A new family-owned clothing boutique in Richland's Uptown Shopping Center is aiming for the young at heart.
The former Amazon pet store is now Love Kiss Smile (LKS), owned by Woo Kyung Lee and his wife Kum Son Lee. They also own Woo's Teriyaki right next door.
After gutting and remodeling the store, the Lees opened LKS last week. The bright and cheery decor is reminiscent of Southcenter Mall in Seattle, or a Forever 21 clothing store.
"It's not the same style all around," said daughter Junnie Smith. "There's cute romantic styles and things that are more Indie-rocker."
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Kum Son has spent most of her time cooking at the family restaurant but decided to pursue her love of fashion with the new store. She drew upon her Korean fashion sense and combined it with current hot trends in the states.
While Kum Son has the final word on what pieces they'll sell, her daughter Junnie and daughter-in-law Minae Jo Lee enjoy giving input and helping her shop.
Smith said they've gotten positive reactions so far. "Someone told me, 'I don't feel like I'm in the Uptown!' " she said. "You don't have to go to Kennewick to find what you need. Don't forget about us."
Besides the jackets, all of LKS's clothes are under $40, including $8 tank tops and $36 fur-trimmed hoodies. Korean tea sets and Japanese sake sets range from $33 to $43, but are subject to change.
Tracy Heidelberg, 51, of Richland, purchased a sake set.
"This place is very cute," she said. "I think Richland needs to get more of these types of shops. Richland is a little more challenged and we really need something young like this."
"This store is so cool, oh my gosh!" said Lori Elhajj, 48, of Richland, as she first walked in. "I'm into little shops like this. They always give me tea in this cool little bowl next door and I asked if they sell them and they said, 'Actually, yes!' "
The store also offers a mix of accessories, ranging from $13 faux pearl earrings, to $18 pendant necklaces, to $16 bejeweled stretch bracelets.
"A lot of jewelry (Kum Son) hand-picked from Korea the last time she was there," Minae Jo said. "She's actually planning to go to L.A. and Korea soon to pick up some more clothes."
"We need something like this in the Tri-Cities," Minae Jo said. "For me, I'm from Bellingham (and South Korea). In Tri-Cities there's not many places to go for shopping. Our store is brighter and more happy. It's cool that we have something like this in Richland."
LKS is at 1377 George Washington Way. The phone number is 371-9690.
Store hours are Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
-- Bethany Woo: 582-1465; firstname.lastname@example.org