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World’s Window sells a variety of clothing, jewelry, gifts, folk art, accessories, home decor and more.

World’s Window sells a wide variety of apparel, jewellery, items, people artwork, equipment, dwelling decor and much more.

World’s Window

World’s Window got its start nearly 40 years ago with a goal of “bringing the world to Kansas City.”

Now the owners have made the “bittersweet” decision to close the store.

The Brookside shop, at 332 W. 63rd St., has started a going out of business sale with items currently 40% off. Discounts will increase over the next two weeks. The store will close by March 22. Store fixtures and supplies also will be for sale later this week.

“From the very beginning we wanted to highlight arts and crafts and artisans from around the world and tell their stories in Kansas City,” said Jan Buerge, owner and founder with her husband, Lonnie.

The former social workers had volunteered in Central and South American countries during college and after they were married.

They opened World’s Window as a tiny Westport market stall selling imported goods in 1984. It moved to Brookside in 1997.

“I had never run a store before, I had never worked in a store before, but we learned as we went along,” she said.

It sells a variety of organic, American-made, fair trade and internationally made clothing, jewelry, gifts, folk art, scarves and accessories, home decor, bath and body, and greeting cards.

The shop also raised funds and took in donations for the Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence agency serving more than 14,000 individuals a year.

The couple, who are in their 70s, talked about retiring before the pandemic but didn’t want to “quietly go away.” They ramped up their online store and did daily features on artisans around the world. They have a network of about 200 artisans.

World’s Window is filled with clothing, jewelry, gifts, folk art, scarves and accessories, and home decor. It has a going out of business sale.
World’s Window is loaded with outfits, jewelry, presents, people artwork, scarves and add-ons, and residence decor. It has a heading out of company sale. World’s Window

Once retail returned after the pandemic, they started looking for a buyer.

“We paid the rent in Brookside and made a profit,” Jan Buerge said. “We started conversations with multiple interested parties but there wasn’t a good match. You live and breathe it almost 12 hours a day. You have to approach it with joy and with interest and about learning.”

They plan to continue to live in Brookside but spend more time visiting their children and grandchildren, and on hobbies such as travel, hiking, photography and writing.

Fans posted comments on the company’s Facebook page Monday morning:

“So sad. Loved that store.”

“oh no!”

“I am so, SO sorry to hear this.”

Jan Buerge said, “I love the companies, I love the customers. They are coming in with story after story. ‘I started shopping with you in Westport,’ and “All of my clothes are from World’s Window. Where am I going to shop?’ That tears me up every time.”

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

This story was initially posted March 6, 2023, 12:12 PM.

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Joyce Smith has coated cafe and retail news for The Star considering that 1989 underneath the brand Cityscape. She appreciates information strategies.

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