Surge Of New Businesses Opening In Downtown Muskogee
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - New businesses are pouring into downtown Muskogee, and owners told News On 6, anyone else who's interested in opening their own storefront better act quickly.
The downtown area looks completely different now than it did even two years ago. Since that time, 22 new businesses have opened. Lola's Living has been open in the area for about a year, and so far, business is good.
"Sometimes I think I'm already growing out of this little space!" owner Stephanie Flusche said.
The store is named after Lola the English bulldog ("We lost her in October, had her 11 years. She was my best friend.")
But now it's Stella who rules the roost. Stella is almost always patrolling the studio--helping Flusche sell hand-painted signs or helping customers paint one themselves.
"People are like, 'I didn't know this was here!'" Flusche said. "They'll walk by and I'll open the door like, 'Hey! I saw you looking in. Wanna know what we do?'"
Stacy Burns owns Hattie's House and a whole little strip of boutiques along Main Street in Muskogee.
"Oh my gosh, it's changed tremendously," she said.
Burns said she hopes to restore her little piece of downtown to its former glory.
"When I grew up here, this was the area to shop," she said.
In the past two years, the Main Street Muskogee organization tells me close to two dozen new businesses have moved in.
"I think it just kinda boosted the morale of Muskogee in general, and we needed that," Burns said.
She said many buildings that are vacant now won't be empty for long.
"Just makes you feel good about what you're doing for your community," Burns said. "We're extremely proud to be part of the downtown movement."
For downtown business owners, those two simple words are what it's all about: community and pride.
"I honestly consider this whole group right through here a family," Flusche said. "We just rely on each other."