I still pinch myself daily that our new headquarters is no longer ground zero for my dusty flea market finds. Instead, it's now a beautiful, organized hub for our team, dreams and corporate to do lists.
It's been such a long road to this point, and I wanted to share some of the story and images here with you. I think so often people watch social media and think things look easy, fast or simple. But I'm here to say this building is a testament of a ton of blood, sweat, tears, patience, nimbleness and creativity.
Only a few months ago, this building was a storage unit for my crazy ideas and finds. Since purchasing it in 2017, it's housed everything from our camper in Heirloom Haul before her makeover and trek to Frisco to clothing racks, hanger back stock and flea market treasures.
While it served as storage, I thought about it weekly. Should it be an Heirloom Haul restaurant? Should I white box the building and lease it to a likeminded brand (I had more meetings than I can count with restauranteurs, retailers and even a florist)? Should it be a maker space? Would an event venue be the right fit for our customer? By five o'clock most days I craved for it to be a taco and margarita joint!
If you know me, you know I follow my instinct and don't look back. When I know something is right in my gut, I act quickly and don't hesitate. This space constantly stumped me. And, because of that, I knew I hadn't figured out what it should be. I knew the idea would hit me like a ton of bricks when it was right.
So I waited. And waited, and waited...
In early 2019, I decided to at least paint the building and demo the interior, which used to house a soup kitchen. It needed some fresh energy! I hired a crew to completely clear out the walls, old plumbing, defunct AC units and everything else inside.
We punched out some new side windows to bring in more light, put glass in the front entry and lathered the exterior brick in my go-to Shoji White paint by Sherwin Williams. It was the first step to give the cool, 1950s building a new life.
Soon there after, we opened our Frisco store and restaurant in late 2019, and any ideas took a pause. Then, a few short months later, Covid shut the world shut down and we could hardly figure out how to stay open, let alone start a new concept or construction project.
Instead of building new dreams, we focused on the one in front of us and how to keep it alive in a pandemic. All energy shifted from growth mode to survival mode.
About 18 months later, I knew exactly what this space was meant to be. And it was nothing I had ever considered. Funny how things -- and the world -- works.
Covid has had some major silver linings for our business. It forced us to look inward, focus laser-sharp, and get more creative than I ever could have imagined. And, in doing so, has showered us with opportunities from the hard work and big-hearted efforts.
Our corporate team has more than tripled, and we were exploding at the seams in our office. We needed space for desks, product, meeting, distribution and shipping. And as my meetings and calls started getting more routine and serious, I needed four walls for privacy.
Instead of any of the former ideas, it was crystal clear we need a dedicated office space for Style Concepts, the parent company to our brands Flea Style, Heirloom Haul, Wide Brim, Game Day Style and Bungalow. We spent months thoughtfully clearing out the space and I hired an architect and construction crew to bring my vision -- and our needs -- to life.
We broke ground in October and finished the project early December. It was fast and furious pulling it together but it was important to me to complete everything by 2022 to start off the new year fresh, organized and elevated.
I started this company, originally called The Dallas Flea, in 2009 and have never had a dedicated office. I'm giddy to have my own space in the HQ for my personal things, inspiring treasures collected over the years and just a little privacy finally!
I filled the four walls with art I've picked up over my life, family photos, notes from friends and mentors and of course a few favorite hats. I didn't buy anything for the space. In fact, I've had most of the furniture about 15 years. Although our office is new, we recycled, repurposed or salvaged almost every single furnishing and fixture from our former office or a flea market.
Some of my favorite things in my office: The Chanel surfer girl art that tips its hat to my California roots. The encouraging handwritten note from my grandmother. My Paris couture show invite from Georgio Armani when I was a fashion journalist. Pictures of my kids as babies (before they learned to talk back to me!). And the lit "You Got This" neon sign that I turn on every morning I walk through the door to remind myself that it's all going to be ok, whatever the day brings.
The space is a mix of handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind items, just like our 12-year old tagline. Most pieces are from my years scouring the fields of Canton from the hunter green iron garden rack to mint candy shop cash wrap that we turned into a storage unit for all of our office supplies.
More importantly, the HQ honors our roots and concepts throughout all of our brands from the Wide Brim cognac palm print wallpaper to layered mirror moment in our entry. This office is way more "corporate" than our previous spaces due to the needs of the company today. So I tried to bring in fun design elements where I could to make it still feel a bit residential, cozy and funky!
One of my favorite finds is a pair of antique French doors that I turned into barn doors to separate our desk area from noisy distribution. I also love the pops of whimsy throughout such as the marigold '70s chair in our living room to eye-popping art dripping on every wall.
My favorite element inside? The Good Things Happen Here graffiti wall in our distribution center that each of use contributed to. The wall was pristine and white yet we knew it would get scuffed in no time when boxes and action really started revving up inside. So we made the area less precious and had fun putting our touch and trademark saying in coral and green all over it.
To fully complete our updated Deep Ellum space, we tackled the parking lot, too.
I've learned so much running this company for the past 12 years but two of the biggest things I've realized is that you have to follow your instincts and timing is everything.
I know this space would have been a beautiful Heirloom Haul. I know it could have hosted gorgeous weddings and maker workshops. But at the end of the day, it was 100-percent supposed to be our HQ. And, if I had pushed go too quickly on something else, I would have missed a huge opportunity for our brands to grow and thrive.
The past two years during Covid have been beyond challenging. However, through perseverance they've proved there are so many positive things that can come from tough times. I'm so grateful for the good and bad and everything to come. And BEYOND grateful for my family, friends, team -- and new four walls inside this space! -- to support our hopes and dreams.
Happy New Year y'all! Let's have some fun in 2022!