Oklahoma, 74-76 High Street, Manchester, M4 1ES – Visit Now
Gift shop Oklahoma does mountains of kooky products – it’s still inventive even after twenty years.
So, why the name? Word is that the original owners credit their branding to an article discovered in the National Geographic – it was about “some cool, very old, Oklahoma farmers”, who they decided to name the shop after. At the time, the plan was to open up a home furnishings-only shop, and the company were after a domestic feel. “Homa” echoes “home”, as well as distinct American vibes, seeming to capture the homespun idea perfectly. Oklahoma was born (though not in the U.S.A. Sorry Springsteen).
Fish-shaped plastic pens, vintage dominoes, two-metre folding wood rulers and hand-crafted jewellery
The shop’s stock does still bear hints of this early branding. There are monochrome lamplights, a range of pottery and prints by local designers. Yet the assorted miscellany elsewhere on the shelves – including fish-shaped plastic pens, vintage dominoes, two-metre folding wood rulers and hand-crafted jewellery – introduces a new eclecticism. These more unusual products add variety and allow for a kooky shopping experience; you’ll find things you never knew you needed.
What’s most appealing about Oklahoma is the intriguing stock in its chaotic interior. Having been open for over 20 years, this shop knows rather more about tradition than some of its more modern counterparts. This is tradition that doesn’t stand still: while its décor and products all change, Oklahoma has certainly maintained that “homa” feel.