Jan Markey Gifts, a Tulsa landmark in the same location for 40 years, is celebrating its 40th anniversary Wednesday, Oct. 5.
“This is a business started and run by women,” says current owner Judy Parker. “The four other women who have run Jan Markey Gifts have a common philosophy of ‘Service for the People’.”
Jan Markey opened her shop in Holiday Hills (now Kings Pointe Village) in 1965 during the Vietnam War. She and her mother captured the hearts of the community with their unique gift shop. Coffee was served in Wedgwood demitasse cups in the middle of the shop with table and chairs as a social place for the neighborhood.
“There were no ‘drop-in’ customers,” says Jan Markey. “They came with the intent to shop for that particular person or occasion. Many times the neighborhood women would bring cakes to say thank you for being there.”
After the first year, Pitney Bowles approached Markey with the idea of a mailing service. She decided to add this service which became an interesting and busy endeavor when they had to deliver packages to the Post Office by their personal car with trips three to four times a day. Markey says her husband even took a week of vacation during Christmas to just transport these packages.
The shop contained gifts for any person, any room in the house, occasion, personal, family needs plus greeting cards individually selected.
Markey sold the store, which now had a full service post office, in 1970 to Melita Ferrell (deceased) who ran the store until 1977.
Peggy Daughtery purchased the store from Farrell in 1977 and owned the shop through 1999. Daughtery’s tenure with the shop brought a change in location within the shopping center and a larger store. Jan Markey Gifts was among only four stores in the shopping center to survive the “oil bust.” Part of the stores tenacity could be attributed to the loyalty of the part-time staff, five of whom worked for the store 17 years each.
Blenna Hoenig purchased the store in 1999 and continued to carry on the tradition of unique and unusual gift merchandise. In 2000, the shopping center owners upgraded the center and changed the name to Kings Pointe Village. Jan Markey Gifts was moved to the front of the Center facing Yale. The store remained the same but with a new flair of vignettes enhancing the merchandise to give the customer an idea of how it might be used in the home.
Judy Parker purchased the store in 2004 and is carrying on the Jan Markey Gifts tradition. The store continues to serve as a full service Post Office and a great place to shop and boasts excellent customer service. Customers have suggested the name “Temptation” might be more appropriate for the store – so much to see and not enough time to catch it all when shopping.
Jan Markey Gifts – at Tulsa tradition and landmark for that special gift for all occasions or something to make anyone feel special.