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Kay's This N That: A Wichita Tradition

Kay’s This N That is a family owned costume and novelty shop that has been operating in Wichita for 43 years. What began with the purchase of a small shop and half a dozen costumes in the 70s has grown year after year to become one of Wichita’s best-loved costume shops.

 If you’re in need of a costume, wig, piece of jewelry or pair of shoes for Halloween, Kay’s offers all this and more. Located at 4730 W Second St. N, the shop is hard to miss as a large dragon sits atop the shop’s roof!

The Dragon was built by Mark Pendergrass, the same man who painted the murals on the building’s exterior walls.

“We get a lot of compliments on it [the dragon]. In fact, there are kids who come here and say ‘ooh I want to go to the dragon store!’ and that’s what they know it by, the Dragon Store,” Said Doug Hettenbach, whose mother owns Kay's.

The incredible detailing of the store’s exterior is just the beginning. Kay’s This N That is unique in a lot of ways. Kay’s is open year round. While local theatres and school performance groups frequent Kay’s through the year, most of the year is also spent preparing for the shop’s biggest season, Halloween.

“Almost all the rest of the year we’re prepping [for Halloween.] We’re looking through catalogues, ordering and receiving, so we’re working on Halloween all year long,” said Hettenbach. “When we get new stuff in, it’s always fun. It’s kind of like Christmas. You open up the boxes and you’re like ‘Oh! Check this out!’”

Perhaps the most unique thing about Kay’s This N That is the service. Being a family owned business, Kay’s is staffed with employees who are genuinely excited about what they do, and this is reflected in the service they offer.

“We’ll take you around and show you where this is and that is and tell you what’s the best makeup for what you want to do. We’re hands-on,” Hettenbach said.

It’s friendly and informed service like this that makes Kay’s This N That a Wichita Tradition.

Ashley Aulbach

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