100 Years Ago - How it all began at 901 S Main St
Coopers Harness Shop began operating out of the front of the building that is now operated by WorkIT Coworking Center. Take a stroll down memory lane and read the article featured in this image:

Rolling through the years
Charles H. Cooper has long history
in Stillwater's business scene
In 1907 Charles H. Cooper rode a bicycle to Stillwater from Stroud, carrying all his belongings with him. He got a job in a harness shop, where he met his future bride, Angela Greiner. Married in 1909, the young couple lived in two towns before returning to Stillwater.

The building at the southeast comer of Ninth and Main was where Cooper opened his harness shop in 1922, having traded his farm in Hennessey for a half interest in the Greiner Brothers Harness shop. In Hennessey, he was also the chief of the volunteer fire department. When he moved to Stillwater, he was also active in the fire department. He particularly wanted to settle in Stillwater to give his children a chance to attend college. As a boy, Cooper, along with his brothers Joe and George, soaked harness leather and learned to lay out harnesses on the floor piece by piece to repair. He admitted that he wouldn't have known how to put the harness on a horse. They watched the old men congregate around the checker table in the back by the wood-burning stove. The boys would climb the outside stairs of the Ninth Street building to launch paper and balsa wood airplanes. Sometimes, the planes would sail all the way to Seventh Street, where the Katz store stood. The phone number of Cooper's Harness Shop was simply 233, and a live operator answered.

In 1929, as a 13-year-old schoolboy, Charles ran a paper route, finally saving enough money to buy a bicycle for $15. Later, he was offered a similar bicycle for $7, so he bought it to ride, putting the other one up for sale. As customers came into the harness shop. they saw it and asked if he could do bicycle repair, which was when he was allowed by his father to take one counter at the back of the store for his bicycle business. That was the real start of Cooper's Bicycle Center. As the Depression deepened, his father's health failed and he was forced to close the harness shop, which had begun selling automotive tires and accessories. Since his father was no longer able to work (he died in 1938) Charles operated his bicycle shop from a building located behind the family home on 620 S. West, across the street from the St. Francis Xavier rectory. Serving in the Army Air Force during World War II, Charles relied on his mother and three sisters to rent bicycles to the servicemen and women who were stationed in Stillwater. Since the commanding officers restricted the service personnel to the area of the campus at times, Charles modified a 1928 Dodge Sedan, cutting the body to make it an improvised pickup to deliver bicycles. He said he would like to find that old vehicle today. Western Union delivery boys also used bicycles from Cooper's to deliver their messages.

Five years after the end of World War II, using a G.I. loan, Cooper built the building at 220 S. Main that still houses the bicycle business. Novelty bicycles were a pet hobby of Cooper, who designed and built several. Some of them are in use today. There is one that is a companion bicycle, where the riders sit side by side. Another is called the Kangaroo because it has an offset wheel, which makes it bump up and down as it is ridden. He built a tiny bicycle for his children which two of the eight learned to ride before they were 3 years old. The others were around 5 years old when they mastered the balance of two-wheelers. Cooper and his brothers all rode unicycles, as do some of the adult children and grandchildren. The truing stand, which is the motif of the bicycle store, is shown in catalogs in 1902. Cooper did not realize he was using a genuine antique daily until he saw an identical one featured at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Over the years, Cooper has seen great changes in the bicycle business. From the early days when balloon-tired bicycles were new, to 10-speeds, from the great bicycle shortage in the 1970s when gasoline prices skyrocketed, when he ordered 10-speed bicycles by the railroad box car load, to the BMX craze, which son, Guy, promoted, to the mountain bikes, which all the Cooper boys, Jim, Chuck, and Ralph enjoy today. Grandsons enjoy the freestyle stunts, especially enjoying the Schwinn Stunt Team which put on an exhibition in Stillwater in 1998. Retired now, his daughter, Mary Ann Cash, son-in-law, Wes Cash, and grandson, Dennis Hotson, are busy at the bicycle center, in addition to Brad Rogers and Scott Campbell. Cooper enjoys traveling to bicycle swap meets and Wheelmen meetings, where he can admire vintage bicycles from the turn of the century. He has a bicycle collection that he maintains and a small museum. Charles H. Cooper leaning against the counter at Cooper's Harness Shop. 901 S. Main St., in 1923. Cooper rode his bike into Stillwater in 1907 carrying his belongings with him. Cooper opened his harness shop at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Main Street in 1922.

Everyone is aware of the value of actively expressing gratitude. Being kind increases our happiness, strengthens our ability to withstand hardship, lowers stress and anxiety, and even benefits our general health. And being grateful isn't simply something for our personal lives, either. It's crucial to develop an atmosphere of gratitude in the workplace. You might even notice a boost in happiness and productivity as a result. In light of this, here are six ways to develop a more grateful workplace culture.

  1. Go inward - It's okay to sometimes express gratitude to other people. According to one study, people's moods and motivation are boosted when they appreciate their contributions and even small successes at work. Keep a gratitude journal for yourself. And skimming can give you the push you need when feeling low on energy or defeated.
  2. Keep seeking many instances to express appreciation - See the positive aspects of numerous circumstances or encounters that you might otherwise overlook in your daily life. Additionally, be grateful for the innumerable diverse actions, qualities, and behaviors that team members bring to the table daily at work.
  3. Be impulsive - Try to have note cards in your desk drawer so that you may take a few minutes to write a note to a coworker to let them know what they did and how it made you feel when they do something you admire. Importantly, share it with them after that.
  4. In challenging circumstances, practice gratitude - Being grateful is simple when things are going well. Even though it may be more challenging to be thankful for the situations that also teach us something, it's crucial to build gratitude for them. For instance, if your supervisor gave you some challenging comments, you can express gratitude for the chance to learn from it.
  5. Keep a journal - One of the finest ways to exercise your thankfulness muscles is to make it a writing practice, whether you use a notepad or your phone. Making a list can be quick and straightforward on some days and longer and more in-depth on others. The main thing is to write; try not to criticize yourself too much.
  6. Make it personal - Our modern methods of communication, such as using our devices, can make it difficult to show our gratitude from the bottom of our hearts. Say something like, "Hey, that thing you did really influenced me, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you," preferably offline.

Source: https://www.mindful.org/6-ways-to-cultivate-gratitude-at-work/

Being efficient, mission-driven, and organized are the foundations of productivity. On the contrary, both individuals and teams find that creativity is a significant asset in the workplace. Being creative boosts problem-solving abilities in addition to confidence and teamwork. Here are the six advantages of creativity in the workplace.

  1. Creativity produces original ideas - The light bulb and the automobile would not exist without creativity. Imagination and a belief in the fantastical help inventors generate new ideas and advance civilization, even though creativity is sometimes viewed as frivolous or useless.
  2. Creativity improves a resume - Employers are more likely to take notice of your resume if you include a section describing how your creative ideas led to a successful event, more clients, or higher revenue. For any team, having innovative problem-solvers is essential.
  3. Creativity enhances focus - Focus is a necessary and rare resource in our media-saturated environment. According to Microsoft research, the average person has an attention span of eight seconds. Increasing your attention span will make you more productive than most workers.
  4. Teamwork is encouraged by creativity - The pursuit of creativity unites individuals. Building and fostering relationships with coworkers promotes improved teamwork and collaboration.
  5. Problem-solving is encouraged by creativity - Whether you work in retail or as an entrepreneur, problem-solving is one of the most crucial components of any career. The dilemma may be as straightforward as quelling a customer's ire or as challenging as raising money for a firm. The issue is irrelevant. In any circumstance, problem-solving is helpful.
  6. Creativity reduces stress - You quickly think when you're not stressed. A promising career and a healthy lifestyle both include reducing stress.

Source: https://www.careerservicestation.com/the-importance-of-creativity-in-the-workplace/

The third most prominent source of wasted time at work is meetings. Meetings, whether in groups or one-on-one, can take up to 50% of a worker's time. Meetings, though, are not necessarily bad. Meetings are a crucial tool in business for exchanging information, resolving issues, and assessing progress. However, they must be controlled and used wisely if they are to be avoided. Here are five strategies to make meetings more productive and provide better outcomes.

  1. Strengthen taking notes and attentive listening - Participants will get the most out of each in-person meeting if you coach your team on active listening (listening to comprehend contrasted to listening to respond) and good note-taking. Team members will recall the following steps and other action items if they take notes in some way, whether by hand or with a digital device.
  2. Keep focused and minimize distractions - You might want to add a little spice to your meetings to keep your colleagues interested. Otherwise, maintaining everyone concentrated and on task is a good idea. Ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute, and seek to address any sticking or pain points. Maintain an interaction, brainstorming, and settling rhythm as you check items off the list.
  3. Before you meet, make an agenda available to your team - Include the important who, why, what, and how information in your agenda. Who is going should be known to your team. Simply state the concerns that need to be handled in order, and take note of who is invited to discuss each item.
  4. Go forward and implement those bullet points - As you proceed through the meeting, you may include this in each item on the agenda. Everyone should leave the table knowing exactly what steps they will take to proceed. You can save much time and effort as a project moves along if each participant leaves the meeting knowing what and how to accomplish next.
  5. To keep on task and maximize effectiveness, use your meeting agenda - Each participant must have a copy of the agenda in advance. If at all feasible, give time for comments and inquiries. Your team may end up helping you in refining your initial plan. One method to keep everyone on the same page and track demands and progress at a glance for your team is to have a multi-feature tool.

Source: https://www.calendar.com/blog/calendar-full-5-ways-to-maximize-your-meetings/

One benefit of freelancing is that you can set your own hours and do so from anywhere. Nevertheless, competing to get clients (43.5%) and receiving payment on time (40.4%) are two significant hurdles to that path. Anyone who works independently knows the potential feast-or-famine lifestyle they have chosen. Including passive income streams is one approach to curb this seesaw. Here are 3 ways freelancers might generate passive income.

  1. Writing an eBook - Consider becoming an author if you are an expert in a field or if you have a narrative that needs to be published. Several eBook templates help individuals who choose the self-publishing approach get started.
  2. Affiliate Marketing - Not only the affiliate marketing sector is expanding, but you have a wide range of profitable opportunities to select from. In fact, depending on the product, you may develop a YouTube channel or a unique website for it.
  3. Creating Digital Products - An excellent strategy to have greater control over your product is to launch your own business to sell your digital assets. One step is to purchase a captivating domain. Search engine optimization (SEO) must be used for improved business visibility.

Source: https://stayathomesharon.com/how-freelancers-can-build-a-passive-income-stream/

That time of year is just around the corner. Needing food suggestions? Below are recipes for dishes brought to our most recent WorkIT event, Friendsgiving. If you need some holiday food suggestions here are some recipes provided by members, for members. Let us know how you like them!

Rebecca’s Au Gratin Potatoes
Cheesy thin sliced potatoes cooked to golden brown perfection.

3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced, not peeled
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken broth
16 oz package of grated sharp cheddar
4 oz shredded Parmesan

Preheat. Set oven to 375.

Prepare potatoes. Thinly slice potatoes and spread half in a baking dish.

Add liquid. Add broth to milk in a large measuring cup with a spout to pour liquid. 

Cook onions and garlic. Cook both ingredients on medium heat for 5 minutes in a lightly oiled pan.

Make a roux. Melt the butter in a separate pan and cook over medium heat. Then stir in flour with a whisk gradually till blended. Turn heat to medium-high and add in milk/broth slowly while whisking to make a roux. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thick, then add in half the cheddar cheese. Stir until fully melted/blended over low heat. Add onions and garlic, then mix till well blended.

Spread. Evenly distribute some of the cheddar cheese on the layer of potatoes and sprinkle some Parmesan as well. Save some for the remaining layers.

Pour. Use half the sauce to cover the first layer of potatoes and spread evenly. Add the second layer of potatoes and the remaining cheese. Pour the rest of the sauce over the casserole.

Bake. Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. If the top gets brown too soon and the potatoes are not tender, cover with foil till done.

Wade’s Sweet Potatoes
A Sweet Potato Casserole topped with a soft marshmallow topping!

5 large sweet potatoes
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1+ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows

Peel. Removed potato skins.

Boil. Cook until soft.

Transfer and mix. Place the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Then add brown sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, eggs, and melted butter. Mix until well blended. Transfer to a large greased baking dish.

Bake. 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. 

Add Marshmallows. Remove from the oven and sprinkle mini marshmallows on top. Return to oven for 10 minutes.

Let cool. Leave to cool for 20 minutes.

Rachel’s Buttery Garlic Potatoes
Potatoes, Butter, and Garlic combined to create a savory and filling dish.

5 pounds of potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup of sour cream
Salt and Pepper

Peel. the potatoes and garlic cloves. Cut into 1-inch pieces

Boil. both ingredients with the water 2 inches above the potatoes and garlic. 

Drain. and return to the pot.

Add. 1 stick of butter, 1/3 cup of sour cream, and splashes of milk as needed and mash. Season with salt and pepper.

Rachel’s Dinner Rolls
1-Hour Soft and Buttery Dinner Rolls made by hand or with a stand mixer. 

1 cup water
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast*
3 1/2 to 4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
extra melted butter, for brushing on top

Prep your oven and baking dish. Heat the oven to 400°F.  Grease a baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside.

Heat the liquids. In a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan. Stir together the water and melted butter, then add in the milk and honey and stir until combined. It will be warm but not hot to the touch. 

Add yeast. Pour the liquid mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast evenly on top, give it a quick stir with a fork to combine, and let the yeast activate for 5 minutes until it is foamy.

Add dry ingredients. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour (not all of the flour) and the salt.

Mix. Use the dough hook (if using a mixer) to mix in the dry ingredients on medium-low speed until combined.  If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add 1/4 cup more flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is only slightly sticky to the touch.  (Only use up to 4 cups of flour in total.)  Continue mixing on low speed for 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth.  Then form the dough into a ball with your hands and transfer it to a greased bowl.

Let the dough rise. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or paper towel, and let it rise briefly for 15 minutes.

Form the rolls.  Gently punch the dough down and divide it into 15 equal-sized pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place the dough balls in the greased baking dish.  Cover the dish again with a damp towel or paper towel and let the dough balls rise for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Bake. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden brown on top and cooked through.

Brush with more butter. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.

Serve warm. Then serve warm and enjoy!

Lisa’s Grilled Apple Tossed Salad
A refreshing salad with a number of fresh ingredients.

6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
2 large apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
1 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Dressing. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients. This includes all liquids and seasonings. In a bowl, toss apples with 1/4 cup of dressing. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Cook apples. Place apple slices on a grill rack over medium heat; set aside the remainder of the marinade left in the bowl. Grill apples, covered, until tender and lightly browned. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, brushing with marinade.

Serve. Toss the greens with the remaining dressing. Top with grilled apples, walnuts, and cheese.

Beth's Easy Roasted Potatoes
These yummy cubed potatoes always turn out great!

Several large potatoes
Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Steak seasoning

Preheat. Set oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare potatoes. Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes. Toss cubed potatoes in olive oil and seasonings.

Bake. Place potatoes in a baking dish and bake until done

Stay safe, and happy holidays!

We hope you enjoy our food suggestions. Just our way of showing thanks from WorkIT to you, a valued newsletter subscriber.

Here at WorkIT Coworking Center, we strive to support our members and their local businesses. That's why this year we are sending you information about how to shop with our members. This Sunday is our Holiday Open House where you can shop in person and then take your items home already wrapped! If you can't make it in to see these great products, please continue reading for a description and a link to their websites to shop online.

This year's open house will feature our very own coworking members in support of their local businesses! Each participating business will have its product or services available for purchase at this event. Free gift wrapping will be provided by WorkIT for items purchased at WorkIT and other downtown businesses! Again, that will be this Sunday, Nov. 21st, 12-6 PM. Help spread the word by clicking Interested or Going to our Facebook event

If you are interested in shopping locally this holiday season, the links provided below are a fantastic place to start!

Buffalokie is locally owned and run by Jamie and Jared. They are two Okies wanting to Go Local and Grow Local. Their entrepreneurial journey started in 2019 with the goal of supporting local businesses and individuals and encouraging others to get in touch with the people and meaningful experiences that surround them. The majority of the items you'll find in this shop are made, designed, or produced right here in Oklahoma.

DearBritt strives to offer a wide variety of handmade jewelry and accessories created individually and uniquely to fit a style of any kind. With their small business being located in the heart of Stillwater, OK State-styled jewelry is some of our best sellers! We offer orange & black, “OSU'' branded accessories, and sports charms as well. Many unique items can be found when you shop with us. We now offer a jewelry rental service called DearBritt Endless. This makes trying before buying easy.

DearBritt also offers custom jewelry orders and many different kinds of simple jewelry repair and cleaning services. They also offer jewelry-making workshops for parties or one on one. Many potential gifts for the holidays!

E.M. Chaffin is a local author offering her newest book ”Dead Mans Swamp”, along with a series of murder mystery games. These would be great additions under the tree this holiday season for any book lover or board game enthusiast. 

Ashley Clinesmith is a Mary Kay consultant and entrepreneur. There are a ton of great products offered via her link that can arrive before the holidays! They’re doing their part to make the planet a more beautiful place by preserving the Earth’s resources. Pink Doing GreenSM is their promise to create and maintain sustainable business practices, while also partnering with organizations whose mission is to preserve and beautify our communities globally.

Pop Top Ink provides custom printing and merchandise. Buy from their current catalog or contact them to make a request. There are shirts, hats, masks, coasters, car tags, and more! Visit their site to view their current catalog and contact information for custom orders.

Joni became a group fitness instructor 14 years ago and became actively engaged in community fitness and health promotion. She has experience planning fitness events for small groups as well as groups of several hundred and has been fortunate enough to lead fitness classes in the US as well as internationally. She has also completed coach training through the International Nurse Coach Academy. As a Board Certified Nurse Coach through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation Joni is now able to bring her lifetime of experience in health and fitness and wellness to her coaching practice. You can schedule a session for a number of her services. These can be scheduled for yourself or a loved one for the holidays!

Thelma Salinas is a B-Epic entrepreneur. The foundation of B-Epic’s mission is to boost the quality of people’s lives through advanced health supplementation. For this important cause, they are dedicated to bringing to market the most innovative, high-quality products based on cutting-edge research of the most powerful, proven natural ingredients. The products she provides are available via the link provided.

It's not too late to join in with your products and services! Members - please email a description and link to your online store and we will include it in our next post. Not a WorkIT member? Join us today!

May be an image of one or more people, hair and text that says 'Benefits of Coworking amidst the Covid-19 COWORKING RKING Work CENTER ENTER Coworking spaces have taken on all the necessary virus-prevention precautions Coworking places made getting work done A community of fellow coworkers through networking Source SMB CEO (smbceo.com)'

Coworking spaces were already a growing trend long before the COVID-19 pandemic came about and turned the world upside down. It was no longer a choice whether employees could or would work from home. It simply became the only option. Working from home has always come with its challenges for the freelancers, entrepreneurs, and employees that have done it. 

This article will discuss work from home challenges and changes coworking spaces adapted for coworkers to benefit and enjoy safely.➡️http://www.smbceo.com/.../seeing-the-benefits-of.../

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The spreading of coronavirus didn't hinder Shanel Fields to start her company, MD Ally, which aims to help local governments improve their emergency response systems, which is significantly timely in this crisis. She's not alone as new businesses are forming despite the pandemic, though at a substantially slower rate than before.

Learn more about Shanel's story here: https://www.nytimes.com/.../coronavirus-small-business...

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It can in a pandemic.

There's no doubt that small businesses are significantly affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Not only the employers but the employees they support are devastated as well. After the lockdown, this co-working space owner had such success going virtual that she is making bigger plans.

Read it here: https://www.nytimes.com/.../pandemic-honey-space-online.html

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