Andrea Joseph knew it was time for a life change when she was traveling so much that she was meeting her husband at the airport to hand off kids.
“As mothers, we tell our kids to follow their dreams, and I wasn’t following mine,” Andrea says.
So she ditched corporate sales to become a shopkeeper and traded in handshakes with strangers for waves to neighbors.
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Andrea calls Season + Square a “modern mercantile.” When she opened the shop in 2014, she wanted to emulate the high-end boutiques she missed after she and Christian moved to Kansas City from Denver with their two kids.
Christian built many of Season + Square’s fixtures and fashioned a wall of reclaimed barn wood behind the shop’s hugely popular collection of cocktail bitters. Andrea crowned the shop with a massive chandelier.
Two years ago, Andrea considered Season + Square a gourmet spice shop. She packaged her spices in square glass jars, which explains the second half of the store’s name. Customer requests and corporate competition led her in new directions.
Season + Square now offers a variety of gourmet goods, many made locally, including soaps, salts, chocolates, oils, jams, brass jewelry, fragrances, bowls, utensils and cookbooks.
“I try to keep 95 percent of what’s in here made in the USA,” Andrea says.
She knows the story behind every product and seeks out vendors who use responsibly sourced and environmentally friendly ingredients. Andrea finds many companies through Instagram or Google, but as her shop’s reputation grows, more like-minded companies are reaching out to her.
“I find that such a nice compliment,” she says.
Behind French doors, Season + Square continues its evolution, with the addition of lifestyle goods such as bikes, blankets and handmade leather products.
“I have a vision for a male/female shop that will be ever-changing,” Andrea says.
Below the shop, yet another construction project is underway: The Josephs plan to open another business, a wine cellar named Taste, at the end of September.
Andrea considers the new venture another way to build community and follow her dream.
“I love meeting people and I love KC for all the support people have given us,” she says.
“I feel I’ve made lifelong friends from the shop.”