PRYOR, OK —
An hour from everywhere, Kathy's Place in Adair is a perfect shopping destination.
“We're an hour from Tulsa, an hour from Joplin and an hour from Muskogee,” said owner Kathy Hipp, who's happy to be right in the middle, bringing big city shopping to Adair.
Hipp goes out of her way to ensure the store is stocked with unique items and things lacking in the Adair area.
She started the business seven years ago, after making a major career change.
“I started my career at 17 working with people with disabilities, I was an interpreter for the deaf, “ said Hipp. “I worked in vocational and residential as an interpreter.”
After 30 years in that field, Hipp said she needed a change.
Newly married with a house full of kids, Hipp found herself buying a house in Adair.
“This business was for sale, so we bought it. I had no idea what I was doing,” said Hipp, who seems to have figured it out along the way.
Hipp said the store stocks western and lodge home décor items, rustic furniture, jewelry, purses, unique gifts and flower arrangements.
“I'm a believer that if something comes your way it's meant to be,” said Hipp of her business venture.
Hipp is passionate about her community and devoted to giving them a great place to shop.
“I attend a floral class every quarter and always try to find something fun and different to bring back to Adair. We also have local people that sell from here,” Hipp said.
Kathy's place doesn't charge the local artisans and vendors a commission. As a result, there is a constant rotation of one-of-a-kind local wares.
Right now the store is featuring items from Horsein Around, a vendor Hipp said just started and has already received phone orders from Texas.
Hipp said she is invested in the community and wants to see it do well.
“I have a student in Adair Schools. My husband is on the town council and is working on CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certification,” said Hipp who is originally from Tulsa but loves the small-town relationships in Adair.
“We know the people here, we enjoy that. It's a charming town and everybody knows everybody, which is great for kids,” said Hipp, who went on to say that living in Adair feels like a constant family gathering.
Hipp puts a lot of effort into stocking unique items, going so far as to check out shops within a 30-mile radius to avoid redundancies.
“We are with 1-800- Flowers and we're the preferred florist in the area. We do fresh cut flowers or silk arrangements,” said Hipp.
She said the arrangements are all customizable.
Coming into the holiday season, Hipp reminded shoppers she creates and delivers centerpieces and other decorative arrangements. To make shopping even easier, the store delivers gift items as well.
“Honestly my favorite part is delivery. I love to deliver flowers because you get to see someone's face light up. You deliver to a grandmother, a mother or a young girl and you can see their eyes light up and their whole day brighten,” said Hipp, who does deliveries with the help of her husband.
Hipp is proud of her prices as well.
“Some of our western items are cheaper than Drysdales. We have girls that come shop in here, especially for watches, who tell me ours are cheaper than Drysdales,” said Hipp.
Holiday shoppers are also encouraged to take advantage of the store's 90-day layaway plan.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, the store launches a 25-percent-off sale that continues until Christmas Eve, perfect for local shoppers.
“After the first of the year we're going to have some changes. We're going to have a lot of unique yard art,” said Hipp.
The store is open from 9 a.m until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“But I know people are busy, especially going into the holidays. If someone is coming in after work and calls me and says they can't make it until 6, I don't mind coming over and opening up the store. Or if someone needs a great gift on a Saturday I'll come over here and open for them,” said Hipp. “That's the advantage of living in a small town.”