WANTED: Accessories for the contemporary outlaw in Frisco
Location: 206 Main St., Frisco
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (970) 368-6103
To Megan Self Sullivan, the cowboy boots lined up along the shelves are more than just footwear or merchandise to sell — they’re works of art. Leaning back on the leather couch, she claims she could contemplate them for hours, her eye passing over the tall, silver-studded black boot to the brown boot with the swirling green stitched design and on down the line. Peeking out from under the cuffs of her jeans is a pointy brown toe. Further movement reveals a leather-brown cowboy boot adorned with a colorful array of red, yellow and purple stitched flowers.
Sullivan is the owner of WANTED, one of the newest shops along Frisco Main Street. WANTED’s main commodity is cowboy boots, with a variety of options for men, women and children. The building, both inside and out, offers a rustic, Old West feel, mixed with some contemporary elements.
For customers, it’s a place to seek out new and unique merchandise. For Frisco, it’s another charming addition to the Main Street shopping line-up. For Sullivan, it’s a dream come true.
A passion for cowboy boots
WANTED is Sullivan’s first entrepreneurial foray, although she has racked up 22 years of experience in the retail industry. For the past six and a half years she has worked as manager and buyer at Rivers Clothing Co. in Frisco.
“I’ve been in this industry for 22 years and in every aspect of it, and I finally decided it was time to take the plunge and do my own thing,” Sullivan said. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Cowboy boots are my passion, something I adore, and I wanted to open a store that basically has a little bit of everything that I love and just hope that the rest of the world loves it too,” she added with a laugh.
Sullivan’s love of cowboy boots came about from her first job as a teenager at the Denver Buffalo Company selling Western-style clothing. Even as a self-proclaimed city girl, she feels that cowboy boots don’t need to be limited to just cowboys.
“It’s a conversation-piece. A boot is, it’s like putting on a different pair of earrings every day. It’s an accessory, it’s fun,” she said. She gestured to the two rows of women’s boots, pointing out that the range in style and personality from authentic Western to fashionably stylish to ‘biker babe.’
“There’s so many different aspects to these boots and every one’s a little bit different,” she said. They get even better, she added, the more they’re worn. She encourages all cowboy boot wearers not to worry about getting their boots dirty and scuffing them up, because that’s what makes each pair unique.
Leather walking and hiking shoes, in addition to boots, are on offer for the man’s side. Sullivan wanted her male customers to be comfortable in the shop as well and feel they had a variety of options.
One section of the wall displays a row of pint-sized cowboy boots, from baby-size on up, with options in pink and black.
“I believe that every child should have a pair of cowboy boots,” Sullivan said. “When we were little kids, we lived in them.”
Creating the right atmosphere
When she made the decision to open her own shop back in the fall, Sullivan put a lot of her time and effort into planning not only what the store would look like, but what it would feel like.
“My biggest point to opening the store was to have a really tight concept, and I feel like we accomplished that,” she said. “I feel like people walk in and know what we are. … We wanted to be classy and clean and to the point.”
From the sidewalk, WANTED gives a definite Old West vibe, with its profile and antique looking signs. The style was part of what drew Sullivan to the building, she said, which had been empty for several years after housing Quality Quick Print. Sullivan completely re-did the inside, tearing down several walls, installing new flooring and painting. Most of the furniture is from an antique shop in Denver, except for the bar at the back that serves as the cash register counter (a nod to the old-timey saloons) and the comfy leather couch by the ladies’ boot shelves.
“The feel that I was going for from the beginning was I wanted you to walk in and feel like you were walking into my living room. Really just warm, inviting, comfortable,” Sullivan said. “I just want everybody to feel sort of at home and feel good shopping here and not, there’s no pressure, it’s just come in and have fun.”
She feels it’s important for customers to get a feel for the merchandise — literally.
“I want everybody to touch and pick up the boots and touch everything. I want it to be a very hands-on experience.”
Sullivan, a Denver native, moved to Frisco in 2005. She has no plans of leaving any time soon and said that Frisco was her first and only choice for opening her own business.
“I just love this town, I love the history. I’ve grown to love it even more the longer I’ve lived here,” she said. “I’m definitely a city girl but I dig Frisco; it’s my favorite town up here in SC. And I really want to help the town, I want to encourage people to come here.”
In addition to loving the town, Sullivan had praise for the Frisco business community as well.
“They all back you,” she said. “When something new opens, it builds their businesses too. That was another huge point too, I didn’t want to carry anything that anybody else carried in Main Street. From the jewelry to the boots to the hats to the t-shirts to the accessories, everything, I just really wanted to be unique and not compete because it doesn’t help other businesses to do that.”
Though it’s only had its doors open a few days, Sullivan said things are going well and she’s looking forward to the future, to both the trials and the triumphs that come from the learning process. WANTED’s grand opening will take place June 14, coinciding with Frisco’s annual Colorado BBQ Challenge weekend.
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