When Cassie Neahring was a college senior with only one course standing between her and graduation, she couldn’t possibly have imagined it would change her future completely.
“I’ve always been creative,” Neahring said. “But I never had the right outlet or medium to really share that with others.”
Neahring is the owner of Out On A Limb Boutique, a 1,200 square foot space located in the Plaza District that opened in August of 2014. Out On A Limb features a variety of jewelry, upcycled and handmade clothing. Neahring creates most of the store’s inventory, but she also allows local jewelry makers to have some space in the store as well.
“One of my best friends from UCO who lived next to me in the dorms actually sells her jewelry in the store,” Neahring said.
Neahring was one class short of the graduation requirement for her marketing degree in 2008 when she enrolled in a sewing class.
“During my last semester at UCO, I needed one credit hour in order to graduate, so I took sewing,” Neahring said. “My grandmother was a seamstress but it skipped a generation, so I had to learn from the very beginning.”
Out On A Limb wasn’t born right away, though. It proved to be a bit of a journey for Neahring.
“After graduation, I practiced (and failed) for a year before I decided to make skirts using some vintage material I found at an estate sale. Then, I held little trunk shows at my house for my friends. They’d pick out material and I’d make them a custom order skirt. That went on for a while before I approached a local store, DNA Galleries, to see if they’d sell my clothing.”
That opened up a door to even more Oklahoma-based stores and boutiques. Neahring didn’t settle for that, though.
“Throughout the next few years, I was learning and slowly writing my business plan,” she said. “I learned how to do that through my time at UCO. I was constantly on the look out for the perfect spot, focusing on the Plaza District since it was a space I already loved dearly. Once this place opened up, I called and presented my plan. Within a month of being accepted to rent the space, I opened my doors to the public.”
Neahring’s years at Central created a customized foundation that brought her to this moment in time.
“I don’t think I can choose just one thing as my biggest takeaway from UCO,” Neahring said. “It was a mixture of a lot of things that I learned there that brought me to where I am. From the small business classes to my time on the Student Programming Board, I really had a lot of experience. I handled most of the entertainment events put on by SPB like concerts, but I was also involved in the Winterglow Committee, Freshman Follies, the Student Ambassador program and I helped run the Murdaugh Haunted House.”
Out On A Limb Boutique is located at 1710 NW 16th Street. They are open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.
To see more photos from Out On A Limb, check out our #CentralMade Facebook Album.