Jessie Dallas Designs holds sip ‘n shop at store
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Jessie Williams, Copperas Cove High School class of 2001 alum, opened her first store, Jessie Dallas Designs, at 392 Depot St., at the traffic light in Kempner.
Williams said she’d started a home-based business several years ago, making heat vinyl personalization on shirts, caps, mugs, wine glasses, totebags and more.
Her venture began with a gift passed down from her father.
“My father had had a vinyl heat press, and after he passed away years ago, my mother gave it to me,” Williams said.
The rest was history, when Williams began creating personalized items using her father’s press, now occupying part of the working space at the shop.
She said space was a factor when deciding to open a storefront, and added that she’d never originally planned to open at store at first.
Then, the orders kept coming and Jessie Dallas Designs opened its doors in March.
“When it came down to it, I just didn’t have the room at the house anymore,” Williams said.
Then she and her husband, Thomas, sat down and worked on the numbers and a business plan, and decided this spring to go for it.
On Friday evening, Jessie Dallas Designs held a sip and shop, serving Texas wine along with snacks. Jessie, supported by friends and family, welcomed customers.
In addition to an inventory of items waiting to be personalized for customers, the shop also contains merchandise from local wholesalers, such as a soap maker from Lampasas and candles from College Station.
Williams said she doesn’t take items on consignment, but buys from wholesalers she’s encountered while building her business.
“I go to a lot of shows and have met people along the way. I think it’s important to support local businesses when we can,” said Williams, who carries décor from Boom Boom Creations and Gifts, jewelry from Kate Spence Leatherworks, and more.
She can personalize items that shoppers purchase in her store, or if someone already has items like shirts they’d like personalized, Williams is able to do that, too.
On Friday evening, a Temple-based fashion merchandiser, Desert Rose Depot, held a pop-up clothing sale at the store.
Zeni Castano, owner of Desert Rose Depot, grew up in Central Texas, went to college and studied marketing, then returned to her first love of fashion merchandising.
She now holds pop-up shows throughout the local area, from Temple to Lampasas and beyond, taking her carefully selected women’s apparel wherever she goes.
Williams said she’s been happy with the response from the local community about her store, where she has plenty of space to fill her orders and customers also have a place where they can browse and shop.
She said she hopes to participate in Small Business Saturday, which is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving and features local businesses and encourages shoppers to “shop small.” Presently, she’s working on getting her website up and running but she can also be found at her Facebook business page, facebook.com/jessiedallasdesigns.