GuthrieAmerica Story: Laura Long

My name is Laura Long, and I was born in the Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. I have pretty much always lived in Guthrie and the surrounding area, but it was my grandfather and dad who laid down roots: they bought land south of Guthrie almost fifty years ago. That’s where my parents chose to raise us, and my brother and his family now share the property with them. My husband's family also lives in the Guthrie area, but I guess you could say that it was my family’s decisions all those years ago that helped plant me here.

I graduated from GHS in 1997. While in school, I played fast-pitch competitive softball when it was just in the beginning stages of becoming more mainstream. Our team name was Main-E-Axe. We traveled all over Oklahoma and Texas and placed in numerous tournaments throughout the years.

I never really moved away from Guthrie...however, growing up south of town my family always seemed to do a lot of things in Edmond and Oklahoma City, where our relatives lived. As time passed after graduation, I rarely came to Guthrie. Later on, I was promoted to store manager when I worked for Walgreens, and my first store to manage was the store here in town. Once I was working daily, it became natural for me to shop and spend more time here. Then my husband, James, started doing business in Guthrie more and more, and we ended up buying a house and moving from southern Logan County into town.

The 89ers parades and Homecoming parades would have to be two of my favorite memories of Guthrie while growing up---but they are just a small part of what makes our little town unique. In my opinion, one of the best parts about living is a small town is the people you see in the grocery store or post office or restaurants---they're your friends and neighbors and those you do business with. The sense of knowing those around you and knowing that “supporting local” means supporting your friends and neighbors is irreplaceable. Guthrie has wonderful people that make it what it is, but it also has amazingly rich history and quirky events that give it character. Small towns have more to offer than what is seen from a glance, and once you spend time here it really begins to grow on you and draw you in.

One of my favorite things to do in Guthrie is actually a lot of things rolled into one. We have amazing events throughout the year, and I love them all. 89ers Week, the Art Walks, the Art & Wine Festival, the Bluegrass Festival, Homecoming, Guthrie football, the Victorian Walk... I could go on and on. Seriously, we have some exciting, fun, and unique things to share. I guess if I had to choose one it would be The Victorian Walk. The pride for our community shines through during that time.

Currently I work at Boutique 206, which I own. We're celebrated our two year anniversary this past October! The idea to open a boutique in Guthrie just happened... We talked about it as a “what if” situation for a while, and the next thing I knew James came home with the paperwork, files for my tax ID, and everything else we needed. We planned a trip to market in Dallas, and in a matter of a few weeks everything came together---it really just happened. Two years later we have seven regular employees and few extras who step in to help for special events. It’s crazy what can happen from a “what if” little dream.

At the boutique we carry clothes, gift items, candles, and a large selection of jewelry. I'm a self-proclaimed jewelry fanatic. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets... I love to accessorize, and jewelry is just my thing to do it with. But I am really partial to the made-in-Oklahoma products we carry. I love supporting other small business and making connections to the people who make them. I've formed some wonderful friendships with several of the vendors. Loving the people I do business with makes me love their products even more.

The boutique gets a really good mix of locals and tourists, but it really depends on the day. There are days it is all familiar, local faces, and then there are days that it's mostly out-out-towners; because we've also received a great response from our surrounding communities, we have regulars that live outside of Guthrie. In the end, I love getting to have fun doing something I enjoy on a daily basis.

As for Guthrie America, I first learned about the brand by seeing promotional posts on Facebook and Instagram as well as the Shipwreck talks that were sponsored by GA. I’ve always thought that to be a great way to motivate and educate business owners and a community.

In my opinion, the message behind the GA is inspirational and motivating, and I love how it promotes not only the community, but small businesses, business owners, and others in the community who make a difference as well. Guthrie America has an amazing mission, and I have found that when I wear my GA tees people comment and ask why I choose Guthrie. The tees are a great way to share the enthusiasm I feel for this community!

The response to carrying the Guthrie America tees at Boutique 206 has been wonderful. I think the message of positivity from the Guthrie America brand itself shows that Guthrie as a whole has a lot to be proud of, and it’s time to show that pride.

Lastly, I would like to give a shoutout to my husband, James Long, who has supported me every step of the way in my business endeavors. He's helped make Boutique 206 what it is, and he does it all behind the scenes. I am truly thankful for him!