Ten years ago, Brittney Matlock graduated college. Two months later, she signed a lease for a retail space in downtown’s Automobile Alley and became business partners with her mom, Traci Walton, in a new-to-OKC retail concept, Plenty Mercantile, which focused on truly sustainable and green products.
“Overnight, I went from her daughter to her equal business partner,” Matlock said. “When you grow up, you think your parents know everything. And then you grow up, and you realize they actually do.”
Still, Matlock had to learn to trust herself as she and her mom grew the business.
“I call her the adultier adult,” she said. “But I had to trust myself and my expertise and my education and not be like a defensive teenager but learn to be confident in what I know.”
Turns out, what she knows is how to grow a business that is focused on sustainable products – selling everything from pet care and jewelry to kitchen wares and baby toys. During the life of the business, the mother-daughter team has grown Plenty Mercantile from one to currently three locations, with a new store opening in October at Will Rogers World Airport and another gift shop opening in the First National Building downtown later this year.
In fact, Plenty Mercantile’s growth is a bit staggering: Gross revenue for the store has steadily grown for years, but it saw a 13 percent increase in 2020 (when the world stopped) and 26 percent in 2021. In total, gross revenue has increased 65 percent from 2017 to 2021.
“Plenty is an extension of our home and what we desire it to be,” Walton said. “Brittney and I grew up in the same home, obviously, and that style stayed with us. We share so many of the same values and styles, and all those little things are so similar along with the unique differences that we bring to the table.”
When the pair first opened Plenty, Walton had three kids at home and was spending afternoons in school pick up lines. Matlock was single and fresh out of college. Now, Walton’s littles are grown and gone, and Matlock is married with two babies of her own.
“When you become a parent, you know that your children are watching you,” Walton said. “And now, when I get to stand side-by-side – now I’m tearing up – and see my child turn around to her children and see her children are watching her. And she continues to rise to the occasion on every occasion – it is very fulfilling. I get to be part of Brittney ‘s life in a way I wouldn’t get to do otherwise. You can’t separate your parental love for your business relationship, but I get to help —her, her business, our family in every way.”
Matlock’s professional career has been entangled with her mother from the start. But any self-doubt that she could not make it on her own has been replaced with gratitude, she said.
“The amount of things I’ve learned just from watching her, most people don’t get,” she said. “I’ve never done anything else. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Can I do anything else? Am I capable of doing this? Who would I be if my mom wasn’t around me all the time?’ But then, I remember I do get to do all of this. This is who I am, and I am better because of that. I am the lucky one to have her included in every day. Most humans don’t get that relationship with their parent and that level of respect for each other.”
And that’s plenty.