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How Ulah Got Its Name

When people hear about our new men’s apparel and lifestyle store, usually the first two questions are:

  1. How do you pronounce it?
  2. How did you come up with that name?

So, we thought we’d do a post about it and tell the story:

First, “ULAH” is pronounced “you-luh”, with a long “U”.

How’d we come up with the name? When we first started dreaming about our store concept, we came up with a dozen different names — trying everything from combining our names together, to names that represented something in the fashion industry. Our top choice was connected to denim construction terminology.

The problem we had with that name was that our dream was bigger than denim – and even bigger than an apparel store. We needed something that was more abstract and could transcend categories — so we put it on the back burner for a bit.

While on a quick trip to Denver, we were heading to brunch with a friend of ours one morning. We just happened to quickly drive by a store in the uptown area that had a colorful sign on the store front. It had a long name that I didn’t have time to digest, but for some reason the last four letters of the name caught my attention: U-L-A-H. We later discovered through our Denver friend that the store was called Talulah Jones, a quirky and sophisticated gift store.

“Ulah”… I kept saying it to myself as we continued down the road to our brunch destination. I couldn’t explain it, but it was really resonating. It sounded like a hip and trendy rustic destination that people would want to go to. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much? Our vision for the store and our brand, in fact, was to be trend forward while having a rustic and nostalgic essence to it. The more Joey and I talked about it, the more we liked it — so I started designing the logo.


ULAH-Logo_Driftwood

 


Not long after, I was on a trip visiting my family in Texas. As I was showing my parents our store concept, my mom quickly chimed in, “do you remember where your grandmother was born, and where your great granddad lived?” “No”, I answered. “Eula, Texas!” she exclaimed. Although the spelling was different, I couldn’t help but believe that somewhere in my sub-conscious, the name “Ulah” was resonating with the almost forgotten memories of that small dusty town I used to visit when I was little. I looked down at my hand where I was wearing my great granddad’s giant hand-crafted turquoise ring that my grandmother gave me years ago — remembering his rustic house with stone walls, full of taxidermy and native American décor — and it just felt meant to be.

Welcome to Ulah!

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ULAH Goes To NYC

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Today we arrived in New York City to meet with some brands that we are considering carrying in our store this Fall. We’re excited about the assortment we’re building! We left KCI at 6:30am and headed straight to the first appointment. After starting the day visiting a showroom in the financial district, we made our way through the meatpacking district and SOHO, and landed in Midtown for drinks at Juniper.

We are anxious to share our brands with you this Fall. What are some of your favorite brands? Leave a comment below to let us know…we’d love to hear from you!


 

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New Men’s Apparel & Lifestyle Store in Kansas City

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Joey Mendez and Buck Wimberly are announcing their new business venture, a men’s apparel and lifestyle store they’ve named ULAH (pronounced yew-luh). Their store will be located at the brand new Woodside Village, a live-work-play community that is currently under construction.

Buck and Joey knew from the start that they shared a life-long passion for men’s style, but it was more recently they realized that their professional experiences could be a powerfully complimentary combination that could allow them to pursue their mutual dream. Joey was previously a buyer at Halls, and has been in the men’s apparel retail industry for over 15 years. Buck had been at Hallmark for 11 years before leaving his role as a brand strategist to help his brother rebrand his Texas company — Modern Home Renovation — as their Vice President of Brand & Marketing. Joey and Buck both attribute their current momentum to their past professional experiences.

“Leaving my 11 year career at Hallmark was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made. I was in a role that I really loved, with a creative and business community that was a significant part of who I had become, both personally and professionally. When my brother, Mike, asked me to join him in helping rebrand and position his business for growth, I just had this gut feeling that taking that leap would teach me things I needed to know to achieve some big picture goals I held. I ended up gaining the missing experiences I needed in order to pursue this project with Joey.” -Buck Wimberly

“I can’t help but look back and acknowledge all of the great people and experiences that have influenced who I am today. I feel like all of my various retail roles — from sales to managing and buying — have led me to this dream project we’ve decided to pursue. I’m normally not one to take risks, but this happened so organically and the timing just felt so right that I knew it was time.” – Joey Mendez

Joey and Buck created ULAH to serve today’s fashion forward and multi-dimensional man 
who is both rustic and modern,
 balancing a life that is both casual and professional, 
and whose experiences are both small-town and cosmopolitan. Their thoughtfully curated collection of products will range from accessible to aspirational and local to mainstream — serving the many dimensions of a man’s life with apparel, accessories, essentials, gifts, and masculine home decor.

ULAH is a men’s apparel and lifestyle store that makes high style and good design more accessible and relevant to more parts of a man’s every day life. ULAH helps men DRESS FOR LIFE.

ULAH is working with Hufft Projects to design and build out their space. Together, they are hoping to create a distinct retail environment and experience for men in Kansas City. The current construction and build out schedule has them positioned to open in early Fall of 2016.


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