Chanel Jezek and Maria Casteel, owners of Dear Society, talk opening a modern and vintage clothing shop and more

Instagram handle: @shopdearsociety

Current neighborhood:
Chanel:
River Market
Maria: Historic Northeast

What we do: We curate modern and vintage clothing and home goods in a gift shop for women, men and children.

What’s your addiction?
Chanel:
I’m addicted to chocolate and Instagram.
Maria: Thrift store shopping and La Croix.
Chanel: Oh, yeah, thrift store shopping, too.

What’s your game?
Chanel:
Battleship
Maria: Boggle

What’s your drink?
Chanel:
A Manhattan or a Horse Feather
Maria: Coffee! Pass the cream. I also love a good gin and tonic.

Where’s dinner?
Chanel:
My husband and I have many go-tos; it’s hard to choose one. But I’d like to mention Bob Wasabi Kitchen, Columbus Park Ramen Shop, Extra Virgin and Los Tules.
Maria: Westport Cafe and Bar

What’s on your KC postcard?
Chanel:
The skyline at night, seen from Interstate 35.
Maria: Oooh, Liberty Memorial. So many great sunset-walk memories there.

Finish these sentences: “Kansas City got it right when …”
Chanel:
Google Fiber was installed here!
Maria: I just love how Kansas City is friendly! As we’ve started this shop, we’ve gotten such a warm reception instead of competitive glares.

“Kansas City screwed up when …”
Chanel:
It built the international airport so distant from downtown.

“Kansas City needs …”
Chanel:
More and better public education.
Maria: People who care about the city — and a coffee shop on 35th and Broadway!

“As a kid, I wanted to be …”
Chanel:
A crime-scene investigator.
Maria: A gymnast or a veterinarian.

“In five years, I’ll be …”
Chanel:
Thirty-two-years old and hopefully traveling the world.
Maria: Thirty-seven, hopefully a mama to two, and running my dream shop.

“I always laugh at …”
Chanel:
Kristen Wiig’s SNL sketches.
Maria: My 4-year-old’s newest crazy dance moves.

“I’ve been known to binge watch …”
Chanel:
Sex and the City and The Office.
Maria: Mad Men, Parks and Rec, Downton Abbey, Parenthood … dang, I watch too much TV.

“I can’t stop listening to …”
Chanel:
Lemonade by Beyonce.
Maria: Brandi Carlile and Doug Burr.

“My dream concert lineup is …”
Chanel:
Other Lives opening for My Morning Jacket.
Maria: Man, that’s so difficult! Brandi Carlile opening for Ryan Adams would be pretty great.

“I just read …”
Chanel:
I’m reading The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.
Maria: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What’s your hidden talent?
Chanel:
Googling. That sounds weird, but with my CSI past, Google researching is my way of investigating.
Maria: Dry humor.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Chanel:
Justin Bieber
Maria: It’s a tie between America’s Next Top Model and McDonald’s chocolate chip-cookies.

The best advice I ever got:
Chanel:
My dad told me when I was younger I could become anything and do anything I wanted. This came up when I told my dad I wished I was a boy so I could do “boy things”
Maria: My best friend told me to fight for my marriage when it became difficult. I can’t even imagine my life without that advice.

My sidekick?
Chanel:
My husband, Drew
Maria: My 4-year-old, Asher

What is your spirit animal?
Chanel:
Hawk
Maria: The sloth

Who is your hero?
Maria:
Sorry to be sentimental, but it’s my dad. He was legally blind and never complained about it or let it stop him from anything. He was also the kindest person I’ve ever known.
Chanel: My dad is also my hero. He is the hardest working, most giving person I know.

Who (or what) is your nemesis?
Chanel:
The construction workers building a massive complex behind our apartment building.
Maria: Those darn white cheddar puffs from Trader Joe’s. Cannot. Stop. Eating.

What’s your greatest struggle right now?
Chanel:
Getting enough sleep. Balancing work and time for myself.
Maria: Balancing motherhood and work, making sure Asher knows how much I love him and making time for him, but also remembering it’s actually a good thing for him to see me chase my dreams.

My favorite toy as a child:
Chanel:
I was definitely a tomboy, so my favorite “toy” was a basketball, kickball or football. I played a lot of ball with the neighborhood kids.
Maria: The great outdoors.

My dating triumph/tragedy?
Chanel:
Finally saying yes to go on a date with my now husband.
Maria: Tragedy: When I went to homecoming with one boy but danced with another boy the whole night. Oops! Triumph: Married the other boy I danced with all night.

My brush with fame:
Chanel:
I was front row and got to go onstage with ’N Sync when I was 10 years old. I also met Nick Wooster at a fashion tradeshow. I was so nervous I could hardly talk. First time I’ve ever been speechless.
Maria: Well, my almost brush with fame was when I was at a music festival and left my husband for five minutes to use the bathroom. In that time, he just happened to run into Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I will never forgive my bladder for that.

My soapbox:
Chanel:
Everyone has a story, a past and hardships. Don’t be so quick to judge. When someone is rude to me, I always think about what could have happened to them earlier that day that caused them to be negative. I wouldn’t want someone to judge me on my worst day.
Maria: I have two. I think adoption is a
really beautiful thing and want more people to consider it. Humans should really think about where and why they are buying things.

What was the last thing you had to apologize for?
Chanel:
Missing out on family plans because of my work schedule.
Maria: Being a sassy jerk.

Who’s sorry now?
Chanel:
Justin Bieber

My recent triumph:
Maria:
Opening the shop of my dreams with my amazing business partner!”
Chanel: What Maria said!•

Categories: News, Questionnaire