Retail in the spotlight: The Hub brings shopping to Film Row

Monday, March 17, 2014

by Molly M. Fleming

The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – The pioneering spirit that could be found in the early Oklahoma settlers is alive in the partners of The Hub, the only retail shop on Film Row.

The Hub, 7 N. Lee Ave., is a partnership of three businesses, The Plant Shoppe, The Okay See T-shirt and graphic design company, and Bent, which makes household décor from hardware. All three sell their products at the shop.

The store opened in September in a district that contains mostly offices and restaurants. The owners found a deal on a space that they couldn’t pass up and they knew they had to be there, especially since there isn’t any other retail in the district.

“It was scary,” said Jen Semmler, operator of The Plant Shoppe. “Unfortunately we don’t have everyday foot traffic. We work hard promoting ourselves on social media.”

The shop sees a lot of people during the district’s event, Premiere on Film Row, held the third Friday of every month. As such, activities are lined up for March 21.

“Premiere is the biggest day of our month,” said Blake Behrens, co-owner of The Okay See and partner at The Hub. “We have a huge crowd turnout, and people just find us. Our overall day-to-day business is better because of the consistency of Premiere.”

Semmler had never been to Premiere until The Hub opened in September.

“That blew us out of the water,” she said.

Then, as the weather cooled down, traffic in the door slowed as well. She hopes warmer weather and the consistency in the activities at the shop will bring people back.

At this month’s Premiere, The Okay See will have three new shirts for sale at The Hub. The shirts feature a design about being loyal to local businesses; another for The Flukes, which will play at the shop; and a third one featuring a bison skull. The shop will also offer people a taste of a local craft beer and a Jenga tournament. Customers who tag The Hub on social media get 10-percent off on purchases that night.

The discount and activities are all part of the shop’s work to drive visibility.

“(Premiere) is a different crowd than we attract as an individual business,” she said. “It’s nice to see new faces.”

Activities, art and music will be found from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. throughout Film Row on March 21 as part of Premiere, which is celebrating Mardi Gras this month.

The Dunlap Codding office will have jazz music and a mask-making station. The Individual Artists of Oklahoma will feature artist Eric Shaw in the Main Gallery. The Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Teen Advisory Council will have a group show in the Project Space Gallery. At the Hart Building, people can play ping pong, cornhole and hopscotch with Zydeco artist Kyle Reid performing.

Reid will perform an acoustic show at 7 p.m., and tickets will be given away via the Twitter accounts @premiereokc and @kosuradio.


Oddfab Design Lab will display artwork by Jack Fowler. Paramount OKC will present an outdoor showing of King Creole and live music by Loose Shoes of OKC. Several food trucks will be in the district during the event as well.


Photo of the Film Exchange Building shown at home page by Patrick W. Moore.