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Office space: Amber Ayres

The manager of Boulevard Brewing Co.’s dry goods stores — the seasonal store at 4703 Broadway on the Country Club Plaza and the gift shop at the company’s brewery, 2501 Southwest Blvd.

Amber Ayres, retail buyer and manager at Boulevard Dry Goods store on the Plaza.

A typical day on the job

7:30 a.m. Wakes up in just enough time to feed the dogs, two English Bulldogs named Brewski and Abe, as in Abe Froman, “The Sausage King of Chicago.”

8:30 a.m. Arrives at the Plaza store and “makes sure everything’s good.” She rearranges merchandise; redresses window displays; folds T-shirts and tends to the shop while listening to Emmylou Harris, Led Zeppelin or Madonna.

10 a.m. Opens the Plaza location.

11 a.m. Computer work: She updates the online store, manages schedules, reviews employee procedures and checks email.

3 p.m. Meets with vendors and local artists to research new products at the brewery — there’s free beer there.

6 p.m. Has a beer with co-workers while closing down the register at the gift shop at the brewery.

Special to Ink

Hometown proud

Boulevard’s new seasonal dry goods store on the Plaza has products from various Kansas City-based companies and artists: a limited edition KC cap in Boulevard colors by Baldwin Denim; T-shirts by Bandwagon Merchandise; new posters and coasters by Hammerpress; and handmade jewelry by Scarlett Garnet Jewelry. “All the local stuff I’m really proud of,” Ayres said. “We tried to pick a lot of local people with the same ideals as us.”

Fashion sense

With more than a decade of experience in visual merchandising, Ayres said she aims to give the window displays an industrial feel — think “old and repurposed and shiny new,” she said. “It starts with the brewery. I take that feel and add a twist with inspiration from the fashion world.”

Friends with benefits

Ayres’ friends consider her to be one very lucky lady. “When I first got hired, I remember everybody saying, ‘How did you get that job?!’ ” She has worked for Boulevard for less than one year.

A few of her favorite things

It takes Ayres a few moments to choose just one favorite item in the store, but a newly added T-shirt, printed by Kansas City company Bandwagon Merchandise, takes the spot. The earthy-toned T-shirt reads “I Love BLVD” with a beer bottle superimposed over the text. “It’s super fashionable and a T-shirt you’d actually like to wear. It’s not just our logo slapped on a shirt. It’s handcrafted like our beers.”

‘Hoppy’ holidays

The Plaza dry goods store has extended its hours to stay open until 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday during the holiday shopping season.

A ‘brew’ good men

The dry goods store has weekly beer sampling and “meet the brewer” events during happy hour times — around 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Check Boulevard’s Facebook page for more details about this and other promotions.

Fugacious furniture

Like the company’s Irish Ale or ZÔN Belgian-Style Witbier, Boulevard’s Plaza location is seasonal. The store will close in mid-January. That means everything has to go; even the furniture. “If (customers) like a fixture, let us know,” Ayres said. “Most of our furniture came from the brewery basement or a friend of the brewery loaned it to us.” Some of it will be for sale.

Next moves

Ayres considers Boulevard’s Plaza location a kind of test run. “Part of the reason we did this was just to see what else we could do. So, we’ll see what happens,” she said. “If people like it, we’ll get more merchandise in the gift shop at the brewery and see if more opportunity arises.”


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