By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Retail | Issue: January 2013
Carolcells owner Carolyn Dormier.
Carolcells: the name of the shop is as unique as the lady who owns it. Carolyn Dormier has established Carolcells based on a wide variety of interests – everything from computer programming to crafting – but all of her pursuits lead to one central goal: community growth and involvement in Inola, Oklahoma.
“My husband and I have lived in the Inola area for 30 years and all four of our children graduated from Inola High School,” she says. “But they all moved away because there was nothing for them to do here – I would like to help change that.”
People stop by Carolcells for a variety of reasons. Some come to sit down with Carolyn at her computer and let her help them learn networking systems like Facebook. In fact, this particular aspect has resulted in two weddings. “One man came in and needed help to get his pictures on a dating site, where he later found his bride,” Carol relates with a smile. “And a couple of my Facebook friends got together as well.” Carolyn especially enjoys helping senior citizens discover that they can indeed learn and enjoy computer skills.
Other groups gather to work on crafts, while still others just sit down for coffee and brainstorm ideas for Inola’s growth and development. For these particular gatherings, Carolyn has put up a large dry erase board to jot down ideas, facts and figures. Carolcells has been the location for several planning sessions as of late, including the Paint Inola Green Citywide Garage Sale (held every year in March), Inola Hayday, and Inola’s Christmas Parade.
In the shop portion of Carolcells, one will immediately notice Carolyn’s sewing machine set up in one corner, surrounded by the handmade sock monkey toys that Carolyn is known for. Not only does she take orders for and sell these monkeys, but she offers space and materials for party rentals based on the theme. “Sock monkeys are very popular with young girls – we almost sold out at our last craft show,” Carolyn says. “A make-your-own-sock-monkey theme is great for a girl’s birthday party.” She offers room rental for other types of parties as well, with a reasonable fee covering space and supplies.
Carolyn worked for many years as a postal clerk at the downtown Tulsa post office, but since her retirement, she has turned her attention from this nationally focused organization to the growth and preservation of her own small hometown. In the past few years, she has done all kinds of things to raise money for and interest in Inola, everything from becoming involved with Project Chicks, a local quilting and fellowship group that meets every Tuesday evening at the Inola library, to picking up and selling over 100 pounds of pecans. One of her main desires is to form an Inola investment group that will dedicate itself to training young people and putting empty buildings in historical downtown Inola to good use.
“I have so many ideas and goals for Inola, but there is not enough of me to go around,” she says with a laugh. “I’m looking to network with others who are enthusiastic about our town.”