Today we close the doors to our Deep Ellum store. It also would have been my 13th wedding anniversary.
The biggest lesson – in business and life – that I’ve learned over the past couple years is that change is simply the way the world turns, and more importantly, evolves.
You can either choose to lean into change, learn from it and leverage it, or you can resist it and rob yourself of all the things life has in store for you.
Every day, I say yes to change and the challenges it brings on. Because I know that it will have a learning lesson, opportunity or tiny – or sometimes huge – victory behind it.
Sometimes I’ve seen the outcome from these choices and adjustments instantly. Other times, it’s taken years. But every single time a lesson or gift is given. How can I not be all in for that?
For the past six years, our Deep Ellum location has been ground zero for my time, hopes and dreams to build Flea Style. I bought it to take the brand from a seasonal flea market to a retail concept (hello, huge change).
The next five-plus years are a total whirlwind, just like our Flea Style story. Year two the 5,000 square foot space was slinging unique products while parts of it turned into a think tank for designing our Frisco store and Heirloom Haul. Every menu meeting, food tasting and photoshoot were conducted inside the downtown Dallas space.
During that time, it was also the hub for maker workshops, tapings of our podcast "Fridays with Flea Style" and all the planning sessions necessary to produce our quarterly markets we still hosted from Dallas to Houston.
After we opened Frisco in 2019, it was clear retail and restaurants were our path. Inside the walls of Deep Ellum, I made the hard decision to stop hosting anything not aligned to focus for financial stability and success. Our final flea market show that November – our 10-year anniversary show, to be exact – was so bittersweet, but I knew it was the right decision.
Sometimes hard change is the best change. It just takes time to see the why.
Thankfully, I made that tough choice because a handful of months later Covid hit and would have shut us down anyway. During Covid, Deep Ellum became our safe and creative space. We closed the store for a year while we focused on new initiatives to keep us afloat.
The biggest one was our online store. We’d always had a tiny online presence, but we took this time to ramp it up. For the first eight weeks, while everyone was home, Deep Ellum was my house and I got on stories daily to sell anything I could from our store’s floor.
I was the salesgirl, photographer, tech department and shipping facility. Our doors were closed, but sales were up with all the heart and hustle.
Once our office was back, we started Game Day Style and used the former retail floor and our open parking lot to cut, bleach and churn out hundreds of reimagined sports gear weekly for a growing online business.
At this time, we used our Deep Ellum office area to house another huge change in our business plan: a buying office. With Covid still lingering it was difficult to get product from our consignment vendors or several stopped sourcing altogether. So, we went to market and online wholesalers to fill our floors and the impact was instantly felt after learning our customer’s style over the past few years.
When it was finally time to open our doors again in 2021, we did so with a bang: our company’s biggest hat bar.
That summer, I knew it was time to move our corporate team from the small office in the back of the store to a dedicated space and started construction on the building next door which was always used for storage. In December, we moved into the 1,750-square foot space that included offices, photo studio space and a distribution center.
Over the past two years, these collective changes have created a lot of growth from opening more stores and developing our own hat line to designing what’s ahead for Flea Style and our sister concepts Heirloom Haul and Wide Brim.
Once again, we are at capacity in our Deep Ellum location. We have storage units and fulfillment centers from Las Colinas to Prosper Texas. This spring, after our first hat line landed with thousands of units, I knew we needed to figure out a new plan for storage, distribution, and shipping.
We toured spaces all over town to move our headquarters, but nothing felt right. Too corporate. Too far. Too expensive. Too “not us.”
The entire time the solution was right under our toes: Deep Ellum. I didn’t make this change quickly, which isn’t normal for me. I took a lot of time thinking about it. But by this summer I knew the right solution for us – right now – was to turn our beloved Deep Ellum store into our dream distribution center and divide our corporate teams between both buildings.
It was important to keep a store close to celebrate our roots and love for Dallas. We signed a deal with Dallas Farmer’s Market down the street to be our new downtown retail home.
It’s the perfect spot for us with a killer location that also loves to celebrate local and small businesses. It felt so right.
We have a big month of change and transition ahead, but by mid-November our new store, distribution center and offices will be open and bigger and better than ever.
Deep Ellum is home to so many of my favorite memories. It’s also the spot for most of my growing pains, tough choices and game-changing company decisions.
I’m so grateful for it all, and, without this special spot, Flea Style wouldn’t exist. I’m so excited to see it in this new chapter and know the changes will be a catalyst for even more good things ahead.
Good Things Happen Here.