Brookside’s Hat Shop – Amina Marie Millinery

The weather has finally turned cooler, and you may be thinking about adding a few new pieces to spruce up your cold weather wardrobe.  How about something different?  Consider a hat…made right here in Brookside at Amina Marie Millinery.


Amina Marie Hood in her Brookside East studio

Amina’s shop is in Brookside East at 633 E 63rd St.  She’s a KC native, grew up in Prairie Village and went to textile school in San Francisco.  She loved fashion and worked in visual merchandising but really never thought about being a hat maker until a friend asked her to create a hat she could wear to Burning Man.  Amina accepted the challenge, Googled some instructions on hat making and … made a top hat that caught the attention of other Burning Man participants.  Amina decided millinery was her calling. Last year she was a finalist in  the Lock and Company millinery contest in London.  She went to London Hat Week, met others in the business and validated her creativity and business.

Like so many other entrepreneurs, Amina started her business at the kitchen table.  As orders grew, she decided she needed more space and moved to Brookside East in May.  She wanted a central location for easy client access and because she lives in Brookside–she loves her two minute commute!  She knew this area was ‘the right place’ for her and her customers.

Amina explained to me that her aesthetic is “clean and organic–it’s all about the drape of the material.”  Of course she can do wild and extravagant custom hats for special occasions like the Kentucky Derby or ComicCon, but most of her hats are  more classic — for example, a  fedora style.  She makes sure that ‘the hat fits the customer’ in terms of sizing and appearance.  When I tried on a hat in the studio — I loved how it looked on me, but we both knew it was the wrong color.  Amina makes sure the hat works for each unique face and features.


Amina Marie Millinery in Brookside East

At this time, Amina makes every hat she sells in her Brookside studio.  Sometime this fall, she is introducing a ‘ready to wear’ line, working with a manufacturer in New York.  She’s starting with 3-4 styles — and for now, offers hats just for women.  These hats will be priced around $100-$150.

I asked Amina why she thought hats went out of style.  They were so prevalent in the 1950s.  She explained that as the children of the ’50s parents grew up–they did not want to be like their elders.  They dressed down and considered hats too formal, along with fussy dresses and suits.  Today, wearing a hat is certainly practical in the colder weather, but is also  a subtle fashion accessory.  Wearing a hat gives you a confident, unique appearance–and it’s just fun!

Amina Marie Millinery is open by appointment–but she’s usually in her studio every day and welcomes people to just drop in and see her work.  She offers gift certificates too–what a great gift for that difficult -to- buy- for friend!  Stop in Amina’s studio and check out her hats  at 633 E 63rd St,  next to Golden and Pine with easy parking out front.

Waldo Aug 2016 Home Sales Stats

Waldo continues to attract homebuyers this year..sales are strong, desireable inventory is low.  Here are the August 2016 stats for single family home sales in Waldo, using the boundaries of State Line to Holmes and Gregory to 85th:

August  2016:

Number of homes sold:    47

Median list price:              $150,000

Median sales price:          $158,000

Average days on market:    35

You are reading that correctly–the final sales price was higher than the list price! Last month, half of the homes sold at or above asking price.  The lowest closed price was $56,001; the highest was $338,687.

August 2015:

Number of homes sold:      24

Median list price:              $125,000

Median sales price:          $126,000

Average days on market:    30

That’s a large jump in median sales price compared to August of last year.  Looking at the year to date figures below, you’ll see an increase in price as well as number of units sold:

                                                             2016 / 2015:                                                                                     

Number of homes sold:                270 / 244                                  

Median list price:                 $159,900 / $155,000                         

Median sales price:             $160,000 / $154,200

Average days on market:              22 / 35


Currently in Waldo, there are 33 single family homes for sale at a median list price of $149,000 and 35 days on market.

(All information taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Armour Hills Home Sales Stats – Aug 2016

Checking home sales for Armour Hills August 2016…a drop in prices compared to last year.  However, year to date– home values continue to rise.  Here are the stats with commentary!

August   2016:                                                          August  2015:  

Median list price:      $250,000                            Median list price:        $277,500

Median sales price:  $242,000                            Median sales price:    $280,000

Number of homes sold:  7                                   Number of homes sold: 4

Days on market:             47                                 Days on market:           11

You can see median sales price for last month was considerably lower than August 2015.  However, in August 2016, all homes but one sold under $280K. In August 2015, fewer homes sold but at a higher median price.  

Checking year to date figures:

2016, Jan-August:                                                           2015, Jan-August:

Median list price:      $269,700                              Median list price:      $267,450                      

Median sales price:  $268,500                              Median sales price:  $266,750

Number of homes sold:  54                                   Number of homes sold: 60

Days on market:             13                                      Days on market:            29

Homes in Armour Hills are selling faster this year, and for more money.  

Currently there are 5 homes for sale in Armour Hills, with a median list price of $319,000  and 11 days on market.

(All figures taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed)

Waldo Fall Festival Sat Sept 17 2016

Waldo Fall Festival Sept 17, 2016

Waldo Fall Festival Sept 17 2016


Fall is probably the most popular time for festivals in Kansas City…and this Saturday you can celebrate all things Waldo at the Waldo Fall Festival, now in it’s 24th year!

Location is in the CVS parking lot at the very busy intersection of 75th and Wornall; time is 10am-5pm Sept 17, 2016.  A few other details:


*Free admission

*Games, rides, face painting for the kids

*Live music and local vendor booths

*Food trucks!

*Brought to you by the Waldo Business Association

There’s easy access to the festival via walking or biking on the Trolley Track Trail–parking is very tight in this area so if you must drive, please park a few blocks away and walk to the festivities.  Enjoy your weekend in Waldo!



Brookside Home Sales Report- Aug 2016

Time to check home sales stats in Brookside for August 2016.  Numbers show a drop in value compared to one year ago…but if you are a Brookside homeowner, you’ll like the year-to-date comparisons!

Here is the single family home sales report for Brookside (zip code 64113) for August 2016, and comparisons to last year:

August  2016

Median list price:               $328,900

Median sales price:           $322,000

Average days on market:     13

Number of homes sold:        30

(Lowest sales price was $225,000; highest sales price was $$835,000.)

The lower priced homes ($400K and less) sell faster and are in high demand.  See the low days on market figure (13)?  That means last month a home was under contract within two weeks of list date.  Higher priced homes, especially over $700K–tend to sit on the market longer.

August  2015

Median list price:                $382,000

Median sales price:            $363,750

Average days on  market:      27

Number of homes sold:          30

Higher median price one year ago…means more higher priced homes sold last August.

Now let’s check year to date figures:

2016, January to August

Median list price:         $359,500

Median sales price:     $353,000

221 homes sold; average 34 days on market.

2015, January to August

Median list price:         $325,000

Median sales price:     $325,000

246 homes sold; average 38 days on market

Brookside home values are up 8.6% YTD compared to 2015!

Currently there are 49 active single family listings in the Brookside zip code of 64113; about one half of those (23) are priced over $500,000.  The median list price is $489,950.

(All information taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Farm Dog Studios Now in Brookside East

Farm Dog Studios artwork

Farm Dog Studios artwork

I’ve seen these decor signs in several homes I’ve shown to buyers and in a few restaurants in the area..I always wondered, where do you buy them?  Last week I was in 5B&Co Candlemakers in Brookside and…there they were, neatly displayed on a wall.  I tracked down the artist and found out all the details about yet another home grown Brookside business, Farm Dog Studios. 

Amy January in her Farm Dog Studios space

Amy January in her Farm Dog Studios space

Farm Dog Studios is Amy January.  She grew up in Fairway, and earned a BFA at Miami of Ohio. After several years working in art licensing and graphic design, she left the corporate world to raise her three children while living in Brookside.  One day, inspired by a subway sign, she wondered aloud why Brookside doesn’t have similar landmark signage.  In her studio, Amy and a (former) partner came up with the artwork  emphasizing major streets in our neighborhood.  She sold one sign at a Visitation auction and had requests for more.  A company was born.

Each sign is handmade in her Brookside East studio.  The process is a stencil and mask system, going through several steps from start to finish.  Besides the subway-style signs, Amy creates wall decor for children’s rooms, sororities and fraternities, local sports teams and universities.  There are also tee shirts, pillows and tea towels with her unique designs–those are made elsewhere.  She describes her art as “modern yet broadly appealing maker aesthetic”.  She added: “This is so fun for me because everything I’ve ever done is here. I like all the quirks from hand painting to licensing. I love coming up with the designs involving painting and typography”.

Of course I had to ask her how she came up with the name for her business.  It’s a story every  mom will appreciate:  Amy’s husband grew up on a farm in rural Kansas.  She explained every farm has a ‘scrappy dog’ that works challenging, long hours despite some obstacle–perhaps he’s blind in one eye or uses only three legs.   Amy was determined to get the company going while raising her school aged kids and all the running around and organizing that requires.  Hence, Farm Dog Studios.

Stuff for sale from Farm Dog Studios

Cool Brookside stuff from Farm Dog Studios!

You can stop by Farm Dog Studios to browse and purchase the artwork–she’s at 633 E 63rd St in Brookside East, next to Golden and Pine.  Current hours are Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-3pm.  You’ll also find her creations at 5B& Company, Stick Sisters, Made in KC stores and J’Adore.  







Arbor Villa Park in Brookside Features New Playground Equipment

ah one


Thanks to the hard work and persistence of Tiffany Moore, the Armour Hills HOA President, Brookside kids now have brand new playground equipment at Arbor Villa Park!

Tiffany has been submitting requests for PIAC funding since 2012 for this project.  The money was committed last year, and construction started this Spring.



ah twoFeatures include a new arch swing, climber, spring rider, swings, and play structure on top of mounded rubberized ‘hills’ .


ah three

All children are welcome to play in the park, located at Edgevale and Main St in the center of Armour Hills.  Now that school has begun, the kiddie pool adjacent to the play equipment is open on weekends through Labor Day.

Special thanks to the PIAC (Public Improvements Advisory Committee)  board and the City of Kansas City MO for completing this project for neighborhood children!