We sell Keep it Local cards! Come in and snag your 2014 member card today for $10.

Local businesses have found their home in Oklahoma. In 2010, Keep It Local OK was born to encourage Okies and visitors to explore the unique community of locally owned businesses. Ten cities in Oklahoma are currently taking part in the Keep It Local OK campaign, giving the cities’ small shops an opportunity to become members. Local supporters can purchase the annual member card for $10 and for the entire year reap the splendid benefits of the special deals and discounts offered by the member shops. This wins more traffic and recognition for the shop and also helps support the local economy by keeping dollars circulating in the community. For every $100 spent in a local business, $73 stays in the local economy, whereas only $43 stays local with non-locally owned businesses.

Our sweet shop girl Alex organizing new shipments of goods!

Small businesses create a community in a city that is filled with unique blends of artist-made products, art, ethically-made goods and products from other small businesses nationwide. The culture created by these businesses enriches the entire city by bringing people together through shop-sponsored or hosted events, positive interactions between owners and loyal customers and the mutual support between shop owners. These businesses also keep artists, whose work is sold at the shops, supported, encouraged and promoted within the community.

One of these said shops is STASH. Originally opened in Norman in 2010, STASH has flourished as part of the Keep It Local community. The tender love and care that owner Rebecca Bean takes in the management, staffing, and stocking of the shop has impacted the Norman arts community greatly. The shop is filled with rare vintage finds, hunted by Rebecca, as well as artwork by local artists, t-shirts printed locally, fine jewelry, stationery and goods for the home. STASH is a major participant in each month’s Art Walk, opening the back room, the Annex, for musical entertainment, photobooths and camaraderie for and with Normanites. Visit the STASH Facebook page for details on those events, or see the events calendar here on the blog.

STASH has built meaningful relationships with many loyal customers, the makers of products that we carry, and with other members of the small-business Norman community. STASH regularly donates goods for raffles and giveaways at friends’ shops and businesses, and they are invested in the well-being of this rich culture in Oklahoma. Rebecca told the Keep It Local crew that the two of them were drawn to the rich culture growing in Norman and wanted to have a hand in the local arts community.

So, why local?

“Local is more sustainable, our chance to save the planet.” –Rebecca

All photos by Cassidy Cope on a Canon AE1. Story by Cassidy Cope.