Greater Tulsa Reporter
I AM ME: Courtney Harris has set out to provide Tulsans with a unique boutique in the middle of South Tulsa. Harris owns I Am Me boutique located at 71st Street and Mingo Road in the Wembley Center. Harris’ shop offers women’s clothing, home décor items, purses and jewelry.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
Courtney Harris was ready for a new adventure. As a mother of five children, she had been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. Before that, she worked as a realtor and mortgage broker and for herself in various ventures. “I have always had an entrepreneurial mind,” she says. “I have cooked, sewn, knitted, crocheted, altered clothing, painted.”
As her children, one by one, have entered school, she found herself with extra time that she was ready to fill with a business.
Her original dream has always been to own and run a coffee shop but a boutique was a close second on her list. “With three girls, I like the idea of growing the store into a family business and teaching my children the ethics of business and customer service,” she says.
So Harris went looking for store locations. Although a few plans fell through along the way, she finally moved into her storefront at 71st Street and Mingo Road, with her South Tulsa home around the corner.
Harris was born and raised in Kansas but attended school in Tulsa and has family here, so she was happy to return to Tulsa with her family. “I have always thought of Tulsa as home,” Harris says. “It’s got a good blend of people and backgrounds. After we finished our bout of traveling for my husband’s work, our goal was to end up here.”
Harris has a number of plans and hopes for her shop, called I Am Me.
Taking a hint from its name, Harris’ shop embraces uniqueness. I Am Me offers home décor items, handbags and jewelry but her emphasis is on women’s clothing that shoppers won’t find elsewhere.
The idea of individuality is one that Harris wants all of her children to have. “I want my kids to learn to stand tall and to be themselves. I hope my children learn to be unique and different and not be part of a crowd.”
Harris also wants to make sure her store offers something for everyone no matter the size or budget. “I want customers to feel like they can walk into the shop in any shape or form and know there is something in here for them. And I want any family to be able to walk in and pay the prices. It’s not high end.”
Harris’ current challenge, however, is not her stock, which is very wide ranging and stylish, but gaining attention from the community. Her store is located in Wembley Center, largely an office center.
“People come to this center for dance, education, business advertising and insurance, not necessarily to shop,” she says. “My walk-in traffic is limited.”
Therefore, Harris plans to hold a number of in-store events to, hopefully, draw a crowd.
On Nov. 8, she will host Bubbles, Bling and Botox, complete with a medical spa giving botox injections, a liquor store representative offering spirit recipes named after sports teams, makeup artists and a chocolate fountain. Ten percent of the night’s proceeds will benefit Turn Tulsa Pink.
Visit I Am Me, 7116 S. Mingo Rd., Ste. 104, open Tues.-Fri. 10-6 p.m. and Sat. 9-4 p.m.