“HI! My name is Mary Beth Babcock and I LOVE RETAIL!” gushed the Buck Atom’s Queen as we began our conversation. And though many of us may recognize Babcock as the lady who brought the 21 foot Space Cowboy to town, there is so much more to her story.
Prior to her newest venture, Mary Beth was the owner of Dwelling Spaces, a downtown Tulsa boutique and gift shop; “It was an awesome period of my life. It was time for a change and one morning in 2018 I asked myself…”What do you want to do?” I said…I want to do retail…but something small. 30 minutes later the 1950’s PEMCO gas station presented itself on Facebook. I KNEW that was what I was supposed to do next. I had been paying attention…at that time…I knew the Mother Road Market was coming. We signed a lease the next day! I have loved Route 66 since 2006 and have been planting the seeds over the year to prepare myself for this next chapter.”
And thus began the birth of Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66. With this unique gift shop, Babcock found a way to mesh her love for Muffler Men, retail and Route 66 in a way that also supports and brings tourism to her community. “I enjoy collaborating and brainstorming with artists. Watching documentaries, going to live concerts, supporting Tulsa film, music, arts and culture!” Buck Atom’s has yielded opportunity to do many of those things on more than just a personal scale. The shop has brought travelers and tourists from around the world, and seen its fair share of visitors from the music and film industry, including, Jack White and the Raconteurs, Nina Dobrev and Hanson.
Babcock also continues to focus on partnerships around the community for local growth and support, “There are so many things that I love to support and be a cheerleader for. Projects that I’m focused on are continuing to build the Buck Atom’s brand, partnering with the Outsiders House Museum and Woody Guthrie Center on some limited edition products, building the Neon sign for Buck’s and growing Buck Atom’s family.”
Mary Beth has had her fair share of cheerleaders along the way, and credits them for continual support on her journey. “There are many influential women in my life. I have always looked up to women who empower each other and encourage each other. One of those women is Deana McCloud from the Woody Guthrie Center. Another woman I have looked up to and respected is Ida Red owner Angelene Ripley Wright. I have always looked up to Kathy Taylor and Karen Keith. They have always supported and encouraged me.”
She leans on some favorite words as foundation as she continues to work through future goals, “SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE WHO HUSTLE WISELY.”
Babcock encourages fellow entrepreneurs to do the same, and adds,
“BELIEVE in yourself. BE PASSIONATE about what you do. Get a journal and write everything down that you dream of doing. Talk things through with someone you look up to. Don’t doubt yourself.”
Don’t miss your opportunity to see Babcock alongside Ben Folds and Taylor Hanson on November 10th as she partners with Magic City Books for a discussion of Folds new book, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs.” Tickets must be purchased in advance here: Ben Folds Book Bash.
Keep hustlin’, Mary Beth, I’m rooting for you!