By Sarah Kirby The Norman Transcript, Okla.
Amanda Moody and Kristen Bowen-Oravetz have been the best of friends since the fourth grade. They've shared a lot over the years: hopes, a hometown and a passion for fashion.
Since September, they've shared something more. At 13316 S. Western in Oklahoma City, it brings together all the things they have in common, as well as something that has brought out people from their community. It's brimming with chic women's clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts. They call it The Tilted Tulip.
They've actually been calling their boutique by that name for years, but they didn't realize it.
"Several years ago, before we even had a clue this was going to happen, we were just playing around with names and this one came up," Bowen-Oravetz said. "When this was actually going to happen, we came up with several others, but this was just the one that stuck."
Their boutique happened this year, taking shape when the business owners rented space for it in August. The venture is a first for Moody and Bowen-Oravetz. Moody had worked in dentistry for seven years; what she does now is a complete departure from her former career.
"This is a lot different, but I love it," Moody said. "I wanted to be my own boss, but I didn't know what it was going to be. We started talking about the boutique and we got really excited."
They cited Moody's aunt, Lorri White, who owns Whimsy Whoo in Springdale, Ark., as their inspiration for opening a boutique.
"She really helped us to get up and going," Bowen-Oravetz said. "She came down and helped us with a lot of the decorating. We always loved her store and it just was something we wanted to do. We started talking about it and just happened, so here we are."
The trio of women, as well as White's two daughters, are responsible for ordering the apparel that fills the store. Each woman tailors their respective selections to her own personal style, ensuring that women they buy for have a spectrum of options.
"Anybody could come here and find something that they like for any occasion," Bowen-Oravetz said.
The Tilted Tulip picks pieces that flatter the shape of as many women as possible, catering to women ages 25 to 55 and making them feel welcome and appreciated as soon as they walk through the door.
"We try to greet them as soon as they come through the door," Bowen-Oravetz said. "Customer service is huge to us. I know where I want to shop: somewhere I feel welcomed."
They also resolved to be honest with their customers, putting their best interests before their bottom line.
"We're not going to send you out of here if you come out of the dressing room and something doesn't look good on you," Bowen-Oravetz said. "We're going to tell you the truth and help you."
In addition to apparel, The Tilted Tulip offers an array of eye-catching gifts, including Bath Balms, which are spheres of scented bath salts that, when dissolved, reveal a surprise. They're harder to come by in the Oklahoma City metro, Bowen-Oravetz said.
"We've have several people say they had to drive far north to get that, and now they're excited that they don't have to leave our little area here," Bowen-Oravetz said.
Many of the gifts available at the boutique raise awareness for specific causes. Bowen-Oravetz said the owners are proud to offer one-of-a-kind Bracha Jewelry.
"There's no two that are exactly alike, so we love that. We like anything that's different," Bowen-Oravetz said, "but there's also a story behind that. That particular line donates 20 percent of its proceeds to help the fight against human trafficking. Not only do you get to wear an incredible, gorgeous piece of jewelry, but it's actually for a cause, as well."
Bowen-Oravetz said she hopes to let more people know about all the merchandise they have to offer.
"We're still pretty new," Bowen-Oravetz said. "We're just trying to get our name out there and let everybody know we're here, because I do think we have a lot of things to offer here."
So far, the owners have said the Moore and Oklahoma City communities have embraced their boutique.
"A lot of people come in and say, 'Oh, we're so glad you're here. There's nothing on this side of town," Moody said. "We're, like, 'Tell your friends so we can stay here."
The Tilted Tulip encourages its customers to follow the The Tilted Tulip on social media. There's added incentive for following the boutique on Facebook and Instagram, too.
"We post a lot of picture of our new arrivals and even things we've had in our store, and we also do giveaways," Bowen-Oravetz said. "One time, we gave away a $200 shopping spree ..."
Bowen-Oravetz said she hopes The Tilted Tulip continues to flourish and offer customers a place to shop in their community.
"We would love to eventually grow so much that we need more employees, because that's always been something that's important to me. I would love to create a job for someone else or jobs for other people."
Meeting new people and making new friends has been key to their success; it's something they started several years ago.
"What I'm not good at, she's good at, and what she's not good at, I'm good at," Bowen-Oravetz said. "We kind of balance each other out with our strengths and weaknesses. It's amazing how ..."
"She finishes my sentences," Moody said.
"That's exactly right," Bowen-Oravetz said.