3 Black owned businesses around Wichita that you should support over Spring Break

Wichita is a city full of hidden gems, especially within the black community where local Wichitans have built their small shops from scratch and hard work.


Photo by Tamia Cunningham

A fully stocked Dead Center Vintage, located in downtown Wichita, gets ready for customers to come in and shop. The store is open seven days a week and offers vintage clothes.

Tamia Cunningham, Contributing Reporter

“I’m black, and I’m proud,” said music icon James Brown in 1968. 

In 2023, African-American small business owners in Wichita feel a sense of pride in managing and owning locally owned businesses that promote their products and goods to people all over the city. 

Owning a small business is no easy task, but these three black business owners have found a way to make a living doing what they love while helping those in their community with local options.

Dead Center Vintage is a vintage clothing store located in the heart of downtown Wichita. If you love vintage clothing or going to the thrift store in your free time, DCV is a great place to explore. Dead Center Vintage is owned by four people, one of whom is Gabrielle Griffie.

While Gabrielle has always been passionate about vintage, she never entirely dreamed of being a business owner.

“So when I first started selling vintage, I was more just getting things out of my closet and just doing that sort of thing; I wasn’t really, like, trying to start anything,” said Griffie. “But it, I feel like, yeah, we don’t always get to choose, and it just kind of worked out for me.”

Right around the corner from Dead Center Vintage is Boutique 5 Stationery and Petite Gifts, owned by Alexus Scott.

A customer at Game On 316 goes through jeans to see if he can find anything that suits his taste. Their products include sweaters, full sweat suits, pants, and many belts and clothing that feature sequins in various colors. (Photo by Tamia Cunningham)

Scott grew up loving stationery and office supplies and took it into her own hands to create a business based on what she loves.

“I always knew when I was younger that I wanted to have a shop like this,” said Scott. “The people I have that come in off the street, like, it’s awesome. The conversations that we’re able to have, um, just being able to connect over something that was a passion of mine is really neat.”

Straying outside of downtown, in a little shopping center right next to Wichita State University, is a small clothing store called Game On 316. The owner, Antar Smith, believes the city needs more men’s clothing stores and he simply loves owning his own shop.

“For men, we don’t have a store for clothing like females do, so I felt like it would be good for us to have a store here where we could, you know, be fly and step out and look nice,” said Smith. “The feeling of people wanting the clothes is such an enjoyment, and when you go out, you see a lot of people wearing them when you’re out.”

Although these shop owners focus on providing for all demographics,  they always remember their roots. Griffie from Dead Center Vintage donated money to Black Lives Matter because she feels the business needed to be connected to the movement so she and the patrons of Dead Center could show their support.

“We did have a huge fundraiser here, which, like, gained a ton of money, and we were able to donate a ton to Black Lives Matter and another organization,” said Griffie.

Scott is incredibly proud to be a black business owner and wouldn’t change her path as an African-American establishing her own business.

“Y’know, our race has the most rich history ever, it does,” said Scott. “I would never change my race; um, I love it. It’s too rich.”