Poking Around Deep Ellum for Unique Treasures and Vintage Finds

Deep Ellum has gone through many revivals over the years, but a flurry of new restaurants, bars– and now, retail shops– is breathing new life into one of Dallas' hippest hoods.

Most of the area is best explored by foot, and a good place to start is on Main Street where you'll find Jade & Clover–a trendy lifestyle boutique boasting an eye-catching spectrum of everything from home decor to apparel and eco-conscious gifts. Unique art, gifts and home decor can also be found across the street at Life of Riley. But be careful, it's almost impossible to walk out this store empty handed.

For a real blast to the past, check out B4's massive collection of vintage toys, vinyl records and even old Polaroid cameras. And if you want to channel your inner goddess, the female fashionistas at Dallas PinUp can glam you up from head to toe just like Marilyn Monroe.

Hop over to Elm Street next for a visit to Elluments, a vintage apparel boutique brimming with gorgeous garb. For trendy dude's, there's Epocha, an edgy menswear boutique peddling clothes, footwear and art. Get Reel Goods is the place to find locally made clothes, art and gifts. Also along Elm is The Mozzarella Company, famous for its award winning artisan cheese.

Finally, you'll want to make your way over to Commerce Street to discover the lineup of fashionable, yet reasonably priced finds at Accessory Junkie.


Jade & Clover
Photo courtesy of Jade & Clover

Dallas-native Giselle Ruggeberg has decked out her lifestyle boutique with all her favorite things: the result is an eye-catching spectrum of merchandise ranging from clothing and jewelry to home accessories, apothecary-style beauty products and eco-conscious gifts. Highlights include hand-woven kantha quilts, trendy fashions by local designers and a line of hand made soaps, oils, scrubs, and elixers by Moon Rivers Naturals. Keep an eye out for the succulent bar, where customers can create their own tropical terrarium with the likes of plants, glass, colored sand and crystals. And don't overlook the kitchenette, it sports a bar serving kombucha on tap.

Accessory Junkie
Photo courtesy of Ilene Jacobs

Tucked away off-the-beaten track in Deep Ellum, Accessory Junkie has built a die-hard following of fashion-conscious locals who want to shop in style without breaking the bank. Owner LaDonna High has an eye for beautiful things and keeps her pocket-sized boutique constantly evolving with an assortment of show-stopping dresses, edgy separates and statement accessories. Alongside a small, but carefully curated selection of apparel by lines such as Olivaceous, Gracia and Blue Blush, expect to find everything from posh handbags and trendy jewelry to scarves and sunglasses. Recent hits include, a silky black halter jumpsuit and a stunning coral toned pleated maxi by Ark & Company. Best of all, everything in the store is priced under $100.

The Mozzarella Company
Photo courtesy of The Mozzarella Company Facebook

Until Fort Worth native Paula Lambert opened this tiny cheese factory in 1982, you'd have been hard-pressed to find artisanal cheeses of any kind in Dallas, much less the fresh mozzarella that Lambert found while living in Italy. Since then, Lambert has become something of a legend, as have her award winning cheeses (over 30 types)-- which have been featured in numerous publications, including Gourmet, Food & Wine and The New York Times. While Lambert's cheeses are sold in restaurants, hotels and gourmet shops throughout the United States, her Deep Ellum shop is where you can get it fresh from the source. Not only does the company crank out a variety of fresh mozzarella, it also crafts goats' milk cheeses, fresh ricotta, feta and mascarpone. We especially like Lambert's newest creation: the Cella, a luscious blend of fresh cow and goats' milk cheese wrapped up in lemon grass.

Photo courtesy of Epocha Facebook

Deep Ellum isn't exactly known as a fashion haven, but this edgy menswear boutique aims to change that. Tucked in near the entrance to The Prophet Bar, Epocha ticks all the boxes on the cool boutique hit list: cozy lounge-like furnishings, wood floors salvaged from old basketball courts and a front room that doubles as a showcase for local artwork. Here, you'll find all the streetwear staples like sport jerseys, hoodies and caps from Dallas based lines RAK and Space 137. But the store's real calling card is its hyper-trendy footwear lines that include brands ranging from Caminando, Inkkas and Thorocraft to vintage Pony, Saucony and Asics. If you're looking for trendy and one-off items that can't be found elsewhere in town, this is the shop for you.

Get Reel Goods
Photo courtesy of Get Reel Goods Instagram

If you're looking for a unique gift that truly represents Big D, then Get Reel Goods is the place you want to go. Owned by some of the creative employees of the Dallas-based animation studio Reel FX, this retail shop/art studio showcases a pleasing mix of clothes, accessories and even food products that have been made both in-house and by Dallas area artisans. Items like hand printed T-shirts, leather wrap cuff bracelets, vintage U.S. mail bags and canvas backpacks are here, alongside handcrafted candles, bluebonnet soap and letterpress printed stationary. For those who want to hone in on their own craft making skills, the studio offers classes in everything from cider making to painting and calligraphy.

Deep Vellum Books
Photo courtesy of Instagram User HFBclub

In an age where buying a book is as simple as a click of the mouse, brick and mortar bookstores have become a vanishing breed. Enter Deep Vellum Books, the brainchild of the folks at Deep Vellum Publishing, a nonprofit firm which specializes in publishing translated works from non-English-speaking countries. Small in size but large in quality, the shop carries a curated collection of over 1,500 books (fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry, drama, and more)–all categorized by publisher in order to showcase each publisher's unique perspective in the works they choose. Selections include everything from LGBT and contemporary literature to urban literary fiction, political nonfiction and even vegan cookbooks. But there's more than books to keep folks entertained here, the shop hosts literary and cultural events every week, ranging from author visits, poetry readings and book club meets to open mic and musical concerts. Oh, and did we mention they serve beer, wine and coffee too?

Photo courtesy of B4 Facebook

With its cornucopia of retro collectibles spilling out onto the sidewalk, it's almost impossible to pass by B4 and not be tempted to stop in for a browse. The shop is a venerable shrine to playthings from the past, especially the toys of the 1970's and '80s. Think retro comic books, board games, lunch boxes and action figurines. Recent finds included a pressed steel and cast iron truck collection dating from the 1920's. If toys aren't your thing, then you can root through everything else, from vinyl records, musical instruments and vintage cameras to mid-century dishes and random pieces of antique furniture. Whatever it is, if it existed, you're likely to find it here at some point among the ramshackle collection of kitsch.

Photo courtesy of Elluments Facebook

It's difficult to walk past this charming boutique of fashionable frocks without wanting to dive in. That's because Elluments' owner Felicia Dunnican has filled the cozy space to the brim with an impressive line-up of vintage and consignment treasures that can be had for a steal (some as low as $5). And these aren't your average thrift store finds either. Here, you can snag everything from uber-trendy jeans to red carpet ready gowns and full-length faux fur coats. Also included in the mix are designer duds from brands such as Chanel, Betsy Johnson, Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs. As well, there's jewelry, handbags, shoes, belts and hats galore. Quality is key--you won't find any worn out garments hanging on the racks. Speaking of hanging-- be sure to check out the local artwork on the walls, it's for sale too.

Dallas PinUp
Photo courtesy of Dallas PinUp-Vixens and Vamps Boutique Facebook

At this retro-glamour treasure trove, you can channel your inner Marilyn Monroe with everything from clothing and sexy lingerie to make-up, hats, stockings, shoes, and one of a kind jewelry. Set up by Shoshana Portnoy, a burlesque show producer and pin-up photographer of Through the Looking Glass Studio, Dallas Pinup brings together over thirteen business owned by female fashionistas with a passion for the style of the 1940s-50s. Expect to find items like pencil skirts, cigarette pants, bullet bras, corsets and even vintage inspired t-shirts. And the fun doesn't stop there. They also do photo sessions where you can be made into the pin up girl of your dreams for around $195.

Life of Riley
Photo courtesy of Life of Riley

Interior designer Billy Milner and graphic designer Jerod Dame have decked out this lifestyle boutique with all their favorite things. The result is a 2,500-square-foot space filled with an aesthetically pleasing mix of antiques nestled in among innovative design and one-off vintage pieces. The stock runs the gamut from retro-mod furnishings (crafted locally) and industrial-polished accessories to art, candles, greeting cards and jewelry. If you're gift shopping for a discerning recipient, check out the vintage European maps or beauty and bath goodies from the Dallas-based fragrance designer Niven Morgan. Just be sure to bring your credit card--it's unlikely that you'll leave here without something in hand.


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene