Tulsa's Airway Variety Closing Its Doors Next Month

Wednesday, August 3rd 2011, 4:11 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Mom and Pop variety stores are getting harder to find. Many of these types of stores are finding it hard to compete with the big box stores and the national chains.

Despite that, I found one in east Tulsa but if you'd like to stop by you'd better hurry.

Airway Variety at 8888 East Admiral Place is selling out, everything from live birds to tiny beads, even the building is for sale.

"This is what it looked like when we bought it," said Helvia Knight, Airway Variety owner.

Knight and her husband had a dream to expand their Ben Franklin store into a larger arts and crafts and variety store. So they built Airway Variety, 12,000 square feet of nearly everything.

Folks would say if you can't find it at Airway, you don't need it.

"That's what the customers would tell us," said Helvia Knight.

It's a little like Hobby Lobby before there was Hobby Lobby.

Knight's daughter Darlene Singleton helped us find our way.

From the wedding aisle to quilting supplies and gravy mix, you can't find that at Hobby Lobby. They even have flowers and birds. Some would say they are really loud birds, along with bird cages and bird supplies.

They've been at this for more than 40 years, but failing health is forcing Knight to call it quits.

"We'd like to be closed by September, but we have a lot of stuff left in the store," said Helvia Knight.

You've find a little bit of everything in this store.

"Yes we do," said Helvia Knight.

Getting rid of it all's quite a project.

"It's gonna take a while," said Helvia Knight.

The Knight's told Rick Wells they'd like to be closed by September, but there is so much of everything left to sell a closing date is hard to predict.