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Retailer Spotlight: Essentials

Store Name: Essentials

Store Address: 9225 N Pennsylvania Pl. OKC, OK 73120

Instagram Handle: @essentialsofokc

Owner: Kerri Tarman

Years in Business: 35

Tell us about your store. What inspired you to create it?

Mary Ann Grade, original owner & founder, hired me for my first job when I was 14. I started with dusting after school a couple days a week, and everything in between, to going to market as a buyer for Essentials. After 10 years and a growing family we relocated for my husbands job. We moved home four children later. I continued to visit and help make bows or gift wrap over the years. In June of 2019 I had been out of retail for 20 years I learned Essentials was on the verge of closing its doors, I took the leap of faith to keep it opened and became the new owner one month later in July 2019! Mary Ann valued personal relationships, being attentive to customer concerns and desires, and built an incredibly loyal customer base that continues to shop at Essentials 35 years later. I value everything I learned from Mary Ann and truly believe our customers are the heart of our business.

Talk to us about your product curation. How do you decide which brands to offer?

We first look at quality & does it fit “For The Finest in Home Fragrance and Personal Care”. We then ask, where can our customers get this product, is it unique? Can we consistently fulfill the product and what is that process like. Is our partner willing to work with us if any issues arise. We believe in and support loyal partners….LAFCO is one of our best!

What is your favorite or “must-have” LAFCO product and why?

My favorite “must-have” LAFCO product is French Lilac! French Lilac was the first LAFCO candle I had burned when we bought our first home 27 years ago, believe it or not, it was down the street from Essentials! French Lilac takes me back every time to those fond memories!

Do you have a store pet or furry friend? What’s his or her name?


What advice or ideas would you like to share with other independent businesses?

If you find it difficult, you are not alone, but it is very rewarding! Don’t be afraid to allow others to share their talents and ideas to make your business and their opportunities better… everyone will grow!

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