Author Archives: REI OK

“Thank you for making a tangible difference in our lives.”

Mazey had been a hair stylist for 12 years and found herself wanting to provide a cleaner, less toxic alternatives in haircare to her clients and the community. She wanted to create a safe and inclusive space for everyone without hurting the environment.   When Mazey decided to open her own salon, she began researching all the different products she would have to purchase. She soon realized how much waste a typical salon produces. Concerned with her future business’ environmental impact, she made the decision to use more sustainable alternatives to things she would need—from toilet paper to hair dye … Continue reading

Nominations Are Now Open!

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THREE AWARDS GIVEN AT DREAM BIG OKLAHOMA REI Oklahoma’s Dream BIG Oklahoma event has opened nominations for the event’s top three awards: Dr. Fern Green-Bowling Diamond Award, Dream Big Award, and the coveted Vision Award.   (OKLAHOMA CITY, April 9, 2024) – REI Oklahoma, an economic development nonprofit serving all 77 counties, has announced that nominations are now open for the top three awards at their annual Dream BIG Oklahoma event. Nominations will be accepted through May 30, 2024. Award winners will be celebrated at the annual event scheduled for Tuesday, October 1, 2024, at the Grand … Continue reading

“It would have been hard for me to buy a home.”

Aileen was a longtime renter and found herself believing it was time to make a move and invest in a home for her family. As a mother of three, she wanted her children to have a permanent place to call home but was unsure if she could purchase a home on her own.     She was smiling as she shared that she found herself talking to God and saying, ‘You know I’m paying so much money on two bedrooms…my lease is about to expire. If it’s okay with you for me to have a home, I’m okay with that.” … Continue reading

“Knowing that there are communities and groups that care about small businesses is amazing.”

In 2016, Kimberly worked as a design and paint consultant at a local home improvement store and wasn’t getting much professional or creative fulfillment from her job. Wanting to make more money and do something creative, she was inspired by people on social media who flipped furniture and sold them for a profit.   Kimberly decided to take the leap. Using $100 remaining from their tax returns, she bought two corner cabinets and a curved glass cabinet. Kimberly refinished and painted them and staged a photoshoot so she could list them. Deciding to keep a corner cabinet for her family, … Continue reading

“These people are amazing, they just want to help you.”

Fresh out of high school, Ke’Arah wasn’t sure what her path was. She had worked in retail and knew she enjoyed working with others, but not necessarily for others, and college wasn’t something she wanted to immediately pursue.     Her mother, Tina, gave Ke’Arah her first camera at 16 and she soon discovered a passion for photography. With her creativity sparked, after she graduated high school, Ke’Arah started taking photos and posting them to her Instagram account, Faith & Photos (_faith.n.photos_). Ke’Arah had always loved fashion and styling and used that to create thoughtfully staged photoshoots.   Through social … Continue reading

“I now feel I can go farther with my business…”

Special moments with those we love can sometimes spark inspiration for a business idea. Just ask Laryssa, owner of Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies who created a business based on her dad’s health-conscious cookie recipe.   Laryssa has wonderful memories of baking with her dad when she was growing up and enjoyed watching him bake with her own kids over the years.   The kids called him Buddy instead of Grandpa or Pop. He called them ‘buddy’ too.   To better understand Laryssa, we asked her about her career prior to Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies. She shared she has a varied background. She … Continue reading

“I am able to run my business on my terms.”

After 15 years of a successful career in IT, Melena decided it was time for a change.   Melena has always been drawn to the healthcare world. She wanted to better care for herself and her family in a more natural and holistic way.   She left IT and took a job at a local chiropractic practice where she worked as the receptionist and scheduler. Her eyes were opened, and everything changed when the owner took her to an industry conference.   At 38, Melena decided to return to school to obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.   Not only … Continue reading

“It is so great to have someone who believes in you.”

Oklahoma native Meredith Hamrick found herself at a crossroads when she turned 40.   After working in technology sales at various companies for 13 years and her family’s company for 10, she found that she might not be able to go as far as she wanted working for others. This birthday milestone had Meredith questioning where she would go from here.   Meredith has always enjoyed helping others and empowering them to reach their potential. From earning a degree in organizational communication to leading teams and managing stores to helping her family’s company grow, she has always prioritized putting people … Continue reading

“You made a single mom’s dream come true…”

Katie Holland is the owner of Katie’s Pies and More, which sits at the intersection of Oklahoma City and Nicoma Park.   When asked about how she found her passion for baking, Katie shared she was working in a restaurant, and they needed a baker. She took on the task.   More than nine-years ago, she decided to go out on her own.   She worked out of her home for several years focusing on pies. Katie took great pleasure in people talking about how her pies tasted like the ones their grandmothers made.   She eventually added brownies and … Continue reading

Dream Big Oklahoma Winners

CELEBRATING THOSE WHO DREAM BIG: OKLAHOMA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED REI Oklahoma’s Dream BIG Oklahoma winners of the Dr. Fern Green-Bowling Diamond Award, Dream Big Award and the coveted Vision Award have been announced.   (OKLAHOMA CITY, September 13, 2023) – REI Oklahoma, an economic development nonprofit serving all 77 counties, has announced the winners of their top three awards to be celebrated at the annual Dream BIG Oklahoma event on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at the Grand Casino Resort in Shawnee, Oklahoma.   Dream BIG is a statewide event hosted by REI Oklahoma to showcase the ‘best of the best’ … Continue reading

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories