Tulsa's HippyGift.com connection
Wednesday, May 15th 2002, 12:00 am
News On 6
The "Hippie" culture was anything but business and retailing. But HippyGift.com, that's a whole other story.
News on Six business reporter Steve Berg introduces us to a recent OSU grad who's proving his "wirth". "James" Wirth got the idea for HippyGift after helping other people design business web sites. "And I kind of critiqued that and decided then instead of telling people how it should be done, I should do it myself."
The web site venture proved so successful that now, at the ripe old age of 23, when most of his peers are shopping at the mall, Wirth has opened a HippyGift store in the Promenade Mall.
His brother-in-law, Kevin Love, not to be confused with the "summer of", will manage the mall version of HippyGift and says he's impressed with what James has accomplished in just two short years. "It takes a lot of commitment and persistence I think so, that's definitely impressive especially for someone who's is his early twenties."
HippyGift started with mostly with trinkets and stuffed animals. But they've evolved into larger, higher-quality items that Wirth says fills a empty niche. "It's difficult to find good modern and contemporary styled furniture and when you do, it's generally at an extreme price. And we found some really good designers and manufacturers so that we can get quality products like that at a cheap price."
Modern, contemporary, just don't call it hip. "I'll let other people say that, I don't know if I'd say that. Just the uniqueness of the products, you can't get it elsewhere in Tulsa, or even elsewhere outside of Tulsa." The unique, space-age look of the merchandise is probably appropriate for a businessman who's clearly ahead of his time.
Wirth says he's done all of this without any outside financing. When he's not working, he spends his spare time working on a law degree at the University of Tulsa.