Get to know the people behind some of Dallas' more interesting, unique, art-inspired local businesses. Know any good ones? Drop us a tip in the comments.
Gretchen Bell didn't always know what she wanted to do, but she sure as hell knew what she didn't want. Shockingly enough, she liked Kirk Cameron as a teen, but now if you ever need to tell someone publicly to fuck off, check out her Facebook page and she'll help you out.
Who are you and what do you do? My name is Gretchen Bell and I run a shop called Dolly Python. We're a music shop, a vintage clothing store and also an antique mall. We focus mostly on non-traditional antiques. It's not like Grandma and Grandpa antiques. We're not any of that kind of shit. We're very unusual items.
Do you love what you do? Yes, absolutely. I've worked since I was 16 years old and I knew exactly what I didn't want to do. I just had to figure out a way to get out of it.
What didn't you want to do? I didn't want to have to put up with other people's bullshit.
How did you get into Dolly Python-ing? What lead you to this? I was going to open this store with two other people. They found this location, and the day I was going to go sign the lease, they backed out. I heard that another friend and his mother were looking to open up an antique mall. I called them and was like, 'Do you wanna open an antique mall in my space?'
They came over and looked at it and because of the neighborhood and where it was eight years ago -- it was really shitty, it was all knife fights and bloodbaths and crackheads and zombies, it was terrible -- they were looking for something closer to the Lakewood area, so they decided that they did not want to take the financial responsibility. I was like fuck it, I'll take the responsibility. Y'all just rent out spaces from me. I put it all in my name, we came up with this concept, the vendors moved in and it just kind of hit the ground running.
What would your best day ever be? If you could plan out the ultimate Gretchen Day? Probably having some really big scores finding unusual things for myself or for the store. Sitting at the bar in the afternoon having a drink, going to yoga, having a really nice dinner, making a lot of money at the store. That would be sufficient ... then going home and being in bed at a decent hour would be nice.
What do you do for inspiration? When I'm tired of this store, I go over to another store or mall ... that's entertainment to me. Some people go to movies, I go to antique malls and just wander around and look at things. I also love to look at tumblr and Pinterest and drive around old neighborhoods and look at old homes and old architecture.
What posters were on your wall as a teenager? I had Kirk Cameron posters, Don Johnson, Jim Morrison, Smurfs, religious posters, I wrote lyrics of songs on my wall ... lots of Dead Flowers, I think I had some Pink Floyd shit too.
What's the best advice you ever received? Don't underestimate yourself.
Can I pull your latest Facebook post? What about the one with Tom Cruise? Can you post that? I would love you to.
"Tom Cruise can fuck off. Anyone care to share who they feel should go fuck themselves? Feel free to let it rip below. Valet parking that fills up all the parking lots can fuck right off too along with meters who give you five minutes for a quarter. Totally go fuck yourself. John Travolta his face powder and his wig can go fuck themselves too."
What's your favorite cussword? I love all of them. The more combined in a sentence the better.
Dolly Python is located at 1916-1914 N. Haskell Ave. and open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from noon until 5 p.m.
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