When it comes to Lawrence, Kansas, there are two aspects that, together, make Lawrence unique: The University of Kansas and Mass Street. For Weavers, the combination of these two local flavors has been a recipe for success.
Weavers, located at 9th and Mass, has been a fixture in Lawrence since 1857, making it the oldest company still in operation in Lawrence. According to Brady Flannery, Vice President of Weavers, Inc., this location has been central to Weavers’ success over the years.
“We celebrated our 161st year in business, all on Mass Street,” said Flannery. “There have been a couple of different locations, but always on Massachusetts street in Lawrence, Kansas.”
Being such an iconic fixture in Lawrence has led Weavers to the success it currently enjoys. There are few small businesses in Lawrence that can match their popularity in recent years. According to Flannery, the label of small business is nothing to be avoided, but is, instead, a badge of honor.
“Small business is a relationship with the community,” Flannery said. “All of our team, our employees, our customers, we all know one-another. When there’s a problem in the community, we know exactly who to help, and they know exactly who to ask for.”
Weavers may be a “small business,” but it is by no means small. The store boasts a full four floors of retail space, making it seem gigantic by Mass street store standards. The store carries a wide selection of clothing, footwear, and many other accessories for both men and women.
Due in large part to their large and varied selection, Weavers is constantly seeing customers come in. The significant traffic that flows into Weavers consistently represents money staying in the community instead of going to national chains. Flannery says customer interactions remind him often that this aspect of small business shopping is important to the Lawrence community.
“Our customers have told us through the years that it’s important to them to keep the sales dollars in Lawrence,” Flannery said. “They want to support the local businesses.”
From the look of Mass street, this sentiment seems accurate. The majority of shops on Mass street are locally owned businesses, and they seem to have no shortage of customers. Weavers is no exception.
“We have lots of great small businesses around town, including restaurants,” Flannery said. “No one’s going to shop only at small businesses, but if we all pick up just a little bit each day, it’ll raise the tide for the entire state.”
Weavers is open 7 days a week at its 9th and Mass Street location.