Made in Oklahoma Holiday Guide | 2018
This holiday season, find a unique, Oklahoma-made gift for everyone on your list. Here are some of OKL’s favorite 2018 MIO gifts!
1. For the foodie | Dale Rogers Training Center
Those searching for a delicious gift that supports a good cause may find what they are looking for at Oklahoma City’s Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC).
The non-profit organization is the state’s largest vocational training program for people with disabilities, employing over 1,100 Oklahomans.
DRTC partners with Edmond-based Cedar Hills Seasonings to create unique spice kits and dip mixes. A popular gift item is the Prairie Spices set which includes four multipurpose seasonings: Prairie Blend Seasoned Salt, Okie Onion, Oklahoma Heat Peppermill Blend, and Garlic Gusher. Those who work at DRTC pour the spices into the containers, help with labeling, and package the spices in a custom box. Each spice kit comes with a recipe and a note from one of the DRTC clients. The Prairie Spices set sells for $22. Shop online or at the gift shop on DRTC’s main campus, located at 2501 N. Utah in Oklahoma City.
“If you’re looking for something unique that gives back, we certainly fit that,” says James Helm, DRTC public relations coordinator. “All items in our gift shop are made or packaged by people with disabilities.”
2. For the cook | For His Glory Cutting Boards
Woodworking has been a lifelong passion for Broken Arrow resident, Rob McKnight. Seven years ago, he decided to do woodwork on a part-time basis; two years later, it became his full-time job and For His Glory Cutting Boards was born.
“I’ve always wanted to build. I’ve been building my whole life,” McKnight says.
McKnight uses his 35 years of experience in the hardwood industry to source high-quality wood for his hand-made cutting boards. One of the most popular is the Oklahoma-shaped cutting board, which start at $17.50. McKnight can also inscribe words—and even recipes—into custom boards.
While cutting boards is in the name of the business, McKnight has expanded his offerings to include a variety of kitchen accessories: rolling pins, banana holders, lazy susans, paper towel holders, coasters and napkins holders. He also sells Chinese Checkers and Wahoo game boards.
3. For the cowboy/cowgirl | Granite Buckaroo
It won’t fit every budget, but those looking for an extravagant gift for the cowboy or cowgirl on their list might find what they’re looking for at the Granite Buckaroo.
Owner Tom Lamprey, a Lake Region Electric Cooperative member, creates hand-made saddles out of his shop in Tahlequah. What sets his saddles apart is the fact that each saddle tree—the wooden structure inside the saddle—is handmade.
“I’m unique in a way because in terms of saddle makers who make custom trees, I’m probably one of 25 in the country doing that,” Lamprey says.
Scott Reed, a Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative member, adds, “Saddle manufacturers typically order their saddle trees. It’s very rare to find someone who has the talent to come out and measure the horse and make the tree.”
Contact Lamprey for custom pricing.
4. For the fashion lover | Painted Pony Design Co.
Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Shannen McCroskey developed a passion for agriculture. That interest compelled her to study Agricultural Communications at Oklahoma State University. The graphic design and photography skills she gained there, combined with her love for fashion, led her to start her own business. Painted Pony Design Co. is a western graphic t-shirt company. Shirts, featuring McCroskey’s original artwork and photography, are designed with the Okie in mind. All shirts are created, printed and shipped in Oklahoma.
“I started it as a hobby. I was surprised that others wanted to wear them too,” McCroskey, a Poteau resident says. “It’s still special to me every time I go into town and see someone wearing one of my designs.”
Painted Pony Design shirts are available on her website and at boutiques throughout the state. Shirts range from $15 to $30.
5. For the coffee lover | Simple Modern
When three long-time friends saw a need for high-quality drinkware at an affordable price, Simple Modern was born. The trio leveraged their backgrounds in e-commerce to create a successful brand, headquartered in Norman on Oklahoma Electric Cooperative lines.
For the coffee enthusiast on your Christmas list, the new Scout line of 12- and 18-ounce drink containers will keep the beverage hot as long as it needs to be—at least 8 hours. The 24-ounce Summit bottle is ideal for cold beverages and will keep them cool for 24 hours. University licensed drinkware is also popular.
“We have the largest selection of colors in the industry, which means you can get something that really fits someone’s personality,” Simple Modern Chief Sales Officer Carson Rock says. “It’s also important to us to support the local community. We give 10 percent of our profit to charity.”
Simple Modern drinkware starts at $11.99 and is available at Target, Sam’s Club, Amazon, and SimpleModern.com.
6. For the gardener | Smart Pots
A gift for gardeners of all skill levels, Smart Pots are the original fabric aeration container—made right here in Oklahoma. In 1984, the company created the product with commercial tree farmers in mind. Today the Smart Pot is available in various sizes for home gardeners and can be used in the same way as a plastic or ceramic pot would; they are ideal for container gardening.
Karen Murphy, director of marketing, explains one advantage of a Smart Pot, compared to a traditional pot, is that plants “air prune” when the root comes in contact with the side of the pot. This means the root stops growing and instead creates smaller root systems. As a result, the plant creates a more fibrous root structure, which nurtures bigger, healthier plants with greater fruit yield.
Smart Pots are available online and at many local garden centers. Pots start at $2.95.
7. For the philanthropist | the Gift of Light
Not technically made in Oklahoma, the gift of light enables linemen and others from Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives to take first-time electricity to those living in rural Guatemala. If the person on your list already has everything, a donation to the Oklahoma Energy Trails Foundation made on their behalf would be a thoughtful way to bless someone in need this holiday season.
“By giving the gift of light, you will empower a family in another part of the world with the opportunities made possible through access to electricity,” says OKL editor and Energy Trails team member Anna Politano.