photos by Ruthie Stark 

Dear Kansas City,

This week marks 10 years in your beautiful town. It also goes down in history as the longest place I have lived in my entire life! I always knew I would move here one day. I visited in High School and College and fell in love with you. This charming city, full of interesting neighborhoods, beautiful old houses, Spanish architecture and a big city, small town feel. I have always laughed at the nickname, “Paris of the plains”. But it suits you!

We moved here 2 years after getting married, a month and a half before my 30th birthday. It was a rough adjustment at first. Going from a town like Chicago; I was missing my best friends, the restaurants, the shopping, my job. Pretty much all of it. But, 3 months into living here things started to look up. After crashing at my in laws for a few months (thanks Rich and Ellie!) We finally found a house. A month into our new house we got pregnant. Our lives were changing fast.

The first few years here were a blur. I was overwhelmed with being a new mom, I wasn’t working, and quite honestly i was lonely. This was actually the catalyst to start my blog. It gave me a purpose, an outlet for creativity, and a way to fuel my love of fashion! I was finding my own path of happiness in my new town. From there I got picked up by the Kansas City Star to write an article for the paper, and do a weekly blog post. It was a dream job! They called me the “shopping scout”; sharing my great finds from all over Kansas City.

I was discovered by a PR agency (Thanks Lee!) here who then hired me to do work for a local outlet mall. I started doing news segments and styling, which added a whole new dimension to my career. It also pushed me to start styling more. After the star gig ended (too soon in my opinion) I ended up writing for Simply KC magazine while doing personal styling on the side. Around this time baby #2 was born and we were really busy. Julian was in school, but I would drag Vivienne to styling pulls and sometimes even the news studio! I felt so lucky to be able to be a mom and work, and do the things I loved.

It was a year after Vivi was born that we had our 3rd “baby” Health House. We took a huge leap of faith to start a new fitness concept in Kansas City. Everyone thought the rowing machine had died in the 80’s, but they were wrong! Quickly, people began trying our classes. They learned the benefits of rowing, how great of a workout it is, how low impact and safe it is for your body, the calories you burn, and how it can change your body. Kansas City, you embraced us and this new concept!! We have been so fortunate to follow our dreams, and to have the support of everyone in this community. We can’t thank you enough.

Kansas City, you are truly loved. Everyone in this town has KC pride running through them. You can’t walk anywhere without seeing a KC tee, hat, sticker, you name it. We locals are proud to call this our home.

Lastly, for someone that has moved around A LOT in her 40 years of life, I am happy to say we are going to stay put for a while ( I think 🙂 So thank you Kansas City for providing us with a beautiful place to raise our kids, a wonderful community full of great family and friends to live in, and the opportunity to grow our business. You are a bustling, evolving city that is changing daily. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years holds!

much love,

Melanie Knopke

stay tuned next week for a FABULOUS giveaway to celebrate TEN!







  1. Hi there,

    My company is representing a new event for the city next weekend, Roost Market KC. It’s a local festival that’s like an in-person Etsy shop meets Boulevardia with KC-centric foods.

    The event is August 26-27 and we’d be happy to send you some free tickets if you’re interested. If you’d like some more info, check out the website: roostmarket.com.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *