Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson flips a sign to “open” at the May 9 grand opening of her storefront 7 Clan Stand. Previously the store was online only. Her storefront offers original and customized Native-inspired pieces from Henson. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
7 Clan Stand storefront opens after ‘high demand’
Two backpacks hang from a shelf at 7 Clan Stand located at 306 N. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson opened the storefront after the demand grew “too high” for her Facebook business. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – From her house to Tahlequah’s main street, Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson began her creative journey of fashioning clothes with Indigenous flair approximately three years ago.
On May 9, she held a grand opening for her brick and mortar shop on Muskogee Avenue.
Henson said she opened the shop because the demand on Facebook for custom orders was “too high.”
“The demand was too high on Facebook to just keep it running from my house, so it called for me to have a location that people can come to so that it would make it a lot easier,” she said.
Henson said when customers enter her shop they will see Native-inspired clothing made by her or purchased from vendors.
“What I’ve actually made is all of the Cherokee-inspired skirts. I make men’s vests and boy’s vests, which I will be putting more out. I make some bags too, as well, that are also Cherokee-inspired with the designs,” she said.
She also has some of her customized hoodies along with backpacks, purses, jewelry and other Native-themed wears.
Henson said in time she would like to create a place in her shop where she could sew.
“I’m trying to make it where I’ll have a little place to sew here while I’m here,” she said.
She said the goal is to have the store act as an “intertribal” gift shop. “Not just Cherokee, but I really care about the other tribes that we have that are in and around the Tahlequah area. You know, just a place where you can go and you can really find some authentic Native-made things, jewelry, the traditional skirts or just in general a tribal skirt or a vest.”
Henson said she is still taking custom orders as she did before opening the store.
“You can come here and get things customized. Like if you even bring your own hoodie in and you wanted a certain color or anything like that, I really try to be open,” she said.
She is also working on creating a website for the 7 Clan Stand, and she’ll be updating customers on her Facebook page about its progress.
“I’m going to be creating my website…where you can put things in a cart, pretty soon,” she said. “I can’t really say when, but I will be updating that on the (Facebook) profile.”
She also plans to have a “grand opening” sale in which she will offer 20 percent off on some of her items. “We’ll have to get that set, and I’ll post that on the (Facebook) page as well.”
Henson’s 7 Clan Stand is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 306 N. Muskogee Ave.
For more information, visit “7clanstand” on Facebook or stop by the store.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – The stables are filling up once again with the stocky build of some of the top American Quarter Horse competitors as fall racing returns Sept. 9 to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs.
The horses are set to contend for the lead position in high-paying races to be held on the grounds.
The 2017 WRD racing schedule features 28 AQHA, Appaloosa and Paint stakes races through Nov. 12.
Races post at noon every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each day featuring 12 races.
“Will Rogers Downs put on an excellent meet for Quarter Horses, Paints and Appaloosas last year, and we only hope to grow that in 2017,” John Lies, WRD racing secretary, announcer and oddsmaker, said.
Seventeen stakes races worth more than $650,000 are included in the program, a significant increase from the 2016 Quarter Horse racing season in added Oklahoma-bred purse money for all overnight races.
“Rick Robinson was a standout in the trainers division last fall and is back in full force with a large stable,” Lies said. “Other top barns such as Clint Crawford and Dee Keener will help make this another competitive season, one we hope to continue developing into one of the top Quarter Horse and Mixed race meets in the country.”
The Black Gold 350 Championship Futurity Trials on opening day features the top 2-year-old Quarter Horses in the country going 350 yards. The 10 fastest qualifiers will then compete in the futurity finals on Sept. 24, guaranteeing an added $133,500.
The following day the third annual Miss Ellen Stakes offers a 350-yard race for fillies and mares 3 years old and up and guarantees $18,000 in the purse. Nov. 4 showcases the Jerry Jaggars Memorial for 3 year olds and up, competing at 350 yards for the $35,000 prize.
“The Black Gold nominations are deeper than last year and set us up for a strong night of trials right from the start,” said Lies. “We also shifted the dates of a couple stakes races to help create our best overall racing program.”
On the final day of racing, racing fans can enjoy the $133,500 Black Gold 440 Championship Futurity Finals along with the Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Derby Finals, worth $25,000, and the $75,000 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity Restricted Grade III.
Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located 3 miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.cherokeecasino.com" target="_blank">www.cherokeecasino.com</a> and click on the WRD tab, or call 918-283-8800.
STILWELL, Okla. – For more than 48 years, Cherokee Nation Businesses Engineering & Manufacturing Companies have provided award-winning products and services to clients across the United States, as well as jobs for the Cherokee people.
With its main office in Stilwell, locals mostly refer to the company as Cherokee Nation Industries. However, a few years ago Cherokee Nation Businesses placed the company within the Engineering & Manufacturing division of Cherokee Nation Businesses along with Cherokee Nation CND, Cherokee Nation Red Wing, and Cherokee Nation Aerospace & Defense.
“We decided to come up with a name that more represented who we are and what we do,” Chris Moody, CNB’s Engineering & Manufacturing Companies president, said. “We provide engineering and manufacturing services, so engineering and manufacturing as part of Cherokee Nation Businesses became our name.”
While CNI is largely known for assembling “military aircraft products”, that is only a portion of what CNB’s Engineering & Manufacturing division does.
“Military aircraft is our primary niche, and wire harnesses and electrical assemblies is the primary product that we supply,” Moody said. “We also added additional capabilities, which are machine and metal working, and integration, which would be taking our electrical capability and our metal capability and combining them into a single product.”
Established in 1969, CNI began as a small business constructing relay switches for Western Electric Company with roughly 12 employees.
Today, it is has 300-plus employees, full-time and part-time, and four companies that make up Engineering & Manufacturing Companies: Cherokee Nation Distribution, CNI and Aerospace and Defense in Stilwell and the Redwing defense office in Huntsville, Alabama, and manufacturing in Pryor.
The companies have contracts with commercial clients such as Sikorsky, Boeing and Bell, but officials said they hope to start working directly with the federal government.
“Right now most of our work is commercial. A couple of years ago we started moving our strategy to focus more on government work,” Moody said. “Now we’re starting to win more work with the Navy, the Air Force and the Army. It hasn’t been a big piece of what we have done, but it will be as we are really going after that work and wanting to work directly with them.”
He said government clients have different product requirements that will allow the CNB business to grow. As business grows, the need for expanding may be a factor in the near future.
“The interesting thing about this business is we could get a call tomorrow, and it could be huge program, and in six months we cold be talking about needing another 40,000 square feet. So if something like that came up, we would be looking to expand,” Moody said.
The growth in employees, companies and clientele is not the only thing that has changed since the company opened its doors. Moody said the work the employees do is more sophisticated than ever.
“We started with a more simple product with WEC, and it was an electrical product, so the biggest changes are really in the complexity of the product we’re able to manufacture verses what we could initially and the technology it takes in order to communicate with our costumers,” he said.
He also said a few employees from 1969 are still with the company.
“We still have some of those original employees who are still providing really good service,” he said. “That’s one of the encouraging things. We’ve seen our employee base move along with the complexity of the product and technology.”
Moody credits the employees for the company’s success.
“The people are our greatest asset, and what makes us so unique is the value of our people,” he said. “That’s our product – the skill, talent and performance of our employees here.”
CNB’s E&M companies have 20 full-time and part-time production positions open. For more information about open jobs, visit <a href="http://cherokeenationbusinesses.com/careers/Pages/career-opportunities.aspx" target="_blank">http://cherokeenationbusinesses.com/careers/Pages/career-opportunities.aspx</a>.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – From Atari 2600 to PlayStation 4, from Donkey Kong to Link, there has been several memorable consoles, games and characters that have played a role in people’s childhoods that continue to stick around.
Les Wallace, Cherokee Nation citizen and Game Barn owner, is helping put those consoles, games and characters back into the hands of those who grew up with them and the younger generations.
“People like games, so I’m making people happy by providing this service for them to find games at reasonable prices,” he said. “If it was a game that they remember playing as a child or as a teen, and I can have that in the store for them to purchase at a good price, then that makes me happy too, to see them happy.”
Wallace began the business after his former job took a “toll” on him.
“I just wanted something different where I could control my own outcomes, make my own decisions and just try to make more money to try to provide for my family,” he said.
He said his customers can also find consoles, games and accessories such as controllers and power cords.
“I try to keep the store where somebody will come in, and they’ll find something that they like,” he said. “People are different, and they like different things, so I try to keep a variety of things.”
Wallace said Game Barn, which has a buy/sale/trade model, gives customers a chance to buy new games at a decent price.
“Basically, my goals are to make this a place for the customers to come here and trade their games in and give the people that hasn’t played the games a chance to buy the game at a reasonable price. That’s why I’m so for pre-owned games because you can’t go in and buy the latest game for $25. The games are expensive,” he said. “So I just want to make this place a place for the community of people who play video games to come in and trade off and pass it on to the next person, so they can get a game at a reasonable price.”
In the case of trade-in goods, Wallace said he tests them before he sells them.
“Everything in my store, I test before it goes out in the cases or on the shelves. If something should happen to get by, I make sure that I make it right with the customer,” he said.
Wallace said although he takes trade-ins, he doesn’t do console repairs.
“I do some work with the old cartridges like cleaning them and refurbishing them and replacing the batteries, but that’s about the furthest extent that I go as far as repairs,” he said.
With games ranging from $2.95 to $32.95 and consoles from $21.95 to $99.95, Wallace said he tries to keep his inventory at “fair market value.”
“I try to run promotions, like on some of my handheld game cartridges I offer buy two, get one free of equal value or lesser. On my trade-ins, I offer a little more for trade-ins than most video game stores, I’m pretty sure, that way it gives people an opportunity to get the most for their trade so they can get that game that they’re looking for,” he said.
He said he also runs weekly specials for those who wear video game-themed or Game Barn T-shirts. Wallace said he wants customers to know that this is “your game store.”
“My phrase is, ‘Game Barn Video Games, Your Game Store.’ So it’s the people’s video game store,” he said. “It’s not my video game store. I’m just the mediator. I just present it and provide a place for people to come trade and sale and buy games.”
Game Barn is at 1000 S. College Ave., and open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit Game Barn on Facebook or call 918-457-9663.
STILWELL, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Distributors, a company within the engineering and manufacturing segment of Cherokee Nation Businesses, has again been named one of the most prestigious suppliers in the aerospace industry.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, recently awarded CND with its Gold Supplier status.
CND received the esteemed Gold Supplier status for its best-in-class performance in quality, delivery, lean techniques and customer satisfaction. The recent honor marks the company’s fourth year to receive the award since earning the Sikorsky Gold Supplier Certification in 2012.
The Supply Management Council for Lockheed Martin is recognizing CND for its superior operational performance in its manufacturing of main wiring harnesses for the MH-60S SEAHAWK and S-92 aircraft. CND is one of 13 companies selected from Sikorsky’s more than 300 vendor supply base.
“A commitment to excellence is imbedded in our company’s culture,” said Steven Bilby, president of CNB’s diversified businesses. “Our longstanding relationships with industry leaders such as Sikorsky and the growth and success of our diversified businesses are great testaments to our companywide dedication to first-class service.”
The company hosted an appreciation lunch to thank employees for their hard work and exemplary performance. Representatives from CNB and Sikorsky attended and presented staff with a Gold Supplier banner to display at the Stilwell location.
“Our employees’ dedication to providing the highest-quality products to each of our clients is unmatched,” said Chris Moody, CNB executive general manager of engineering and manufacturing. “We are very proud to see their efforts recognized with this prestigious honor.”
The framework for the Cherokee Nation’s economic prosperity was laid in Stilwell more than 40 years ago. The tribal enterprise specializes in aerospace and defense manufacturing, telecommunications and distribution services.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is a global security and aerospace company that engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Opened in 1979, The Speckled Hen has changed ownerships throughout its nearly 40-year journey. But under Cherokee Nation citizens Bill Campbell and Cheryl Horn – along with help from family members, previous owners and those who rent space at the establishment – the antique flea market still is providing timeless treasures to the Tahlequah area.
Cheryl said her mother and stepfather purchased the business in 1999 and sold it in 2002.
“When they first bought it they added the booths. Then they added the, we call that the ‘add-on’ room. As the other buildings became available they added toward the north,” she said.
She said the business was later sold to Bob and Luella Lankford and her uncle and aunt Johnny and Carol Horn before eventually going to Cheryl’s cousin Robbie.
In March 2016, Campbell bought the business when Cheryl's cousin decided to pursue other interests. Cheryl said over the years the shop has expanded and now has five “rooms,” which includes the “add-on” room.
Campbell said he wasn’t sure on the shop’s size, but to give a scope of how big it is, the customers’ first reaction usually is “this place just keeps going and going and going.”
“Most of the comments we get are, ‘I didn’t realize this place was this big,’ or they will say, ‘this place just keeps going and going and going.’ That happens a lot,” he said.
Campbell said the store has roughly 140 booths, or rentable spaces, that include shelves and wall space, with approximately 130 vendors.
“There are a few vendors that do have more than one booth,” he said.
The store offers an array of items from antiques to more recent items. It also has a wall dedicated to cast iron cooking wares.
Campbell said the items are typically “affordable.” Quality collectables and practical usability items are also available.
“Nine times out of 10 I would dare say within these walls it is uber affordable. Not trying to say we’re undercutting anyone, but our vendors set their prices. We don’t set the prices,” he said.
Campbell said it means a lot to him that the store offers items that people “treasure.”
“It really ties into that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. I judge it by the comments. You get the standard, ‘I had one of those when I was a kid. I’ve been looking for one of those for forever. I can’t believe you had this.’ Or you get, ‘this is the item that I’ve been looking for that’s going to be the perfect birthday, wedding gift.’ That happens a lot,” he said. “There is value in those emotions. There is value in those rewarding moments. Just by being here and being open and someone coming in and finding that item, you made their day.”
Campbell said he credits the store’s longevity to it staying family orientated and local.
“I think one of the reasons why it’s lasted is it has stayed local. It has stayed family. People coming in the door already knew these people outside of here. So it’s friendly in nature,” he said.
Horn credits some of the store’s longevity to its parking space.
“We have more parking sometimes and it’s easier to get in and out,” she said.
The Speckled Hen is located at 5227 S. Muskogee Ave. and is on Facebook under “The Speckled Hen Antique Flea Market.”
The Speckled Hen is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and closed Monday.
For more information, call 918-458-0032 or visit <a href="http://www.thespeckledhenok.com" target="_blank">www.thespeckledhenok.com</a>.