Feature Story: Have Some Holiday Shopping?

Sydney Wood, employee relations specialist

The holidays are approaching quickly, and I, for one, am trying to avoid the inevitable panic buying of last-minute holiday gifts this year. Not only am I procrastinator when it comes to gift buying, I am also a self-accepted awful gift-giver. With the internet at my fingertips and a tight timeline, I get quickly overwhelmed and usually end up buying the first “maybe” I find. If anyone out there relates to my struggles, fear not! This year, I’ve compiled a list of businesses to make your shopping easier—all while supporting the local community and fellow UCO faculty and staff.

Looking for a good deal? The University has partnered with multiple businesses around the metro area in our Shop Central program to provide UCO community members a discount. Shop Central is powered by the UCO Student Association (UCOSA), Human Resources and Alumni Association, and is made possible by the generous local vendors that are participating. Know a kid in your life that could use some new clothes or toys? Check out Cinnamon Bears, where you can get 15% off regular price merchandize with your UCO ID. What if you’re looking for an adult instead? Silver Leaf Gems has a variety of hand designed jewelry, paintings and sculptures by local Oklahoma artists, all for 20% off! Maybe you’re not looking for a gift and just want to destress and shelter from the cold with a nice, hot cup of coffee. If that sounds like your cup of (chai) tea, head to Café Evoke for 10% off all orders. I encourage everyone to take part in making an impact on your local community while enjoying the rewards provided. For a full list of partners, visit the Shop Central page on the UCO website.

Employee Relations also keeps tabs on all the wonderfully talented faculty and staff at UCO. We have crafters, makers, freelancers, designers and more. Have an upcoming white elephant gift exchange? Lauren Bieri makes some fantastic handcrafted cold process soap—sure to please even the pickiest of people. Browse all the scents at her Sand Rose Soap Co. website. Looking for jewelry to “wow” that special someone in your life? Cristi Moore handcrafts beautiful bohemian-chic earrings, necklaces, and rings. See all of her products on the Simple Designs Etsy Store (including one of my favorite necklaces in my own jewelry box). There are various other faculty and staff with their own unique talents: David Krone with his custom acrylic paintings; Dr. Angela Mooney with her crocheted stuffed animals; and Nataliya Paskova with her baby and kid room décor, just to name a few.  Check out the Directory of Talent and Skill* to browse the full list of faculty and staffs’ businesses.

I encourage you all to join me in supporting the local community and our fellow faculty and staff members this holiday season. With so many options out there, you’re sure to find the perfect item for all of your family and friends. Happy shopping!


*Do you have your own talent and/or skill you’d like highlighted on the directory? Know another UCO community member that does? Reach out to Employee Relations and include the name of your business, a description of your products and/or services, and any contact information or websites you’d like to provide.