Last week we drove up to Denison, Texas, to visit with Robin Garrett, thrifter extraordinaire, lover of margaritas, and owner of the cutest plant nursery and gift shop you ever did see. (For those of you who don’t know, Denison is a tiny town about an hour north of Dallas.)
Robin’s shop is called Oopsy Daisy, and it’s located in a former 1950s mid-century service station — the kind of place where a guy would run out and pump your gas with a big ol’ “howdy.” She took over the space in 2013, after losing her lease elsewhere, and renovated the tiny storefront and three-bay auto garage herself, turning what was at one time filled with greasy rags and busted tires into an adorable shop bursting with plants (seasonal hanging flower baskets, patio pots, bedding plants, veggies and herbs, shrubs and more) as well as unique home decor, vintage jewelry and all kinds of cool giftables. Seriously — this place could not be any cuter!
We met Robin last summer when she attended our very first Summit. Later she came to a few of our workshops, including our field trip to Canton, where she and Brittany scored big time. She kindly donated the greenery for our winter Summit this past February, and she’ll make her Flea Style debut this weekend. She’s bringing loads of goodness to Fair Park, so be sure you find her and say hi. In the meantime, get to know her a bit right now.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Central Valley of California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s the state’s most productive farming region — and one of the most productive farming regions in the world. More than half of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the United States come from this area. Though I’m not trained in horticulture, I think my love of plants may have started from growing up in that area.
What was your first job?
At 11 years old, I picked from my parents’ backyard fruit trees and went door to door selling fruit. One day I sold four bags of plums to a family who needed a babysitter. They hired me to sit that night. Those were my first jobs.
How did Oopsy Daisy come to be?
When my husband retired, we moved from California to Texas. His uncle had a seasonal nursery business in Sherman called Uncle Dave’s Plants. It had an established following. I bought it from him five years ago. At the time, it was basically just roadside tables and plants. I renamed it and moved it into its current year-round location in Denison.
What important lesson have you learned since launching your small business?
First and foremost, you have to roll with it. You can plan and plan, but things change. You have to be flexible. I am a bit of a control freak, and having this business has taught me to look at a situation I hadn’t planned for and say, “That’s OK. It’s going to be fine. It’s all going to work out.” And it always does.
What does Flea Style mean to you?
Flea Style just fits me. I discovered Flea Style through Bethany Mieth at Ruibal’s. Last summer, I was really on the fence about attending the Summit, but at the last minute I decided to go. I was so happy that I did. So much of what was discussed really resonated with me — especially the things that Travis Weaver from Manready Mercantile had to say. I left the Summit with a buzz, and things have really taken off for Oopsy Daisy since then. Was the business about to take off anyway? Or was it Flea Style? I don’t know, but my husband says that since that day I’ve been different, that I’ve been so excited about and committed to what I am doing.
What advice do you have for someone who keeps killing all her plants?
It’s funny: It’s the exact same advice I’d have for someone who is launching a business!
- Do not get discouraged.
- Try and try again.
- Remember what you have learned.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Flea Style Speed Round
Sunrise or sunset?
Coffee or tea?
Both, but a.m. coffee mandatory.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs 100 percent.
The one I just sold! (Ha ha!)
“You can make something happen, you can watch something happen, or you can do nothing and say, ‘What the hell just happened?’ ”