Virtually Local Vitality 

click to enlarge Weldon Jack - PHILLIP DANNER
  • Phillip Danner
  • Weldon Jack

As we all dance our way through the jig that is the coronavirus pandemic, several local retailers are crafting a waltz out of the ever-changing guidelines. From adjusting cleaning practices to limiting in-store customers, several shop owners have gracefully, and often tearfully, been making day-to-day tweaks to standard operating procedures. This holiday season, it’s more important than ever to disconnect from Amazon and reconnect with your local shop owners. Supporting local businesses now ensures they’ll be here for future holidays and approximately 67 cents of each dollar spent at a small business stays in the area. Lucky for us, Oklahoma City metro business owners have stepped up to the challenge, providing safe in-store and online environments to keep us all healthy while checking off our Christmas lists.

Whether it’s apparel, art, food or experiences you plan on gifting, there are hundreds of local options, so you’re sure to find the perfect holiday present. Many of our favorite brick-and-mortar stores have been transitioning toward online shopping recently, and just as many have made the leap solely based on today’s circumstances. 

click to enlarge Lush - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Lush

Lush Fashion Lounge, 14101 N. May Ave., Suite 114, offers apparel for men, women and children and has offered online shopping for years. 

“Customers were able to shop online with us prior to the pandemic, so the transition wasn’t as difficult for us. However, this year we added an online shopping curbside pickup option,”  owner Carrie Boevers said. 

Shop.lushfashionlounge.com features university clothing for your college student as well as accessories, including new beanies from CC in unisex styles, and new styles for women, kids and babies from Page One. 

click to enlarge Weldon Jack - PHILLIP DANNER
  • Phillip Danner
  • Weldon Jack

On the hunt for something for the men in your life? Weldon Jack, 3621 N. Western Ave., has a variety of men’s grooming provisions including lip balm, beard oil, shampoos and soaps. You can even set your fella up with a gift certificate for a post-pandemic clean-up in an environment that is as meticulous about its services as it is the health and safety of its customers. Shop online for signature Weldon Jack products at weldonjack.com.

Combining online shopping with virtual events, Silver Leaf Gems, 15 W. Campbell St., in Edmond makes custom jewelry, repurposes vintage jewelry or family heirlooms and offers jewelry-making classes.

“I feel as though I’m spending [more time than ever] on social media and online to just maintain the business from last year; it’s been a very inventive year,” said owner Stephanie Carel. 

Silver Leaf Gems hosts group  Zoom events and Facebook Live events so customers can virtually shop in-store. Carel is currently in the process of transitioning to virtual classes and is currently scheduling classes for January. Class participants can opt to receive their packets through the mail or pick them up in-store and build custom jewelry in their very own living rooms. This allows for a little extra security while keeping the doors open and learning experiences on track. Visit Silver Leaf Gems online at silverleafgems.com or call (405)285-9700 to schedule a virtual visit or class.

click to enlarge DNA Galleries - PHILLIP DANNER
  • Phillip Danner
  • DNA Galleries

Offering several goodies for the art-lover in your life, DNA Galleries, located in the heart of the Plaza District at 1709 NW 16th St., is an artist-made gift shop and contemporary gallery. With featured exhibits that change monthly, DNA focuses on local artists ranging from printmakers to jewelry designers. Though the in-person experience is delightful, shopping online to support local businesses and local artists is made simple at dnagalleries.com. It even has a “Gift Ideas” tab, bundling various artists’ works for holiday gift-giving.

Looking to give an experience this holiday season or make memories with your bubble? There are several ways to help make special moments with your loved ones, well, more special. Urban Teahouse, located at 519 NW 23rd St., Suite 107 offers unique and varied loose-leaf teas that you can have brewed onsite in their socially distanced tea shop or purchase dry to brew at home. With flavors and caffeine levels that span the gamut from sweet almond to Earl Grey, Urban Teahouse’s knowledgeable staff instructs customers on brewing temperatures, length and strength for the optimal tea drinking experience. Paired with their unique teapots, the combination makes for very thoughtful presents. Visit them online at urbanteahouse.com.

click to enlarge Midtown Pop-Up Shops - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Midtown Pop-Up Shops

Are you ready for an indoor shopping experience outdoors? Midtown Pop-Up Shops are back this holiday season as part of Downtown OKC’s Downtown in December. The geometric bubble shops will take a break this season and be replaced by tents spread out to allow for more airflow while shopping. Midtown Pop-Up Shops are nestled in John Bishop Carroll Christmas Tree lot on the corner of NW 10th Street and Hudson Avenue with rotating local retailers every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 20. To find a list of participating retail shops, visit okcpopups.com. To see more of the holiday lineup from Downtown in December, visit downtownindecember.com.

If you’re missing your annual family tradition of watching Scrooge’s transformation, you’re in luck! Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma has rewritten how audiences will view its annual performance of A Christmas Carol in 2020. The classic scenes that embody the holiday spirit will remain in place while patrons are guided through this timeless tale of redemption from scene to scene. Visit lyrictheatreokc.com for tickets or more information. If Dickens isn’t your cup of tea but Tchaikovsky is, get your tickets to the one-act performance of The Nutcracker: Short and Sweet by Oklahoma City Ballet. Enjoy Artistic Director Jonathan Mills’ condensed staging of this beautiful tale still showcasing all of your favorite characters from the dancing stars to the Kingdom of Sweets.  Visit okcballet.com.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

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Molly Puckett

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