Artfully arranged boutique complements community’s seasonal spirit.
It’s the ‘greatest time of the year’, as they say, and that means it’s a great time to experience Martin City. Our historic neighborhood welcomes you with delightful traditions and classy sparkle topped off by a cozy small town vibe. If you’re interested in visiting and taking a look around, Gilded Lily is a good place to start.
“The holidays are wonderful in Martin City, and Gilded Lily will immediately put you in the mood,” says Debbie Beachner, longtime owner of the one-of-a-kind boutique and beloved landmark on 135th Street. “You can just feel the spirit of the season as soon as you walk in the door.”
Even before you walk in, you can’t help but notice that Gilded Lily is special. As Beachner often says, it all starts with the house that her business calls home. Historic, majestic, and inviting, the Gilded Lily house rises like a monument dedicated to Martin City old and new. It was built way back in 1905, and all those years seem to pour over you as you step onto the porch and turn the doorknob.
“Many first-time visitors are surprised to see how big it is inside,” says Beachner, standing near a glistening white tree as we chat during her Holiday Open House. “They find out there are three bedrooms and even a full basement to browse, too. Many stay for quite a while and even come back again when they have more time to see everything.”
Beachner is in her tenth year curating the interesting treasures, local art, and exquisite culinary treats available for sale inside Gilded Lily. She took ownership of the business five years ago and gradually replaced outside vendors with her own merchandise choices and passion for design. These days, everything you see has been handpicked and painstakingly positioned by Beachner herself. She’s a master of staging Gilded Lily for optimal appeal during any season, but her work at Christmastime delivers a particular enchantment.
“I love doing it all, from top to bottom,” says Beachner. “Every item is special to me and I’m excited to share it with my customers. When the weather turns cold, Gilded Lily warms up and becomes a sort of refuge in addition to a shopping opportunity.”
On day one of Gilded Lily’s Holiday Open House, customers wandered through with wide eyes, like kids on Christmas morning, enjoying the scents and humming along to the music. You could see them uncovering new delights from as far away as France, imagining possibilities in their own homes, and even taking photos to alert friends to this gift-giving gold mine in the heart of Martin City.
Beachner devotes herself to exploring off the beaten path where she turns up the refined, the whimsical, and the precious. She follows social media trails leading to unique decor and other objects that wind up as centerpieces in showcases throughout Gilded Lily. She also has connections from Kansas City to Europe who understand what she’s looking for, and how to find it. The result is a holiday gift wonderland, complete with charming arrays of Santas, angels, ornaments, candy, teas, candles, clothing and so much more. Mark off your list, stuff your stockings, or just look around and make yourself smile.
“This is a home, after all. That’s why I make it cozy, warm, and peaceful. I want you to feel comfortable just spending time here,” says Beachner, bagging up another purchase behind the cash register. “Everything I create inside Gilded Lily is intended to be pleasing to the eye and make you feel good. People often buy gifts for others and one or two for themselves because there really is something for everyone. You can be extravagant or go as small as tea and honey.”
You might say Gilded Lily is a treasure within the treasure that is Martin City. And like Beachner says, we should all be thankful for both. “We’re truly local here, just like our restaurants and our other family-owned businesses. It’s something to be grateful for. Martin City hasn’t been taken over by big brands and big box stores. What we do here and sell here is a reflection of an authentic, local community. Spending money here is money well spent. You’ll walk away with good memories and gifts that are truly unique and meaningful. That kind of experience is harder to find these days.”
It certainly is, Debbie. We’re glad Gilded Lily remains a cornerstone of our retail community, and a reliable helper Santa can always depend on.
612 E 135th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64145