Chickashanews.com

October 24, 2013

Women in Business Week: Shoemake comments on women bringing variety of businesses to Grady County

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer, jlane@chickashanews.com
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA —

Business in Chickasha is expanding, as is the increase of businesses being run by women.

Sharon Shoemake, Grady County Court Clerk since 1996, said Chickasha is growing due to a variety of factors such as several oil booms and more stores opening. 

Over the years this has included more of these stores being owned and operated by the Chickasha's female population. 

"It looks to me like it's a growing trend," Shoemake said. 

The Grady County Fairgrounds is another factor that brings business to Chickasha via events. Between showing animals or between breaks at the Grady County Fair, Chickasha's downtown area and Chickasha Ave. receive a boom in business. Peggy McMahon, Marketing Director at the Grady County Fairgrounds, said in a prior interview that tourists dollars through restaurants, hotels as well as retail shops see an increase during events. 

Several businesses opened within the last few years have been female owned and operated. 

The Open Door Boutique, located on Chickasha Ave., opened by Brandy Sullens who has collaborated with artist, Danja Jantz. Sullens opened The Open Door Boutique on Nov. 19. Acquaintances of both Jantz and Sullens suggested that they meet.

Both Sullens and Jantz create works of art, jewelry, accessories and other creations with found objects. In Open Door Boutique, one can find: books, records and washboards upcycled into clocks as well as jewelry made with keys, spoons and pieces of Jantz's artwork. Other artists have contributed to the items sold in the Open Door Boutique. 

Shadee Palm, a gift shop on Grand Ave., offers access to customized goods such as curtains and bedding. The business was opened by a mother and daughter team, Dee Dee Crawford and Shayla Clemons, who combined their names to get the name of their shop "Shadee Palm." 

The pair opened their store to give shoppers in Chickasha more gift and registry options, Crawford and Clemons said, rather than going out of town. 

Emma's Essentials, another female owned and run business, also focuses on customization. Customers can choose from a variety of ready made dresses and accessories for their child or come in with an idea that owner, Jessica Williams will bring to life. Williams has said she is passionate about keeping business local and said she wants people to support Chickasha instead of running off to Norman or Oklahoma City to spend their dollars. One of the vendors that Williams uses is a local vendor, Enchanted Events. 

The growth in women-run businesses spans beyond Chickasha and into other areas in Grady County. Callie's Shabby Chic in Alex is run  by Linda Wolfe and Patty Baker. The two renovated the building their store is housed in and sell a variety of gifts for all occasions. The friends of 25 years opened shop in December 2012.