Last week marked the debut of Fable, a Crossroads boutique at 1515 Walnut St. opened by Kansas City designer and West 18th Street Fashion Show veteran Tara Light. Offering USA-made and fair trade designer items, the shop also carries Tara’s eponymous clothing line. Tara spoke with us about her journey, philosophies on fashion, the Crossroads community and more. Read on to learn more about this inspired space, and don’t miss the grand opening event this Friday, May 2 from 6:00 – 10:00! Take it away, Tara…
About the Fable Products
In addition to the designers themselves and their manufacturing policies, I selected all of the items in the store based on a few different criteria. First, I considered whether the line was broadly represented–none of the lines are available anywhere else in the KC area or on big online retailers. I’ve done the hunting for you and found beautiful and unique pieces no one else is likely to have.
The second thing I looked for was a distinct point of view. The pieces possess interesting cuts, custom prints, and an attitude that is wholly Fable–a bit whimsical, a tad modern, and able to stand the test of time.
Finally, I took price point into consideration. I wanted to offer ethically-produced and fashion-forward clothing (a combination that seems to occur rarely) that was also accessible. Nothing in Fable will be the cheapest item in your closet (most pieces hover around the $200 mark), but they will be some of your most loved and worn.
For so long, I kept walking into stores and seeing the same brands in the same styles over and over. But then, every once in a great while, I’d venture into an offbeat location and find a great “mom-and-pop”-esque shop that would blow me away. Discovering new lines, hearing the life story of the owners, and feeling like I had stepped into somewhere special. I wanted to create that kind of space.
I understand that bringing in well-known brands would be an easier sell, but I’m in it for the uphill battle. I want to educate people on the importance of mindful design and manufacturing. I want them to feel that their money is being spent thoughtfully and supporting one of our artist’s craft and livelihood.
The Crossroads Community
It was a complete no-brainer when it came to deciding on a home for Fable. The first group of people to ever embrace me reside in the Crossroads–the producers of the West 18th Street Fashion Show. The Crossroads community is so alive and intriguing. The best shops, galleries, and bars and restaurants in Kansas City are here. I can’t believe I am now part of that legacy.
I am in awe of the sense of camaraderie I’ve felt in such a short period of time. There is this fantastic quote from Erica Cook (and I feel like a complete loser citing this–damn you, Pinterest!) that reads, “I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.” I’ve been ruminating on this a lot lately. It’s so easy to be catty and competitive in fashion, but there is so little of that in this little corner. We’re all coming to the table with our particular viewpoints and strengths, trying to make Kansas City (particularly the Crossroads) an even more beautiful place to live and visit.
We’re in the Crossroads, so it was only fitting that Fable contribute to the art scene we are embedded in. Our fantastic creative director (and my husband), Corey Light, has been working closely with the uber-talented former Kansas Citian Kathryn Zaremba to bring her Aesop’s Fables-inspired illustrations to our shop. She has created a beautiful collection of images particularly for Fable, which we will unveil at our grand opening celebration on May 2. Libations and love will be served, too.
All photographs courtesy of Chris Mullins Photography.