Family Owned Business Finds Perfect Home in Heart of Community


Customers lining up and peeking through the windows before your doors open is a sure sign your business is off to a great start. Just a few days after Related Second Chance Home Furnishings officially moved into the historic house across from Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse in Martin City, shoppers were streaming through for a closer look.

“Everything’s happened so fast,” says owner Kim Volker. “We moved in within a span of a few days and quickly staged everything as people started knocking on the door to see what was going on.”

Kim Volker owns Related Second Chance Home Furnishings

Originally a railroad house where crews stayed as they worked over a century ago, 13442 Cherry Street has found new purpose over and over again through the years. It was the Rooms that Bloom retail boutique for decades, and then a temporary rental space over the past year. Now, it’s a classy collection of home furnishings carefully showcased from the living and dining rooms downstairs to the bedrooms upstairs.

The day we visited, we were delighted to feel the buzz as customers browsed and even gasped at some of the treasures they discovered. The entire space feels cool, modern, and cozy, with a distinct thread of prairie elegance that feels right at home in Martin City.

“We are very focused on high quality items and trending designs,” says Volker, chatting with us intermittently while she also fields questions from customers. “Most of what we offer is second hand. It isn’t necessarily perfect in terms of condition, but it’s very, very close. We’re known for quality that’s on par with retail standards, but at discount prices.”

Look around, and everything from picture frames, mirrors, rugs, lamps and even kitchenware will catch your eye, but there’s no denying that furniture is the main attraction. Beds, couches, chairs, tables, stools, and other unique pieces steal the show.

“It’s so exciting to be here in Martin City,” says Denise Boyd, Volker’s daughter and right hand in running the business. “We really feel like we’re in the right place now. So many people told us we would do great in this neighborhood and the activity we’ve seen so far certainly backs that up.”

Kim Volker (right) and daughter Denise Boyd deliver the creativity and good taste that powers the business.

A Career Healthcare Worker Furnishes Her Second Act.

Kim Volker is a retired hospital nurse who worked for years inside The University of Kansas Health System. When she wasn’t on the job, she found herself spending more and more time exploring estate sales and other venues where gently used merchandise was priced to sell quickly. Over time, she developed a skill for identifying rare treasures that hit a narrow strike zone of exceptionally high quality and low price.

“There was a pattern,” Voker recalls. “Every now and then I’d come across a furniture piece that checked all the right boxes, from quality and style to price, that really made it stand out. These pieces were on a higher level than typical second hand standards. I started collecting them and realized I could carve out a niche business.”

That’s when Related Second Chance Home Furnishings was born. Volker’s three daughters pitched in to get the idea rolling and another relative offered up warehouse space in Stilwell, Kansas. It’s easy to see where the name ‘Related’ comes from — this business is all in the family.

Volker and her three daughters originally launched the business in Stilwell, Kansas.

“We don’t have wholesale relationships that supply our merchandise,” says Boyd. “Everything we sell is a result of us scouring estate sales and similar opportunities. We also get leads from people going through remodeling who offer up the kind of quality furniture we’re looking for because they need room for different pieces fitting a changing style.”

“We’ve turned down plenty of offers,” adds Volker, adjusting a throw pillow on a couch. “Sometimes items are just not good enough. We’ve developed a clear vision of what works and what doesn’t for our customers, and we stick to it.”

You’ll want to avoid asking the Related team to ‘keep an eye out’ for a certain this or that, or try to send them on a hunt for something specific. What you see on their property is what you get. If you want to stay in the loop on what’s in and what’s out, and hours of operation, follow their Facebook Page. It’s the center of their online universe and they keep it continually updated.

Related’s Facebook Page is a good way to stay in the inventory loop.

Leaving a Small Town for a Neighborhood with Big Potential.

After four years in Stilwell, the Related team moved to greener grass in Martin City, abandoning their small town roots for a bigger pool of customers in a neighborhood known for launching the success of family owned businesses. They knew they were in the right place when they walked into the little house on Cherry Street owned by longtime friends Mike and Debbie Van Noy, who also own Jess and Jim’s.

“This house is perfect. It’s a much better fit for our business,” explains Boyd, showing us around. “Instead of sectioning off areas of a warehouse to stage room furnishing concepts, we now have the advantage of actual rooms inside an actual house. And the house is so charming, too! We take full advantage of it. We use the bathrooms for displays, the front porch, and even the driveway and back deck.”

“The house sold itself to us,” says Volker. “But just knowing we’re in good hands with Mike and Debbie is incredibly important to us. They’ve already done so much to help us get going and we’ve known them for so long.”

They certainly have. The families have grown up together. Volker says her parents knew R.C. Van Noy, Mike’s father and famed Martin City restaurant pioneer. She can even trace connections to Jim Wright, one of the original Jess and Jim’s founders.

“Oh I mean, I’ve never not known the Van Noys. We’ve always been in the same circles. Plus, I’ve just always been a fan of Martin City. I’ve popped into Martin City Brewing Company’s happy hours more times than I can count, and I’ve had so many of those huge baked potatoes at Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse! Years ago, I had nightcaps many times at RC’s Restaurant & Lounge. I know all about Martin City and I’ve always loved it.”

Boyd is quick to jump in. “And the community is really up and coming. It’s so fun to see the hustle and bustle on the streets in the morning. It’s like its own town. We’ve got all of these family owned businesses along 135th, and Holmes Road, too. And you still have access to big box stores on the west side. It’s like the best of both worlds.”

“Everybody says, ‘Oh you’re going to just do great in Martin City. You’re going to love it.’ And we already do,” says Volker, with a grin that charms, much like the atmosphere she’s created. “Other business owners have been so welcoming, and the Martin City Community Improvement District has already made a great impression on us! We were working late at night getting ready to open and noticed the private security patrols passing through. This neighborhood is certainly putting its best food forward.”

Thanks, Kim! We’re excited about how well Related Second Chance Home Furnishings fits into our community’s family of businesses, and we wish you all the best as you settle in and stretch your legs in the best neighborhood in Kansas City.


Related Second Chance Home Furnishings

13442 Cherry Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64145