The Black Scintilla: ‘Experiential’ shopping with a personal touch
The Black Scintilla, a women’s boutique at 1112 N. Walker Ave., might be Ground Zero in Oklahoma City’s Midtown district for an emerging retailing concept known as “experiential” shopping.
Peer through the shop’s front window design, and what comes into focus? Racks of stylish, colorful women’s clothing.
But look more closely. You just might see a group of 15 or more women gathered around tables loaded with cookies. They are participating in a cookie decorating class regularly hosted in the small shop.
Or you might see instead a row of sewing machines set up the middle of the shop. It’s a sewing class conducted by The Black Scintilla owner Rachael Gruntmeir for anyone wanting to acquire new sewing skills.
Step inside for a shopping experience that is personal and, well, experiential. The Black Scintilla offers cookie decorating or sewing classes on a regular once-a-month schedule.
“It’s all about experiences,” Gruntmeir said. “Millennials are coming in and are the new shoppers that are now more focused on experiences. They are wanting to make connections and wanting to shop local. The classes sell out every single time.”
Rachael Gruntmeir is an Enid, Okla., native who earned degrees at both Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma. Then she moved out of state, eventually opening her own shop in Las Vegas.
But after three years, she decided to return to Oklahoma, where the concept of “shop local” is embraced to support local merchants who spring up in our communities. She was drawn to Oklahoma City’s Midtown district, which was beginning to have a flourishing community of locally owned retailers.
“I drove through Midtown and said ‘this is where I’m going to be,” she said.