Olathe, Kansas
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Retail and Relaxation: The New R&R

Rocking the ladies’ getaway with boutiques and wine in Olathe, Kansas

The crisp morning air nipped at my nose as I watched my daughter and her teammates begin their warm-ups on the dewy grass, preparing for their day-long tournament, their last of the season. As I tucked a blanket around my legs, a hand appeared from behind my folding chair bearing an insulated cup with steam escaping from the top.

“A latte for the lady,” said Brooke, a fellow soccer mom and one of my closest friends.

“You’re an angel,” I said as I eagerly wrapped my chilled hands around the warm cup. “This is my third cup this morning and I’m still sleepy.”

“It’s been a busy season,” Brooke said, setting up her chair next to mine. “I’ve been running from work to kids’ activities to the grocery store. If it weren’t for soccer, I’d never get to see you.”

Before our lives had gotten overwhelmed with work and family obligations, the three of us used to go on regular shopping trips.

Brooke was right; our schedules revolved so much around other people and other things that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d gotten together just for fun. Suddenly, in a moment of caffeinated clarity, I had an idea: “Let’s plan a girls’ getaway!”

“Getaway?” our friend Julie said, lugging a cooler filled with sports drinks over to where Brooke and I were sitting. “Count me in!”

Before our lives had gotten overwhelmed with work and family obligations, the three of us used to go on regular shopping trips. We even called ourselves the Charlie’s Angels of the retail world, each of us using a particular skill; Brooke had a talent for home decorating, Julie could pull together a trendy outfit in under a minute and I had an eye for unique jewelry. Together, we were invincible.

Planning our long-overdue girls’ trip invigorated us more than the multiple drinks from Starbucks that we’d consumed that morning at the soccer field. We wanted to venture somewhere new, a place where we could shop at unique stores, then relax and do absolutely nothing. Julie mentioned that her sister, who lives in Kansas City, kept raving about the boutiques in the nearby town of Olathe, Kansas. Plus, Olathe has its own winery, where we could unwind after a day of shopping. The perfect ingredients for the next Charlie’s Angels assignment.

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The crisp morning air nipped at my nose as I watched my daughter and her teammates begin their warm-ups on the dewy grass, preparing for their day-long tournament, their last of the season. As I tucked a blanket around my legs, a hand appeared from behind my folding chair bearing an insulated cup with steam escaping from the top.

“A latte for the lady,” said Brooke, a fellow soccer mom and one of my closest friends.

“You’re an angel,” I said as I eagerly wrapped my chilled hands around the warm cup. “This is my third cup this morning and I’m still sleepy.”

“It’s been a busy season,” Brooke said, setting up her chair next to mine. “I’ve been running from work to kids’ activities to the grocery store. If it weren’t for soccer, I’d never get to see you.”

Before our lives had gotten overwhelmed with work and family obligations, the three of us used to go on regular shopping trips.

Brooke was right; our schedules revolved so much around other people and other things that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d gotten together just for fun. Suddenly, in a moment of caffeinated clarity, I had an idea: “Let’s plan a girls’ getaway!”

“Getaway?” our friend Julie said, lugging a cooler filled with sports drinks over to where Brooke and I were sitting. “Count me in!”

Before our lives had gotten overwhelmed with work and family obligations, the three of us used to go on regular shopping trips. We even called ourselves the Charlie’s Angels of the retail world, each of us using a particular skill; Brooke had a talent for home decorating, Julie could pull together a trendy outfit in under a minute and I had an eye for unique jewelry. Together, we were invincible.

Planning our long-overdue girls’ trip invigorated us more than the multiple drinks from Starbucks that we’d consumed that morning at the soccer field. We wanted to venture somewhere new, a place where we could shop at unique stores, then relax and do absolutely nothing. Julie mentioned that her sister, who lives in Kansas City, kept raving about the boutiques in the nearby town of Olathe, Kansas. Plus, Olathe has its own winery, where we could unwind after a day of shopping. The perfect ingredients for the next Charlie’s Angels assignment.

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Oh, what a beautiful feeling

The following Saturday, we sipped our lattes in the comfort of Julie’s car as we drove past the empty soccer fields on our way to Olathe. Before we left, I did some online research about this charming town. Founded in 1857, Olathe was where the Oregon, Santa Fe, and California Trails once converged. For the next 36 hours, it would be our land to explore.

Our first stop in Olathe was Teaella, a comfy chic boutique that Julie had heard about. Even though the doors had just opened for the day, the store was already buzzing with energy, and customers like us searching for clothes that were stylish, yet comfortable.

I stood motionless, facing racks of jeans, tops, dresses and scarves. I must have looked overwhelmed, as Julie grabbed a moss-colored Rokoko dress, a floral vest and a pair of tan suede Very Volatile booties, and handed them to me. “Try these on,” she said. Dutifully, I did, emerging from the dressing room wearing a hip outfit that made me feel and look great.

“Where did that soccer mom go?” Brooke asked playfully when she saw me. It felt wonderful to find some clothing that reflected my true personality, and uplifting to have the encouragement of my friends. Needless to say, I bought the entire outfit.

Home is where the art is

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Our next stop was Olathe Glass & Home Decor, where light danced off the cleverly placed mirrors throughout the store, creating a dazzling, ethereal atmosphere. Skillfully arranged lamps, wreaths, candles and accessories came together to form mini vignettes in every room. I left the store with some whitewashed block letters that spelled H-O-M-E, which I thought would look perfect on my mantle.

Julie and I helped Brooke carry her packages to the car. As the interior decorator of the group, she was like a kid in a candy store here, selecting a variety of decorator ribbons and floral stems to use in creating her own pieces, as well as a delicate hanging glass decoration to add some sparkle to her home.

Pick up home decorations at Olathe Glass & Home Decor.
Gifts and decorations from Olathe Glass & Home Décor in Olathe, Kansas. Shopping in Olathe.

Next we headed toward the heart of historic downtown Olathe to Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio, and its neighbor Junque Drawer Next Door, which houses a bistro. We decided to refuel with some sandwiches and refresh with sparkly sangria before we tackled any more shopping.

Pick up home decorations at Olathe Glass & Home Decor.
Gifts and decorations from Olathe Glass & Home Décor in Olathe, Kansas. Shopping in Olathe.
Find treasures at Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio.
Exterior of Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio in Olathe, Kansas. Shopping in Olathe.

On our way out of Junque Drawer Next Door, I noticed some shelves filled with locally made food products, including unique simple syrups from Boozy Botanicals. “Hold on, ladies,” I said, selecting two bottles of syrup: one rose, one hibiscus. “For fun cocktails at the next ladies’ night back home.”

Find treasures at Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio.
Exterior of Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio in Olathe, Kansas. Shopping in Olathe.

We then ventured next door to Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio, where we were greeted by the shop’s gregarious owner and resident artist, Jane Hosey Stern. Jane explained that all three stories of the century-old home were filled with fun and sassy merchandise including custom wall art, boutique clothing and accessories, and home decor.

I immediately spied the jewelry section on the first floor, and became downright giddy when I saw the extensive charm bar filled with at least 20 trays packed with charms which could be added to any bracelet or necklace in the store.

While Brooke and Julie wandered to the next floor, I perused the jewelry and charms and found a “Friend” charm to add to three bracelets that read “Make Your Own Magic,” and I asked Jane to wrap them up.

A charmed life

I joined the others upstairs, and by the time we made it through all three floors, we were ready to rest our feet. “To the winery!” Brooke declared, and we readily followed her lead.

Moments later, we pulled into the parking lot of Stone Pillar Vineyard & Winery. An oasis in the middle of the city, this winery grows French and French-American grapes. We visited the tasting room first, sampled a variety of wines, and then decided on a bottle of the semi-sweet white Hofftoberfest to share.

We found an empty table outside where we could enjoy the live music while we sipped our wine. The autumn day had warmed up nicely, and the late afternoon sun cast a luminous glow on my friends’ faces. They looked radiant and happy, free from the cares and responsibilities of work, kids and home.

Share a bottle from Stone Pillar Vineyard & Winery with your best friends.
Rieslings, Hofftoberfest, reds and whites from Stone Pillar Vineyard & Winery, in Olathe, Kansas

We’d done it. We’d resurrected the Charlie’s Angels of our past. “To some much-needed girl time with my best friends,” I said raising my wine glass.

I gave them their bracelets then. Julie ran her finger over the charms and read aloud, “Make your own magic.”

“We definitely did that,” said Brooke.

Mission accomplished.

Find out where to stay in Olathe