Plenty Mercantile

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Plenty Mercantile: Shopping with purpose

by Linda Miller

In November 2012, Plenty Mercantile opened its doors and encouraged shoppers to come in and discover all it has to offer. And it offers plenty – from home décor to pet items to handmade totes and so much more you never knew you wanted or needed.

While the compelling assortment makes this shop worth a visit, even more enticing is its goal – to provide lifestyle and home goods that support community, both locally and globally. It is a shop filled with products that tell a story, one of artistry, conscientious development, texture and originality.

Owners Traci Walton, Brittney Melton and Chris England stay true to their mission to educate, stimulate, bring awareness and nurture conversation about the importance of mindful shopping, as well as support the environment and community.

Plenty Mercantile in downtown Oklahoma City has become a favorite, and not just for locals. ION caught up with the owners who shared more about the store.

ION: First, what was the inspiration and concept for the mercantile?

Plenty: It was the perfect storm. Traci had just finished home schooling. Brittney had recently graduated with sustainability and entrepreneurship degrees and had been doing sustainability research for investors in Boston. Chris came with a design and branding background and had been family friends with Brittney and Traci for years. We knew we wanted to do something special — and do it the right way.

Every product has a story, and at Plenty we know the story. Each item is handpicked on its design, function and principle — and each enables us to live more intently. We fetch one-of-a-kind finds from all over the country and pair them with the latest responsibly produced goods.

From the beginning, entertaining and education were to be part of this adventure. We now have a 2,000-square-foot event venue on our rooftop and offer interactive workshops ranging from Manners Class to Floral Arrangements and Wine and Chocolate Pairings to Cocktails 101.

ION: Has it been a challenge to find products that meet your criteria?

Plenty: At first, it was daunting thinking “we can only buy this way” or “we can’t buy that way,” but we’ve actually opened ourselves up to goods that are much more unique and original by requiring a certain set of characteristics. The hunt has been prosperous. We’ve connected with makers across the world that have seen their idea become something tangible and each craftsman or company we find is even more connected to others like themselves. We get to celebrate that.

ION: What most surprises shoppers?

Plenty: Our goal is to show how mindful living can be both sophisticated and beautiful. People are often surprised when they realize all of our goods are either environmentally or socially responsible in some manner. With a 3,200-square-foot retail space, we’re able to showcase the recent leaps in aesthetic and design of sustainable lifestyle goods.

ION: Great name. How did it come about?

Plenty: The word “PLENTY” was spotted by one of our founders on the binding of a cookbook many years ago and it stuck. When the discussion started brewing, the word entirely embodied what we were trying to capture. We hardly considered another name. When we hear the word “plenty,” it’s a heartfelt feeling of fullness, one that can’t be touched by things.

ION: What drew you to Automobile Alley in downtown Oklahoma City?

Plenty: What didn’t? We pulled up to 807 N. Broadway in our 1957 red Chevy pick-up with our logo already on it and fell in love with the facade, the open floor concept, and of course, the massive warehouse. Little did we know, the building was the first home of the Oklahoma City Scott Chevrolet Dealership when Automobile Alley was in its heyday. We took that as a sign.

AA has blown us away. The camaraderie and the support of business owners, tenants, building owners and shoppers is just impressive. We have out-of-town guests comment on this area and the “energy” they can feel downtown — and we swear it gets even better every single day.

ION: How has the response been since you opened?

Plenty: We’ve been utterly blessed. We opened the day before Thanksgiving 2012 and dove straight into holiday season with the support of this city. We’ve met the best people this year. We’ve grown to know families and guests have become friends. It must be those yellow doors, they attract the kindest people. Oklahoma City has a distinct sense of community. We’ve been gratefully welcomed into it.

ION: Anything new in the works this year?

Plenty: Yes! We debuted our rooftop event space late fall of last year and have been gearing up for quite a year. Several workshops are on the calendar and we are accepting reservations for private gatherings and weddings. The 2013 rooftop events were incredibly charming and we’re looking forward to sharing more “big moments” with our guests.

We will soon be extending our crop of goods to remote guests. The process of launching our e-commerce capability for select items is underway. This year we’ve shipped goods to all parts of our nation – and even other countries. We’re excited to remain engaged with our visitor guests and add to the ease of shopping local.

For more information, call 888-7470 or go online to plentymercantile.com.

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