Fashion / Shopping

This Designer Clothing Store in a 97-Year-Old Houston Building Creates a World of Its Own — Inside Ollie Shop

Entrepreneur Reed Bussey Turns to the 1920s For Inspiration

BY Sofia Westerman // 06.19.24

Meet Ollie Shop, a designer clothing store in Houston that is surprisingly cozy, modeled to encapsulate the authenticity of the 97-year-old building that houses it. Owner Reed Bussey has been in fashion and retail for more than 17 years, working everywhere from large corporations and major brands to her personal favorite — tiny boutiques with a strong creative point of view. 

“That’s where I get my kicks,” Bussey tells PaperCity. “I love blending everything and creating a holistic environment so my store feels like you’re walking into someone’s house.”

So when the opportunity arose to open up her own place, running Ollie Shop came organically. 

An overview of the cozy Ollie Shop (Photo by Sofia Westerman)
An overview of the cozy Ollie Shop (Photo by Sofia Westerman)

Reed Bussey created an upscale boutique that feels like stepping into your grandmother’s living room. If your grandmother was the chic, artistic, collector type. 

“Clothing stores, especially designer clothing stores can be really intimidating at times,” Bussey says. “I just really wanted to create a shop that felt good. I just wanted a nice place for my friends and myself and people to escape reality.”

Clothing rack and vintage fish art help set the Ollie Shop vibe. (Photo by Sofia Westerman)
Clothing rack and vintage fish art help set the Ollie Shop vibe. (Photo by Sofia Westerman)

They say it takes a village, but in Bussey’s case, it took many artisans and creatives. She took a hands on approach in the design of her store, and rallied friends and independents to make her vision come to life at Ollie Shop. 

“It’s a new shop but I wanted it to feel like it’s been here forever,” Bussey says.

Extra thought went into the logo in the front window, which was designed by Bussey’s friend Matt Tabor of Letterset to resemble iconic Houston logos. The copper leaf might seem like peculiar choice at first. Bussey knows it will patina over time, but prefers the lived-in look. Another friend of hers made the loose weave cotton linen curtains, which become more organic as time passes. 

Ollie Shop's storefront features a store sign with copper leafing. (Photo by Sofia Westerman)
Ollie Shop’s storefront features a store sign with copper leafing. (Photo by Sofia Westerman)

As for the furniture, Bussey lives by the motto: Some new, some old. One of her favorites is the large apothecary-like cabinet from the former Bill’s Junk, while other unique pieces were sourced by antique dealer friends. Other distinctive items include a shelf made by her boyfriend and the green accented cashier table modeled after a 1930s architectural piece, which Bussey helped design.

It’s all in the details, particularly the flower brackets on the clothing racks. Bussey commissioned blacksmith Carson Terry to make these, and they accent the store perfectly.

“I wanted it to be whimsical but not silly,” Bussey says. “I think that everything should be touched. If I’m going to put that much thought into other things, I shouldn’t just go buy brackets online (for decorating).” 

Flower adornments by blacksmith Carson Terry add a distinctive touch to Ollie Shop. (Photo by Sofia Westerman)
Flower adornments by blacksmith Carson Terry add a distinctive touch to Ollie Shop. (Photo by Sofia Westerman)

Reed Bussey reveals that Ollie Shop will be leaning into selling more resale and vintage items in the future. Current must-have items include vintage silver rings, clothing by Caron Callahan, tinned fish candles and antique yellow glass candlestick holders. 

Ollie Shop celebrated its first birthday this past April, and Bussey is planning many events for the summer. That includes a sample and vintage sale on Saturday, July 6, and a pop-up with Sundown Vintage on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19. 

Ollie Shop is located at 3227 1/2 Milam Street. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm. You can also shop it online here

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