SOMETHING BORROWED FINE RENTALS (Lee’s Summit, MO)
When I made the decision to walk away from the wedding and fine rentals business in 2010, I did so with a really heavy heart. (So that explains the extra 15 lbs.!) My body was betraying me at a young age, forcing me to put all super strenuous activities aside. I sat in the warehouse among the crates of inventory, watching total strangers drive away with truckloads of my beautiful hand-picked stuff and agonizing over what to do with this business I had worked so hard to build, the reputation I had slaved to maintain. And then in waltzed bubbly Cindy King and her daughter, Jennifer Hendricks. My worries were over.
I recently visited with Cindy at The Stanley, the hot new reception venue in historic downtown Lee’s Summit that she co-owns with her husband, Bryan, and Jennifer. The Stanley, located on the SW corner of 3rd & Douglas in the bustling “Mini Me Brookside” (you Kansas Citians know what I’m talkin’ about!), is adjacent to the warehouse where the new Something Borrowed Fine Rentals warehouse is now located. We sat down in the luxurious bridal room of The Stanley to chat for awhile about both the fine rentals business and the up-and-coming venue.
“Something Borrowed Fine Rentals is unique in that we offer a lot of pieces that no one else in the area has,” says Cindy. “There are some pieces you may be able to get if you use a particular floral designer or caterer, but you have to be willing to buy their whole package. With us, you can just rent the piece or pieces for as long as you need it without any additional strings attached.”
While Cindy & Jennifer only purchased a portion of the vast inventory up for sale, the pieces they chose showed their good taste. They have since augmented their inventory with other items, but have remained true to the idea of fine rentals.
“We work with each customer to help determine what will work well for the season, time of day, theme, location, and number of guests expected on their special day,” says Cindy. “Keep in mind, we cater to a lot of brides and grooms, but we also work with people who just want to have a little something extra special for any kind of event. Dinner parties are a great example. Not everyone has the storage space to keep a lot of stuff at home, nor do they necessarily want to bother with the upkeep. That’s when you call us!”
The items in their repertoire range from very formal silver to glass pieces to iron, which is especially popular in the fall. Candelabra, candlesticks, columns, urns and cake plateaus are just a few of the many items offered along with expert decorative consultation.
As for The Stanley, Cindy describes it as “a unique, intimate setting that offers a fabulous entertaining opportunity for weddings, receptions, showers, dinners, holiday parties and other private events.” The building consists of two perfectly designed floors that have an urban chic feel with the gleaming hardwood floors, exposed brick and sparkling chandeliers. But don’t let the “urban chic” thing fool you. There is still a warmth and a coziness about the place that makes it perfect for both contemporary and traditional tastes.
“We’re family-owned, and we try to cater to all needs,” Cindy says with a big trademark smile. “We’re here throughout the event to make sure everything goes as planned, and we treat every event as if it was our own. That’s saying a lot, because I love to entertain!!”
When I passed the Something Borrowed Fine Rentals name and a part of the inventory on to Cindy & Jennifer, I knew in my heart it was a good thing. As I witness what they’re doing to maintain the reputation and build a bigger, better widget out of it, I know it was a very good thing!
If you’re planning a fabulous tablescape or any event in the Kansas City metropolitan area, be sure to get in touch with Cindy or Jennifer at Something Borrowed Fine Rentals!
Click HERE to see a tablescape I set up at The Stanley!
ALL SEASONS EVENT RENTAL (Kansas City, KS)
When it’s time to entertain at home, not everyone hoards a warehouse full of “stuff” from which to choose. Even with my insanely extensive (some would say bordering on OCD!) personal repertoire, there are those occasional pieces I need to finish the job. Luckily, All Seasons Event Rental has a wealth of items to rent for a song!
I recently spent an afternoon with Vernon Greene, a 13-year veteran event coordinator with All Seasons with whom I have collaborated on many events over the last 12 years. Sure, we chatted, but it was hard to concentrate with all that fabulous stuff sitting within reach! To visit their showroom is pure nirvana! China, flatware, stemware, chargers, linens (from basic to custom-made), chairs…everything for delicious tablescapes!!! And it’s all so beautiful!
“We pride ourselves on diversity of product and the services we provide,” says Vernon. “When I talk with a customer, right off the bat I want to know their vision of their event, whether it’s a dinner party, a wedding, or any social or business event. What do they expect/want their guests to see and experience? I then take that vision – of the room, the tablescape, the event as a whole – and work in the items we have. If we don’t have it, we’ll do our best to find or create it!”
What if you don’t really have a vision? “Everyone has a vision,” grins Vernon. “They just don’t always know how to put it into words. I’m here to help them put that vision into words and action, and hopefully they’ll have a little fun in the process!”
Whether you need one item to complete a tablescape or a room full, All Seasons has a vast array of items ranging in prices suitable for more modest budgets all the way to the extravagant. And All Seasons serves more than just the Greater Kansas City area.
“We’ve delivered and set up everywhere from Texas to Florida to Atlanta to Vegas…even Puerto Rico!” Vernon proudly says. “There’s almost nowhere in the Continental U.S. we won’t go. And if someone in Hawaii needs our services, I’ll be the first one on the plane!”
All Seasons, a division of Brancato’s Catering, is located just 5 minutes west of downtown Kansas City at 5050 Kansas Avenue in Kansas City, KS. They offer both pick up and professional delivery/set up options. Click on our link to your right to visit their website! Ask for Vernon, and tell him Alycia sent you!
THE CAKE STUDIO (Shawnee, KS)
If you’re looking for a little bit of heaven right here on earth for your next event, order a cake from one of the incredibly talented angels at The Cake Studio – a conglomeration of Iced Art and Rebekah Cake Artist – located in Shawnee, Kansas!
Iced Art – Michelle Rice, Owner
Although she doesn’t look a day over 25, Michelle – who lived in Hawaii for 14 years before moving stateside – has been interested in cake design since 1987 when she got her 1st job in a grocery store bakery. By the time she was ready to head off to college, Michelle had made up her mind to work it as a career and focused on all the educational classes that would help her to operate a successful business. Intent on creating cakes as a part-time venture, Michelle worked a variety of unrelated jobs including a restaurant worker, a grounds supervisor and – of all the crazy things – a chain saw girl. (Don’t ask! 🙂 ) She began her part-time baking business working from home, churning out homemade cakes for every imaginable occasion.
“I love doing wedding cakes, but I think birthday cakes are the most fun,” says Michelle, sweeping aside her long, curly locks and flashing the big smile she is known for. “Like Rebekah, I just draw from the basic information the customer gives me and go from there to create something depending on my mood. When a customer gives me free rein and trusts my expertise…that’s when I’m the happiest!”
“I didn’t know what to call my business at first,” says Michelle, who “has been working every weekend since 1987.” “I finally just wrote down about 20 names.” With help from a friend, the name Iced Art was dubbed the winner.
Michelle eventually found herself lonesome working from home, and ventured out to share kitchen space with the owner of Miss Molly’s muffin & cookie wholesale shop in 2005. In 2007, she joined forces with her friend and colleague, Rebekah Foster.
Rebekah-Cake Artist – Rebekah Foster, Owner
Rebekah, a true artist by every definition of the word, started creating wedding cakes in 1997.
I just love to make pretty cakes,” she smiles, fidgeting with excitement. “It really brings me joy. When I’m finished and I see how beautiful it is, I sometimes want to keep it!”
Rebekah – who handmakes everything right there in the shop – likes to keep everything on the cake edible, including flowers. She is a master at working with fondant, meticulously shaping it into any and everything you could possibly imagine.
“It’s very hard work, very competitive with ever-changing techniques and styles,” says Rebekah. “You have to continue to learn. If you stay the same, you will fall behind. I can’t show up with a B- cake. For me, it has to be an A+ every time!”
With 3-5 events per weekend, Rebekah is constantly on the move during the busy wedding season.
“Weekends? You have no weekends. And you can’t go to bed until it’s done,” says Rebekah. “During the busy season, we work 8-12 hours a day, 6 days a week.”
The Cake Studio – Michelle Rice & Rebekah Foster, Partners
In August 2007 Michelle & Rebekah joined forces, and The Cake Studio officially opened its doors. The kitchen-cum-artsy retail space had seriously morphed in a short span of time. Exquisitely designed sample cakes line the bright, appetite-inducing salmon-colored walls.
“Rebekah transformed it, ” Michelle says proudly of her friend. “Be sure you put that down, because I had nothing to do with it!”
Michelle and Rebekah have been friends for years, and both feel a greater comfort working together in the same shop. Although baking and designing under separate names, they both produce the tastiest, most intricately designed melt-in-your-mouth cakes you have ever tasted and seen!
“I’ve always wanted a teammate,” says Michelle. “It helps to combat the feeling of confinement.”
“Although I have a family at home who was always right there, I was always stuck in the kitchen alone. Even when I wasn’t in the kitchen, it was hard to separate work from home. You just can’t magically turn it off.”
To make an appointment for Michelle, call 913-645-4562, or visit her website with its fun and easy-to-use “Create a Cake” tool at http://www.icedart.com/. See Rebekah’s web site chock full of scrumptious and highly artistic cakes at http://rebekahcakeartist.com/, or call 913-766-5687 for an appointment.
Click HERE to see “Let Them Eat Cake!” , a tablescape
I set up at The Cake Studio!