Hi everyone! Welcome back to Around Edmond. I am in final production for our 8th Annual Romantic Edmond issue of the magazine and am excited to get it to the printer! And, I’m excited to get back to blogging, after taking a brief hiatus after doing so every week for 8 years about what is happening around our town, if only for a fresh perspective. To start off, if you have any of the below items, please take them to 525 N. Jackson Ave just east of Boulevard tomorrow if you can, for one of the families that lost everything in today’s north Edmond wildfire:
In taking this hiatus and over the last two months I’ve been quietly traveling around Edmond enjoying all it has to offer, but also visiting our neighbors in the different OKC districts. My opinion below is just that, after years of reading and hearing negativity about Edmond, and based on a period of extreme change in OKC, it was a welcome opportunity for me to observe and really see what is happening not only in our town but around it. I had heard of negative instances around our town from quite a few readers regarding retail experiences, and this bummed me out as I know so many more positive business owners.
I also wanted to know why residents of Edmond are leaving Edmond often to spend time in the surrounding OKC “districts”. My only observation was based on my personal visits to these districts. I noticed how these business owners made their customers “feel” – warm, invited, and appreciated. In. Every. Single. Instance. Not just a few.
This blog is not meant to be construed by anyone as my feeling superior at all, and is only meant to offer my opinion after observing Edmond business and resident behavior over the last 12 years. Hopefully this blog will bring about conversation and hopefully bring about positive change regarding a large amount of Edmond residents who are currently experiencing the feeling of exclusiveness that a small part of the local business community exudes. Edmond has so many small business owners that are service and quality oriented, and because of how large Edmond is becoming, it’s truly hard to know where to find them, as they aren’t all located in the same area.
I wanted to see what the differences were in the OKC districts, as compared to Edmond, to answer my “why” regarding the different feeling you get in each city. A sense of community between the different OKC business districts and the small business to business friendliness toward each other was one of the most important and visually obvious takeaways I came back with, and between all of the districts combined in OKC. They all seem to want their neighboring and competing businesses to not only survive, but thrive, and they cheer each other on like nothing I’ve witnessed since moving to Oklahoma 12 years ago. This is not only obvious on social media, but also in person. This translates into genuine joy when residents visit these districts and their individual businesses located within.
Edmond living is different from living in the urban core, for certain. More and more, Edmond residents are looking for places to dine, entertain themselves and shop that make them feel great and connected and offer more of an experience rather than just another sales transaction.
This last year, online shopping was also a real thing that hurt a lot of our local businesses and this trend caused a decline of sales tax revenue collections and this happened metro wide, not only in Edmond, so the need for more friendly, personable business to consumer activity seemed to be absolutely required.
This instance of convenience over connection for residents sounds great when we as residents are busy, but in reality it isn’t a great thing.
After you’ve received your products on your porch almost instantly, you’ve missed the personalized experience many businesses offered, and the city and you lose out because your city sales taxes go toward paying for city services like the police and fire departments and more.
There also didn’t seem to be any entity that had any message of community connectivity that was put out to the public this last holiday season that was noticeable to the public where they are i.e. online using their mobile devices besides EdmondActive, but only one that was prompting shopping in a specific locale. With more people getting their information online through their mobile devices, this surprised even me, after EdmondActive has spent the last 8 years online at Facebook and Twitter and after the last 5 years we’ve spent at Instagram giving information to residents about what’s new, shopping, dining and entertainment options and giving information about and covering events and people locally. As competitive as the marketer’s coming after Edmond businesses’ marketing dollars from other cities, I would have thought one or more of them would have done more of this online.
In OKC, there were the Holiday Pop Up Shops, the Pop Up Shops at Myriad Gardens and, they have the Industry Flea and more that promote unity and support for small businesses within their communities, as well as their overwhelming support for local artisans, that clearly highlight their wares and offering residents of all metro communities a unique gift buying experience that also benefit the brick and mortar business owners in bringing their physical locations to light, and in fact also benefiting the OKC’s sales tax revenue collection. Edmond missed out on some of this by not connecting to residents online except for basic city information.
In Edmond, the general feeling I found when I spoke to residents was that certain businesses had no feeling of warmth, connectivity, or desire to do business with more than regular customers.
Citizen’s Bank of Edmond’s Heard on Hurd certainly has been a bright star in that area here during the last 3 years in Edmond every March through October with their monthly community festival in Downtown Edmond that highlights locally owned businesses, local musicians and local food trucks. There hasn’t been a single event where it didn’t feel community oriented and that residents didn’t feel welcomed. If you haven’t been yet, try it out this season!
EdmondActive advertisers very much want to connect and get to know Edmond residents and they do so every day, not only on Small Business Saturday, or due to specialized sales events. EdmondActive always tries to help get the word out about their services/wares and products through its social networks, in hopes that these businesses will not only thrive but also that they may help create a sense of community within our town, to which gives a feeling of connectedness. There are so many more super friendly, helpful businesses that are a pleasure to visit past our advertisers, and I just wished residents would get out and support them, before they are gone or worse, move to another metro community, as some have done in the past.
This feeling is missing in parts of the Edmond small business arena, and that connection has to be genuine to be “felt” by residents, if small business owners want residents loyalty. A Facebook sponsored post without the feeling a business actually wants to do business with Edmond residents won’t keep people returning to your business if they feel an aggressive, competitive or rude atmosphere while visiting your brick and mortar store. They’ll only return if they are made to feel their choice to try local business made them “feel” good about that choice, and make customers less likely to continue to shop online or just visit Target, etc. where they know the experience will be without any feeling of exclusiveness or judgment, but rather quick, to the point and in the process, impersonal.
I’ve recently found some thoughtful new business owners understanding this dynamic here in Edmond, and who I believe are bound to be as successful as some of the longstanding favorites that have been in Edmond for decades! Be sure to follow EdmondActive at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for information on what’s new around Edmond!
Crest comes to North/NE Edmond!
Yesterday, we posted a repost from Crest Grocery Stores stating their 9th and newest location would be at Sooner and Covell Rd. come late 2017 early 2018. Resident response has been tremendous, and seeing how happy people were to be able to support a locally owned grocery store is very encouraging.
525 Realty Group shines during this year’s Oklahoma Home & Garden Show
My husband and myself had a chance to sneak out to this year’s Oklahoma Home & Garden Show on Sunday. It was a packed event, with not only visitors but vendor’s. Edmond’s own 525 Realty Group was on hand to offer information about the lending process, and buying and selling homes. It was great to see so many take interest, and this should be a definite go to booth to visit at the next show!
New Development at Spring Creek just north of Spring Creek Plaza up for vote in April
I have read some of the dissent from Lydia Lee and Dan O’Neil regarding the Spring Creek project, that would include high end apartments along with a high end grocery store, restaurants, and retail spaces. You will all have the chance to vote on this project in April, due to the reasoning from the opposition being mostly because of traffic among other concerns. What I understood from a post dated January 21st at the Edmond Neighborhood Alliance’s Facebook page, was a little more in depth and that Lydia Lee is unhappy because neighboring additions were not consulted about the process and development as they had been a decade or so ago when the property was first purchased.
This project has the potential of offering upscale living that does not require yard maintenance, which appears to be lacking in Edmond, and is a great starting point for upwardly mobile young professionals as well, offers another living option for couples without children and young empty nesters. The apartments will offer 324 or so units and the entire project will be a living center that appears to be beneficial to our community by offering more dining options, and more national level retailers, and ultimately more sales tax revenue for the City. And yes, I love all things local, but even the most local of business owners or opposers of this project also shop at their local Walmart or Target, as I suspect every single one of us does at one point or another, having more dining, entertainment and shopping options certainly has to be a plus to our community rather than see the opportunities pass on to another area community who will benefit.
Shop Edmond News
If it has been awhile since you have visited Emory Anne Interiors, be sure to get in to visit Anne
There is lots of new decor, art and gifts for Valentine’s Day arriving daily from Market orders. If you’ve never been, this store really is a one stop shop for home decor, kitchen and dish ware, bedding and window treatments, design services, holiday decor and gifts, unique and fresh office supplies and furniture, and they always offer free gift wrap and delivery for a fee.
Serendipity Market is a vendor’s market located at 917 E Danforth Rd, next to Ted’s and is open
Stop by Thursday for more about what is happening around Edmond, as I have realized daily blogs are not possible at the moment with producing a magazine and handling our social feeds for over 27,500 residents 😀