Nearing retirement from her corporate job, she found herself in a position to pursue a lifelong dream, and she jumped at it.
Brenda, owner of Sailor Antiques and Collectibles at 420 W. Will Rogers Blvd., was a dealer in the store previously at the location, Emerald Antiques.
“When life changes for the owner occurred, I was offered to purchase the business, which I was thrilled to do,” Brenda said. “My family was my support system. I was going to be leaving a corporate world as human resource manager and taking on this lifelong dream that I had to own my own antique store.”
Family also played a big part in naming the store. Brenda and her sisters had been hoping one of her kids or one of her nieces and nephews would name a daughter Sailor, but it never happened.
“When we started this business, we felt like it was our new baby, something we’d never done, a new adventure, so we started calling her Sailor,” Brenda said.
Brenda took over the store in February of 2013 and continued to work full-time in her corporate job for a year, pulling double duty and going seven days a week to manage both roles.
“It was a lot of work, but in the same instance, it was a lot of fun,” she said.
Brenda said two of her favorite things about her business are her customers and dealers, all of whom she considers friends. The other is hearing the stories from visitors who shopped at Wilson’s Hardware, the store that occupied the space for more than 80 years.
“It’s fun to be in such a historic building for Claremore natives,” she said. “They’ll come in, and they’ll just walk through and reminisce and tell you stories. It’s like they’re coming home when they come in.”
Brenda serves on the Claremore Main Street, Inc., Board of Directors because she said she wants to ensure the very best for downtown Claremore.
“I’m very passionate about things succeeding. I want to do really well, and I want everyone else to do really well, and I want it to be a destination to go to when people come to town.”
-by Jessica Jackson
Claremore Main Street