Two businesses in Ada’s downtown district claimed top honors this week from the Oklahoma Main Street program.

The home decor store Rustic Ridge won the best visual merchandising category, and Serendipity on Main took home the top prize in the best business practices category. The visual merchandising category honors outstanding visual displays that showcase Main Street businesses’ goods or services and market them creatively, and the business practices category recognizes businesses that have been open for close to a year and are located in the Main Street district.

“Visual merchandising” means when customers walk into Rustic Ridge, they can visualize how an item would look like in their home, owner Donnette Granger said Thursday. She added that the strategy is a key part of her store’s success.

“A lot of people don’t have a vision and when they walk into someplace, if it’s not set out in a certain way, they’re going to walk right by it because they might not have thought about using it that way,” Granger said.

Granger said whenever she sells a piece of furniture, she has to rearrange her remaining inventory to fill the vacant spot and showcase other items so they catch someone’s eye.

“I’ll take maybe one day a week and redo something so that when they walk in, they’ll say, ‘Is this new?’” she said. “It actually was here the last time, but now it’s displayed in a different way.”

Serendipity on Main

A family-oriented boutique, Serendipity on Main was recognized for its business practices that set it apart from other organizations.

Stacy Golightly, who co-owns the store with her daughter, Kari Brown, said they learned about the honor when they attended the Oklahoma Main Street banquet Tuesday night. She said the top three nominees in the category were shown on a screen before the winner’s name was announced.

“We were very honored because different businesses across the state were recognized,” she said.

Golightly said even though she and Brown own the boutique, they think of themselves as partners with three other women: Shawna Williams, Lafton Walbrick and Kim Crawford. She said Williams, Walbrick and Crawford play key roles at the store.

“It’s just a team effort,” she said.

Golightly said when Serendipity opened in 2012, she and Brown wanted the store to be on Main Street because they were interested in helping revitalize the downtown business district. She said she hoped more businesses would open on Main Street to attract more shoppers to the district.

Ada Main Street program director Amy Kaiser said other Ada businesses were recognized Tuesday at Oklahoma Main Street’s awards banquet. She said the McSwain Theatre and Serendipity on Main were two of the three finalists for business of the year honors, and AdaFest was a finalist in the category for premier special events with more than 1,000 attendees.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.