Last summer, I road tripped with Independent We Stand to visit local retailers along a route from Detroit to Boston, helping celebrate and spread awareness of small businesses of all kinds, including hardware and home improvement stores.
This week, I headed out again with three representatives from Independent We Stand, an organization that encourages shopping local. I reunited with Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand, Tara Mazallera, community manager for the organization, and videographer Scott Sonneberg for what we’re calling The Great American Route 66 Road Trip.
Day 1: Oklahoma City
On March 13, I arrived in Oklahoma City, excited for the first stop of the trip, which was scheduled for the following day.
We stayed at the Colcord Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, which is listed as one of the Historic Hotels of America. The building was constructed in 1910 and details in its architecture you don’t find too often today. The original marble still is featured in the columns and walls of the main lobby.
Monday morning, we hit the road around 8 a.m. to start our day. Our first visit was to Richards Car Care Tire Pros, and then we headed to Bob Moore Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to speak with the local owners and hear about their involvement in their community.
Around noon, we headed to an area in Oklahoma City called the Stockyards, which is a public livestock market that opened in 1910 and today is the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market.
We ate lunch at the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, where we enjoyed chatting with Pam Shelton, executive director of Stockyards City Main Street. Shelton talked about unique events Stockyards City hosts, such as Wines of the West, which features several wineries from all over Oklahoma, and the Stockyards Stampede, which happens in October. For the stamped, cattle run down the street, attracting an audience of locals and tourists, too.
The business owners we met were excited about our mission to support local businesses and encourage community members to shop at their stores rather than at big boxes.
We haven’t had the chance to visit any hardware or home improvement retailers just yet, but we will soon.