Former boutique reopens as bookshop in downtown Overland Park

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The Pretty Posy Boutique had been operating in downtown Overland Park for roughly two years when owner Erin Oliva decided it might be time for a new chapter.

She loved putting together the boutique’s collections and connecting with customers, she said, but she had started to feel burnt out about selling clothes. Yet, she’d worked hard on her space at 7942 Santa Fe Drive and wasn’t ready to give it up altogether — but what could she use it for?

As a former elementary school teacher and lifelong reader, the answer came easily: books. Thus began the store’s transition into Pretty Posy Books & Gifts, which officially reopened under the new name and concept last weekend.

Pretty Posy Books & Gifts operates at 7942 Santa Fe Drive

  • The shop operates out of a space in the center of downtown Overland Park, just off West 80th Street and Santa Fe Drive.
  • Pretty Posy neighbors We Got Your Back Apparel & Local Goods and 80 Santa Fe Art Gallery.
  • The shop operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Overland Park Pretty Posy
Photo credit Lucie Krisman.

Pretty Posy is a ‘boutique’ specialized bookstore

Pretty Posy Books & Gifts carries books of several genres — but particularly caters toward women and children, with a large romance section and tons of children’s books. As a former teacher and a mother herself, she pulled from experience while meticulously curating the store’s collection.

What used to be the former boutique’s smaller dressing rooms have also become reading nooks.

There’s also a “creator’s corner” with a table and chairs in the back of the store for children to write and color, and Oliva intends to turn the largest of the former dressing rooms into a creating space as well.

Pretty Posy also sells a range of gifts, such as greeting cards, stickers, journals and mugs.

Once the shop gets up and running, Oliva also plans to host book clubs and read-alouds for younger readers at the store. In the meantime, she’s excited to provide a supportive space for women who enjoy reading and for children who are just starting to explore it.

“I’m just really excited to see where it goes,” she said.

The store has already seen lots of eager customers

Oliva herself loves books; both reading them and talking about them with other avid readers. And even in just a few days of being open, Oliva said those fellow readers have shown up in droves to support the store. (The most popular purchases so far, she said, have overwhelmingly been romance, fantasy and children’s books.)

That support isn’t just coming from customers either. Monstera’s Books, another locally-owned shop selling books and plants, recently opened just a couple blocks away from Pretty Posy.

Oliva paid a visit to that store when it opened, and when hers opened three weeks later, Monstera’s Books owner Kate Wieners was there in support too — and armed with a plant from her store.

Seeing the growth of independent bookstores in the area and the enthusiastic response from customers, Oliva said, shows how eager people are for the in-person book shopping experience — even in the age of Amazon.

“I think people are kind of swinging back to wanting the experience of coming into a bookstore,” she said. “We can buy from Amazon, it’s not going anywhere, but if we want these small book shops to be around, we have to support them or they will just not be here.”

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About the author

Lucie Krisman
Lucie Krisman

Hi! I’m Lucie Krisman, and I cover local business for the Johnson County Post.

I’m a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.