When you enter into a store of any kind, it’s fairly easy to identify how much soul—or what kind of soul—is woven into the selection. This acknowledgment is not made as a way of passing judgment, but simply to regard the silent greeting that comes from an owner, as you browse a store’s wares. When everything fits together, despite different origins, makers, and types; that’s when you know a proprietor is especially pouring heart and soul into a place.
Even further still, careful curation of a business’ décor, is a deeper hallmark of an owner’s meticulousness, as are the guest contributors who are invited to play a role within the space.
When all of these things are in regular harmony, it’s quite a sight, and when you walk into DLM Supply, you know the things and people you walk among are well thought out, cared for, and all are contributing to the story inside its walls.
On any given weekend in DLM, you might discover not only a great outfit, but you might also find yourself speaking with the people who designed the clothes themselves. A cocktail from Jettison might accompany your perusal, or you might pause for a tamale from Casa Masa. When the neighborhood bands together as a sort of orchestra, showcasing its best parts, aligned and in tune, it’s a wonderful thing. This kind of scene plays out in a sort of micro fashion within DLM, a co-habitat of neighborhood business minds, with seemingly-effortless consistency.
Lest I bury the main point, this choreographed existence takes endless work.
So there I sat at Wild Detectives, across from DLM’s creator, Deavon Moore, on just about the only day she takes off—Monday—to learn more about what goes into it all, and how she got started.
“When I was two I knew what I wanted to do,” Deavon told me, without hesitation. Moore’s great grandma owned a clothing store, and her whole family has followed suit. It didn’t take long for Moore to discover she was more a purveyor of clothes than a designer.
“I knew I could find what everyone needed, because there’s so much out there, so I went into merchandising,” she said.
Both of Moore’s parents went to the University of Oklahoma, but since the school didn’t have a fashion program, Deavon opted for TCU. She began cutting her teeth at internships, including one at Nordstrom out of Dallas Galleria. It was there that one of the ladies who ran the women’s department at the time, who was a merchandiser, took Deavon under her wing. According to Moore, she had never learned so much in her entire life. After finishing up at TCU, Deavon was convinced to stick around Dallas by that same woman, eventually rising the ranks to become a merchandiser for the women’s department at Dallas Galleria’s Nordstrom, after a short stint at the Stonebriar store in Frisco.
At this point in the story, the frequent DLM Supply shopper will note one significant detail: Deavon Moore first opened a men’s clothing store in Oak Cliff.
After a while back as a merchandiser at Dallas Galleria, the store manager there bet on Deavon’s savvy, and asked if she had ever considered merchandising men’s clothing. This proposition came at a time when six of the people on the floor were selling over a million dollars on the men’s floor alone, selling nothing more than wrinkle-resistant khakis and shorts, and Tommy Bahama. (It’s perhaps worth noting that the suit department was a whole separate entity.)
“I thought I was going to get eaten alive,” Deavon laughed. “But I started doing it, and felt like I could make my mark and turn the department around.” And so it went, switching between women’s and men’s, absorbing information about both areas.
This stage of Deavon’s journey is when the movie montage would begin. She becomes a buyer in her third year at Nordstrom, and then embarks on a journey opening up stores all across the southwest United States.
“I loved the travel. These people became your family,” Moore said. Her success begot more success, that landed her briefly back at Dallas Galleria as head buyer.
Then, bittersweet opportunity knocked. Rumblings about Nordstrom consolidation started happening. As a buyer, if you made it through consolidation, you were moving to Seattle. Moore recalled her confidence in her record, feeling her results should speak for themselves. We’ll see, she thought.
She got the job, packed her bags, and was off to Seattle, but it didn’t last long. Moore put her heart and soul into the job for about a year and a half before deciding she missed Texas. She’d followed her family into the biz, but these weren’t the plans she had made as early as she could walk. She had always dreamed of her own store, and she was determined to figure out a way to do it.
Moore’s been in her home in Oak Cliff for about eight years now. Her store has been open for less than half as long. She came back, moved into the neighborhood, and immediately saw a fit.
“I thought, ‘gosh, it would be best where I can open up a store in my community, where everyone is my customer, and I’m part of the neighborhood.’” Conveniently, Good Space had an opening in Typo, and Deavon thought it would make the perfect men’s store.
DLM Supply was born, and people showed up, immediately.
“I couldn’t do it without the neighborhood. I don’t think there’s anywhere else I could’ve put my store in Dallas and have the community support me right away.”
Moore spends hours and hours researching things. Being in constant connection with dozens of brands oftentimes leads her to the next big thing. Moore insists, though, she’s not trying to be trend-first; she sees that as short-term, and by the way she frames it—and by this author’s own opinion—exhausting.
“At the end of the day,” she explains, “I just want people to feel good and look good. And I want the pieces to be in someone’s life forever.”
Deavon shoots straight throughout each of our conversations, and one of her admissions about her women’s store genuinely surprised me. She confessed, “Maybe I opened up the women’s store a bit too early, but I saw a void.”
She takes risks, and builds relationships, and they pay off, each benefitting the other. Moore’s resourcefulness and personable nature are what lure the designers to DLM. Moore also admits she doesn’t have the funds to go out and buy everything she wants from a given brand, which is why she tries to bring the vendors themselves in, along with their inventory.
“The owner of the company comes in, who I have built this relationship with over 15 years, and he can showcase the product,” Moore explains. “I like when my customer can connect with the owner. And getting the owner in the door gets them the opportunity to meet the customer.”
The growth and development of the neighborhood has helped business, and Moore is excited about the future. The more entrepreneurs who move in, the more interesting things DLM Supply can offer, by way of partnerships that make sense. Moore also lauds her fellow women entrepreneurs in the area, from places like Beatnik, Magic Hour, and down the street in Bishop Arts at All Good Things. The women communicate weekly on trends, off-weeks, and each trades tips on what they’re doing to get people in the door.
The in-store pop-ups are a big draw for DLM, and the previously-mentioned tamales are involved in one of my favorite stories Deavon told me during our pow-wow at Wild Detectives. Her mailman came to her store on a Saturday and she gave him two tamales from Casa Masa, who was set up in-store for the day. He told her they were the best tamales he ever had, and he ended up ordering them for his family for Christmas.
In this way, I chided Deavon that, really, she’s built a living on having good taste, simply recommending awesome things to people. She agrees, and tells me that’s the perfect store for her: a one-stop-shop. And as the seasons change, DLM will continue to grow up—and down. This fall, you might start to see children’s clothing, starting from babies on up.
“I want to make the whole family want to come here,” Moore said.
She’s been keeping it in the family after all these years, dating back to her great grandma. Why stop now?
DLM Supply can outfit your apparel, accessory, grooming and/or footwear needs with a carefully curated collection of brands.