By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Retail | Issue: July 2016
Heather Lyons, store hostess, beside an already wonderfully outfitted booth at Storehouse Front.
No one can deny that in the last decade, Catoosa, Oklahoma has transformed from a sleepy little town to a bustling, small city. With the addition of the Hard Rock Casino and other major businesses, Catoosa attracts visitors from all over the country. The town’s placement at the intersections of I-44, Highway 412, and Historic Route 66 make Catoosa the perfect place to sell original, locally crafted gifts, unique clothing items, and nostalgic antiques—and you can find all those type items at The Storehouse Front. Located on Catoosa’s historic Cherokee Street, The Storehouse Front offers a place for vendors to display their wares to both locals and those passing through.
The Storehouse Front hosts booths for an eclectic selection of items. In one nook, you may find new Melissa and Doug toys, in another, new and unique boutique style clothing and in yet, another, scented candles and lotions. Locally handcrafted pieces—crochet, jewelry, woven baskets, clothing, household items, quilts—are scattered here and there throughout the store. Several large sections of the store are devoted to vintage and antique furnishings and home accessories.
“We try to offer a lot of variety,” says owner Melinda Lyons. “And we try to offer something unique that you can’t find somewhere else, so our inventory constantly changes.”
She also notes that prices vary across the store. “It just depends on the value, what it is, and the vendor,” she says.
Prior to opening The Storehouse Front, Melinda had already been buying and selling vintage home décor items as a side to her regular job. Then she and her husband Steve decided to lease the old auction building in downtown Catoosa to display her items and to offer space to local vendors. Vendor space is extremely reasonable in comparison with other venues in the area and comes in a variety of sizes, from very small to large. In addition, vendors who sign up now will lock in on the lower rates if they meet the criteria for booth rental.
Upon purchasing, Melinda immediately set about to renovating the historic building and notes that it is a work in progress. Her vision for the look of the building is gradually coming together as she has labored hard over the months to give the outside an inviting feel that would be in keeping with the spirit of downtown Catoosa and Historic Route 66. In fact, this vision extends to the community itself, as she has wanted more than anything to host a welcoming and affordable venue in which Catoosa and area vendors could offer their handmade creations and other unique items to the public. The building also has rooms for rent where classes can be hosted. Aromatherapy and basket weaving classes are already on the schedule, other classes can be found through store inquiries.
“People who know Catoosa probably wonder what is going on with the old auction building on Cherokee,” says Melinda.
The sign on the front porch says it all: The Storehouse Front—Antiques, Home Décor, Boutique, Collectibles and More. Stop by the store to ask about becoming a vendor. The store is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10:30 am to 6 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Sundays, 1 pm to 5 pm, and is closed on Mondays.
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