By: Natasha Perez
I saw an endless sea of trinkets and jewelry decorating the room. They hang off porcelain hands, guitars, camouflaging with handcrafted Oklahoma magnets and wristbands. Soft lighting bounces off multicolored blankets, colorful shirts, and vivid paintings. Creating a mood.
A blond woman stands behind the paint covered register, in a tranquil state, listening to the music pouring out of the tv speakers. She greets you with a smile. That woman is Amy Smith. The owner of Cajun Blackbird, the new store on Main street. Where they specialize in handcrafted jewelry, fair trade clothing, and representing other artists and musicians’ original art and CDs.
“We just host and nurture that in our community”, said Smith, “ So that not only can artists play and make a living playing that people can come, enjoy it, and vibe”.
Smith’s soul has always been connected to music. During her career in Jenks High school, Smith worked for a record store called Buttons. Where she sold vinyl, cassettes, and CDs.
“I just was always really fascinated by a whole music industry”, said Smith.
She worked for radio stations, sales and started booking bands. Developing her love for the arts and music.
“I just fell in love with the Tulsa scene as far as the talent, so I started booking bands at Riverwalk,” said Smith. “Then we continued to have those same bands play when we opened an art studio together and it just grew into this bigger thing”.
Smith gazes across the street through the window reminiscing.
“Maggie’s music box and Cajun Blackbird used to be Under One Roof called Soul City on 11th”, says Smith, “when we decided to move here, the space wasn’t big enough for the store so I just separated the two”.
Traveling through the small store, the unique paintings of aquatic figures begin to harmonize together, excluding the hilarious painting of Adam Sandler. A white shirt framed by a purple accented scarf attracts the eye. It showcases a mermaid with a drum as a crown, holding a guitar, with the words “Maggie’s Music Box” encircling her. There’s a story behind her.
“It’s all based around a mermaid named Maggie,” said Smith, “She’s named after the JJ Cale song Magnolia. JJ was a big influence on local musicians in town.”
She smiles and eyes brighten. Her excitement fills the room as she explains her vision for Maggie’s on Main. It’s so contagious, it’s impossible not to imagine her dream yourself.
“It’ll feed all your senses. You’ll have the art side feeding, the musical side feeding it, we hope to have food trucks and beverage options,” said Smith, “It’s about creating a laid-back chill atmosphere that people can attend and enjoy becoming part of this kind of trippy community”.
They were aiming to open the music venue on May 2nd. Since the Corona pandemic has led Oklahomans to remain indoors and close nonessential businesses, the opening of the music venue will be pushed back. The good part is, it will be open for all ages but will have a bar in a designated area.
“We found that people were really hungry for original music, cover music, for a place they can feel a part of a community that had similar interests”, said Smith, “it just unifies people”.
You can sense the passion emanating from Smith. Her vision for the Jenks community is beautiful and you can’t help but cheer it on.
“We’d love to see more people that have a vision similar to ours to come out,” said Smith, “ To start a walkable kind of a nightlife situation here; an after five community.”
There will be a small wait for Maggie’s Music Box, I personally will be waiting in anticipation to visit the venue. Also, be sure to visit Cajun Blackbird for trippy accessories and artwork. Once there’s an all-clear, the store will continue to operate from 11 pm to 6 pm. Stay home and stay safe everyone!