Flea Style Summit Success Story: Gypsy
Natalie and Bethany Nix had been contemplating opening a shop for years when Natalie discovered Flea Style on Instagram. She went to the Dallas show last spring, and then the sisters-in-law attended the Summit last July. They left the daylong experience knowing what they had to do next: Stop talking and start doing!
A few months later, Gypsy was born. The Lubbock, Texas-based brand now has a booth at KK’s Corner Mall in Lubbock and is also stocking the shelves at the newly opened Daisy Dukes. Last week, Gypsy launched e-commerce.
The Flea Style Summit was a pivotal moment for the pair, who say, “We originally just wanted to jump into a store, but after the Summit, we decided to take it slow.” Most impactful for Natalie and Bethany were learning about the nuts and bolts of running a small business: everything from managing overhead and paying employees to working with vendors to the importance of social media in today’s entrepreneurial world.
“The day was filled with nice tips,” Natalie says. “I felt like we could have stayed there for a week. We picked up a lot of details about running a business that you just don’t think about if you’ve never done it before.”
One key to opening a small retail biz is merchandise, of course. Natalie and Bethany knew they would center their brand around turquoise and silver jewelry, having cultivated a love for it from their trips together to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and recognizing that people in their hometown wanted it but didn’t know where to find it. “It is very rare to see in Lubbock, and people always complement us and ask where our pieces are from. This is what sparked us to think people in Lubbock should have easy access to this jewelry as well.”
The women also knew they needed to offer more than that.
With two Flea Style experiences under their belts, the ladies headed to the Houston show this past fall, with the goal of seeking even more good business advice and securing vendors. Currently they are working with Vibe Collections, Zoe May, Museo Imports and Slow North. They are also carrying hand-painted cards from Paige Davidson, owner of Cahoots Handbags.
At the same time they were finalizing their business plan, Natalie was approached by the owner at KK’s Corner Mall about filling a booth there. “It really made us get our butts in gear!” she says. So they reached out to some of the Flea Style vendors they’d met and placed orders. They opened their KK’s booth in November. About a month later, the owner of Daisy Dukes, a California-based boutique that opened a Lubbock outpost, approached Bethany about filling shelf space. Gypsy essentially became a vendor to the boutique, and the two report that things are going really well on both fronts!
“Flea Style pushed our idea into reality,” Natalie says. “Seeing what Brittany has done, seeing her creativity and how she has built a brand is so inspiring. And everybody at the Summit was so uplighting and encouraging. … From the vendors we have met and who now sell at our store, to learning the creative side of presentation and atmosphere, there is truly nothing like what Flea Style is doing anywhere else that I know of.”
To shop Gypsy, go to gypsy-lubbock.myshopify.com.