On Monday, Nov. 2, Be Made completes a historical transition, quadrupling in size to 6,000-plus square feet by expanding to the full footprint of its 801 Main location, just as the original building owners did a century ago.
A family affair, Be Made owners Sue Karlin and Jordan (Karlin) Ottley are the mother/daughter duo behind the business’s success. Together with family members, they renovated the former A.A. Wiesner Building, named for their great-grandfather, whose original landmark general store at that location grew to encompass two of the neighboring storefronts on the same block.
“We’re honored to be the ones to preserve the concept of a general store, in a historic Hays location and transition it into the next century,” Ottley said. “It’s even more special because it was once in our family.”
The décor pays homage to Hays and the family’s agricultural heritage. Original wood floors, brick walls and tin ornate ceilings provide authentic backdrops for textured barn wood, naturally weathered metals and industrial items. Upon entrance, railroad tie lighting fixtures with glass globes, windmill head wall ornamentation and green auger leg shelving are a few of the massive visuals contrasting against a variety of product displays engineered throughout the store floor.
“We like items built with an old standard of quality, solid with great character, but due to their age or condition can no longer be used as originally intended. There’s a challenge and reward in repurposing, reinventing and reincorporating these pieces back into every day life again,” said Ottley in regards to the store’s innovative displays.
Be made originally opened April 2014 using just 1500 square feet of the building.
“We love living in a rural agricultural driven community, but for shopping, we’d find ourselves going out of town in search of original or different products,” Karlin said. “We felt Hays and northwest Kansas was missing out on unique brands and product created by individuals and small businesses, because they’re not represented in large chain stores.”
Karlin and Ottley continually seek new artists and unique product lines they discern as affordable, every-day usable and good quality. The expansion allows for broadening existing collections within kitchen, bath, stationery and kids to also introducing new collections for men, bedding, edibles and laundry/utility.
To complete the transition, Be Made will close temporarily Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 before the big reveal 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 2. Snacks and hot cocoa will be served at the Nov. 7 grand opening celebration. Regular business hours continue Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and additional holiday hours will be forthcoming on social media.