Michael Hollaway spent more than two decades at Nordstrom in Seattle and then Miami.
He asked to be transferred to the Overland Park store for just a year. Hollaway was nostalgic for his hometown of Cherryvale, Kan., where he lived from ages 2 to about 10. Then he planned to move on to another Nordstrom store in San Jose or Boston.
That was in 2008 and he’s still here.
Hollaway met his now wife, Keely, in 2008 and they married in 2011. Their son Tommy will be 4-years-old in May.
In late October — while still working full-time at Nordstrom — he opened his own shop, The Middle Kansas City, at 109 Main St. in downtown Parkville, less than two miles from his Parkville home.
It was only open three days a week. But in early January, Hollaway expanded the hours and made it his full-time job.
He named the shop The Middle Kansas City because he is focusing on products that are produced in small batches in the Kansas City area, as well as the middle of the country, including Iowa, Colorado and Minnesota. Items include T-shirts, screen prints, caps, soap, coasters, jewelry, cotton blankets, candles and soaps, onesies and toddler shirts, and notecards.
Brands include Locally Grown Clothing Co., Whiskey + Bone jewelry, Shine Candle Co., Coasters to Coasters, Freelance Brand Clothing, Leather Works Minnesota, Wild Wash Soap Co., and Dohm Headwear.
There’s also a special section devoted to Park University with T-shirts and a book on the 140-year history of the school.
In March, Hollaway will add other local food products, including sauces.
“I started hearing about all these great local small-batch companies,” Hollaway said. “My wife and I shop this kind of product and we didn’t want to have to go to the other side of the river to shop.”
The Middle Kansas City took a space that formerly housed Dew Yah’s, an urban farming and garden center.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday.