Christine Frisella, Mary Powers and Psyche Southwell try on Kindred styles. For more information, visit shopwestcountycenter.com
Cover design by Julie Streiler | Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography

Pictured at top: St. Louis-inspired fashions are available at Kindred.
Photo: Tim Parker Photography

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