For Jo Meacham, moving to Oklahoma City to launch a kitchen renovation business felt like a good idea. While her friends and family in Norman and Edmond were skeptical, Jo chose to see the city's new revitalization efforts as an opportunity to grow right along with it. Her vision paid off, and 20 years later, both Oklahoma City and her business are thriving.
Jo graduated from OU with a master’s in architecture and previously owned a historic preservation consulting firm before diving into kitchen remodels. At its inception, the company was known as Vintage Kitchens, appropriately named because many of her clients lived in Oklahoma City's historic districts.
Knowledge of significant buildings has served Urban Kitchens well as much of their work remains in historic parts of the city. Still involved in preservation efforts, Jo serves as a commissioner on the Oklahoma City Historic Preservation Commission.
"Working with homeowners who appreciate historic homes is the best part of the business." –Jo Meacham
This year, Urban Kitchens is offering clients double the bang for their buck. Neila Crank-Clements has joined the company as a partner. With more than 10 years of experience in home building and a deep love for Oklahoma City's historic homes, Neila brings a passion for preservation as well as a mind for tackling the trickiest update assignments. Jo agrees.
"Every kitchen is a challenge, but we do all we can to design and build a project that is perfect for each home. Since we began, we have been faced with removing kitchens that may have been stylish at the time but were not designed to fit the home. We feel this is our No. 1 priority." –Jo Meacham
"Renovation is a problem-solving business, and I love to solve problems. I think we will be great partners because we are so alike yet so different." –Neila Crank-Clements
While historic homes may be the foundation of the business, many other treasured Oklahoma City districts are coming to the age of preservation and renovation. Belle Isle is now more than 60 years old, and homeowners in other mid-century neighborhoods are striving to prepare their homes to create memories for future generations.