Flea Style’s Brittany Cobb: SMU to CEO
Brittany Cobb knew she wanted to be a journalist since she was a child, but she didn’t know then that she would one day found her own company.
Cobb is the founder and CEO of Flea Style, an online store that sells vintage and handmade items and has its corporate headquarters in Dallas. Flea Style plans to open its first brick and mortar store — a 5,000-square-foot space — this June.
Despite Cobb’s current occupation and business-minded attitude, Cobb was a journalism major at SMU. Cobb is grateful for the opportunities that journalism has given her, especially that of being able to create her own business.
“It came out of my journalism career, which is why I’m so thankful for it and I use my skills everyday,” Cobb said. “Writing, crafting press releases still. It was invaluable, those few years.”
Cobb has worked for many publications, including The Dallas Morning News, Forbes, Lucky and D Magazine. She has traveled to numerous locations including Paris, Miami and Los Angeles, but Cobb thinks there is no place quite like Dallas.
“The opportunities I had out the gate with internships and just being in a very urban city, but kind of with big hearts,” Cobb said. “It has a small town feel, I think, if you’ve been to more urban cities. You can really make your mark here, and I did.”
Cobb changed people’s lives while working at DailyCandy, an online publication that sent daily e-newsletters to subscribers. When she wrote about someone’s products, the order numbers skyrocketed. People asked her to write about them again, but for DailyCandy, mentioning products was always “a one and done.” Cobb was left asking herself what she could do to help.
“I was meeting all these neat people, and I kept wanting to support them more than a story,” Cobb said.
Cobb was laid off from DailyCandy the same weekend that she held her first flea market. This could have been a bad circumstance, but it was perfect timing for Cobb.
Creating Flea Style felt natural for her. She grew up in a creative family with an interior designer as a mother. Cobb remembers shopping for vintage and handmade items with her mom. Flea Style allows her to share that passion with others.
“At the end of the day for me, it’s about one-of-a-kind style, meaning whatever you have is something very personal, individual to you,” Cobb said. “I think with handmade and vintage, that can be cultivated a lot easier because no one else can really have that exact thing.”
Countless Dallas locals share Cobb’s love for handmade and vintage items, which shows through the success of her store. Flea Style is currently undergoing expansion efforts, and its physical location will be in Deep Ellum, a part of town known for its creativity.
This new space will serve multiple purposes for Cobb and her team. It be a retail store, but there are also plans for part of it to function as a flexible area where birthday parties, workshops and more can be held. The historical space it will be housed in feels right to Cobb, as it is also a one-of-a-kind, vintage setting.
Cobb’s confidence also shines through her employees. DeAnna Acklin, who is the visual and retail manager at Flea Style, said that within the year that she has worked for Cobb, she appreciates how Cobb treats her employees.
“I like that she pushes you to work harder, but she’s still laid back, and she inspires you to think outside the picture,” Acklin said.
Emily Baxter joined the Flea Style team a couple of months ago as the director of operations. After seeing her new boss in action, Baxter admires the way Cobb runs her business.
Flea Style’s office reflects Brittany’s fun personality with pops of color in every direction and racks of vintage clothing welcoming anyone who steps in.
Although Cobb moved on from being a full-time journalist years ago, the “writing bug” still hasn’t left her.
“I really want to write a book, I really, I try to write a lot,” Cobb said. “It’s still a big passion and something that fulfills me in a very nice, like a sweet spot. It’s very natural for me. I’ll never quite turn it off.”
No matter what Cobb’s future holds, she is confident in both her business and her style. Cobb’s self assurance is something others can emulate to find their own path to success.
“I think when you embrace vintage and handmade, you can really feel confident that your style is yours,” Cobb said.