By: Jim Butcher | Category: Retail | Issue: August 2015
Perhaps the most unique and interesting furniture store in Oklahoma can be found in Bixby with father and son owners, Clinton Taylor Sr. and Clinton Jr., shown with specially created horses at The Refuge Lifestyle.
Big change is coming to eastern Oklahoma’s unique southwest and western furniture store, The Refuge Lifestyle, located in Bixby at 7600 E. 151st St.
The Taylor family-owned store is closing its second location in South Tulsa at 71st Street and Hwy. 169. “Our lease ran out,” Clinton Taylor Sr. explained, “and we’re taking advantage of this opportunity to make some big changes to our Bixby store.”
The Taylors are negotiating to purchase the Bixby property, which they have been renting for three years. Once completed, Clinton Sr. plans to physically expand the store eastward and include a much larger showroom to provide their growing customer base a unique collection of outdoor furniture.
“That’s only the beginning,” he said. “I do have more plans for the expansion, such as a loft, but we’ll let those unfold. For three years, we have been bringing new furniture designs and home décor that nobody has really seen in this area. As a result, we bring customers into the Bixby area from surrounding states that love our unique, special furniture and home décor items.”
Clinton Jr. put it a different way. “Our store – The Refuge Lifestyle – is a destination store. Our customers are coming to Bixby to shop here, and we will do our best to serve them properly.” The store focuses on providing unique, elegant rustic furniture, much of which can be obtained only from the Taylors, who can add special design to an item.
“Got an idea of something special you’ve dreamed about for your home? Talk to us and we’ll do everything we can to make your dream come true. That’s what we are here for,” said Clinton Jr. Another way of describing what their store is all about can be said in one word: “Wow!” Both the father and son said they hear that quite often from first-time visitors.
“Atmosphere is what we are all about,” said Clinton Jr. “We are not one of those ‘big box’ stores. We will bend over backwards to satisfy our customers, and that is why we have a lot of repeat customers and referrals.” For those wanting special financing, “That’s no problem,” he added. “And we can ship an item to any place in the country and have your gift item delivered for you.”
Another change will be the leaving of Clinton Jr. with his family to another state, along with a new job of bringing his design ideas and experience to the manufacturer. He and his wife, Robin, who have three children, have been major players in the operations of both stores. They will continue to have input in the existing store.
Clinton Taylor Sr. established the furniture store with much of the furniture crafted by his own hands. With his long-standing relationships with large, well-known manufacturers like Green Cables, Woodland Creek and other furniture makers across the country, customers can find that unique, elegant rustic piece they’ve dreamed about.
Because Internet shopping and social media play such important roles in today’s society, The Refuge Lifestyle is in-step. Inventory at the Bixby store is about five percent of what they can get for you from manufacturers, wholesalers and specialty shops across America, with hundreds of items customizable in size and color – and that’s the role of their website. The focus on the store’s website is “Exquisite Handcrafted Rustic Furniture – 100% Customizable” with hundreds of items that will totally surprise you, with elegance and sophistication satisfying many tastes.
Find The Refuge Lifestyle online at Facebook.com/TheRefugeLifestyle and Pinterest.com/RefugeLifestyle.
Jim Butcher is a retired, award-winning newspaperman who continues to write as a freelance writer and photographer. He owned the Tulsa Front Page weekly and was executive editor to Neighbor Newspapers' 13 metro newspapers. Currently, he writes for Value News and has become a paid assignment screenwriter, along with a University of Oklahoma professor who wrote Brad Pitt's first feature film. His award-winning screenplay is on the historical Osage Indian Murders of the 1920s.
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