Sweet Home Amarillo
A Group of Educated, Experienced and Ambitious
Women Create A Retail Empire
Behind Sweet Home Amarillo, located in Westgate Mall, is a truly fearless, ambitious and highly successful entrepreneur, Kylee Schumacher-Chester, and the team of smart and hardworking women she trusts to run her many businesses. Not only does Kylee own Sweet Home Amarillo, a unique gift and home decor store, but she is the genius behind the well-known and loved Get Gussied Up in the mall with a second location in the Lubbock South Plains Mall, a complete online store division of Get Gussied Up and the hugely successful wholesale clothing line, Crazy Train.
Kylee was born in Kenton, Oklahoma and went to high school in Boise City, Oklahoma. Get Gussied Up was created at the early age of 16 when Kylee would travel to craft shows and rodeos to sell her handmade jewelry. “I was 16 when I started in the business,” Kylee says. “I made jewelry and slowly started adding clothes to what I sold.” Kylee continued to attend vendor shows to put herself through college. She attended one year at WTAMU then moved on to Goodwill, Oklahoma where she earned her degree in Ag Business at Panhandle State in 2008.
Kylee always had an affinity for Amarillo because it was the closest “big city” to shop in when she was growing up. She attended a particular arts and crafts event in Amarillo in 2009 and people loved the clothes and jewelry with a Western flair that she carried so much she decided to take a leap and open her own store. The very next day she went to Westgate Mall and knocked on the office door and asked about renting space at the mall. By February 2010, she opened Get Gussied Up and within 6 months opened a second Get Gussied Up in Lubbock at the ripe age of 24.
When asked how she’s become so successful in an industry that is now flooded with Western inspired merchandise Kylee says, “A lot of social media advertising and ordering the right products. And alot of research on the computer. I’m really a bookworm. I’m not the typical girly-girl so I don’t get attached to any product. I don’t order things because I like it, I order because it sells.” Kylee said big trends right now are bell bottoms (bells), graphic tees, wedges, criss-cross tanks and 16” beaded necklaces layered are huge.
Once the second Get Gussied Up was up and running, Kylee brought on a dynamic new manager in 2012 to manage the Amarillo store, Johnna Whitney. Johnna has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Marketing with a Minor in Fashion Merchandising. Johnna has 34 years experience in fashion and retail. She owned her own jewelry store, JWhitney Jewelry, located in Wolflin Village from 2000-2008. Johnna had experience managing Dillards and Maurices and helped with the start up of Bastillion’s Bijou Boutique here in Amarillo. Today Johnna is the Area Manager for Get Gussied Up Amarillo and Lubbock and Sweet Home Amarillo.
Jentry Benke was a college student at Texas Tech, getting her Bachelor’s in Interior Design, who worked part-time at the Lubbock Get Gussied Up. It was a refreshing break from her college studies and a way to utilize her creative side. Jentry began designing headbands that Kylee started selling in the Lubbock store. As Kylee bought inventory for Get Gussied Up, she noticed a lack of the Western inspired pieces she wanted. “There was a niche in the Western market that was missing. What we did have was really cheesy and they didn’t get our demographic or it was really expensive.” Kylee and Jentry began collaborating on more and more designs and ended up launching a wholesale clothing company, Crazy Train in 2013. Jentry had an eye for design and Kylee had the experience in the fashion business.
In 2014, the two ladies launched into another venture where they found a need in the market which was Fully Fabulous, a clothing boutique in Westgate Mall that specialized in Plus Sized women’s clothing. At this same time, they constructed a new warehouse in Canyon for Crazy Train. By June 2017, they had outgrown their space in Canyon and Jentry wanted a more central location so they build a warehouse three times as big in Stephenville, Texas. Crazy Train now has a showroom at the Dallas Market and Denver Market, and are sold in over 10,000 retail stores across the United States, Canada and Australia!
In 2018, Get Gussied Up was busting at the seams and needed room to do online orders. So they closed Fully Fabulous and moved across the way from their previous mall location where they included Fully Fabulous and their online store. Get Gussied Up never saw a dip from online competition because Kylee was quick to scale the business along with online trends. Today, Get Gussied Up, has it’s own online division with an entire store behind their Westgate Mall location dedicated to their ecommerce platform that has it’s own manager, three employees, inventory and it’s own photography studio.
It was during the big moved that they opened Sweet Home Amarillo in the previous Get Gussied Up location in the Westgate Mall. Kylee credits Johnna for the concept and naming the store. It was also at this time that Sierra Perez was brought on to manage the new store. Sierra has more of a corporate background with experience as an Administrative Assistant, Retail Manager and Finance Manager. Sierra found the finance world a bit heartless and wanted a change. She loves the relaxed atmosphere and bringing people joy in her new career. Sierra also loves working for Kylee and says, “She is THE BEST owner I have ever had dealings with, she is HUMBLE, kind, and treats her employees as ASSETS!”
Sweet Home Amarillo is a very unique store that carries alot of Amarillo branded items and a variety of local vendor merchandise. For example they carry tumbler sleeves and t-shirts made in Tulia by 806 Ink, Amarillo Snuff Company made in Amarillo, JBuck’s Salsa made in Amarillo, Smokewagon Beard Balm made in Amarillo and Johnna’s JWhitney jewelry. “All of our Amarillo specific stuff goes quickly and I can’t think of any other store that compares to ours,” Sierra says proudly. The majority of their inventory is local, regional or small based side hustles. Kylee said, “I’ve loved Amarillo forever. It was always the ‘fun’ place and it’s where you went shopping because it’s a hub city from where I grew up. So I love the concept of this store.” There is something fun and unique in every inch of the store.
You wouldn’t know the name Kylee Schumacher-Chester and it’s extremely rare for her to interview with anyone so we were honored to get to know her and her journey and find out how humble and extremely smart and successful she is at the retail game. She is a truly fearless entrepreneur and she empowers all the women around her to take ownership of their positions, take risks and help take her many companies to the next level. Her newest venture is a little different than her usual endeavors but we know that Sweet Home Amarillo will be just as successful with Kylee and her staff of amazing women behind her. Sweet Home Amarillo really does offer some really unique gift items and home decor with a country kick. So check them out at Westgate Mall or follow them on Facebook and Instagram!