By Amber LaFrance
This article was first posted on October 18 in dfwstyledaily.com.
Today we are thrilled to feature a local #girlboss making moves in the fashion industry: Brittany Cobb. You may have heard of her seriously amazing indoor marketplace called Flea Style, but did you know the fashion-preneur has an extensive background in journalism and interior design? She has turned her passion project into a full-time gig, fully equipped with an online e-commerce website, workshops for creatives, her own lifestyle line and more — all while wrangling kids as a mother of two. Over the years, the indoor marketplace (returning to Dallas Nov. 11-12) has come to feel like a friend. A friend, that is, with amazing style and an insider’s eye for all things artisan, vintage, repurposed and simply perfect. Read on for the scoop from the #girlboss herself!
A former Cali girl, Brittany attended SMU before honing her journalism skills as a local lifestyle editor and ultimately setting off to NYC to live every fashion gal’s dream, writing for Lucky and others. Returning to the Big D to serve as DailyCandy’s Dallas editor before dipping her toes into the world of interior design, the budding #girlboss started a side hustle: The Dallas Flea. Her then side gig became her full-time job when she left interior design and put all of her gas into a then teeny Flea flame. It sparked — and then exploded! Since founding the Flea, Brittany has continued to grow her former side hustle into a multifaceted business and lifestyle brand. We’ve been following her journey over the years and it’s safe to say, we’re in awe of her hustle.
DFW Style Daily: What can attendees look forward to at this year’s Flea Style?
“Every show we really work hard to make it different, bigger and better. This show marks our first Friday night first dibs access for Flea Style super fans. We have more vendors than ever and they’re flying in from Brooklyn to Portland. We’ve beefed up the men’s stuff, too, including live old-school barber shaves with shots of Buffalo Trace.”
How did the inspiration for the Flea Style lifestyle line blossom?
“I created the Flea Style lifestyle label to answer a need for myself. I’m a home person and collect textiles like little boys collect baseball cards. I had piles and piles of fabrics and my sofa didn’t need another custom pillow! I craved fashion that fit my personality and love for handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind. Our Gypset Wrap — our first design — was born from my collection of textiles coupled with our vendor’s sewing talents. We’re expanding the line with custom denim jackets, a cool new vest design and so much more.”
Describe the Flea Style girl in a nutshell.
“The Flea Style shopper is bohemian that’s all about high-low style. She appreciates textiles and things made by hand. She loves to wear things — and bring things into her living space — that are unique, timeless, global and have a story.”
What’s your favorite part of the design process?
“I love the hunt; looking for cool textiles and unusual beads and accents for our items. We employ our vendors to make our designs so it’s also fun to interact with them, brainstorm ideas and have them be a part of the final product. But my favorite part is seeing it come to life and wearing it around town!”
What key lessons can local business owners expect to learn at Flea Style Summit?
“[It] is our way to have quality time with the small business community and empower them with advice, knowledge, inspiration and the tools it really takes to follow your dream and financially succeed.”
What has been your biggest #girlboss moment so far?
“I would say seeing my company in Success Magazine was a moment I gave myself a tiny pat on the back. Another would be when Reese Witherspoon emailed ‘I love what you’re doing with your Flea Style platform and creating a real artisan market.’ I will remember those words forever. I love Reese!”
Who do you look up to?
“Before I had children I never imagined how difficult it is to juggle mom life, wife life and work life. Educating, empowering and punishing toddlers is not for the weak! So right now, I especially admire working mothers. One of my favorites is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Politics aside, I just adore her. She was a working mom during a time it was completely taboo, is honest to the bone, wickedly smart, wears a turban like a boss and still works her butt off in her mid-’80s.”
Why did you blossom Flea Style into several different businesses?
“I wanted to grow this small show that pushed my happy buttons and did so much good for Dallas and the bigger maker/small business community. When I hired employees, we needed more on the books than two shows a year to financially make sense. So I added another city — Houston — to add more work for us all and grow our shows’ reach. Our events are only in the spring and fall so I came up with Summit in the summer and winter to balance our calendar and further connect with our audience. I have received so many emails over the years from people wanting to know how to get their business off the ground, improve their product, perfect their pricing, etc. I knew that the creative small business community would respond to Summit and the educational but fun atmosphere we would create. And they did! Our in-house lifestyle label and online shop were natural next steps in the company as our audience grows and more people want our products outside of Texas. We recently added workshops to again connect our vendors and customers and highlight the creative community. We are crazy-strict with only adding things that further our mission and I feel we’ve done a really good job staying true to that while broadening our reach, audience and impact on the maker and small business communities.”
Why do you think Texas is the perfect place to start the Flea Style lifestyle brand?
“For me, Texas had the perfect ingredients to make my Flea Style recipe work. My education here, contacts here, the vibrant maker community here… they all played a big part in what Flea Style is today. I do credit Dallas and Texas for a huge part of my success, but really it’s the hard work I’ve poured into it. When I carved out rigid work hours, invested in employees and really started buckling down and investing in my dream is when magic happened for Flea Style.”
Join Brittany Cobb and makers from across the country at this season’s Flea Style event at Fair Park from Nov. 11 to 12 where attendees can shop over 250 vendors while enjoying goodies from local food trucks, cocktails, music, and a photo booth. To stay up-to-date on Brittany’s #girlboss adventures, visit her website or follow Flea Style on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.