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. Allison Long |

Brick and mortar boutique offers sensory approach to feminine style

Dear Society is at 3566 Broadway. “Right now, we’re somewhat of a destination, but eventually you’ll be able to park the car and walk around to all the shops,” Jezek says. Allison Long |
A wall hanging by Little Weavebird offsets a pottery display. Allison Long |
A Paul Brayton chair is one of several pieces of furniture available at Dear Society. Allison Long |
This handy wood iPhone and accessories holder was created by local woodworker Crafted Element. Allison Long |
The shop offers some home decor items, like these currently trending macrame wall hangings and Earthen Vessel chair. Allison Long |
Casteel has been building a stash of vintage goods for nine years and slowly releases the best onto the floor. A vintage 1970s floral wrap dress is paired with a Coach leather purse. Allison Long |
Jezel describes the inventory as “beautiful pieces that will last for years to come. It’s not kitschy or now, but what will be classic.” This season and always, black and white is on trend. Allison Long |
Pink and blush-colored clothes are on trend at Dear Society. ALLISON LONG |
A neckerchief can be a bold move for a one-of-a-kind outfit. Allison Long |
Vintage shoes flank nesting baskets by Earthen Vessel, a Kansas City-made leather clutch by FoxTrot Supply and Kansas City-made candle by Maud Candle Co. Allison Long |
Unique, handmade jewelry such as this Tilly Doro bracelet is a top seller. Allison Long |
Although technically not for sale, customers have purchased some of the shop’s many plants. The metal plant hanger is by Bruce Yates. Allison Long |

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.