Side Gig Turns into Passion for Dusty Trail Gift Shoppe Owners

Avatar photo Posted on Jun 9, 2020 by Visit Emporia

If you’re looking for unique Kansas-themed gifts, mildly off-color items and things for that notoriously hard-to-shop-for person, look no further than Dusty Trail Gift Shoppe located in the heart of downtown Emporia, Kansas.

Shop owners Kimberly and Matthew Reynolds opened the store located at 1107B Commercial St. in May 2019. The shop features Midwest/Kansas items such as candles, stickers, T-shirts, greeting cards vintage items, and “antiques weathered on Kansas farms and whatever else we fancy from the Dusty Trails of the flyover states,” according to their website.

Matthew Reynolds said they decided to open the shop as a side gig because of their love of downtown Emporia.

“We walk downtown a lot and like what Main Street was doing and we wanted a side gig,” he said. “We wanted to do a bar but settled on a gift shop. We had seen these cool shops in Kansas City and Iowa, and we got inspired by those places.”

Reynolds said they aimed to bring more people to downtown Emporia when they opened their shop.

“We want people to shop local stores,” he said. “And to try to get away from buying from the big box retailers. We have a nice main street for such the small town that we are. We want to keep that going.”

The shop is intentionally small so items can be browsed and purchased quickly.

“Our store is meant to be an alternative source for gifts in Emporia,” Reynolds said. “We have a lot of birthdays, anniversaries, special events, etc in our family and we love to buy local for these events. But we sometimes run out of ideas and turn to online shopping. And we HATE having to do that. We thought we could provide something different. Gifts that don’t require a lot of thought or planning.”

“We aim for gifts that you can come in last minute and get someone,” Reynolds said. “We have lots of unique items. Our shop isn’t overwhelming, it’s tiny. You can come in here and get out really quick.”

Reynolds said what sets their shop apart is their unique selection.

“We’re not your grandmother’s gift shoppe. Unless she is looking for a flask for her whiskey and a KS my Astra T-Shirt,” he said.

People can also shop online, something that has become especially popular in the midst of the pandemic. On the website, shoppers can find everything from stationary to household items, incense, jewelry and even “food” items such as rainbow sunflower seeds, skull topper assorted candies and honey roasted sunflower kernels.

“The website has most everything we have in the shop,” he said, adding that antique items generally don’t go on the website.

Their website is as colorful as the shop itself.

“We are loving the Mainstreet renaissance that’s ongoing and want to be a part of it. Hopefully we can bring a little added flavor to Commercial Street with our bitchin little shoppe,” the website states.

Now that some of the pandemic restrictions have lifted, the shop is open limited hours from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. Show the shop owners (and other downtown businesses a little love while you’re out and about. It’ll help them keep the doors open.

“This pandemic has made the future uncertain for all small local shop owners, but we have full time employment elsewhere,” Reynolds said. “So, if you can’t shop at our badass shoppe, by all means, please support another locally owned business. I know we will be!”

Dusty Trail Gift Shoppe
Location: 1107B Commercial St, Emporia, KS
Hours: 2-5 p.m., Wednesday-Friday
Facebook: TheDustyTrailShoppe
Instagram: TheDustyTrailShoppe
Gift cards
Email: [email protected]


Avatar photo

Visit Emporia

Visit Emporia welcomes travelers and meeting planners, and serves as the visitor information center for Emporia, Kansas and surrounding area.



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