STORY BY Kate Brosseau
PHOTOS BY Kenny Johnson
LOCATIONS vico’s, Ej’s Boutique, J. Hathaway Shoe Boutique, Mazzarese Jewelry, Von Maur and Mestizo
HAIR STYLING Jen Thomas and Tasha Gatson

It’s hard to rub shoulders with the likes of Kelly Jones and not feel just a bit star struck. We know many Kansas Citians tune in to KCTV 5 at 4:30 a.m. to see Kelly’s smiling face as she reports the buzz in the metro. So when she said yes to a day of shopping, we began plotting the perfect checklist of local spots to hit (and refrained from asking for an autograph).

We start our morning at Vico’s (10671 Mission Road, Leawood), nestled in a corner of Mission Farms. Kelly often dons business suits for her news segments, but we spend hardly two minutes sifting through the racks before she whisks an armful of bright, bold and fashion-forward items into the dressing room. She flings open the dressing room curtains to reveal her “ta-da” moment in a sequined dress by Sita Murt ($548; second spread, center).

While Katie tries on a sleek taupe hooded jacket by Myrine & Me ($248), we hear Kelly exclaim from behind the curtains, “There’s nothing good about a woman trying to look too young!” She emerges with a playful look wearing a vivid, almost-metallic blue jacket with zippered sleeves by Renfrew Collection ($288; second spread, center). We assure her she’s in no danger of qualifying for the aforementioned stereotype. A pair of color-block heels and white skinny jeans is all she needs to make her Friday-night ready.

We want to take Kelly to a local boutique she hasn’t visited before, so we’re happy to introduce her to EJ’s Boutique in Park Place (11543 Ash St., Leawood). On the car ride over, she munches on a handful of almonds to sate her appetite. Even though it’s only 10:30 a.m., she is already overdue for lunch. Getting up at 2:30 a.m. shifts meal times a bit.

We arrive at EJ’s Boutique and instantly are enthralled by cases full of jewelry made by local artists. Kelly points to a definite statement piece by Jane Signorelli, a necklace formed by white rounds anchored with an ivory bone (cover, $945). As the store owner retrieves it for her, a customer compliments Kelly on her blush-colored pumps. “Thank ya, darling,” Kelly replies with her classic congeniality.

We thumb through the racks and find the most brilliantly colored v-neck dress with a cinched waist. Kelly hustles into the dressing room and returns in the dress with the Jane Signorelli piece, which polishes off the ensemble perfectly. We think turning the dress into a year-round piece would be easy with a three-quarter-sleeve shirt and jeans.

Size us up
What’s a shopping spree without shoes? Answering the obvious, we wander a few doors down to J. Hathaway Shoe Boutique (11531 Ash St., Leawood). We all gasp upon arriving as we scan the room of shoes poised perfectly in position, just waiting for Cinderellas to try them on.

In an effort to stray from her tomboy roots, Kelly decides to try on a pair of United Nude Fold booties ($205), which envelope her feet in a swath of color. “Those shoes are like hats—you have to be prepared for people to look at you,” we say as she gives us the “I’m not sure about these” look.

Next, we spot a playful pair of wedges sporting Pantone’s color of the year: Tangerine Tango. The tasseled strings and orange hue suits Kelly’s sunny disposition. Her eyes also settle on a pair of contemporary Mary Janes. As she slips them on and does a runway lap around the store, Kelly talks about the wardrobe considerations she has while in the anchor seat. “These shoes feel like they have a Reebok pump in the heel,” she says, admiring their comfort. Turns out they were made by a dancer who wanted something comfortable to wear at wedding receptions and galas.

If there’s anything that can pull a woman away from shoes, it’s the prospect of jewelry shopping. We bid J. Hathaway adieu and plan our next stop at Mazzarese (4850 W. 135th St., Leawood). On the way, we ask Kelly for the source of her style and confidence. “My mother,” she says without skipping a beat. She regales us with the story of how her mom, president and CEO of Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, was photographed in stilettos and a hard hat while giving construction tours of the Conservancy. “She’s the epitome of a woman,” Kelly says, “strong, fierce, protective, a leader… ” Only natural that Kelly follows suit.

Today, the doors of Mazzarese are likened to the stairway to heaven. “I want everything!” is our simultaneous cry. Katie takes a moment to pick up her polished wedding band while we settle near the Ivanka Trump jewelry line. A white agate quartzite cabochon cocktail ring with diamond accents somehow ends up on Kelly’s finger, followed by an oval rock crystal ring with a diamond band.

“Can I look like that in another life?” asks a woman as she points to Kelly. A visitor from Germany, she takes a moment to chat about jewelry, Porsches and estates with our guest.
Meanwhile, we wander to a case housing a gorgeous, unique pair of drop earrings. Store co-owner Veronica Mazzarese pulls them out for viewing just as Kelly wanders over and asks about the designer. “I designed them,” Veronica says. We gaze in wonderment at the contemporary earrings anchored with a dark pearl ($675; opposite, top left). “Wow, you’re ahead of your time,” Kelly says.

Finally, we pull Katie away from the displays and go across the street to Von Maur (6701 135th St., Overland Park). As we ride the escalator, a Calvin Klein blue pleated dress with a sparkly belt calls to Kelly. Soon, she also has a Jessica Simpson yellow ruffle dress and a nautical maxi that would be a killer frock at a summer party. Our gaze falls on a long, black ruffled skirt and we decide the perfect accoutrement for that would be a common white tank top.

“You know what bothers me?” Kelly says mid-thought. “How TV reporters are portrayed on shows like CSI.” Discussing the typical portrayal of TV reporters wearing white suits stepping all over crime scene evidence becomes the banter for the next few minutes. Soon, it becomes impossible to suppress our rumbling, empty stomachs, so we descend the escalator for lunch, but not without a red Marc Jacobs purse tempting Katie away from the pack.

On the short drive to Mestizo (5270 W. 116th Place, Leawood), Kelly opens up about her qualms with society. As a single mom, she knows the benefits of honest conversation among other moms who can share wisdom from their experiences. “People don’t talk because of their fear of looking weak,” she says. “I have real-people problems. I always put my flaws out there because there are women there who can help me.”

We settle in at Mestizo at a table situated perfectly for an optimal guacamole-making view. To say Kelly has a bent for Mexican food might be an understatement. That affinity collided with her competitiveness when she learned that a hole-in-the-wall taco joint down the street from the KCTV5 station has an ongoing contest to see which male and female can down the most tacos. The reigning champ had consumed 10, so Kelly hit up the hot spot and ate 11 tacos––after her 9 a.m. shift. Her ambition also seeps through when the server brings habanero salsa. Our photographer scoops a heap onto his chip and Kelly can’t help but dive one into the tear-inducing condiment, too.

We all order different things; Kelly opts for the grilled recado chicken ($12). With food on the mind, we chat about how she initiates good eating habits with her kids. “We go to the store and one [child] gets to pick a fruit and the other gets to pick a vegetable every week,” she says. She finds getting them involved in grocery shopping lets them take ownership of their food selections, and therefore, they’re more willing to eat it. Sushi, edamame and cauliflower are just a few items that make up their eclectic palates.

Alas, the store signs flip from “open” to “close,” ending our time with Kelly. Although this emerging Kansas City icon keeps a full schedule, we know it won’t be the last time we see Kelly Jones away from the news desk.