Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt officially declared today "Small Business Saturday," encouraging people to shop local during the holiday season.
Marymar Fudge owns Dead People’s Stuff, an architectural antiques and design store in Oklahoma City’s Ironworks District.
The 40,000 square-foot store has everything from light fixtures, door knockers and even toilets, most all reclaimed from buildings set to be destroyed.
“Doors are our number one seller here,” Fudge said.
The store has nearly anything a homeowner, builder or designer could need.
It even has an “estate in a box.” It’s a 1773 English Country Manor that has been shipped to the United States, piece by piece.
“There’s about 40 other containers waiting in an airport,” Fudge said.
Fudge and her husband Curran took over the shop in 2018.
“It’s been fun,” she said. “It’s been ups and downs, just trying to figure it out, me and my husband. There are things that work and there are things that don’t work.”
Part of being a small business owner in 2019 includes navigating online sales. Fudge said posting the reclaimed items online is part of their intake process.
She said the shop has four employees and provides a space for two other small businesses, selling plants and woodwork.
“All of the hard work that we have put into our shops, to try to really make the city a better place,” Fudge said. “We have a lot of people who have been our customers for a long time, and we appreciate them so much.”
They said they aren't done making their slice of the city a better place.
“We are trying to develop this area,” she said. “We are trying to see if we can bring a restaurant or a brewery or something like that here and just make it a fun area. It’s a really unique area. We love being here.”
Perhaps their biggest reward is seeing their repurposed items across the city.
“We see them all around town,” Fudge said. “And we are like ‘oh that was here. We got that from here,’ and it’s fun. We are like, ‘oh, that’s dead people’s stuff.’”
According to the Small Business Administration, just more than half of all Oklahomans in the workforce work for small businesses.