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.

Payne County Tree Service was founded by Rick and Kristen Hadley in 1990. We provide tree pruning, trimming and removals, stump grinding, brush chipping and removal, woodchips, and our most popular product this time of year - firewood. We take pride in the beautification of our customers' properties. Be sure to let us know if there is anything tree related that we can help you out with! www.pctsi.com

Members - don't miss your chance for your business to be featured in our next newsletter.

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/

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 text that says 'COWORKING O W Ke Work CENTER IS A PANDEMIC THE RIGHT TIME Το START A BUSINESS? it just night be! FULL ARTICLE BELOW'

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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