“Charlie’s Tees” sells what it says…and more
Co-Owner Mike Naifeh owned the Pop Shoppe just down the street from Charlie’s for 42 years. Retirement doesn’t suit him.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Charlie’s Tees” is a new balloon, banner, and t-shirt shop in Sapulpa. It is located at 1810 S. Hickory, next to the recycling center, Show, Inc. For about 2 months, the owner and staff have been working to renovate, redesign, and stock the new place. The official name is “Charlie’s Tee-shirts, Banners, and Balloons.”
The brightly-lit front room is full of balloons, embroidered hats, printed T-shirts, and dozens of stuffed animals. The prices are reasonable and the products are unique, like a 4-foot-tall Minnie Mouse balloon. They have a large Cupid stand that comes with a heart balloon, that can be planted in a loved one’s yard. (The Cupid is returned, the balloon stays with the Valentine.)
Behind the desk is the cashier and T-shirt printer. Then, behind the scenes is the equipment used for making banners, vinyl signs and lettering, and other products. Many of these products can be custom-embroidered or screen-printed. They can do large orders like team shirts or business ballcaps, or just one.
Mike Naifeh owned and operated “The Pop Shoppe” on the corner of Hickory and Teel for 42 years, before retiring last year and selling his business. Then, he said, he was home one day, one day, and his wife said he had too much energy and needed to get a job. So…
Mike said he went into partnership with “the guru,” Charlie Kalkbrenner, and that “Charlie is the reason” for the shop. It seems that Charlie always wanted to have a silk-screening business, but didn’t know about business. Mike said he knew all about business and nothing about silk-screening, so a partnership was born. Charlie’s wife, Brandi, machine-embroiders the clothing.
Mike told the story of one of his forebears, Clifton Naifeh, who, as a child of 13, walked to France from Lebanon. He sailed to Ellis Island on a cargo ship. When he arrived, he headed for Tennessee, since he had relatives there. He walked and walked. Mike said, “He missed Tennessee and ran into Oklahoma.”
Mike also said his relatives in Oklahoma City spell their names “Nayphee,” because of “hieroglyphics” of the Lebanese language and unfamiliar sound to the officials at Ellis Island.
The Naifehs come from a close family, a family who helps each other to succeed in business, a family of Sapulpa leaders.
About the Author
Lottie Wilds is a native Oklahoman and a multi-talented woman—she is a mother, grandmother, Navy veteran, and lifelong creator. Lottie loves to quilt, decorate, garden, swim, paint, and write stories. She is grateful for every day she gets a chance to get it right.