When CultureMap checked in with Longhorn Fashions owner Tessie Watson Crow last football season, she was quickly expanding her fashion-forward, University of Texas-inspired clothing line with the addition of an Airstream boutique dubbed the Trendy Trailer. One year later, the ambitious fashionista is taking an even bolder step by opening a new brick-and-mortar location.
The 3-year-old business has found a permanent home close to the UT campus at 715 W. 23rd St. The Longhorn Fashions shop features a well-crafted, moderately priced collection of clothing, jewelry and UT-themed merchandise. Inventory is priced under $100, with most of it falling below $50.
"I consider these clothes to be things women can wear to football games and turn right around and wear to the office or for late-night drinks with girlfriends," says founder Tessie Watson Crow.
"I want this store to be affordable for everyone — especially college students," Crow says. The boutique also carries a selection of pieces that aren't specific to UT, such as cheetah tops and Aztec-print dresses.
At the end of last year, Crow starting looking into a possible retail space after seeing her sales increase tremendously over the summer and fall, due in part to the Trendy Trailer.
"I realized how much I loved getting out and interacting with my customers face to face. The trailer helped me build and expand the business so much, and I'm glad I can finally settle into a permanent location," she says.
Longhorn Fashions sells myriad retail goods, including the Exclusive Collection, which features 10 cotton, American-made pieces unique to the Longhorn Fashions brand. The shop also boasts eye-catching stone statement necklaces; print and solid dresses; burnt orange skinny jeans; a Gatsby-esque top; turquoise jewelry; and an assortment of tops, dresses, pants and skirts.
"I consider these clothes to be things women can wear to football games and turn right around and wear to the office or for late-night drinks with girlfriends," Crow says.
To celebrate the opening of her new store as well as UT's first football game of the 2013 season, Crow is hosting a cupcake, cookies and champagne party on Saturday, August 31, in the boutique. She also intends to host an event at the store for every football game.
“Football season is always exciting, and I want girls to be able to come in and grab something to wear before the games,” she says.
While the new business owner focuses on her new boutique, she plans to keep the Trendy Trailer on hiatus, using it solely for special events. "It was a great investment for me, but I want to put all my energy into running the store right now."
And, in the spirit of supporting the university, Longhorn Fashions has hired two UT students to help run the campus boutique. Visit them Monday-Friday, 11 am-7 pm, and Saturday, 10 am-2 pm.