If you think you have exhausted all shopping opportunities in Dallas-Fort Worth, don’t put away your credit card just yet. You don’t want to miss one of the area’s most unique shopping destinations—Garland, Texas. Most people think of the Bass Pro Shops on the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard whenever shopping in Garland is mentioned—but keep going. You’ll find hidden gems tucked away in Garland with several one-of-a-kind stores ready for you to explore—the kind of shopping experience that makes you want to linger while discovering special items that seem as if they were placed there just for you.
From classic guitars, artwork, and an indoor Asian mall to funky jewelry, Stetson cowboy hats, and antique lamps, the heart of Garland has it. If it has been a while since you’ve been to Garland, these stores offer plenty of reasons to make a day of it.
Jimmy Wallace Guitars
Whether you are looking for a $100 beginner guitar or a $100,000 collector’s guitar, Jimmy Wallace Guitars is where you’ll find it. If you’ve been to the Dallas International Guitar Festival in the past 42 years, you have probably heard of Jimmy Wallace Guitars, the founder and organizer of the event. It is considered the largest guitar market in the world held annually at Dallas Market Hall. Jimmy Wallace Guitars, located in downtown Garland, is owned by Jimmy Wallace, an Oak Cliff native who has lived in Garland for 40 years and once worked at Arnold & Morgan, a longtime popular music store in downtown Garland. A professional guitar player, he has toured with Styx, Kansas, Todd Rundgren, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Cars, Phil Keaggy, Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter, Willie Nelson, Albert King, and Gregg Allman, among others. It’s safe to say if you have a question about a guitar, Wallace has the answer. “We have over 800 guitars hanging on the walls here,” Wallace says. “We are one of about a dozen shops in the world to carry high-end vintage guitars.” One such guitar is a 1959 Les Paul, and it’s not put away in a case where it can only be admired from afar. “This is the kind of place where you can see and touch a guitar that’s worth a quarter-million dollars,” he says. “My vision for the store was to be a place where a kid who loves guitars can come in, play a classic guitar like the Les Paul, touch it, take a picture with it, and be inspired to keep playing,” Wallace says.
The Les Paul is just one example of the many guitars the store carries. “It’s like Target meets Neiman Marcus here,” Wallace explains. “It’s a musician’s shop for collector guitars and somewhat like a museum with so much music and guitar memorabilia, but it’s also a consumer’s shop or a beginner’s shop. You can buy a $100 guitar here, or just come in for some new guitar strings. You don’t have to have tens of thousands of dollars to shop here.”
514 Main Street, Garland. To learn more, visit jimmywallaceguitars.com.
Resistol Hat Outlet Store
If you have been on the fence about buying an authentic cowboy hat, a trip to this Garland treasure will seal the deal. Shopping here is as much of an experience as it is an opportunity to own something that is just about as Texan as it gets—an authentic cowboy hat. In addition to cowboy hats, you can score great deals on fedoras, Panama hats, sun hats, bowlers, and more. Every color and every size for men, women, and children. “The Resistol manufacturing plant has been in Garland since 1938,” says Devin Marcum, national sales manager. “We get a lot of customers who want to shop after touring the manufacturing plant, which is the oldest manufacturing plant in Garland. You’ll get the full experience—choosing the hat and having it professionally steamed and creased to your liking.”
601 Marion Drive, Garland. To learn more, visit resistol.com.
If you happen to be in Garland on a Thursday through Saturday, add Alston’s Antiques to your agenda. The store is a historic home built in 1918 that was transformed into a retail space in 1995. Owner Richard Hargrove has filled every room, patio, and surrounding yard area with an array of fun antique finds. You could likely spend a day here and not see it all. The home belonged to his grandparents when they owned it in the 1940s, where it served not only as a place to raise their children but was also the family’s furniture store business. “My mom didn’t want the home to sit vacant, so she turned it into a store in the 1990s, and when I took it over, it became Alston’s Antiques,” Hargrove says. “My grandpa built awnings on both sides of the house, so we have extended items outside and in the front and back yards. You can shop all around the home.” Antique chandeliers, garden items, French antiques, furnishings—you name it, Alston’s probably has it. Hargrove scours estate sales, online garage sales, auctions, and storage unit auctions to find items with historical charm he knows his customers will love. “There’s no limit to what you can find here,” he says.
212 N. 7th Street, Garland. To learn more, visit alstonsantiques.com.
Karin Wiseman Collections/The Frocksy Vintage Vogue
Get ready for a visual exercise when you walk into The Frocksy Vintage Vogue on Main Street and Garland, also occupied by Karin Wiseman Collection. You’ll immediately be enveloped in all things art, curated finds, and vintage clothes and accessories. “It’s not just a place where we sell things; it’s more of an experience,” says Froscky owner Trayc Claybrook. Claybrook, who has a Ph.D. in art, shares the space with Karin Wiseman, also an artist. On the Frocksy side, you’ll find custom-made jewelry and vintage clothing, hats, and accessories. You’ll also see Claybrook’s art placed about—everything from paintings to sculptures made of unexpected items, such as Barbie dolls and plastic vegetables. “It all hangs around the store and is for sale,” Claybrook says. “I have been on a mission to keep denim jeans and fast fashion out of the landfills, so I’ll deconstruct clothing and reconstruct it into something else for customers.” On the Karin Wiseman Collection side, you’ll find locally sourced body products for men and women, custom jewelry, and unique household goods. The pair collaborate and offer art classes throughout the week in the store’s art lounge, including craft happy hours on Thursdays and group and private art classes on Saturdays. If Claybrook’s name sounds familiar, you may remember her store, Elluments, in Deep Ellum. Claybrook closed the store and did an artist residency in Iceland before returning to Dallas with the idea for another shop. When she found the retail space in historic Garland, she knew it was a perfect spot for a new store with a different vibe. “The items we have for sale and the way we display things hopefully sparks people’s imaginations to add something new to their homes or to their wardrobes they can’t find anywhere else,” she says.
510 Main Street., Garland.
Get lost in 3,000 square feet of clothing, hats, gifts, accessories, and home goods in this bold faith boutique/clothing store in downtown Garland. Owner and designer Melissa McBride is a Garland native who opened the store three years ago after consolidating two stores in the Knox/Henderson and Snyder Plaza areas in Dallas. McBride also offers design services. “The store is curated, fun, and tricked out with all kinds of vintage things and affordable fashions,” she says. Wild Grace is part of several sip-and-shop opportunities in downtown Garland. On the first Saturday of every month, Wild Grace hosts a customer appreciation event; everyone who RSVPs and shows to shop receives a gift. Once a month, Wild Grace is part of downtown Garland’s Thirsty Third Thursday event, where shoppers can browse participating retailers and sample a signature drink at each store. Start on one end of downtown with a map and free tote bag and make your way around until you have seen and sipped it all.
700 Main Street, Garland. To learn more, visit shopwildgrace.com.
Cali Saigon Mall
You may need more than one visit to Cali Saigon Mall to see—and taste—it all. Located on Jupiter Road in Garland, Cali Saigon Mall is an expansive indoor Asian American mall filled with a wide variety of affordable Asian products and services. It’s difficult to resist stopping for a picture when you enter the mall, perfectly decorated and set up for snaps with family and friends before losing hours browsing everything the mall has to offer—three gift shops, a hair salon, nail supply store, Chinese medicine store, optical shop, jewelry store, two authentic Asian restaurants, a tailor, and professional services such as insurance/immigration law, tax, and cargo shipping.
The mall also holds the Thuận Phát Supermarket, which has specialty Asian ingredients you likely won’t find at mainstream grocery stores, in addition to affordably priced fresh produce and seafood. Jennifer Nguyen, the mall spokesperson, says, “The produce, seafood, fresh noodles, and spices here are often much cheaper than at regular supermarkets. Shopping at ethnic markets exposes you to new food items. When you buy grocery items at ethnic markets you will expand your recipe repertoire and may even discover your new favorite meal.” The mall is also home to several eateries within a large food court offering take-out, snacks, and grab-and-go meals all at affordable prices. Be sure to check the schedule for the mall’s special events, including Fall Asian Night Markets and celebrations for the Lunar New Year and Full Moon Festival.
3112 N. Jupiter Road, Garland.
To learn more about shopping in Garland—a quick drive from Richardson, Plano, Mesquite, Rowlett, and Dallas—and other things to do, see and eat while you’re there, visit VisitGarlandTX.com.