Friday, February 23, 2018

Local mom creates clever way to hang laundry



by Mary Wilson

One Grandview family is hoping to change the way you hang your clothing with their invention. Majigeez (pronounced similar to thingamajigs) are flexible attachments that Jessica Del Rosario and her husband, Larry San Nicolas, came up with to prevent shoulder bumps and clothes falling off of everyday hangers.

“It all started with my son’s NFL jerseys, which he wore a bigger size in, that were really high dollar and we had to save money for,” said Del Rosario. “You can’t dry them and you don’t want to fold them, so we started modifying our hangers. We did that, just waiting for something to come out in the market so we could hang his clothes.”

Over the years, Del Rosario and her family continued to struggle with hanging their clothes properly, and instead of using hangers, she noticed her son would just stack his clothes on a table. Later, when another sibling was in junior high, Del Rosario noticed that her daughter’s clothes were all over the floor of her closet and not hanging up where they should be.

“I was rewashing things she hadn’t even worn because they’d been on the floor and had gotten all wrinkled,” said Del Rosario. “I told her I’d just start throwing all her clothes on the floor because that’s where they end up anyway. She then showed me that when she moved her clothes around on the hangers, they would fall off.”

It was then that Del Rosario decided to go back to the drawing board for her hanger modifications. From that point on, the family got busy making a prototype. Together with their son, Frank Arceo, they came up with the hanger attachments. Using materials around the house, San Nicholas came up with the first prototype that satisfied both Del Rosario and Arceo.

“Once we had the way, we tweaked it some and went to a patent attorney in 2011,” said Del Rosario. “After several years of battling, we finally landed our patent in 2016. We trademarked the name just before that. Our attorney kept giving us deadlines, and told us we had to come up with a name before we had the patent, so we had to figure out what to call it.”

Majigeez were born. With a background in drafting and design, Arceo worked with a manufacturer to come up with several different working prototypes that lived up to his mom’s idea and his dad’s model. During the design phase, they determined what current hangers were lacking. They discovered that hangers are rigid, too short for larger clothing; velvet hangers can cause bunching; toddler hangers are too small after a certain time; and wood hangers caused bumps in sweaters, leathers and jerseys.

Their product is the only resilient and flexible hanger attachment in the world. Majigeez are the only attachments that will fit on almost every household hanger, and they adapt to the weight of sweaters, shirts, jackets, blouses, and delicates to provide a natural curve. By attaching Majigeez to hangers (velvet, store, plastic, wire, and toddler), users can get the most out of hangers they already have. The product prevents shoulder bumps, and provides added benefits of hang-drying wet garments, extending the length of hangers (men’s 7XL and women’s 4XL), holding garments up to 10 pounds, and maximizing the longevity of toddler hangers into adult sizes.

“My mom, who is 89-years-old, can work these,” said Del Rosario. “We used her as our tester to make sure that anyone can attach them to hangers they have in their homes.”

The family has traveled to invention conventions, where their product was favorably received. While they eventually would like to seek out potential investors, Del Rosario said they hope to keep Majigeez in the family for as long as possible.

“We talked about partnering with a big company, but we decided not to go with them because it was a royalty type of agreement,” said Del Rosario. “That company would essentially own it all and give us a small percentage. We decided we want to try it out on our own; and in fact, our manufacturer encouraged us to.”


Majigeez will be sold in pairs of eight for $19.99, and their online retail store will be launching soon. In the meantime, Del Rosario and her family hope to sell their product at different merchandise shows and events. For more information, visit their website at www.majigeez.com, or follow Majigeez on Facebook. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Area’s oldest operating auction house to close its doors



by Mary Wilson

After 40 years, England’s Auction in Grandview will host its final sale on Friday, February 16. Over the last four decades, hundreds of buyers from all corners of the metro have spent their Friday evenings with Mike England.

In 1977, England, with his brother and father, purchased the auction business that began in 1960, at 1530 Duck Road in Grandview. Four years later, England purchased his family’s shares of the business. England’s Auction is the oldest operating auction house in Kansas City, a status that England is proud of.

“We’ve probably been the best kept secret in Grandview,” said England, a 1964 Grandview High School alum. “We have seen customers from all over the city. We’ve had thousands of customers.”

Early on, the auctions were twice a week, but eventually the sales were scheduled once weekly on Fridays. England’s four daughters grew up working in the family business, and he said the work is hard but never dull.

“It’s kind of a niche business,” said England. “It’s just what I do. I think this year I’m close to almost 2,500 auctions.”

He now sees the grandchildren of customers who used to come to the auctions years ago. Most weeks, England said he sees roughly 200 people on Friday nights, and some of them are repeat customers who have reserved seating.

England’s Auction received most of their items to sell from estates, moving sales and storage delinquencies. England’s was the first auction company in the area to sell storage, and he handled the advertising and public notices for the warehouses. “I have contracts with storage companies all over the city,” said England. “There’s quite a bit of stuff involved with that. There’s a lot of trash. It’s evolved so much; there are now thousands of mini storage units.”

England’s Auction hauls the contents to their facility and prepares them for the weekly auctions. Each week on Mondays, England has walked into a nearly-empty building and is tasked with filling it with auction items in three days.  Items sold run the gamut from household items to furniture. England says they don’t sell anything pretentious and it’s never been fancy. Some nights England’s has done $200,000 in sales, and other nights $4,000.

“I’m probably the craziest auctioneer in Kansas City,” said England. “People come here for entertainment. Years ago, the Mayor would come up and hold stuff for me; then it was the Chief of Police. A lot of people know who we are.”

He doesn’t plan to retire completely, and will continue to piddle with auctioneering now and again. With his children grown, he is looking forward to spending some quality time with his wife of 51 years, Sheila.

“We’ve had only one vacation in 40 years,” said England. “When you work for yourself, you’re pretty much married to the business.”

According to England, his building has been sold to a local real estate rehabilitation company. As he prepares for the doors to close for a final time on Friday, England said that leaving his 40-year business is a little bittersweet because he built the company and it’s as if his best friend is dying.

“An auctioneer is a bit like a doctor,” said England. “All these people, they think I’m their best friend. Though, I’m not sure I’d want to invite them to dinner. But this business becomes personal. I wanted to quit while I was still vertical.”


When people would ask England how business was doing, he would always say, “It’s as good to me as I am to it.” He believes that if he wasn’t good to England’s Auctions, it wouldn’t have been good to him. Many folks in the community have spent their Friday nights at the auction, and England’s business has certainly been good to Grandview for 40 years. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Candidates prepare for April election

*Editor's Note: In the February 8, 2018 published edition, we incorrectly stated that Clifford Ragan had resigned from the Hickman Mills Board of Education. We apologize for the misprint. 

by Mary Wilson

Filing for those seeking office in the upcoming April local elections closed last month in Grandview and South Kansas City. The City of Grandview, Grandview C-4 School District and Hickman Mills C-1 School District were all open for potential candidates to run.

In the Grandview C-4 School District, there were three positions open. The Grandview Board of Education has had a vacancy since former president Wayne Terpstra resigned late last year. His seat was available for a two-year term, and Monica Terry, Grandview resident and district parent, filed for that position unopposed. Incumbents Leonard Greene, current board president, and Chuck Cornforth filed to continue serving another three-year term, also unopposed. Due to no opposition, the school district will not hold an election in April.

The Hickman Mills C-1 School District will see five candidates on their ballots on April 3. There are two seats open for a three-year term and one seat available for a one-year term, due to the vacancy created by the resignation of Byron Townsend. Luther Chandler has filed for the one-year term, while Sandra Sexton, current president Carol Graves, incumbent Alvin Brooks and William Young have filed for the two open three-year seats.

The City of Grandview Board of Aldermen had three openings for the three respective wards. Sandra Kessinger, Annette Turnbaugh, and James Crain each filed to retain their seats on the Board. Grandview voters will have the opportunity to suggest write-in candidates, or vote for the incumbents.

“Since I am running uncontested, I will begin my third term in April,” said Kessinger. “In the time I’ve been in office, I have been privileged to be a part of some very exciting activities in the City, including the renovation of Truman’s Marketplace and downtown Main St. I am humbled to continue to be a part of the forward momentum that is helping to reshape our collective identity.”

The last day to register to vote for the April 3, 2018, general election will be March 7. Those wishing to register can do so online at the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.mo.gov