RetrOKC is located just off 16th street in the heart of a growing creative community known as the Plaza District. The abstract shapes and retro font on the storefront are indicators of the treasure awaiting inside. Retrokc specializes in Mid-Century, Kitsch, Retro Atomic and Industrial decor for Oklahoma City. Mike Brown, owner, was kind enough to sit down with us to shed some light on retrOKC and to share how his habit of collecting has evolved into a prominent shop. His need to collect comes from a deeper need to repurpose things. The shop provides an outlet for Mike to share his collection, giving people a local place to purchase unique items for their homes.
“I never bought new furniture. I have always gone out and looked for older stuff,” explains Mike as he starts off our interview. For him, it can’t just be old. Mike looks for things that have a sense of style. And that’s exactly the kind of stuff you will find at Mike’s shop.
Everything has a beginning. And for Mike it didn’t start with Mid-Century furniture or Kitchenware made popular by the television show Madmen. Mike’s itch for collecting started with a love for Volkswagens. At 15, he began collecting the iconic Volkswagen beetle. According to Mike, his collection never grew to more than three beetles at a time, “I had a lot of rare or extra parts. The hard to find parts I would keep and exchange at swap meets and stuff.”
As we sat there listening to Mike, we began to realize that this isn’t just his day job. It’s a way of life. Even more than that, it’s about him being able to share his love and passion with people who come into his shop. Mike has since refined his search to garage and estate sales. With his experience, he is now able to sift through stuff and find items most people might look over. That is a benefit to shopping at retrOKC. You could spend gas, time and money over the weekends visiting yard sales and such. Or you could let Mike do the leg work and visit his shop to find your next vintage-addition to your home.