MADE: The Indie Emporium Shop is a retail store in Tulsa. They promote buying handmade and supporting artists and makers. We got the chance to talk to the owner Christine Sharp-Crowe about the store. She also shares some exciting news so be sure to check out the interview below.
GO: What was your motive for starting MADE : The Indie Emporium Shop?
Christine: When we started Indie Emporium back in 2007, it was always our hope to create a home for the maker movement here in Tulsa. After a few years of doing Indie Emporium, we were able to participate in the TYPROs 1st Street Cred event in the Pearl District and then the 1st pop-up shops downtown. We saw that people in Tulsa wanted a place to go to buy handmade and support individual artists and makers, so we just decided not to leave downtown. The response was so great that we decided to jump at an opportunity to open a second shop in the Pearl. Our business has grown organically by word of mouth and support in the community, so when the opportunity to create a creative clubhouse we’re calling the Workshop at Made we jumped at that too. We want a place for people to shop, learn and create, and with our location in the Pearl, we now have that. This has been a passion for us and it’s amazing to see our dream come to life.
GO: Why is it important that your store is eco-friendly?
Christine: It’s a part of who my husband and I are. We believe that it is our jobs to be good stewards of what we’ve been given and what we plan to leave for the generations to come. If we’re not going to be conscious of our impact on the world around us, what kind of legacy are we leaving?
GO: What’s the best advice you have ever gotten about going green?
Christine: Do what you can as you can. Rome wasn’t built in a day. By having a plan and taking the steps that you can, you are still making an impact as you’re working towards your ideal. All of those small steps add up!
GO: What is one of your favorite items that you sell?
Christine: One of our favorite things to sell are coasters by a company called Stitch Coasters. They use reclaimed wood to create awesome coasters. Since the wood is reclaimed, no two coasters are alike. The guys who started Stitch fell into it. They had a cool old wooden boat that wasn’t operable anymore. The wood was distressed and aged and had a cool look to it. They decided they wanted to do something with it, so they made coasters as gifts. People loved them so they kept going. There’s no shortage of old wood, so Stitch is now a vibrant business here in Tulsa.
GO: Why do you feel it’s important to support locally owned businesses?
Christine: By supporting locally-owned businesses, we’re keeping money in our community, which is good for everyone. We’re keeping our sales tax money in our community, which goes to provide revenue for our city services, fire fighters, police, etc. Plus, it’s a great way to help those who are innovating and creating new things. Take our shop for example, we have around 70 vendors right now. We know these makers, they’re real people and they’re perfecting their craft in ethical ways. We’re not selling stuff in our shop that is made by exploiting indigenous peoples or children, or by ravishing the environment.
GO: What is your favorite thing to do in Oklahoma?
Christine: Aside from our event, Indie Emporium, we really love going to Guthrie Green for the variety of events that are always going on there. Oh, and the Day of the Dead Festival at Living Arts. It’s amazing.
If you would like to learn more about MADE: The Indie Emporium Shop visit their website and please be sure like them on Facebook. Don’t forget to tell them we sent you. And check out the new Workshop at Made as well.
We hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about MADE: The Indie Emporium Shop and the face behind the business. Be sure to let us know about other local green businesses you would like to see featured. Just post in the comments below, on our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos are property of MADE: The Indie Emporium Shop.