RooJax, a family-owned company, will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 1 in downtown Arkansas City.
“My own grand opening is (Sept. 1) and (Sept. 2) we will be having free cupcakes, and giveaways of shirts and cups and door prizes,” said owner Shelly Gatton.
The new storefront, located at 316 S. Summit St., is the first for RooJax — until recently, the company was located in Gatton’s home.
Origin of RooJax name
“It’s been just a garage business for several years,” Gatton said. “I just did a few outdoor markets and made things for personal friends.
“All in all, RooJax has been a business or hobby for me for about eight years.”
The company is named after her children.
“My daughter — who attends Cowley Community College here — her name is Riley and we always called her ‘Roo,’” Gatton said. “My son, Jaxon, we called ‘Jax.’”
Gatton’s husband, Monty, also gets in on the action. He does almost all of the woodwork in the store.
RooJax product line
RooJax carries products that are old, new and everything in between.
From antiques to apparel, there are plenty of items available for sale.
“I do custom T-shirts and personalization of items — if you can think it up, I can make it,” Gatton said.
“We also are expanding and having a (Do It Yourself) room in the back for those people who like to redo their own things.
“I also sell and make Wichita-area Jeeple shirts and vehicle decals.”
She also intends to have consignment spots available in the store.
Homemade wooden items
The Gattons also make handmade wooden animals out of tree trunks with a chainsaw.
Monty builds shelves and makes benches, as well.
RooJax can handle orders of all sizes.
“If the order is too large for me to do myself, I hire it out and I can ship,” Gatton said.
“We are going to be expanding into an online market very soon,” she added.
Fun mascot, fun store
“We will also be having a mascot — a giant kangaroo,” Gatton said. “We hope to be using her for advertising on the weekends to hand out coupons and goodies.”
The kangaroo’s name is R.J., of course, and Gatton wants to make the mascot available for parties and functions.
Gatton said she wants RooJax to be known as a fun place to shop, where customers can find both old and new handmade, personalized, whimsical décor and fashion items.