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The Love Stories Behind 5 Dallas Boutiques

These couples prove that sometimes love and business really do mix.

They say you shouldn’t bring your work home with you, but the following couples all prove the power of combining creative forces with the person you wake up next to. In honor of this love-filled month, we visited the owners of five Dallas boutiques to capture their stories.

Vintage Martini

Ken Weber and Greg Kelly (pictured above)

With five minutes to midnight and “Xanadu” playing in the background, Ken Weber, a film costumer for Walker, Texas Ranger and Barney & Friends, met Greg Kelly at a New Year’s Eve party on Cedar Springs in 1995. “I gave him my number, and he called me a week later,” Ken says. “The rest is history,” adds Greg. Eventually, their vintage hobby grew into a beloved Henderson Avenue shop.

On getting into the vintage game
Ken: I was a film costumer for many years. I did Walker Texas Ranger. I was working as the men’s costumer for the Dallas reunion when I met Greg.
Greg: I was working in warehouse distribution, so nothing to do with fashion at all.
K: I started building a rental stock that I could rent to myself. I kept doing the costuming for these period movies and had started accumulating vintage pieces. When the Dallas film industry dried up in the 90s, we had a warehouse full of vintage pieces we weren’t sure what to do with. We started buying and selling at flea markets and it became an addiction.

On finally getting married
K: We’ve been together for 22 years and got married in 2015. We had a winter wedding up in the mountains.
G: When we got married we’d been dating for 20 years and eight days.

On bringing your work home with you
K: 22 years together is longer than most people we know. When we tell them we also work together, people are shocked.
G: I think we’ve had three big arguments in those 22 years, but we usually end up laughing.
K: It gets trying at times, but it was nice when he came into the picture. I’m the fashion and the voice. He’s the one who’s back here doing the payroll and the accounting. But he’s good on the floor too.
G: I hate being on the floor.
K: We’re good at balancing things I think.
G: Yin and yang.

Dolly Python + Benny Jack Antiques

Gretchen Hinkle Bell and Benny Hinkle III

Attracting everyone from Jean Paul Gaultier to Kesha, Dolly Python has been a vintage destination since 2005. Three years ago, owner Gretchen Hinkle Bell found her match in antiques aficionado Benny Hinkle III, who now runs the neighboring Benny Jack Antiques.

On quiet first encounters
Gretchen: Benny started working at White Elephant Antiques at 16. I was a customer.
Benny: I would shop at Dolly Python when I was older.
G: We would never really talk.
B: I hardly talk to anybody, to be honest.

On costumed first dates
G: Our first real date was Halloween three years ago. We went to a cemetery and some parties at different stores. I dressed up in ’20s clothes.
B: I just wore some skull pants.
G: He loves to dress up. Benny loves clothes, and I do, too.

On an ideal wedding
G: We got married last year on January 6. His mother and father and grandparents all got married on that date. We’d both been married before, so we just went down to the justice of the peace. It snowed. We ate at Pecan Lodge and The Mansion, and got an Airbnb at Maple Terrace apartments, because I’ve always wanted to stay there. The next day, we went back to work at our stores.

On antiquing and parenting
G
: A week after he opened Benny Jack Antiques, in 2016, I found out I was pregnant.
B: It was tough when Furious was first born. He came here a lot for the first six months. We had to pass him back and forth.

{neighborhood}

Erin and John Paul Hossley

Though there was some crossover between their college years at UNT, Erin and John Paul Hossley didn’t meet until a night out at Barcadia years later. In 2012, the interior designer and architect pooled their professional resources to open Bishop Arts’ charming {neighborhood} store and design shop.

On knowing their relationship would work
John Paul
: Both of us immediately knew that we liked each other and we could hang out for a long time, but she confirmed it for me when my car got wrecked. I went out to it one morning and it was totaled. I guess all my friends were working that day, so I called up Erin. We spent the whole day together dealing with a tow truck and the auto shop. I knew she was the one.

On entrepreneurial inspiration
JP
: She came home after visiting a shop called Red in Fredericksburg and was inspired. It had interior design and architecture services, which spoke to both of our backgrounds. We’d throw some art and small goods in there and create a few stores in one. We figured one of those concepts should work in this crazy market.

On Oak Cliff living
Erin
: We weren’t planning on doing anything right away, but then we found the perfect place during the 2012 Mardi Gras parade in Oak Cliff.
JP: We moved from Addison to Winnetka Heights and just jumped right into things. There are a lot of small-business owners in that neighborhood. We all just hang out on each other’s porches after work.

The Gypsy Wagon

Carley and Johnny Seale

A first date at Dodie’s and a 2002 mix tape filled with Coldplay and The Flaming Lips were all it took for Carley and Johnny Seale, the duo behind the beloved Henderson Avenue haunt The Gypsy Wagon (along with a slew of offshoots across the country) to know they’d each found the one.

On first meetings
Carley
: We met watching an OU-Texas game at a neighborhood dive bar, rooting for opposite teams. We made eyes at each other from different tables for most of the day.
Johnny: I didn’t think that the Longhorns were going to lose that badly that day or that I’d meet someone I was going to fall in love with.

On Carley running the show
J
: Her leadership qualities drew me in. We know we’re naturally gifted at different things and have really defined roles. For me, it worked out perfectly not to be on top of the food chain.
C: The only time we have embarrassing moments at work is when we have to park one of our trailers.

On what makes it work
C
: I don’t know if this could work out with anyone but Johnny. He’s so kindhearted. I’ll be really knee-deep in some decision, and he’ll always show up at just the right time.
J: I think Carley has a dreamer’s heart. She always has a plan to move forward, and I’m always playing devil’s advocate. She might listen to me a little, but she’ll move forward either way.
C: I’m the gas and he’s the brakes.
J: The longer we’ve been doing this together, the more I trust her to keep driving ahead.

INDIGO 1745

Denise and Keith Manoy

A mainstay of the Bishop Arts District since 2006, Indigo 1745 is a true collaboration between husband and wife Keith and Denise Manoy, who met at UT Austin. A decade ago, they fell in love with the community and saw the potential for an apparel store in a sea of art galleries and restaurants.

On their first date
Keith
: We almost met on my first night pledging a fraternity. One of my new brothers was best friends with Denise. We went to her dorm room but didn’t actually go inside.
Denise: The real first time we met was a different day on campus through that friend.
K: We became friends, and we would always do things in a group of about eight or nine. The group got smaller over time, and then it was just the two of us. There was never officially a “we’re dating” moment. We bonded over movies.

On their second first date
K
: We did break up for two years after college, but she called me and begged me to come back.
D: No! I was in New Orleans, and I moved back to Austin. Keith was in Dallas. He came to Austin for the weekend.
K: We knew. It was a weird thing, but we just knew.

On maintaining a balance
K
: She’s very much an extrovert. I’m the complete opposite. People come to see her.
D: People come to see you. There are a few!
K: It helps that we genuinely enjoy what we’re doing. Not to say it’s not hard.
D: I guess to do this, you have to be good friends. And we started that way.

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