By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Gifts & Decor | Issue: April 2012
Jerry Fairchild and Eileen Skockopole opened Crafted: An Artisan Boutique in Claremore’s historic downtown district in January.
Jerry Fairchild is the first to admit that he is not crafty. Eileen Skockopole confesses she doesn’t have a head for business. However, the two have found a match that resulted in a business partnership called Crafted: An Artisan Boutique, located in historic downtown Claremore.
Fairchild, who has a background in the retail business and marketing, and Skockopole, who is crafty – the lefty taught herself to knit three years ago – have a common goal: to provide an outlet for creative people to sell their products.
“Although I am not the crafty kind, I have always been fascinated by the arts,” says Fairchild. “I used to help my sister sell candles at craft shows. I was amazed at how much work was involved in getting ready for the shows, including the time, travel and set-up, only to walk away with few sales. I wanted to offer a place where artisans could do what they enjoy – creating their products – and leave the business side to me.”
Although Skockopole had tried the business side before, like most artisans, she just wants to create her knitted products, including scarves, fingerless gloves, hats and some clothing. When Fairchild contacted her last fall about being a vendor, she said, “No, I want to be a
part of it.”
“Our friendship and business partnership clicked immediately,” he adds. “We are close friends, and it was fate that brought our skills together.”
All products sold in the boutique are made in Oklahoma. While only two of the vendors are certified “Made in Oklahoma” vendors, Fairchild hopes to encourage his other vendors to apply for the certification. Of their 18 vendors, 15 are from the northeastern Oklahoma area, while the other three artisans create their products in Oklahoma City.
The store carries handmade soaps and lotions, made from goat’s milk by a Sand Springs vendor, as well as another line by Okie Crowe created from leftover oats and grains. “The vendor’s husband makes beer,” says Fairchild. “She uses the leftover oats and grains to create her all-natural soaps.”
Hand-beaded jewelry by 3 Gals Glitz and hand-tooled artisan jewelry called Paintin’ by Faith also line the walls of the boutique. “The artisan jewelry is made with hand-tooled metals like copper, sterling silver, nickel and brass, along with leather,” says Fairchild.
According to Fairchild, their children’s clothing and merchandise has become very popular with customers. Three vendors provide handcrafted children’s products, including tie-dyed infant wear, hair bows, “monster” tees, and dolls and teddy bears.
Other products include bowls and wine stoppers made from reclaimed wood, usually maple and sycamore. “This artisan is Made in Oklahoma certified,” says Fairchild.
Backwoods Stemware, another product carried in the store, is the name of a Claremore vendor’s creations. “Her stemware, which includes wine glasses, beer mugs, champagne flutes and margarita glasses, are made from Mason jars,” he says. “She will also do bulk orders.”
Other products include hand-painted greeting cards, homemade jams and jellies, pillows, silk scarves, tumbled marble tile coasters, recycled sweater scarves, handbags, plush stuffed animals, and adult clothing.
The store also offers classes to the public to learn crafts like knitting, chocolate making, oil painting, beaded jewelry – anything in the way of crafts. They will also be offering four summer craft classes for children. “For $5 per class, they will be able to take home a handmade craft project,” he adds. Classes will be offered in June and July.
“We are also looking for local artisans to become a part of our store,” says Fairchild. For more information about Crafted: An Artisan Boutique, including classes, check out their website at www.craftedboutique.com or on Facebook by searching “Crafted: an artisan boutique.”
Located at 106 S. Cherokee Ave., the Claremore boutique is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.