Retail has been the Welch family business for decades. Amber Welch grew up traveling around the country to art shows with her mother, Jere, so it’s only fitting that they opened their own home decor and lifestyle store together, Amber Marie and Co.
"My grandfather owned a clothing store and my mom had a store — she was self-employed until she sold the business," Amber says. "I started going to market when I was 12 years old."
After Amber graduated from Oral Roberts University with a marketing degree, she surprised her mother by asking her to go into business with her.
"So we had a garage sale, and started the business," Jere says.
The mother-and-daughter team enjoyed success at various home expo shows, such as An Affair of the Heart, selling their home goods, jewelry, accessories and clothing. But they had a hard time finding a space for a brick-and-mortar store.
"We were searching and searching, driving to look at space in the middle of the night," Amber says. "A guy asked me if we’d ever thought about the local mall. Where I grew up in Kansas, the nearest mall was four hours away."
When Amber and Jere met to discuss opening a local shop among all the big-box stores in a busy mall, she said the leasing agent showed them a photo of an example of what she envisioned as a good fit for the store. It was Amber Marie and Co.’s booth from Affair of the Heart.
Being friendly, helpful and accessible is an important part of their business — especially since it’s in the middle of a mall.
"We want you to love the home you live in, and (we don’t want to) force a look on you," Jere says. "We love it when we hear our customers say, ‘This is my happy place.’ They feel at home and at peace."
And since they’ve spent their lives in retail stores and at market, Amber says it’s especially important for mothers and daughters to have fun shopping together.
"It’s important for us that mothers and daughters come in and find something for each of them, so that it’s relevant for all ages," Amber says.
Amber Marie and Co.
Inside Woodland Hills Mall, 7021 S. Memorial Drive
918-940-7878 | ambermarieandcompany.com