• Last modified 952 days ago (Nov. 10, 2021)


Windows, siding business opens its doors

Staff writer

An old gas station at 2467 US-50 outside Florence is now host to Blaze Siding and Windows, a nine-year-old business owned by Florence residents Tom and Dawna Blaes.

You read that correctly — the Blaeses’ business is named Blaze Siding and Windows.

“We wanted it Blaes, but we didn’t want it spelled the same,” Dawna Blaes said. “Made it a little more pop-y.”

It was previously known as Joe’s Siding and Windows when Tom’s brother, Joe, was more involved. The Blaeses took the business with them when they moved out of Wichita and into Florence.

Previously, they operated it from The Old Goat’s Inn, where they live, or carried samples into homes to show potential customers.

“We’ve been doing it, but we just now officially opened,” Dawna said. “We bought the old Quality Oil station, gave it a complete facelift, and turned it into our office/showroom.”

Several customers already have been served at the new building. The walls display different types of siding and weatherproofing Blaze offers. There is a trampoline out back for the Blaeses’ grandchildren.

The Blaeses spent a year renovating the building. Gas pumps and tanks had been removed before they bought the place, but a ceiling had to be redone, and several old signs needed to be painted over.

“The ceiling was on the floor,” Tom said.

Dawna said she enjoyed living in Florence much more than she liked living in Wichita. She has been encouraging her kids to move to a more rural area.

“The world’s getting crazy out there,” she said. “We much prefer to sit out on the porch at night, no sirens, no airplanes. My daughter lives on the west side of Wichita. She’s got two girls who I watch occasionally, and it just feels like I hear sirens all the time.”

Moving to Florence also has been good for business, according to Dawna.

“Marion County’s been hit pretty hard this year, so we’ve been pretty busy with the hailstorms,” she said. “We’ve been out at the county lake quite a bit.”

Last modified Nov. 10, 2021