2020 was a rough year for our Deep Ellum brick and mortar. Covid. Looting. Bar closures that halted foot traffic. The list goes on and on…
While our downtown Dallas store was experiencing some difficult situations last year, our Frisco store and restaurant were having record-breaking months and needed our small team on site full-time. So, we collectively decided to let Deep Ellum take a pause to some serious growth and opportunity up north.
We kept our Dallas doors open, but didn’t pour a ton of love in our headquarters. Honestly, we just didn’t have the bandwidth and needed to see how the Covid scaries would shake out.
Earlier this year as things started to open up and Covid vaccines hit the market, it was clear that it was Deep Ellum’s time to shine again.
We went to market and bought tons of product to restock the shelves. We found an antique bar to install our popular hat bar experience in the middle fo the store. I combed Canton for flea market finds to transform into unique store fixtures and displays.
We accepted vendor’s items to replenish our local goods sections. We started hiring people from a general manager to part-time sales associates.
Once we had our nuts and bolts in place, it was time to clear the floor and reset with our fresh new arrivals and hat bar. I hired some installers and pulled a bunch of the team together to make my design dreams come true!
One of the first tasks was to brighten up our beautiful — but windowless — brick and mortar. We installed LED bulbs in all fixtures that instantly brought tons of light to the space. Then I hired an electrician to install the same pretty chandeliers and pendants inside Heirloom Haul above the bar to add some glitz, glam and major wattage to the middle of the store.
Next we re-painted everything with a fresh coat of warm white paint. From there we added new art, mirrors and vintage decor to dress up the walls and breath new life on the floor.
With those tasks under our belt, it was time to roll up our sleeves and start making the floor pretty. First order was pulling every single product off the floor for a deep cleaning. Every. Single. Product, y’all. It took a solid morning but once we had a clear slate we were able to deep clean the space and make it sparkly for all the new product.
Setting the floor with our racks and fixtures was next. We started with the huge 16-foot bar to set the stage for everything else. I placed it in the middle of the store to anchor the space and create a fun heartbeat on the retail floor. After that was set and fixed to the floor, we started playing with fixtures throughout the store to create an eclectic, strategic and thoughtful layout.
After all that was ironed out, the fun part: Merchandising! For the past several days, we’ve been painstakingly merchandising the floor with our mix of handmade, vintage and market finds. We’ve been tackling zone by zone starting with new clothing and jewelry. Hat bar is currently in the works (still waiting on some big deliveries!) and later this week we’ll take on our home department.
During all of this action, our team has been inputing, tagging, hanging and steaming thousands of pieces for the floor. We’ve hired some extra hands to join our back of house retail team to keep up with all the orders, deliveries, box breakdowns, trash removal and more. They’re building barstools, stocking supplies behind the bar, setting up additional tech and doing all the big and little things it takes to make it all happen in store and behind the scenes.
Our marketing and content team has been working on our re-grand opening party, newsletters, fliers and more to get out the word and make the event festive and fun! We want to make this moment a big deal, well, because it is! Covid was so hard for so many reasons and we’re over the moon to swing open our downtown doors again for our amazing shoppers, vendors, product mix and team! We want to make the occasion a huge celebration.
To make all of this happen, I made the decision to shut down our Deep Ellum doors for two solid weeks so we could focus on this huge task, not harm customers in the shuffle and really take our time to get the re-opening right. I shifted my schedule to spend two full weeks downtown instead of Frisco to operate everything and help out as much as I could.
After only two days on the project, I got a call that our restaurant’s general manager was stepping down from her role with no notice. Clearly, my focus needed to shift asap and I’ve been based back in Frisco ever since figuring out our new hire and running the restaurant operations.
I was not ready for that curveball — during our remodel and Market at The Star event no less — but we’ve been figuring it out and the team has really stepped up to help with anything they can to keep our re-opening on track.
I say it all the time here and on social media, but running a small business is such a roller coaster. Add, in Covid, and it’s been the wildest ride of my life. But I’m so grateful Flea Style is surviving it all and thriving thanks to our hard work, dedication to our mission and amazing team.
Deep Ellum is our company’s headquarters and heart and soul. I’m over the moon to swing open the doors again and be back in business.