• Last modified 707 days ago (Sept. 9, 2020)


Urban Sunflower blossoms in Marion

Staff writer

If you are a country girl, an urban diva, or anything in between, you are sure to find something that suits your style at Marion’s newest boutique.

Urban Sunflower blends owner April Winn-Patrick’s love of fashion and zeal for helping people into a retail venture that offers city glam with a touch of country bling.

A commercial real estate broker from Wichita, Winn-Patrick and her husband, Steve, fell for an old house in the 600 block of Walnut St. and decided to move to Marion.

Opening a storefront was the next step for a businesswoman with a good eye.

“I buy high quality clothes that I consider to be timeless,” said Winn-Patrick as she turned on the lights in her space at TC’s What Not Shop.

Pieces from Banana Republic, Loft, Gap, White House Black Market, and Athleta line the racks in her booth. They are a mix of new and gently used.

Urban Sunflower also carries a range of sizes, including plus-size.

There are plenty of accessories to add the finishing touch to any outfit.

“I am so in love with this hat here,” Winn-Patrick said, pulling black fedora off a stand. “I can barely sell it because I only bought two of the black.”

At only $25, it is still a steal, as are most items in the shop.

Winn-Patrick’s sister, Valerie Linenburger, owner of Salina’s True Betty Boutique, came up with the store’s name during a brainstorming session over the phone.

Winn-Patrick pitched the tagline:

“In every city girl, there is a little bit of country, in every country girl, there’s a little bit of city,” she recalls. “My sister blurted out, on the first shot, ‘Urban Sunflower’ and I said, ‘That’s it.’ ”

Winn-Patrick sees Urban Sunflower as a safe haven where she can help her customers with a special occasion or steer them out of a style rut.

“I want to help people put together outfits,” she said. “Because, until you get a wardrobe going, it’s kind of hard.

“To really be able to dress well is to pair things that you bought at different times and different places and put together an outfit.”

Meet Winn-Patrick at her shop and clothes fly off the racks as she shows you how any number of pieces can go together.

“The first time I saw this I thought, ‘Oh, that’s kind of a mumu,” she said, picking a flowy, print, cardigan off the rack. “But my friend said ‘April this is so cute,’ and gave me a few ideas. I looked at it in a different light.”

She wants Urban Sunflower to pair the shopping experience of a larger market with small town customer service.

“I don’t want people to have to feel like they need to drive to Wichita or Kansas City to find something unique and cool,” she said.

The boutique is a second venture for Winn-Patrick who will continue to work as a real estate broker under her own banner Winn Enterprises, LLC.

She is no stranger to retail after 20 years in property development. Her resume includes Wichita’s NewMarket Square, Shops at Tallgrass, Tallgrass Centre, Oak Creek and Cross Pointe.

Ever the realist, Winn opened Urban Sunflower as a booth in TC’s What Not Shop Antiques to test the market.

“This is my first venture and I’ve seen a lot of business owners lose their shirts,” she said. “I don’t want to be that person.”

Winn-Patrick’s ultimate goal is a shop on Marion’s Main St., but she wants to see how the public responds first.

Her challenge right now is getting the word out that there is another store in Marion that sells clothing.

“I want people to know that I want to have something for everyone,” she said. “There is new clothing and there is gently used, so I think there is something for everyone.”

Urban Sunflower is accepting inquiries at (316) 226-5621.

Last modified Sept. 9, 2020