It’s time once again to give a huge shout-out to our great Prairie Hive sponsors! We’re featuring our Winter Issue sponsors each week this month in sponsored blog posts to highlight their uniqueness to Tulsa and showcase what they do best — help us create.
This week is a relative newcomer to Tulsa — the beautiful fabric and craft shop, Owl & Drum, 2810 E. 15th St.
We asked the store’s co-owner, Bianca Howell, she created the idea for her unique shop and to describe some of the great creations locals have made with her fabrics. Here’s our Q&A:
Prairie Hive: How did you come up with the concept for your store in Tulsa?
Bianca: I had wanted to open a retail space for quite some time – I just needed the right idea, at the right time, and in the right place. And then the wheels for Owl & Drum were set in motion!
I really got into quilting and sewing in during the last five years living in Portland, Oregon. I quickly began making more and more items from recycled cotton T-shirts I would find at thrift shops – I made everything from necklaces to clothing, from pillows to curtains, from bracelets to baby blankets.
A few years ago, I decided to create the Urban Creatures line with my great friend, Carla from Portland, and since then we’ve branched out with many new designs and ideas. She’s a very talented graphic designer who came up with the cute logo and font for Owl & Drum!
There are many great crafters, quilters and seamstresses in Portland and the Pacific Northwest and I really enjoyed seeing their work, while also learning about all the fabric stores, craft fairs and guilds on the West Coast.
But I had been wanting to return to my hometown of Tulsa, where I enjoyed growing up, and thought that opening a store for like-minded people who love making arts and crafts projects would be a good idea.
I figured that Tulsans would enjoy choosing from a wide array of fabrics and finding one-of-a-kind, but affordable, gifts made largely by artisans in the city or elsewhere in Oklahoma, including skilled people in Norman, Stillwater and Broken Arrow. (I also stock some of my favorite designers in Portland, too. That town has very creative, clever crafters!)
People seem to like supporting small, independent stores, which is really encouraging. There are lots of great owner-operator stores in the Florence Park area, near our store at 15th and Delaware. There’s a great vibe in the neighborhood. Stop on by and find some unique businesses!
PH: What does Owl & Drum specialize in? And how are you filling that niche?
Bianca: We would like to become Tulsa’s “one-stop shop” for people interested in fun, beautifully designed fabrics – we have more than 160 different bolts in our Midtown store and at owlanddrum.com – and dozens of interesting handmade gifts. We also stock a lot of baby and kids’ clothing, craft books, equipment and supplies for all those cool projects that people are making at home.
We really specialize in offering a big variety of modern, 100 percent cotton fabrics for quilting and a wide variety of sewing projects. We’ve got fabrics by popular designers such as Birch, Monaluna, Kokka,Michael Miller, Moda, FreeSpirit and Alexander Henry. People love them – we have online buyers from all over the U.S. and the world!
But we are also becoming known as a friendly, relaxed place for children and adults to come and learn sewing, tatting, quilting, crocheting and craft projects. We regularly offer different types of classes – both at weekends and in the evenings.
Our local instructors are wonderful and we are adding more and more classes for the New Year as interest has grown. Recent “Pinterest Parties” at Owl & Drum have been a big hit, too, and people can learn about the next events on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/OwlandDrum. The store has become a nice gathering place for lots of people and we love seeing our regular customers come back with their friends or family. It feels like a little community of committed crafters.
PH: What are some of the most creative items that customers have made with your fabrics?
Bianca: We have so many customers doing so many different projects at home, especially now that fall is here and the holidays are fast approaching. People definitely like to make – and give – handmade gifts. They love to receive them, too.
I did recently have a customer buy some fabric to make her daughter some bedding for one of her toy dolls. I thought that was nice – that’s a pretty special doll to get its own bespoke bed linen. It must be her daughter’s most-treasured toy!
PH: What’s the secret to selecting the perfect fabric for a project?
Bianca: A lot of it comes down to what you are making. Sometimes, a garment of clothing might be nicer to make using one of our 100 percent certified organic cotton fabrics, which are becoming very popular with some of our customers, especially online buyers and young mothers in the local area. Some fabric designs lend themselves to home furnishing projects.
Of course, a lot of time it simply comes down to which style and colors people like. It’s a personal choice. And that’s the first bit of fun – picking the fabric bolt that excites you most! Then, comes the best part: making something special with your own hands -or sewing machine!
For more about the shop, visit their blog at owlanddrum.blogspot.com.
This is a paid advertised blog post. For more about Prairie Hive’s ad rates, click here!