In March of 1989, Rooms that Bloom, opened their doors in Martin City in a 100-year old cottage that was once occupied by a railroad foreman. Owner Krista Sloan’s vision was to turn it into a retail shopping experience where people could find one-of-a-kind European gifts in each room of the house.
“I always wanted to grow the business in a real house because I think it’s easier for people to visualize what products will look like in their own homes if they can first see them in a household setting,” said Sloan.
The opportunity to buy the old Martin City railroad house fell into Sloan’s lap when she was driving by. “I saw a for sale sign on this cute little two-story house in Martin City and it was like a dream come true staring me in the face,” said Sloan.
After purchasing the house, Sloan completely renovated it and began combing the English countryside to find one-of-a-kind items to fill each room.
Her first trip was in 1994, and she’s been back 40+ times since then! Sloan said she and her husband spend 10 days in the summer driving around visiting a variety of antique stores in England in search of the best deals. “We’re always looking for the most unique, highest quality products,” said Sloan. “And our customers can hardly wait to see what we bring back!”
Sloan has seen quite a few changes in Martin City, especially over the past few years during the 135th Street redevelopment project. “The 135th Street project almost forced me to close my doors because it was so difficult for customers to access the store,” she said. “The street looked like a war zone because everything was torn apart.”
Sloan said even though it was terrible for a while, it was all worth it in the end. “The new sidewalks and hanging baskets have added so much character and charm to the neighborhood and we love our Martin City location even more than we did before!”
Another big change? Sloan was storing antique furniture in the back carriage house, also known as the “Bloomin” Cottage, until last year when a home goods retail shop (StickSisters) showed an interest in the space. Nancy Davidson and her sister, Laura Radke, sold locally-made regional wall art, jewelry, gifts and home decor from a retail store in Leawood, Kansas and found the Bloomin Cottage to be a better fit for their brand.
Sloan moved her furniture from the cottage into a two-story barn by the alley to free up the space and in October 2018, StickSisters officially opened the old carriage house doors for business!
“I’ve always envisioned our store in a free-standing location and when customers connected us with Krista Sloan, everything came together. I just love the vibe of Martin City and the people are awesome, so nice and welcoming,” said Davidson.
Sloan says she’s thrilled to have another business using the cottage, especially one so complimentary to her own customer demographic. “We both carry things no one else has, and both have discerning customers who know they won’t find what they’re looking for anywhere else,” Sloan said.
Congratulations to Krista Sloan and Rooms That Bloom for 30 years of business success! We’re so proud of all you’ve accomplished and wish you many more years of happiness in Martin City.
Rooms That Bloom is located across from the Martin City Animal Hospital at 13442 Cherry Street. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. To learn more, please visit their website.