Clovis News

Word on the Street: More room for adornment

Teresa Pries started Urban Ornaments two years ago in a cubby hole of a space in Old Town Clovis, selling mostly purses and jewelry.

"I thought if I made $100 a day I could make it," she said.

She wound up doing better than that -- and on Mother's Day expanded into the adjoining storefront, instantly growing more than 1,000%.

Pries expanded into 610 5th St. because her previous 200-square-foot space wasn't large enough to accommodate jeans, dresses, shoes and other items customers clamored for. Now, she carries those, and more. And she has built more dressing rooms.

Summer dresses have become big sellers as the weather warms, especially among the large numbers of Fresno State and other students who come in. Urban Ornaments also carries clothes and accessories for infants and children.

Pries credits reasonable prices and good service -- including free gift wrapping -- as the keys to surviving this recession.

"We've been swamped every day," she said. "I went from a one-person job to two full-timers and two high school kids who come in a few days per week."

Upgrades making OK even better

Fresno's OK Produce is proving that it is more than just OK. The family-run company recently completed a comprehensive remodel and expansion at its G Street building.

It also has a new logo and Web site (http://www.okproduce.com) that was designed by Five Creative Group of Fresno.

The company's upgrades include new banana and avocado ripening rooms, a repacking facility, a new energy-efficient cooling system, 35,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof and a modern fleet of hybrids.

OK Produce was founded in 1950 by Charles Matoian, expanded by Matty Matoian from 1970s-2000 and is now led by the third generation, Brady and Chad Matoian.

The company serves customers from San Diego to Sacramento.

"As we approach our 60-year anniversary, our company actually is more prepared for our future than ever before," CEO Brady Matoian said. "Over the past few years, we have built a team of veterans and new associates, as well as invested into our facility in an extensive manner. The new logo and the sprout on our K represent a refreshed company ready for growth into the future."

Housing activists honored

The Community Housing Council of Fresno awarded four honors at its Champions of Homeownership banquet.

Naomi Kirk received the Grover Groves Professional of the Year award. Dawn Golik of the Fresno office of Housing and Urban Development was honored with the Fred Cecil Hill Volunteer of the Year award. Title officer and CHC board member Jennifer Shepherd received the Member of the Year award. DeYoung Properties netted the Organization of the Year award.

The Community Housing Council is a nonprofit group that helps people with housing issues, including foreclosure assistance.

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