PITTSBURG, Kans. — Since it was established back in 2018, Block22 has helped foster growth in the Pittsburg community.

“I graduated from PHS. I went to PSU and graduated from there, and I really wanted to be a part of downtown Pittsburg,” said Melissia Lewis, Pippi Mae’s Curated Home Owner.

In the next few weeks, that dream will come true.

For a while, Lewis had been trying to find a home for her home decor boutique but nothing had been panning out.

During this time she eventually came across block22.

“I was just watching Block22 because I knew that they were going to change the outlook of downtown Pittsburg,” said Lewis.

“We either go with the university to help them, or we go with the city to help with projects within the community. We do anything from helping people start a business to people who currently have businesses,” said Mary Louise Widmar, Director of The Foundry.

“There were several businesses that started coming in and making it a really shoppable downtown and that’s what we wanted,” said Lewis.

When a Block22 tenant space opened up, Lewis jumped at the opportunity to apply and before she knew it, the spot was hers.

“I was thrilled. I had already been looking in the windows of this building and it’s just such an amazing space. I want this space to be as beautiful as it is in my head, so, I’m a perfectionist. I’m kind of waiting for everything to look exactly the way I want it to, then I’m going to open the doors,” said Lewis.

At this moment, the plan is to open Pippi Mae’s Curated Home around August first.

The store will join a number of businesses supported by Block22 and The Foundry. One of the first to join was Limelight Media which has become one of the success stories for the foundry.

“They bought Dev Squared, which is a software company, and they were able to merge together and they outgrew our space and went downtown. They have their own building down there. They were like our success. This is what the Foundry is about, to be able to come in here, mingle, co-work together, help each other with their services, and then they can go on,” said Louise.