The thrill of the hunt — finding the perfect personality piece for your home is a never-ending journey. The lure of finding something really special, getting it for a bargain price, and having a great story about where it came from is priceless. It makes you want another, and another, and another. Fortunately for all of us Dallas Dwellers we have two Lula B’s locations where we can treasure hunt to our hearts content, and possibly do what this Lifestylist has done — become part of the Lula B’s family.
When my parents decided that it was time to downsize, we had to decide what to do with a lifetime of things that they had collected.
After doing disaster relief with the Salvation Army for over 24 years, they were ready to let go of some of their collections instead of moving them. My mother loves to entertain, so it seems like she has sets of 20 of everything imaginable. I’m not a Craigslist shopper, and their town doesn’t allow garage sales. I started doing my homework, and decided maybe it was time to try out having a booth at an antique mall. Lula B’s In Oak Cliff was the perfect solution for me, and it not only gave me a place to sell some of my collections, it also introduced me to a wonderful group of people that have become friends.
Proprietor Mary Ann Kaylor is as unique as the merchandise that is sold in her shops. When she was 21, she bought a one way ticket to Afghanistan to visit her sister in the Peace Corps and she has been taking risks ever since. The first Lula B’s was on Greenville Avenue, and after rents became too high they moved that store to Deep Ellum. That was so successful they opened another location in the Design District on Riverfront, and in July 2016 Kaylor moved the Deep Ellum shop to Fort Worth Avenue in Oak Cliff. The shop now has two floors of unique finds, including most of the downstairs being filled with vintage clothing.
One of the many things that makes Lula B’s unique is that part of your commitment when you have a space is that you have to work at least two days a month — something I thought I was going to hate, but is now one of my favorite things to do. It’s given me the opportunity to find out what consumers are looking for and what they are willing to spend. Everyone is greeted at the door, and because everyone working has a personal interest in helping people find what they want, you’ll find people with a wealth of information that are as interesting as the items that fill the shop literally from floor to ceiling.
On one of my first work days I was lucky enough to meet Van Johnson — a Renaissance man and voracious reader with a wealth of knowledge. He not only acts as a manager one day a week, he’s also the owner of the Oak Cliff Gardeners, Extreme Gardening, and Vanciful Design groups on Facebook. His home is surrounded by a demo garden full of plants that he has gathered from other members, or at one of the garden sales he shares with followers on his pages. He is a true ambassador for Lula B’s, sharing photos he takes of interesting items for sale at the shop — something that has helped me get the word out about some of the garden items that I had for sale.
We found this incredible vintage pedestal sink in his booth that I am now trying to find a place in my home for. It is such a great deal it may have to come home with me and wait for the perfect place to be used.
Charles McClean is a nationally celebrated visual designer, and his booths have always gotten our attention. We love his style, and his prices are incredible.
The lines and style of this pristine chair priced at only $69.50 makes this a find I might have to take home.
He also has this one-of-a-kind lamp that I’m in love with. “There’s always more vintage,” McClean stated, and he uses his travels as away to collect and share new items continuously. He now has three booths, including two that mix clothing and collectibles.
What many people may not know is that many of the booths at Lula B’s will do rentals for staging or photo shoots. This robo man in Greg Moore’s booth would be memorable in either!
We love unique lighting – it truly is the jewelry of the home. This pair of chili pepper chandeliers is spectacular and so unusual. The chilies are handblown glass, each being a little different. There are other vintage lighting buys throughout the shop, but they sell quickly!
There are some new items that are for sale, but most people come looking for vintage, retro, and midcentury statement pieces. When I asked Mary Ann what were the best sellers, she said that it’s different every day. One day when I was working a designer came through that was doing a farmhouse in Austin for the owner of a major tech company. They just about cleaned out Charles’ booth, and I was thrilled that some picket fencing that my Dad had painted by hand would now be displayed in the flower beds of the home. The reputation of Lula B’s brings in people from all over the country including set designers and prop stylists.
Every second and fourth Saturday, the Lula B’s parking lot hosts the Oak Cliff Lions Club Farmers Market. It’s just one of the many ways that Mary Ann gives back to the community, and it complements what’s sold in the shop perfectly.
From 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, Mary Ann will be hosting one of her legendary parties at Lula B’s Oak Cliff. There will be food, beverages, live music, and of course the opportunity to do some shopping and meet my new chosen family. My booth is known for the flying pig that presides overhead — please stop by and let us know that you are a CandysDirt.com reader!