Fight for us! June 28 2017
I don't think I have ever been so nervous to write a blog post in my life. Geez, I hope I don't regret this. I don't like being this vulnerable with a bunch of people whose faces I can't see as I write this. I have been going back and forth about whether I should say anything about this or not but after a chat with a fellow business owner this morning, I decided that I couldn't put it off anymore.
Guys, I don't know if you are aware but the local business scene is dying over here. DYING! That might sound a bit extreme but I can't tell you how many friends I have talked to over the past 6 months who are just hoping that they will make it to December. I think it is a perfect storm of the economy and the convenient shopping model that Amazon has created. Don't get me wrong, I love Amazon as much as the next person. I have two kids. I know how hard it is to cart them around trying to get everything that you need from the store. But the model has made it so easy to order whatever you need online and get it so fast that local businesses are having a really hard time competing.
Oklahoma city has become such an incredible place to live and a huge part of that is the local business scene here. I mean, shops like Tree and Leaf Clothing, Chirps and Cheers, The Plant Shoppe, and Shop Good are special special special places that you cannot find anywhere else. I remember when I moved here from Dallas 10 years ago and the options were much much slimmer. Now we have all of these amazing businesses doing incredible things. This is my plea to you, please go and support these businesses. This isn't just about my shop but the local business scene in general. Wherever your favorite local shop is, go there and buy something. Post about how much you love them. Get some pals together and go shopping. Start a cash mob. WHATEVER, just go support them. If something does not change, we are going to see some incredible places close. We are going to lose a huge part of our sweet community that makes us special. I love having Anthropologie and Made Well but they are not who make us unique. Its the local shops like Sara Kate Studios and The Social Club that make us unique.
(image by Magnolia Adams Photography)
I know at the end of the day, I sell things for a living. But it is so much more than that to me. It's about the conversations and friendships I get to have with you guys when you come in the shop. It's about getting to know and support the 95 different artists whose work we carry here. It's not just being next door neighbors with Tree and Leaf but being a bridesmaid in their wedding. It's having playdates with the kiddos from Shop Good or the twins from Love Well Handmade. The absolute hands down best part about owning the shop is the community that I get to be a part of in Oklahoma City. It is my sanity, my encouragement, my third place. I cannot imagine what our city would be like if Caleb Arter from Blue 7 had never taken over his shop. If I am ever in a bad mood, a quick trip to Chirps and Cheers is all I need because Sammi and Susan are two of the kindest people in the whole world. Common Place Books is the most inspiring bookstore I have ever been in. I want to buy everything and live there. Same with The Plant Shoppe/Okay Yeah. The people that own these places are salt of the earth people who are busting it to try and keep providing you all with something special. I could go on and on and on. I love these places. I feel so lucky to do business along side of them. I know the economy isn't what it was and we are all on a budget but don't you think it is worth to set aside $20 a month and go support a local business. It really does not take much on your part but it makes a huge difference to us.
(image by Magnolia Adams Photography)
Ok, end rant! Thanks for reading.
Retro Bowling Night with Tree + Leaf March 31 2017
Hi! Heather Hayes here. Here is a brief intro about me + Collected Thread // I started working at Collected Thread in 2013 as the shop girl. How fun is that title by the way? In 2015, I started Everything Beautiful, a floral design company specializing in events + weddings. If you know Lindsay, owner of Collected Thread, she is crazy supportive of small business owners and her community! She allowed me to use the back of the shop to arrange + design when I started and I loved the Plaza District so much that four years later, I'm still here. The wonderful Holly Hodge is the primary shop girl now and rocks it! I fill in from time to time when they need a helping hand and love every second!
There are several things I love about Collected Thread and The Plaza District, but for me my story is // C O M M U N I T Y // When I started working at Collected Thread four years ago, I had no idea the family I was gaining. I've known Dusty, owner of Tree And Leaf, as long as I've known Lindsay and some days I claim his crew as my family too. Although a lot has changed over the years and both companies have grown, this still feels like home.
Whew, enough with the Hallmark story and onto the shenanigans! I'm always trying to come up with ideas and instigate ways for Tree and Leaf and Collected Thread to hang out. Talk about two worlds colliding! So a few months ago I pitched the idea, "Hey, we should have a bowling night!" Guess what? They took me up on it and we managed to get the whole crew in one place for an epic bowling night at Dustbowl! Talk about miracle of all miracles. I bowled a perfect game and Collected Thread inevitably dominated Tree and Leaf. Well... kind of.
Here are a few of our favorite pictures //
Lindsay and Dusty keepin' it casual + classy. By the way, thanks Lambo for the images! You and that 35mm are the real deal!
Isn't she a babe? // PS // Mustard yellow is Lindsay's favorite color so who really knows if this was even the right size for her.
Holly Hodge, being the stunner that she is. Duh.
I mean, how cute are we? The cutest. // Internal monologue: "Why did you wear a dress bowling, Heather?"
// Matt Hildebrand, Dusty Gilpin, Lindsay Zodrow // Yeah... Ya know, I couldn't really tell you. I'll let you caption this photo in the comments below.
The American dream really, but sorry fellas. Andrew put a ring on it!
Our best attempt at the "serious" face. I'm seconds away from laughing, Lindsay looks like she's thinking, "What time did I tell the babysitter I would be home?" and Holly is just like, "I was born for this!"
And that's it folks! My crazy little crew that I wouldn't change for the world! If you enjoyed this post and want to see more, we would love to hear from you! What are some things you would like to be involved in? What should Tree and Leaf + Collected Thread's next collaboration be? Until next time.
About our neighbors T&L // Dusty Gilpin, Steven Silva, Jacob Danley (Lambo), + Matthew Hildebrand //
"The name Tree & Leaf was originated on a whim but has come to mean quite a bit over the last 10 years. Tree & Leaf represents a collective passion for the outdoors shared by the owners, employees, and clients of our company. Whether it’s hiking, camping, skating, or sailing, we have an eagerness to explore.
Tree & Leaf represents a like-mindedness for community growth and involvement. Building and encouraging an art community, volunteering at a neighboring school, or helping a friend repair a broken vehicle; Tree & Leafers have a persistent fervor to improve their surroundings. There is always a point where an idea ends and action begins, we firmly believe in getting our hands dirty to accomplish our goals."