FUNKY? LOVE IT, BABY!
I would not say that Dallas is typically known for its “funkiness.” Ya feel me fellow Dallacites? But that does not mean you can’t find the truly funky in the Big D, and today I’m introducing you to two of my very favorite places full of Funk: Lula B’s and Dolly Python.
I’m a real big fan of treasure hunts! Flea markets, estate sales, antique shops…shoot given time, I’ll hit the occasional garage sale. What am I looking for? I’ll know when I find it! I’m always on the hunt for vintage clothes (the 1960’s are my fav), vintage Christmas (I have a bad bad habit, but at least I’m aware), Pyrex, cool linens, jewelry, first edition books that Will might like. I’ll look at anything and everything, ’cause you never know.
For those of you who really don’t enjoy “digging” and want to treasure hunt amid better edited items, when in Dallas, you should head to Lula B’s! Located on Riverfront Blvd., with a second site in Oak Cliff, the sign out front says it all: “Cool Stuff for Cool People.” It’s open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm. With a heavy emphasis on mid-century, Lula B’s is the perfect spot to find funky furniture, glassware, lamps, and decorative pieces that help you turn your pad into the coolest one on the block!
My high school friend Laura Johnson has a booth there, and I walked out after Christmas with a bag of goodies she sourced and brought to Lula B’s. Looking for old vinyl records? Sectionals? Vintage sombreros? Hook rugs? Amazing brass etergeres? All are in abundance at Lula B’s.
I spoke with Laura Johnson recently about her venture as a dealer of funky things.
Q: Laura, tell me about becoming a dealer.
A: With a mix of fear and excitement, I became a dealer at Lula B’s about five years ago, opening my booth named Rosie Ruth’s Treasures. I had recently quit playing co-ed soccer (serious injuries were becoming inevitable!), and I needed something for myself; I needed something to focus on besides the stress of raising a teenager and keeping my writing clients happy. My vision for Rosie Ruth’s Treasures is to help people create spaces that provide comfort and security by offering home décor from simpler times. I love the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of the sale, the creativity of styling the booth, and the interesting and wonderful relationships I’ve made with other dealers.
Q: What is your best advice for someone thinking of becoming a dealer at a similar mall:
A: Select a mall that gets good traffic. Walk through the mall you are considering on a weekend and then on a weekday to see how busy it is. Talk to other dealers at the mall about their experiences as a dealer there. Make sure you understand the lease for the booth and the mall’s procedures regarding paychecks, working at the mall and any percentages taken by the mall’s ownership.
Consider where you will get and store inventory. You’ll want to keep the booth full. I like to have enough stashed in my garage that I could re-fill the booth one time if everything sold. Beware of putting too much focus on the buying side. Opening your booth with an “assistant” can be helpful! While “partnering” with someone in your booth can be stressful as you try to balance space for each other’s items and time spent on the booth, having an assistant can be very helpful.
Soon after I opened Rosie Ruth’s Treasures, my mom (who is retired) began helping me by regularly straightening and restyling the booth, letting me know when items sold and working some shifts for me. We have loved doing this together!
Q: Some people say the mid-century fad is over.
A: I believe that mid-century design and vintage décor is classic and will be with us for decades to come. A colorful piece of crewelwork, an olive green Pyrex bowl, a sleek Herman Miller chair, a beautiful piece of Murano glass or a worn leather travel case remind us of simpler times. Mid-century and vintage décor takes us back to our parents’, grandparents’, Brady Bunch’s or Dick Van Dyke’s home, where we felt safe, happy and a bit more innocent. Capturing these feelings in our homes will always be in style.
How awesome is Laura?!! Many years ago she gave me great advice about becoming a Grant Writer, and I’m so happy to celebrate and support her venture at Lula B’s! Be sure and visit her booth!
Now, once you have made your space fit for Austin Powers himself, you have to DRESS to fit your space. So now, you need to high-tail it to Dolly Python. The store is on Haskell and is open Sunday and Monday 12pm-5pm and Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm. Will introduced me to this amazing store about 10 years ago. It’s sooooo dangerous for me to go in there, because half of the store is nothing but VINTAGE CLOTHES! Yes, shouty capitals because I have scored so many times there….even as recently as getting pictures for this post, I found an amazing 1960’s black coat with a brown mink collar, a 1970’s tunic that is so cool, and a vintage boiled wool sweater with darling floral embroidery. There’s a lot of people who go there to find costumes for parties, but there’s a very equal mix of excellent quality funky and fabulous vintage clothes. For years I have collected vintage pieces, and love to mix my vintage with current styles, and Dolly Python never disappoints.
Then….there’s BOOTS. Vintage Cowboy boots, y’all. Hundreds of pairs in every shape and size you can imagine. I have so many pairs of vintage boots already….but don’t kid yourself….if I spy a pair of turquoise cowboy boots in my size, those suckers are MINE!
The other half of the store has several “booths” with all kinds of amazing funky oddities. There’s TONS of jewelry. Cool decorative objects. Oh, I also found a great vintage python clutch…so, there’s purses. Kitchen ware. Funky wall art. The inventory changes a lot, so expect to see something new every time you go. Owner Gretchen Bell and her husband have great vision, and Will often sees them at local flea markets, looking for the next great treasure they can bring back to Dolly Python.
So, in the land of shopping malls and concrete strip centers, if your heart yearns for something a little…edgier….unique….one-of-a-kind….funky…Lula B’s and Dolly Python, y’all. Bring ON the funk!