We are deep in the weeds prepping for our Dallas show next weekend. We have so many good things in store for you!
But I wanted to break away for a sec and share a little something with you: Glitter Guide featured a tour of my 1930s casa today! In the story, you’ll see tons of pictures of my Spanish-style space and all the treasures I’ve stuffed it with. I also share the story of starting Flea Style and why I think it’s so important to support small artisans. You can read the whole story below.
In the weeks ahead, when we can catch our breath post show prep, we’ll pull back the curtain on the story a bit, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at our photoshoot for Glitter Guide, telling you a bit more about my house and walking you through my boatloads of boho-cool loot.
It sometimes surprises people that the whole place — from lighting to furniture to rugs to art — is decorated with handmade, vintage and flea market finds on a dime. I can’t wait to share it all with you. So stay tuned — and I hope to shop small with you in Dallas next weekend or later in the month in Houston!
Take one step inside Brittany Cobb’s front door and you’ll instantly see why her 1930’s Spanish abode is the picture of bohemian elegance. Nestled in the heart of Dallas, Brittany’s home is filled with one-of-a-kind finds that echo her eclectic — yet refined — vintage vibe. Rich textures and pops of subtle color are found in every room, from the palm leaf wallpaper in the dining area to the Moroccan style tile on the patio.
We came to find out that Brittany’s aesthetic is actually a product of both her background and passions. A former journalist-turned-creative-entrepreneur and small business enthusiast, Brittany is the founder and CEO of Flea Style, a multifaceted creative platform established in 2009. The Flea Style brand has grown from one curated flea market in Dallas to multiple shows per year across Texas, a yearly creative summit for artisans, a custom product line, an online marketplace and more.
Today, Brittany invites us into her stylish dwelling for an intimate tour of her most prized possessions. Read on to discover the story behind Brittany’s flea market empire, how she finds joy (and sanity) as a busy working mom and why she’s dedicated to supporting small businesses and artisans. Let’s dive in!
Describe your design aesthetic.
My style really blends my background: laid-back bohemian and Texas chic, with a tiny dash of Uptown girl. My life straddles all of these worlds. I was born and raised in Southern California until the age of 18, lived in New York City for a year and have resided in Dallas for 15 years. I love mixing my split personality’s style. My home is covered in bleached antlers, seashell mirrors, brass tables, Murano glass, vintage surfer photography and old horse oil paintings.
What makes your house a “home”?
My home tells the story of my life and now my family’s life, too. Every single thing inside it — from the furniture and dishes in my antique armoire to the clothes in my closet — were bought with intention and love. I really believe that when you buy and collect things over time from unique people, stores and places, those items combine to weave a really interesting story and give off a warm, inviting, interesting vibe that makes people want to visit and linger in your home. Myself included! When I’m not working, there is no better place I’d rather be than home with my family and favorite finds!
I love to think of the tale behind my purchases when I gaze at them in my home or wear them out — how it was made, collected, where it came from, the path it took to get into my life.
Where do you find one-of-a-kind décor pieces, both locally and online?
Of course, I comb flea markets anytime I can and shop our Flea Style shows like a madwoman. I love Canton, a big monthly open-air flea about an hour east of Dallas and hit the Long Beach and Pasadena Rose Bowl flea markets every time I’m home. In Dallas, I adore Lula B’s, White Elephant, Dolly Python and Scout for unique vintage and antique finds. Online, I love to shop Flea Style vendors — Sunshine Tienda, The BOHO Stow, Cahoots Handbags, The Vintage Arah and LemonGlaze. Online, I also love INDIEbungalow and Flea Market Fab for unique treasures.
Pagoda chandelier (similar)
Take us through the journey of establishing Flea Style.
When I moved back to Dallas after a year in New York City, I really missed the flea market shopping I used to do every weekend in my neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen. Dallas has fabulous shopping, but fabulous high-end shopping in big-box stores. I don’t mind that here and there, but I love to dig for my treasures more.
I had amassed a pretty big roster of creative contacts from my years as a lifestyle reporter covering everything from jewelry designers to bakers. I decided to round them up for a cool shopping experience during the holidays in 2009. I couldn’t believe how many people showed up!
I kept up my little side project for about five years while starting my family and working full-time until I made the decision to follow my heart and really focus on the flea. After about six months of doing that, I realized I really had something once I poured all of my energy into it.
How have you grown from a grassroots flea market to a multifaceted creative platform?
As the business grew, so did my need for help. As I hired employees, I needed more events and ideas on the docket to keep the business alive and growing. An online marketplace made natural sense. I didn’t want to just put our vendors’ things on there and be a mini version of our market. So, we started creating products with our vendors that are completely unique to our online shop.
I continue to shop flea markets and put my cool finds on the site, too. We also support our vendors and the creative community between shows with workshops in our office, as well as an annual summit that inspires and educates people with a creative spirit or company.
We’re excited to host spring shows, the first of which will be in Dallas on April 7 and 8, and then on April 29 in Houston. Something that not everyone knows is that 10 percent of proceeds from the online shop benefit our mentorship program that helps small business owners grow and build their business. It’s a great cause outside of our continued vendor support!
How did your time as a lifestyle editor prepare you to start your own company?
I believe that every job I’ve had up to this point has prepared me for running and growing Flea Style. But my journalism degree and years as a lifestyle reporter definitely poured the foundation for our success.
First and foremost, my interviews with creative people over the years not only built my contacts, but also taught me the struggles of the small business community (which later lit my fire to start the summit). It also taught me how to be a good communicator, how to work with the press, manage my time, craft well-written emails and documents and so much more.
Working at a daily newspaper for several years also taught me how to be highly efficient, pitch ideas and always stay objective. These are so key in business, no matter what industry you’re in.
Why is supporting the artisan and small business communities so important to you?
When you support a small business — especially in your local community — you are supporting a huge web of small businesses that are making a difference in your backyard. I find so much joy in shopping small because I know I’m supporting someone’s dream. I also come from the business of storytelling as a former journalist, and love to think of the tale behind my purchases when I gaze at them in my home or wear them out — how it was made, collected, where it came from, the path it took to get into my life.
I love mixing my split personality’s style. My home is covered in bleached antlers, seashell mirrors, brass tables, Murano glass, vintage surfer photography and old horse oil paintings.
What tips and tricks do you have for first-time Flea Style marketplace shoppers?
Our market is really more of a beautiful bazaar than your average flea. Bring cash for our $5 entry, but nearly every single booth accepts credit cards. Bring a small cart because you will, for sure, find dozens of treasures. Wear something fitted if you plan to shop for clothing. We have a dressing room, but it’s easier to slip things on in the booths if you’re dressed appropriately.
Who has influenced your creative journey?
I grew up in a creative home with lots of business sense. My mom is an interior decorator and my dad is a financial advisor. I really think I got a good blend of my parents. I grew up in antique malls, fabric stores and watching my grandmother sew. I think all of this just seeped into my bones. In college, I found that I really enjoyed studio art and art history and really delved into those subjects and lived in museums whenever I had time. As a writer, I covered creative lifestyle topics (fashion, home design, art) and all of those subjects and stories helped shaped my interest and future company, too.
Name your best vintage or handmade find to date.
I have so many I can’t even count. If I absolutely had to pick, I would say my 1930’s Spanish house — it holds all of my other favorite vintage and handmade home and fashion finds!
As a busy working mom of two kiddos, how do you like to unwind at the end of the day?
Honestly? A cocktail! A lemon drop martini or margarita, preferably! Growing up in Southern California, I lived on citrus and am still obsessed with anything tart today. My parents ship me fresh lemons from their yard regularly! I collect vintage records and also love to put them on in the living room and dance with the kids after work to let them get their wiggles out and let me shake off work after a long day.
When you support a small business—especially in your local community—you are supporting a huge web of small businesses that are making a difference in your backyard. I find so much joy in shopping small because I know I’m supporting someone’s dream.
Do you have a phrase or motto you live by?
I love ‘hustle smart.’ I’m a do-er, so I constantly have to remind myself to do the right things, not all the things. I never sweat the small stuff, so that would be one, too. And, it’s so cliché, but I’m also a huge believer in ‘work hard, play hard.’ I work 12-hour days right now (nine in the office and three at night when the kids go to sleep), but make a big effort to plan date nights with my husband, regular getaways and time with friends.
What kind of music or particular song makes you get up and dance?
I can dance to just about anything, although my moves are terrible. However, when Bruno Mars comes on, I get a little extra pep in my step.
Would you rather spend a Friday night out on the town or curled up at home?
Friday night is definitely spent at home. By Friday night, I’m ready for a stiff drink, pizza and time with my family. But Saturday night is spent out on the town after a full day with kiddos.
Three favorite things about living in Dallas: go!
Our bomb Tex-Mex restaurants, big blue skies and the fact that denim goes with everything!