TREE + LEAF

ADVENTURE MORE

The End Is Near (For this Chapter)

PLAZA DISTRICTDusty GilpinComment
Read it all!

Read it all!

In 2006 I was approached by a few acquaintances to help assemble and operate a screen printing press. I was 20 years old and had zero experience printing but a childhood spent growing up around a commercial art studio. I had no money to invest into the operation and for over two years, we didn't pay ourselves. I dropped out of college and realized that being a full time artist and printer was a lot that I would happily accept.

 

Tree & Leaf has given me an avenue to pour my art into and it has become a springboard for building and cultivating community. Creating a place where people could hang out and be inspired to express themselves became as much of a mission as printing t-shirts. The shop gave me an opportunity to surround myself with some of the most wonderful people I've ever and will ever meet. I can even go as far as attributing my marriage to the shop; I started dating Kristen after doing design and print work for her as Plaza Director.

 

Its hard to believe that I've been doing this for 11 years - over a third of my life. I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to do this work for this long. It is with great sincerity that I humbly thank every employee, customer, co-owner, and patron of our store.

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I am very proud of the quality products, shows, and events we have had in our store. We worked very hard to earn every dollar that made its way to our register. We did our best to use our assets in ways that built up those around us. My employees make a very honest wage and I have given my spaces, tools, and equipment to artists, musicians, and neighbors to utilize as they needed. I am very proud of how we have conducted business over the last 11 years.

 

Proceeds from every art project and mural job I did have gone to pay the overhead costs of the store. My personal financial profits from the store are low, however, my love for the community that surrounded the store made that reality justifiable over the years. Unavoidable are the overhead expenses that continue to increase. As unfair as it seems, that's the way it goes.

 

With a heavy heart, I am announcing that the brick and mortar retail location of Tree & Leaf in the Plaza will be closing its doors in February of 2018.

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Over the last few years, retail business has become much more of a struggle. There are numerous reasons for the store closure, however, going down that rabbit hole distracts us from the potential opportunities that await. This closure has occupied my thoughts for a long time and I have lost a lot of sleep over many months. The tides of retail sales are shifting and so is our business model. As I navigate these waters, I've begun looking forward to the potential art projects, events, and products I'll have more time and resources to invest in!

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Tree & Leaf has always had the mission of cultivating community, encouraging creativity, and being active outdoors. Our closure is bittersweet, but it will not be an end to our line of unique t-shirts, our events, and our community activism. I will still have my other studio space in the Plaza Alley for a while. I will continue to print, design, and paint. If you want to come visit, just ring the doorbell! I'll continue to use the same social media accounts, and you can follow along there.

 

In the meantime, I'm going to be joyful for the wonderful opportunity I've been given to serve the Plaza District over the last 5 years. As we close the store, we're going to have some fun with it. We're going to celebrate what we've accomplished and make fun of ourselves at the same time. We're also going to have some fantastic sales!

 

Side note: I cannot express how grateful I am to have a wife that builds, encourages, and corrects me. Kristen has walked alongside me through the difficulties of this last year and I couldn't be more thankful for the guidance and love she offers.

 

With honest sincerity, thank you for being our customer and friend. Remember: Be honest in word, work, and deed!

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Dusty's Discgolf Daycation

Adventures, Disc GolfDusty GilpinComment

Right before the holidays, I have about a 3 day window when I can get outta town before two months of non-stop printing and stocking the store. Luckily, my good friends, Jason Pawley and Daniel McKinney coaxed me into going on a two night camping trip. We ran down to McAlester to play a few disc golf courses and sleep under the stars. Here's a few highlights from our trip!

Shout out to some of the best dogs around. Gracie and Arrow did great out on the courses and around the campfire. We couldn't have asked for better companions!

Shout out to some of the best dogs around. Gracie and Arrow did great out on the courses and around the campfire. We couldn't have asked for better companions!

Pawley brought along his pup, Arrow, and I brought my dog, Gracie. The courses are very dog friendly, and they did great. Camping just isn't the same if you don't have a few good dogs alongside.

Pawley teeing off at Mekusukey. McKinney and Pawley with the pro disc golf setup. A chump probably missing a putt at Eagle Hill.

Pawley teeing off at Mekusukey. McKinney and Pawley with the pro disc golf setup. A chump probably missing a putt at Eagle Hill.

In three days we played 6 full rounds of disc golf at three different courses, and probably another 18 made up holes around our campsite. On our way to and from McAlester, we pit-stopped at Mekusukey Disc Golf course. In McAlester, we played Buffalo Run and Eagle Hill twice each. All three courses were great, each offering different obstacles and atmospheres. Buffalo Run is an extremely well laid out course and wonderfully manicured. Eagle Hill and Mekusukey are much more technical and in the trees.

McKinney was the real MVP of the campsite. He fixed breakfast each morning and dinner each night. We ate like kings!

McKinney was the real MVP of the campsite. He fixed breakfast each morning and dinner each night. We ate like kings!

Each day we played 2-3 rounds of disc golf, which ends up being around a 10 mile walk each day. By the end of each day, we had hungry bellies and tired puppies. McKinney made sure we ate well, and I made sure we had plenty to drink. By the time 10pm rolled around, we were all howling at the moon.

Each night the stars were incredible, and each morning we were awaken by a beautiful sunrise. The wind died down each night so we could have a big comfort fire.

Each night the stars were incredible, and each morning we were awaken by a beautiful sunrise. The wind died down each night so we could have a big comfort fire.

McKinney and Pawley are both serious supporters of the store and brand. Here are a few shameless product shots to convince you to shop with us soon!

Acorn slipper boots, super soft joggers, and a quilted flannel: the most comfortable way to spend a morning at the campsite or at home.

Acorn slipper boots, super soft joggers, and a quilted flannel: the most comfortable way to spend a morning at the campsite or at home.

Jason Pawley, ladies and gentlemen! A handsome devil, a talented artist, and downright friendly dude. Don't let the Marlboro Man stare fool you, he's all laughs.

Jason Pawley, ladies and gentlemen! A handsome devil, a talented artist, and downright friendly dude. Don't let the Marlboro Man stare fool you, he's all laughs.

Pawley, McKinney, and myself are definitely advocates of our brands motto. "Wear it out." We make sure to get the worth out of our clothes, boots, koozies, and camping gear. Honestly, it all looks better beaten in anyway.

Pawley, McKinney, and myself are definitely advocates of our brands motto. "Wear it out." We make sure to get the worth out of our clothes, boots, koozies, and camping gear. Honestly, it all looks better beaten in anyway.

You won't catch me without a hat on. We've worked hard to curate some of the best hats around.

You won't catch me without a hat on. We've worked hard to curate some of the best hats around.

You never know when creativity might strike you. Jot down those notes and sketch those ideas, even when at the campsite. This motto is one that we apply to daily living, "Be honest in word, work, and deed."

You never know when creativity might strike you. Jot down those notes and sketch those ideas, even when at the campsite. This motto is one that we apply to daily living, "Be honest in word, work, and deed."

A big thanks to Daniel McKinney for snapping a majority of these pictures. He is a good friend of our store and the Plaza District. Get outside, throw some discs, hike a little, and give your dog a hug. If you're doing those things in our apparel, tag us in photos on social media or use the hashtag #TLwearitout.

Until next time, cheers chumps!

Anthem Brewing Factory Tour

Adventures, ART, LocalSteven SilvaComment

Last week, @trudust and myself had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of one of Oklahoma City’s great local beer-makers. Dusty live-painted the artwork from their seasonal Rye’d or Die IPA to celebrate its re-release.

Yum

Yum

After downing a few beers, Anthem Brewing’s Ben Childers gave us an impromptu, how-it’s-made factory tour of the works.

All Aboard

All Aboard

There are monster silver tanks visible from the taproom floor, but once you slip through the Warehouse door, it’s another ballgame – big bags of hops, bits of cans, and barrels galore.

We also raided the refrigerator room with ready-to-go kegs and cold variety packs. 

Hollywood-induced fear of getting trapped in here and freezing...free beer though

Hollywood-induced fear of getting trapped in here and freezing...free beer though

The mixing process starts with a recipe, combing through hop varieties and specialty ingredients to be fed into what I can only assume is a giant blender. The mix shoots through pipes running along the ceiling, returns to the main floor,  and ends up in these fat-cat silver tanks for a soak.

The tanks are apparently filled with really hot water, so of course we touched them immediately. Good thing they’re insulated! 

The tanks are apparently filled with really hot water, so of course we touched them immediately. Good thing they’re insulated! 

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Fun fact: after soaking, hoppy remains are picked up by super-farmers to be used as feed. It’s a symbiotic service – Anthem stays clear of hoppy leftovers, and hogs get free food. I think Ben said they go through something like 5 tons a week. Pigs must be feasting.

Runoff is pumped away, and perfect beer is delivered to the cannery system. The cannery machine was a straight up robot – little arms and and conveyor belts popping the tops onto cans. Lots of smarts, effort, and technology goes into your Friday night buzz. Who knew!


The tour was great, but the really great thing about Anthem has been how engaged they are in the community. They’ve supported and sponsored all kinds of events for us and for other local businesses. No kidding, they chipped in coldies right after this for our humble Retro Game Night.

Drink up!

Drink up!

So thanks to Ben and all the guys at Anthem. Crack open a fresh IPA! Cheers!