Ink

Brick and mortar boutique offers sensory approach to feminine style

Maria Casteel (left) and Chanel Jezek teamed up to introduce KC to their take on feminine, romantic fashion for the body and home. “This isn’t just about clothes, it’s a way to express yourself,” Casteel says.
Maria Casteel (left) and Chanel Jezek teamed up to introduce KC to their take on feminine, romantic fashion for the body and home. “This isn’t just about clothes, it’s a way to express yourself,” Casteel says. along@kcstar.com

Stepping foot into Dear Society is like inserting yourself into an Instagram post — it’s perfectly styled and on trend.

What you can’t get from a photo is the shop’s sensory experience. Customers return because of the calm, clean, earthy environment. “Visually it has to be appealing, but the feeling you get here has to be good too,” says co-owner Chanel Jezek.

She started pop-up shops solo, with small batches of fresh-off-the-runway fashion, and met business partner Maria Casteel, who was doing her own pop-up with vintage and one-off pieces, in the West Bottoms.

Weird circumstances kept connecting the two women over and over again, so they agreed to chat about their business ventures. Once they discovered they were both looking at the same brick-and-mortar space, they decided fate must want them to work together.

Though they come from two different worlds, their styles mesh well. “We started a Pinterest board, and you couldn’t tell who was who,” Casteel says.

“We knew KC needed a shop like this,” Jezek says. “We talked about our favorite places to shop and they were all online.”

Dear Society’s brand is a feminine, not-quite-minimal style that helps customers achieve their own personal look by blending old and new, high and low. They are inspired by trends but choose only what will last.

The shop’s uniqueness quotient increases with its 25 vendors purveying ceramics, jewelry, candles, apothecary items, weavings and more. Many are first-time, up-and-coming artists, giving the store exclusive lines.

The Ambassador building, built in the 1920s by well-known female architect Nelle Peters, inspired Jezek and Casteel to choose the shop’s location, at 3566 Broadway. It is open Thursday through Sunday only.

The area is undergoing revitalization, with a nearby yoga studio, salon, ramen shop and coffee shop. “We felt it was the right time, the right energy here,” Jezek says.

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