The Harbinger Online

Utilitarian Workshop Offers Unique Experience


I’m walking into the paradise of a high school Pinterest fanatic, but in reality it’s just the eclectic boutique Utilitarian Workshop. The local KC shop, in the Westside neighborhood, is not only a boutique but also an interior design firm.

Utilitarian Workshop fits right into the rest of the neighborhood with hip restaurants and shops. The whole atmosphere oozes an aura of effortless cool. The actual shop is in a refurbished garage that was converted in to shop with a clean but eclectic look created by all of the different products arranged by vendor and style. Overall, it made me think of a Bon Iver song with that same soft, breathy quality.


The guy working the counter channeled the atmosphere with jeans, a flannel and square glasses and the perfect amount of chin stubble, perfect boyfriend material. He smiled and asked if I need help finding anything, and I am painfully aware of how I will never be that cool.

In order to not stare too much, I focused my attention on the geometric necklaces hanging from an unfinished board along the right wall. The mixed media triangles hanging off of gold chains were something that I would make a staple item in my wardrobe, but the price tag was a little steep around $40 to $50.

I moved onto the large dining room table, made of antique upcycled wood that displays leather goods. Wallets, card cases and a cover for any kind of Apple product were laid out over the wood. The leather is all high quality, soft and buttery. All of UW’s leather products come from Kansas City Leather Works. Other ceramic plates and bowls on the table hold rings and bracelets. I bought one of these rings a few months ago which I wear everyday on my pinky finger. The rings at UW are made by a Kansas City Artist, and are gold, decorated with small white pearlescent balls.


The way UW is laid out reminds me most of an actual house, with furniture layout and the little accessories and homey touches but everything is for sale. Even the vases on the table and the dishes holding the rings and earrings.In the back of shop there is another handmade table of antique wood and along the walls are pennants for all of the surrounding colleges and Kansas City sports teams. UW owns the fact that they are a business operating in the Kansas City area and proudly displays works by local vendors and products that pertain to KC. There are also several racks of vintage, but very in clothes. Browsing through most of the clothes are men’s clothes there and overwhelming number of flannels and sweaters.

At UW you can buy a product that is not only unique but also worthy of an Instagram. It definitely caters to a specific crowd and the cost is enough to makes me think twice about buying.

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