Just days before Flea Style’s new headquarters and first full-time shop is set to open its minty green doors, there’s a crew of young women hard at work—moving displays, organizing merchandise, and doing touch-ups on the completely redone interior of the turn-of-the-century compound on Commerce Street. At the center of it all is Brittany Cobb, the lifestyle editor-turned-entrepreneur known for creating Dallas’ most polished flea market. The original concept, known then as The Dallas Flea, debuted at South Side on Lamar in 2009 and was intended to be a one-time showcase for all the cool people Cobb had reported on during her Dallas Morning News and DailyCandy days. One thousand people showed up, and Cobb’s now biannual flea market was born.
It’s grown too, moving from a hallway in South Side to a warehouse in Trinity Groves, and then to Fair Park’s Automobile Building where the named changed to Flea Style (a choice that allowed Cobb to expand to Houston). Its last location was the Dallas Market Center, where 220 Texas makers and artisans lined 60,000 square feet with booths.
But about five years ago, around the time of the first move to Trinity Groves, Cobb secretly began dreaming of a permanent space to highlight her favorite artisans. For years, location after location fell through all over the city for various reasons, predominately lack of parking and Dallas’ sky-high rental rates. Finally, Cobb decided to change her vision from a sprawling antique mall to a more stylized boutique in a space that she would own herself. Last September, after two failed deals, Flea Style finally found its home.
The Deep Ellum compound (which includes a sizable parking lot) combines Flea Style’s headquarters, a roomy covered patio, a 900-square-foot event space for workshops and podcast tapings, and a 2,500-square-foot retail area that looks a bit like a Texas-inspired Anthropologie—one where nothing is mass-produced. Items from more than 50 vendors specializing in clothing, home decor, textiles, plants, paper goods, and children’s items will be organically styled throughout the store and woven in with Cobb’s own flea market finds from Canton and California. Six booths are designated to change hands every three months or so. “There will be a constant ebb and flow of products according to season,” Cobb says. “The store should be changing daily.”
Cobb’s polished, bohemian touch is felt throughout the unique space, where every decorative pendant, framed photo, and chair is also for sale. “The whole idea is to inspire you to create that moment in your home,” Cobb says. “If you love it, just take it off the wall.”