Maria Halkias The Dallas Morning News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Maria Halkias takes a look at some Dallas creators who are now launching their own brick and mortar businesses. Many got started with their businesses after March 2020 when COVID "made them sit back and reassess.”
Optimistic retailers banked on consumers heading back to stores as the restrictions of the pandemic eased. From pop-ups to permanent locations and relocations, local entrepreneurs and national chains have committed to new stores in the Dallas area.
New store concepts are bubbling up from expanding numbers of people who want to be their own boss.
“This day and age, you can be what you want to be. Now I say I’m a plant designer,” said Courtney Goldberg, whose Urban Spikes store has three employees and corporate clients who buy $1,000 and $1,500 botanical garden arrangements. Now the store also has a clientele that comes in for that unique $50 gift.
After a 10-year career in public relations, Goldberg, the mother of three boys under the age of 9, discovered she had a talent as a plant designer. Her Urban Spikes design studio on Alpha Road in Dallas is now open to shoppers. Goldberg’s store is filled with her modern botanical, succulent and cactus arrangements and also the sand, rocks, natural gemstones, driftwood and plants used to build custom orders or for shoppers who want to design their own.
Katy Sensenig Schilthuis opened her first Mosaic Makers space in the Bishop Arts District in 2018 in a tiny 300-square-foot space with her Fresh Out of Ink brand of cards and gifts and eight other women displaying their goods. The concept quickly outgrew the space and moved into 2,000 square feet.
“Part of what’s behind this is that people want to own their own business; they’re reconsidering how they make a living after being furloughed,” Schilthuis said. “A lot of them got started after March 2020 when COVID made them sit back and reassess.”
She has a waiting list of makers who want a spot in her stores, and she believed there was also a market for what she was doing in North Dallas. Her second location opened this summer at Galleria Dallas.
So far, Schilthuis said, the Galleria location has been a positive experience, and it has been “eye-opening” to learn about different shopper demographics. People spend more per purchase at the Galleria store, she said. Still, even with merchandise makers supporting the concept, it was a big risk to open a second store, she said.
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