It's been a whirlwind of a few weeks, but now that I'm all settled in, I want to give you a little peek at my new location.
(Someday I might turn my phone horizontal and make a real video that's not for instagram... maybe. LOL)
But can I be honest with you?
😇 I feel like I've died and gone to heaven. 😇
This tiny little shop turned out so much better than I could have imagined, and I can't believe that this is where I get to work from every day. Is this real life?!
When I started Twinkle Apothecary in 2015 out of a spare bedroom at my parent's house, I did imagine that I would have my own little light filled studio someday where I could work and also share my products with people, but I didn't know that it would feel so wonderful for that dream to come true. This is everything I wanted.
💖 My heart is BURSTING! 💖
So, like I said, it's small. But everything fits perfectly.
When you first open the door, you'll see the shop!
Of course I had to get a full length mirror to keep my tradition of daily outfit selfies alive and well. It's totally turned into a superstitious thing where I feel like customers don't know to come in if I don't post a picture of myself in the shop saying that I'm here on my instagram story! (Seriously though, I think my daily selfie really does help bring you in... also what if no one comes in and sees how cute I look that day? Now I have the receipts!) 🤣
ANYWAY, in the middle of the store, you'll find my checkout stand. (Ikea, I love you for making adjustable sit/stand desks... you never realize how short most tables are until you're trying to put together a retail shop!)
My first customer in the door (at 11:05 am!) on the first day that I opened brought me flowers from the farmer's market and I've honestly never felt so seen or cared for. 🥰 I had been mentally preparing myself to be sitting alone all day with it being a holiday weekend, but you all showed up and put me right to work refilling bottles and giving you skincare advice, etc.
Did I mention that this is my career dream come true?! 🙏🏼💕
PS - all of the artwork in the shop is by Tawnya Corrente and it is all for sale. They are beautiful pieces at incredibly reasonable prices - if you're not local please email me for details!
Also at the checkout: my freebie bowl is also alive and well... basically whenever I make things and have a little bit left over I bottle it up and toss it in. Stop by and try something new, or if you're shopping online you can get a surprise sample here.
On the other side of the shop is, well... everything else! Perfume is front and center because I don't want you to overlook it while you're getting all of your practical skin and body care things, but it's surrounded by hair care, skincare, body care, and of course all of my accessories and tea!
I lugged these TWINKLE letters around to every pop-up and farmer's market outing in my first year of business. I thought it was only fair to gave them a coat of match-y peachy pink paint and a permanent home.
Just behind the shop you'll find me at my desk. (Actually a conference table since I do the work of multiple people...) This is where I blend, bottle, and filter perfumes, label bottles, update my website, and pack my web orders.
Someday when I hire someone, they can sit here with me, but for now you'll probably see my son sitting there on his iPad, with me trying to convince him to do anything else. (He's actually quite good at stamping all of my bags and boxes with the twinkle*apothecary logo stamp. I pay him in Pokemon Cards.)
Of course no e-commerce HQ would be complete without a mountain of eco-friendly shipping supplies. The white cabinet is where I store all of my essential oils...
Here's the kitchen, where I make everything! (Plus tea.)
And last but not least, the back corner is where I stash all of my ingredients and bulk jars and bottles for refills!
It may look a bit messy, but I'm so happy with how it all fits, and I feel like I'm working so much more efficiently having everything in reach and being able to interact with my local customers at the same time.
And for good measure, here are some before pics:
(Honestly didn't take a lot of pictures when it was just an empty room and then a sea of boxes because I was terrified that it wasn't all going to fit, or that I ordered the wrong size furniture or something, and boy wouldn't that be embarrassing?!)
But I think it turned out PERFECTLY.
So come by and see me in action sometime soon if you're in OKC!
You can find my hours on my VISIT page - keep in mind that I will update them in August when school starts.
Shopping online is always a good idea too, whether you're in OKC or anywhere else in the world. I'm always happy to ship my goodies to you for free on orders over $10.
I'm excited to announce that next month, July 2019, I will be setting up shop in my very own space just around the corner, at 220 NW 13th ST (suite 5!) in Midtown OKC (on 13th between Harvey & Robinson.)
This is just a couple of weeks from now, oh em geeeeee... (!!!)
I realize it may seem like this big change is coming out of nowhere, but I've been wanting to find a place of my own for a while. I finally found something that's just my size, (tiny and adorable,) in my neighborhood, in my budget, that's also workable for both production and retail. The building (a newly remodeled garage) is even called the "Make Ready" Building - so appropriate, right?
This means that you'll be able to come in and see where I work and how I make my products, (even how messy I can be OMG am I ready for this?!) and I'll also be able to answer any questions you have for me or refill anything you like on the spot. (Well, not melt-y items where you'd have to wait for the wax to cool, but you know, basically the same kind of stuff I refill now!) The vibe will be 100% Me/Twinkle, only more intimate and special and fun.💖
Aside from being a few blocks north off of Broadway, not much else will be different. I still plan to carry everything that I offer currently - the only major change going forward will be my hours of operation.
So, heads up:
As of right now, I'm not planning to set firm "shop hours" for the summer months - I think it will just be more of a, "We're here, come by!" kind of a thing....
1) I work ALL. THE. TIME. so you don't have to worry about me never being "open." I know that's an issue with a lot of local shops and I totally get it. I'll post my hours on social media every day (lately I've been in the office from about 12 - 6:30 every day) and let everyone know in advance if I decide to take a day off. You can also make a free appointment with me anytime!
2) I hope that you all come interrupt me so much that I'll have to hire an assistant and set regular retail hours come fall. Hint hint. ;)
3) But no shame if you're local and find it more convenient to shop online. The reason why I've decided to move into this small, efficient all-in-one space instead of upgrading to a bigger retail shop is to remove the pressure of having to work so hard to get people physically in the door.
After testing the waters in a more traditional storefront for the past year and a half, it seems to me like this is just where we're all at right now - life is busy, we work hard, it's not always easy to make it across town - so, no big deal! I have this handy dandy internet business and I'm always here with my eco shipping supplies ready to go anyway.
I've been watching you guys rushing over at lunch and flying in right before we close to pick something up, and I can't tell you how much it means to me that you go out of your way to support my business. (Or perhaps my products are just THAT GOOD?!) I've also gotten a lot of feedback that you guys want me to be there when you shop to help you pick out products and tell you how to use them, and I think that this move (where I'll literally be the only one there when you come in) will make things easier for everyone - so let's see how it goes and I'll stay flexible!
Side note: selecting "store pickup" when you order online still stands - I love giving out free samples when you save me the shipping. (Also there is a parking lot out front and I'm still in walking distance from the OKC Streetcar - get off at the North Hudson or Art Park stop!)
One thing I'm really proud of as an entrepreneur is the fact that I'm doing exactly what I set out to do from the beginning with Twinkle Apothecary - which is to have a small, sustainable, profitable business that allows me to earn a living while being flexible for my son. My business has grown a lot this year, but growth just for growth's sake isn't actually my top priority. Right now I'm more interested in designing a path going forward that will allow me to continue to do what I love to the best of my ability while maximizing profits, focusing on sustainability, and avoiding burnout. People are always asking me when I'm going to hire employees, release new product lines, outsource production, open a bigger store, etc., but I actually love being small and growing in my own way!
I've loved my time in my current shop on 9th street with Siempre Viva, but I think that my new space will allow me to have a healthier sense of work/life balance while providing better, more personalized service to my local customers. Even the thought of condensing all of the channels (brick and mortar, web, wholesale oh my!) of my business into one tiny, well-oiled space (probably literally, LOL) makes me feel more calm and grounded already. I also get so much joy out of sharing my products with you in person, so I'm beyond excited to be able to interact with you all face to face instead of being hidden away working all by my lonesome while you shop!
And for my internet friends? It's basically business as usual! Only, I hope to have more time to devote to blogging, perfecting my website, and shipping orders even faster than before.
Now, I'm off to design my perfect shop and studio space... wheeeeee wish me luck!
Stay tuned for more details and my official opening date which will be here before we know it. You know I'll be sharing ALL of the behind the scenes stuff on my Instagram beginning riiiiiiight now! (I've been dying to tell you!!!)
When I moved home to Oklahoma City and decided to start Twinkle Apothecary, I had no idea what to expect. In Los Angeles, it seemed like there were farmer's markets and pop-up shopping events happening almost every day, and as someone who has worked in mainstream retail and fashion production for most of her adult life, I began to dream of being able to create a product that I could produce with my own two hands, and share with the world on a more personal level.
I asked my mom, "Does OKC have farmer's markets or events where people can sell handmade things?"
Her response: "YES!"
And boy do we ever...
There are so many events and markets in Oklahoma City that I can barely keep track, which I personally love because it means that I never have to step foot in the boring ol' mall!
This past weekend while at Delmar Gardens for the Summer Love music festival, I picked up a vintage (aka zero waste/aka zero guilt) dress from Monoxide, a crystal and red earth pendant from Boo Science, and a gorgeous smelling soy candle made with essential oils and a chakra balancing crystal from Kayse Cain XO.
Let me tell you, it's about 50 million times more satisfying to buy something directly from its maker, and there are so many creative, interesting people in our community making wonderful things. If you haven't already, I highly suggest getting out and about this weekend and supporting all of the local artisans who are working hard to make OKC a very cool place to live.