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Tecumseh resident owns Make It Yours Store

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Owner of the Make It Yours Store Leslie Ferrin with artist and White Dove Gallery owner Penny Coates in Ferrin's store.
The Make It Yours Store is located at 115 N Broadway Street in Tecumseh.
The Make It Yours Store is located at 115 N Broadway Street in Tecumseh.

In a seemingly small storefront on Broadway Street in Tecumseh is Make It Yours Store, a place with various rooms where local artisans can open their own mini businesses and sell different items.

According to owner Leslie Ferrin, the Make It Yours Store is a treasure trove of random and unique products.

"The Make It Yours Store is kind of a community store where we allow local artists and crafters to sell their goods on consignment and we also take a lot of antiques," Ferrin said. "It's kind of an eclectic mixture of different styles."

The Tecumseh resident said her store has a little bit of everything, including jewelry, paintings, metal outdoor art and much more.

Ferrin said she opened the store about three years ago with a friend of hers after they both retired from the workforce.

"We were going into retirement and we both wanted to do something different than what we were doing," Ferrin said.

The business owner explained her friend worked in oil and gas and Ferrin worked for OG&E for several years.

Ferrin said 10 years ago she owned another store in Guthrie but it was difficult to run it and work at OG&E.

However, Ferrin said, after retirement she and her friend migrated their new store to Tecumseh and purchased the building to get a new start.

These days, Ferrin said she runs the Make It Yours Store with her husband, Mark.

For Ferrin, the best aspect of owning her own business is being her own boss.

While she loves working for herself, Ferrin said it can be challenging to have enough time to do everything one must do when owning a business.

She said the Make It Yours Store provides various services to the community.

"We do customized flower arrangements and customized drink ware," Ferrin said. "We're kind of just one of those stores where you come in and tell us what you're looking to do (and) we help you get there one way or another."

Ferrin said because there are about 10 different talented artisans selling merchandise in her store, it's pretty easy to find someone who can do a certain service for a customer.

"It's just kind of a different store. It's more of a service store where not only can you buy hand-built items, we can also do them for you," Ferrin said.

In addition, Ferrin said the store is also known as "The Healing Place" as people are welcome to come and enjoy community and kindness.

"We do a lot of community service. Just trying to help each other out and make life better," Ferrin said. "Spiritually, physically and mentally. Life is hard enough as it is."

The Tecumseh resident said at first the Make It Yours Store was going to be an art gallery but over time it evolved to what it is today.

"We've just expanded into do a little bit of everything," Ferrin said.

Recently, Ferrin said the Make It Yours Store expanded as one of her longtime artisans, Penny Coates, opened an art gallery next to MIYS.

"She put in another shop because she had so much stuff that we (just) wanted to expand the store and make it one big conglomerate," Ferrin said.

According to Coates, her art gallery is called White Dove Gallery and it contains a variety of art of hers and Native American artists.

"I have five artists. Myself and four other artists have merchandise in there," Coates said. "Everybody has their favorite things and we all do a variety."

Coates said she is excited to be a part of the Make It Yours Store on such a much larger scale.

"(I'm looking forward) to being a part of the community and hopefully seeing Tecumseh expand down Broadway and having a little art community," Coates said.

Ferrin said Tecumseh and surrounding communities have responded well to her store.

"It was a little slow getting started but once we really started with the outdoor metal art business picked up," Ferrin said. "We put it outside and it's an eye catcher."

During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Ferrin said the store had to shut down for a little while but since then there haven't really been any problems.

"Folks come in. They usually wear their masks when they come. We really haven't had any issues with COVID-19," Ferrin said. "We don't really get big crowds in here."

Ferrin said the Make It Yours Store encourages people to wear masks and socially distance when possible.

"I just try to be as considerate in that area as I can," Ferrin said.

Going forward, Ferrin said she and Mark hope to continue expanding the Make It Yours Store.

"We also own a couple of other buildings and in September we're going to open another store on the other side of Bob's Barbershop," Ferrin said. "To promote the outdoor metal work."

The Make It Yours Store is located at 115 N. Broadway Street and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information visit the Make It Yours Store Facebook page.