By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — The Cline Building, on North Main Street, has sat empty for many years, dust collecting in the items slowly decaying from years of neglect. That dust has recently been cleared away and lights are once again emanating out into the streets, as several new businesses have reopened in the historic building, bringing new life onto Main Street.
Mielon Dixon opened her doors Nov. 4, and takes a break midafternoon, sitting at a table to discuss the success of her business. It is her first foray on her own, opening a bail bonds office, and she is thrilled about her welcome. She started her career in the bail bonds service three years ago in Pawnee.
“I had worked for Goad Bail Bonds, out of Pawnee, and Jan Gostling retired,” she said. “She was our bail bondsman for Kay County, and they asked if I’d be interested working up in Kay County, so I got my license and came up here.”
She searched for available buildings in Kay County, exploring several local communities for a shop to open. She showed up in Newkirk, and very quickly found a building that had potential.
“One day, we came to Newkirk, and the antiques shop was open. We went in there, and asked if they knew of anybody who had a rental property,” Dixon said.
The antique store was Finders Keepers, and the Venegas family had one of their own for just such a purpose.
“They were inquiring about a building for rent, and I had just purchased the building, and I was just glad someone was interested in putting a new business in town,” Mario Venegas said. I had no plans other than wanting to bring a new business to town.”
The bail bonds shop isn’t the only business venture she is undertaking. The entire facility is known as Infinity, LLC, and includes several vendors offering their wares in a consignment shop.
Those businesses include MD Bail Bonds, along with Hurricane Dixie Leather, which specializes in custom-tooled leather. River Bend Acres focuses on silk flower arrangements, along with homemade soap, jewelry and photography. Okie Ear Bobs offers custom earrings made of leather and vinyl. Granny Quilts creates custom quilts and bags. Osage Metals sells custom metal decorations and designs.
Those businesses are independently-owned Oklahoma companies selling their products locally to help the local community. No booth fee required, but a small commission is taken from each business.
There are plans to enlarge the business, adding a nail salon, and eventually, a hair salon.
The business has seen a lot of activity, as people have visited to check out the offerings.
“We’ve had quite a bit of traffic. We’ve had a lot of people stop by to see a new business downtown,” Dixon said.
Venegas is happy to see his building as a place of new business.
“If we could get more of these buildings filled up, it would be really good for this town,” he said. The Chamber of Commerce also sees the new shop as a benefit downtown.
“Any time there’s a buzz, it gets people downtown,” said Chamber President Debbie Leaming. “It’s going to enhance our other businesses, not take away from them.”
Dixon has seen a lot of support, in only a few days and a Nov. 16, will have an official ribbon cutting with the Chamber, as they welcome the business and help enhance life downtown.
“I think it’s important you help the community as much as possible,” Dixon said. “I encourage everyone to get hold of us, it’s a chance to get out and support the community.”