Article By Sean Murphy Photos by Amber Westin Normandin
I am the co-owner of a craft consignment store called Handmade with HeART in Moore, Oklahoma.
You know, the place you drive by on I-35 on your way from Edmond or Oklahoma City to Norman.
Believe it or not, there is more in Moore than just the Warren Theatre. As a part of our craft consignment business we do a lot of shows in other, more frequented, spots in the metro. We are a part of the art scene in both Norman and OKC’s Plaza District, but home is Old Town Moore. Often at these shows we will ask of our customers if they get to Moore often and are met with blank stares or answers such as, “What’s in Moore?” or “Why?” Most people don’t know of any reason to shop in this community.
As co-owner of Handmade with HeART (115 N. Broadway,408-4896), a small boutique that carries handmade jewelry, baby and kid gear, clothing, accessories and home décor, I have a unique perspective on attracting business to a town that has gotten a reputation as being a bit on the boring side. Incredulously received by most, there has actually been an active attempt in the last year or so to expand beyond that reputation. Moore is now home to a number of great boutiques, an art studio, as well as a large vendor mall. It will take time and exposure to break the myth that there is no good shopping in Moore. I would like to expose you quickly to just two reasons to shop in Moore.
In a tiny stretch of unremarkable strip mall is a remarkable shop for crafters of all experience levels, Artworks Bead Studio (123 SE 4th St. Suite F., 237-1200.) The front door has painted on it a dress form with large angel wings and a necklace welcoming the customer giving you an idea of the artsy fun inside. Although in the business since 1997, Nina Brown opened the store in Moore in December, 2008. It is full of thousands of colorful beads and baubles for designing your own unique piece of jewelry. With as much or as little instruction as you need you can sit down at the long table on a comfortable stool and create. There are tools which are free to use and always someone to give you a few tips and tricks of the trade. Artworks allows the customer to stamp charms with anything they like from your child’s name to a favorite phrase.
The walls are literally covered in ready-made accessories for those that may not have the patience or time to design their own gifts. Glass showcases with beautiful geological items, higher end jewelry pieces, blinged up hats and sunglasses are eye-catching. Artworks offers classes and parties for kids as well. It is a good place to get a truly unique gift or treat yourself with a piece of jewelry no one else is wearing.
Also new to Moore is Showplace Market (2001 S. Broadway,759-0776) which opened this summer. It is a large vendor mall with local and other vendors. The work of craftsmen and artisans fill the large stalls which shout at you with a vibrant mix of animal prints and bright pinks and lime greens.
There is everything from home décor with a western theme to tons of gear for kids and adults with an Okie glam feel. There are lots of stalls with merchandise for our local college teams as well as items celebrating other sports. Showplace has a café to pick up a hot coffee or cool smoothie and a book nook full of oversized chairs and relaxing places to rest while shopping. Showplace is large without the cookie-cutter feel of a big box store.
These are a few reasons to stop on your way south between the city and Norman. There are many more things in Moore than you might expect.