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  • The Myth. The Legend. #ShopGirlLois

             

                 Never have I been more grateful for a Facebook post than when I posted on October 7th, 2016 looking for a shop girl to help in the store.  At this point in time I had been open a year and a half with no permanent employees and friends were helping fill in when needed.  Needless to say my entire world revolved around these four walls.  My nerves were on edge as I knew it was time to let go of control a little and grow.  Enter #ShopGirlLois

                  I think we were both a little nervous as we sat outside the store and chatted on a bench.  I was new interviewing, still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I was a “boss”, and still didn’t quite know exactly what I was looking for.  I knew I needed someone to help fill in hours and complete daily tasks around the shop.  But what Lois quickly provided was so much more.

                  After a twenty minute chat or so {of which included me asking how she felt about champagne and snarky gift items} we agreed that she would soon start.  I tried my best to delegate duties and explain store procedures.  Luckily enough Lois was patient with me and even laughed at my lackluster jokes.  I often times found myself wondering what she was going home and telling her family about this new job and boss of hers.  Lol

                  But what happened next I never thought I would be so lucky to have.  Lois quickly blossomed from daily duties and small talk to genuinely loving and caring about each one of my customers and even giving me dating advice!  Lois not only never complains or has a single bad thing to say, she goes above and beyond.  She shows up early when I’m running behind.  She works long hours and does the dirty, hard, heavy lifting work to make pop up shops happen.  She volunteers her time with me at non-profits, teaches me all things Thunder basketball, assists with window displays, stays late after parties to help clean up, listens to songs she hates on our store playlist {Change} and completes a thousand other tasks throughout the store.  Some of which I’m sure I don’t even see.

                  Lois has been my backbone these past eight months.   She is the main reason we have been able to accomplish so many goals and try new things in the shop.  I never thought The BS would be where it is within the past two short years and so much of this is due to Lois’ hard working attitude. Not only has Lois been the dream employe, but she has quickly become one of my best friends.

                  So next time you’re in the neighborhood drop in and say hello to the amazing woman that is #ShopGirlLois

    10 Fun facts about #ShopGirlLois
    -          She will be attending law school in the fall
    -          Her favorite beverage is Dr. Pepper
    -          She has a 17 year old cat named Comet
    -          Her favorite place is London
    -          She is the middle child of three girls



    -          She’s single guys ;)
    -          She plays the violin and has an amazing singing voice
    -          She loves The Fast & The Furious movies
    -          She’s the biggest Thunder fan in town!



  • Let The Adventure Begin

    I am so excited and honored to announce that you are now looking at the newest proud member of Adventure Road!

    There's nothing better than being a tourist in your own backyard or what I like to call the entire state of Oklahoma!  There are so many wonderful restaurants and local retailers to explore & discover and Adventure Road is the perfect way to connect with these venues.  Not only will you be able to find a new local joint, but you'll also be able to learn about the people behind the business and their personal story. 

    Get online today and start planning your next adventure!


     

  • Breakfast with Mayor Mick Cornett

    As a new business owner, you are always excited for new opportunities to meet and connect with leaders within our wonderful community. However, when I received an email from Tammy Fate with the OKC Greater Chamberof Commerce one memorable morning, I was surprised by the invitation to meet and have breakfast with our Mayor!  

    At this point The Black Scintilla had only been open for four months and I was astonished that Tammy even knew about my boutique.  The email from Mrs. Fate was incredibly sweet and made me feel so honored.  What better way to start your day, right!?!  So I quickly responded with a YES!  

    The morning of September 3rd came around very quickly.  As I made my way up to the third floor of the Colcord Hotel, I was quickly greeted by Tammy and thereafter introduced to several other Chamber of Commerce board members, such as Roy Williams President & CEO.  As we sipped our coffee and mingled with all other attendees, the Mayor arrived.  We said our hello’s and then selected our breakfast from the buffet.  Breakfast was to be very casual (as casual as one can be with the Mayor) so there was no assigned seating.  As we indulged in the delicious meal prepared for us, Mr. Cornett began speaking about various projects that were currently underway across OKC.  One in particular that I am very excited about are the new trolley cars!  He also spoke about some new upcoming projects that would really add to our ever expanding community.  Several of the attendees, including myself, asked various questions and the Mayor was so wonderful to hear everyone out and answer each question very thoroughly.  

    Then the Mayor flipped the scripts on us and wanted to hear from each of us as to what we do and how we are connected to the City.  We individually went around the table introducing ourselves and briefly talking.  So many of the attendees present were with large companies such as Wendell Steward with Braum’s, Don Cox President of OFS and Dave King CEO of Exaptive.  Each person gave a great introduction and held us captive to their expansive business knowledge.  Then came my turn . . .

    As the attention turned toward me, I started to become nervous.  I was the only female guest in attendance and not only that, I was the only person that has one employee . . . myself!!!  I joked that surely Tammy must have sent me the email inviting me to breakfast by mistake!  Haha I spoke of my upbringing in OK from the age of three, my time spent earning my education at OSU and UCO, and my various travels abroad to study design.  Then three years ago I had decided to move out of state where I eventually opened a business.  But after being gone the short amount of time, it quickly made me realize just how amazing OKC and its people truly are.  So, because of that I packed my bags and on January 29th, 2015 I drove my U-Haul back into OKC.   With a lot of hard work and even more determination, I opened the doors to The Black Scintilla three months later.

    I was honored to not only be invited to meet such an impressive group of people, but so humbled to be able to tell my story.  That morning I was reminded that no matter the size of your business is or how long you’ve been operating, we can all learn from one another and work together to build the OKC community.  

    My deepest appreciation to Tammy Fate for the invitation.  Thank you for your kindness and all of the hard work you and the wonderful 

    Chamber of Commerce

    board members are doing in OKC.



  • In The News . . .

    This morning Ashley, with Freedom 43 TV and our wonderful Midtown liaison Cacky Poarch, stopped by the store to feature The Black Scintilla in a live morning segment!  It was great talking to her about Midweek in Midtown and all of the wonderful deals you can expect to find. 

    Click here to view the video.

     

    Midweek in Midtown is every Wednesday from now through February.  Be sure to come visit your favorite neighborhood to discover all of the wonderful local shops and restaurants.  For more information visit MidtownOKC.com

  • Best Of . . .

    Monday, July 6th I was heading into the store to clean and work on various projects that needed to be tackled while the store was closed.  It was then that I received a bing bong on my phone notifying me that I received an email.  (While at a stoplight) I briefly read the title of the email and immediately thought it was spam.  I closed the phone and continued the drive.  It wasn't until several hours later that I actually read the email in its entirety and realized it was in fact NOT spam!  Haha 

    The email read . . .

    Hey Rachael!

    This is Sarah again from the Oklahoma Gazette and I wanted to congratulate you for being a TOP 5 FINALIST in our Best of OKC nominations!  We received over 30,000 paper ballot votes and over 113,000 online votes from our readers in the last two weeks and I wanted to let you know that OKC loves you and voted for you!

    The category Black Scintilla (formerly Black Sheep) placed in the top 5 is: Best Women's clothing boutique, and Best new retail establishment to open after 6/1/14..

    I was stunned!  My sweet little store had only been open THREE months and I was completely unaware that voting was even taking place!  I had done zero marketing and promoting for this and somehow YOU guys loved my store so much that I was in the TOP 5 FINALISTS! 

    In the long run, I may not have won the first place, but that doesn't even matter to me.  I never once expected to be in the Gazette let alone be a FINALIST and especially not within months of being open!  The fact that you guys support, encourage and tell all of your friends about the Black Scintilla is the best prize of all.  Everyday I am overwhelmed with the love that you guys show to my boutique.  I'm a thinker and a dreamer, however, I never dreamt how much love I would receive from you all. 

    I seriously can not thank you all enough for this amazing award.  I am truly blessed by each and every one of you.

     

    Want to check out all of the amazing winners?  Click here!

  • Time Out . . . I Have To Brag For A Minute

    So many people have been asking about my logo, website, and overall design material.  As always, I’m more than happy to share my tips and tricks with any inquiring minds.  Starting and running a business is by no means easy and I love helping people succeed, so to make it easier on everyone, I decided I MUST do a blog about it!

     

    Amy & her son Maximus, myself & Lauren a designer for Myheartcreative

    First and foremost, my go to people, who I seriously use for EVERYTHING, is Myheartcreative.  They are a creative team comprised of several extremely talented people.  Leading the group are the power couple, Sam and Amy.  I have been working with the dynamic duo for over a year now on the website design and all creative details that went into it.

    Several individuals have asked why I did not use an online company to source for my website.  When looking into all aspects of website design I quickly realized that I am by no means a tech guru.  In today’s world we have an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to website design.  For me it was simple.  I LOVE being able to send a quick email to Amy at 2:00 am asking her a very specific question and in my own words (no big tech words allowed).  For creative people, our minds are constantly running around and never turning off.  This could not be more true for myself. I am definitely a late night owl kinda gal.  So when I send one of my crazy emails in the late of night, it’s so awesome to get an immediate response back!!  We are always joking with each other that the other needs to go to sleep, but somehow we find ourselves constantly bettering our businesses during this time.

    Not only do I love Myheartcreative because they’re always working around the clock, but I love keeping my money local.  When working with big business your money leaves your wallet never to be seen again, however, when supporting another fellow local business you are investing in your own community.  You are also building incredibly strong relationships.   I think it’s ok to speak for Sam and Amy when I say they know I’m super detail oriented and like things a VERY specific way.  Haha  But they accept me and love me for who I am.  You don’t find these kinds of close relationships when working with large businesses.  Sure they may have great customer service, but working with this duo is more like working with your friends.  And at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather hang out with your friends and occasionally “talk business” instead of really dealing with a business?

    So if you’re looking for awesome customer service with any business needs, be sure and contact Myheartcreative.  They’re one of my (not so) best kept secrets and I know they’d love to help you and your business succeed even more!

    Ways they’ve assisted me:

    • Logo design
    • Website design
    • Business cards
    • Letterhead
    • Custom clothing and jewelry tags
    • Online store
    • Photo editing
    • Blogging
    • Tote bag design

     

    Custom necklace hangers

  • Full Pleated Skirt

    Skirt obsession!  These beauties are not only beautiful, but extremely comfortable.

     

     The fabric is very light weight, which makes it perfect for these hot temperatures.  One of the most common questions I receive is "how do you wear it?"  And the answer is "so many different ways!"  Pair it with a blouse in either a pattern or solid for a classic office look or throw on a vintage rock t-shirt and a pair of Converse and you have a super trendy look.

    This skirt also travels great! I was in Chicago this past weekend and the full pleated skirt in white, was a MUST have in my suitcase.  While enjoying a little Sunday brunch at Ralph Lauren's restaurant with my best friend Brandon, I paired it with a solid black spaghetti strap tank and a black pair of heels.  I then layered on one of our black elastic belts featuring a large gold buckle.  Such a simple, sleek, classic look.

    How will you wear your full pleated skirt? Click here to order!

  • Most Versatile Clutch

      

    Everyone is LOVING the Chic Zip Clutch we carry in store and online.  Not only is it available in a variety of colors, but it also comes with both a wristlet and cross body strap!  All closures and chain strap are finished in gold.  My personal favorite feature about this clutch (and I totally made it up) is to unclip one end of the gold chain, loop it through my belt loops on my jeans, then clip it back on to the purse and like that, you’re now hands free and looking stylish!  This has come in handy numerous times at music festivals and any outdoor event

    Inside this chic clutch, you will find several pockets in both compartments and a zip closure pocket inside the main section.  The top folds over and is secured shut with a hidden magnet.

    Not only will you love this handy clutch, but it makes a great gift!  Share the joy with someone you know today and place your order.  Hurry because these always go fast!

  • The Perfect Custom Gift

    Lately we have been helping a lot of customers with finding the perfect gift for someone specific they have in mind.  One of our most popular gifts are our Lat & Lo necklaces.  These necklaces feature the coordinates of OKC on one side and on the other side “Oklahoma City” is written in script.  Choose been 14k gold and Sterling silver and you have yourself a perfect gift!  We also carry the cuff bracelets which have the same features as the necklaces.

    Now here’s where things get really exciting!  We are also able to do custom engraving!  This takes about three weeks from the date the order is placed and it will be shipped directly to our store.  But these make THE BEST gifts!  Guys, this is a sure fire way to get bonus point with your lady or get yourself out of the dog house.

    Here are just a few examples of custom orders we have done:

    • Jason chose the coordinates to the address of the first house he and his wife had together.  He had these coordinates engraved on one of our 14k gold cuff bracelets and gave it to his wife for their anniversary.
    • Mary, a bride, chose to give each of her seven bridesmaids a custom pendant necklace that was specific to their relationship.  Each necklace had the coordinates to where they had first met.  For instance, Mary met Emily on the first day of third grade at their local elementary school.  I looked up the exact coordinates of this school and voila!  BEST GIFT EVER!
    • Matt purchased a custom pendant necklace to be monogramed with the exact coordinates of the chapel in Colorado where he and his wife were soon to be getting married.

      

    Give us a call today and let us help create the perfect custom gift for you!

    405-824-7599

     

  • Grand Opening Party Thank You Letter

    Ughhhhh I am finally beginning this whole "blogging" process.  First of all I have to be very honest and tell you that I do not consider myself a writer, let alone a blogger, in any form or fashion.  Trust me, my grade school report cards speak for themselves in the "Language" category.

     

    Nonetheless my graphic designer has convinced me that this is something I need to and CAN do!  So, like most everything in my life, I'll give it a try!

    The first thing that is near and dear to my heart and what really actually inspired me to start blogging is YOU. The BS opened doors on Tuesday, April 7th and I was welcomed to Midtown with open arms, lots of hugs and numerous visits from dear friends.

    The Party

    The following Saturday, April 11th was the Grand Opening Party!  I really wanted to throw this party because - who doesn't like a party??? - and as a way to show the store to my family and friends who had been supporting me for the past several months.  With a few posts to social media and word of mouth, the rsvp's began rolling in to the website.  I was so thrilled when 100 of you rsvp'd!  Keep in mind these were people I didn't know! We all know our own family and friends don't rsvp to our own events ;). But with each email alert going off, my anticipation and bewilderment grew.  The reservations continued to flood in even minutes before the party actually started!!

    Thirty minutes before opening the doors to the party, a guest tried to come in.  She was so excited to be there, but I told her we just weren't ready.  She was very understanding and trotted around the corner of the building. I thought she simply went to go wait in her car until opening time.  Twenty minutes later my photographer for the event (Rachel Apple) came and found me to tell me that a line of guests had formed outside!  I started laughing because I knew that she was just being goofy . . . until my dad went outside to take a look.  He came back in and informed me that there were 75 people waiting outside!!!  I was in disbelief!  We quickly finished pulling together the last finishing touches and opened those doors.

    You all began to stream in one right after the other.  Each and every guest was so happy and excited to be in MY little store.  I can not tell you how touching that moment truly was.  The kind words, encouragement, smiles, and laughter from the minute those doors opened was truly infectious.  A person expects to hear those types of things from their family and friends, however, I did not expect to hear that from guests I didn't even know.

    As a dreamer/designer I plan for hours on end and overanalyze every detail until I annoy myself.  I've stayed up countless nights exhausting my brain about the most ridiculous things: reflected ceiling plans, the perfect shade of white, how to best display a ring or my beloved tissue paper drawer.  But in the end none of it means anything if YOU don't visit the store or don't enjoy your experience.

    The party was scheduled to end at 10pm and because there were nearly 400 guests in attendance, the party did not end until nearly 11!  All week leading up to the event I thought the place would probably die down around 9, we'd clean up a little and then go on our way.  So when I looked at the clock and saw that people were still enjoying themselves way past ten, I was once again shocked!

    Feeling The Love

    As Oklahoman's we all know the numerous benefits of supporting local businesses. I wanted my first blog to be a thank you to each and every one of you that not only attended the grand opening party, but to those of you who have visited my little store, follow the BS on social media, have left sweet comments and have told your own friends and family about the store.  To me THAT is supporting local businesses.  I have personally been an avid supporter of the "keep it local" movement for years, however, I never thought what that would look and feel like from a business owner's perspective. Owning your own business is never easy, but doing that in this state is the BEST feeling imaginable.  I am beyond grateful for the overflowing show of love and support.

    Thank you to all of our wonderful tote bag donors!

     

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