The Best for Last
So ~plot twist~ I’m currently writing this from a coffee shop in downtown Denver. If you follow me or Keep It Local on Instagram, you know that I recently made the move West, leaving my my Oklahoma home of 23 years. It’s been a bittersweet process, but it honestly made my last district takeover on Instagram that much more fun. My most recent takeover was in Automobile Alley, debatably the heart of downtown OKC. I couldn’t think of a more fitting place to have some of my last local experiences (read: I’m really mad it took me this long to find some of these places that I can’t go to anymore, so PLEASE GO AND I WILL LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS). That being said, these were a few of my Automobile Alley favorites.
OKCollective Candle Co.
I was fortunate enough to meet one of the owners of OKCollective Candle Co., the new business that occupies the can’t-miss-it pink shipping container on 9th St. I learned that they create all their own scents, so they’re essentially scientists/candle mixologists which is pretty amazing. They have everything from woodsy and dark to bright and floral. “Don’t kill my vibe” is one of their more popular scents, which is exactly how I felt after leaving with two mini candles of my own. I left with “Take a Hike” and “Make Love not War.” If you need me, I’ll be too zen-ed out to be bothered thanks to these guys.
Shopping local is great, but shopping at a local store that helps others is even better. Siempre Viva checks both of those boxes. Every item in the store is made from artisans in Southern Mexico with the goal of creating sustainable access to employment. On top of supporting local businesses and artisans, they just have really beautiful and unique products in the store. So much so that I actually ended up going back two days later to buy a shirt that I now literally live in every day (hey, let’s not judge, okay?). Siempre Viva is a great local option for interesting pieces that will make your home and closet one-of-a-kind.
I know...I know, it’s the business I can’t stop talking about. Just across the street from OK Collective Candle Co. and sharing a space with Siempre Viva is Twinkle Apothecary. It can be easy to swap restaurants or even your wardrobe out for local alternatives, but beauty and self-care products can be harder to find – or so I thought. Twinkle makes that switch so much easier. They have everything from dry shampoo to CBD chocolates, both of which I’ve bought, tried, and completely fallen in love with. Seriously, try this place out and see how many swaps for local goods you can make. Also, they have online ordering so you better believe I’ll be placing some orders from here on out.
All it took was a little exploring to realize what kind of awesome businesses were right in my backyard. And while I can’t wait to find favorites in my new “local” scenario, there’s something really unique about the small business community in Oklahoma that can’t be replicated. Go explore it for yourself – I promise it won’t disappoint.
Natalie is the former Creative Lead at Keep It Local OK. She loves puppies and matcha. Follow her on Instagram at @natalierayh.