Best Of :: Shopping & Services
George is not a gecko. George eats geckos. Or he would, if he got a chance. George — who is Prince George, technically — is an extremely red Buff Orpington rooster, official mascot of Gecko Hardware, which is the kind of store you'd get if a regular modern shopping mall True Value married an old-fashioned country store. Well, in fact, that's what happened. Andrea Ridout, co-owner and founder of the store, put together all the local honey and cottage crafts you might find in a smart faux-country store with a regular True Value franchise where you can buy construction-strength trash bags. One of Ridout's specialties, not found in your typical True Value, is baby chickens and chicken-raising gear. George was sort of an unintentional adoptee taken on by store staff out of pity for a little girl who brought him in, explaining sadly she had just found out city ordinances allow hens but not roosters within the Dallas city limits. The store offered to let him stay there while they searched for a farm where he could live out his (five) years in peace. But within weeks George was such a hit that customers were dropping by just to visit him. Now he rules the roost.
A well-run boutique needs a welcoming atmosphere, trendy clothes and pristine changing rooms. Oh, and booze. Rio Ritz has all of this in spades. Earlier this year, Thais Moses took her online shop and moved into an old house in Uptown. You'd be hard-pressed to find something with a price tag upward of $50 in her well-curated shop. It's a one-stop shop for an outfit or a sparkly accessory for a night out. When you walk through the doors, you're greeted with a friendly smile from the shop girls and a freshly poured mimosa. Even the most apprehensive shopper is bound to enjoy the experience of spending a minute perusing the racks in this quaint, stress-free setting. No shopping mall required.
At first glance Ross at Peak Thrift Store looks like the kind of place that is too dusty and cluttered to even bother with, especially for those of us who aren't "extreme thrifters." The space is a little stuffy and unorganized, but there are plenty of treasures hiding behind those piles of old magazines. It's true that most of the furniture here is fixer-upper material, but isn't that why you have all those damn DIY boards on Pinterest in the first place? You may want to take an allergy pill before you go, but all those bargains will be worth it.
We were heartbroken when Christine Visneau announced she'd be closing her Little Bean children's shop a few years back. And even though the shop was sold at the last minute and quickly reopened, Visneau's line of chic home-sewn children's clothing was no more. We really missed buying those vintage-inspired, beautifully constructed girl's dresses and infant rompers — and we also missed the compliments they garnered when worn by our kids or given at baby showers. But after a two-year hiatus, Visneau's seamstress days are back ... and this time, she's made togs for grown-ups, too. We love the easy lines and comfy fabrics she uses to construct on-trend tops, dresses and caftans in her East Dallas home. Her day job as a fashion stylist makes her one hell of an accessorizer, too, and Vee Caravan's online-only shop is stocked with eye-catching jewelry and other adornments. And much to our delight, the baby garments have returned as well — making this Dallas-based corner of the Internet a true one-stop shop.
There was a time when this little store off Henderson Avenue was Dallas fashion's best-kept secret. You could pop in and buy something cuter and cheaper than Urban Outfitters or TopShop and none of your friends would already own it. Now the secret's out. The clothes are still cute, but you might have to fight your way through SMU students and trendy moms. But it's still worth the trip, because if you're looking for a colorful kimono, a black jumpsuit or whatever the latest trend might be, they'll probably have it. And if you're lucky, it will be in your size.
"A lot of Highland Park moms," the clerk behind the counter at Gemma Collection replied when we asked who shopped at the University Park store. That's not a bad clientele to have when you're selling reasonably priced jewelry. The pieces in Gemma's large assortment of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc., are affordable – ranging from around $50 to less than $200 mostly – but they don't look cheap. (If your customers live in the Bubble, even the low-priced stuff had better be tasteful.) Gemma features several local designers – Chandler Nixon, Taylor Custer and Holly Zaves Designs, among others – so there are pieces to fit a range of tastes, from polished stone to dainty monogrammed items and religious icons.