Moving on up
Fast-growing ethical fashion boutique moves into bigger Fort Worth digs
Tribe Alive opened its doors just last year, but already the popular Near Southside boutique has outgrown its home.
Fort Worth’s first ethical fashion company is expanding its showroom and headquarters, relocating from its present space on Magnolia Avenue to larger digs on South Main Street, just a mile-and-a-half away. The new shop will open November 2, store personnel say.
"After a little over a year of operating out of our first storefront on Magnolia, growing our production and team by more than double, we realized that we needed more space to grow into," says Tribe Alive marketing manager Landry Teeter. "Though we focus heavily on scaling our e-commerce business, one aspect of our company that is important to us is to have a storefront and showroom for local customers. Naturally, we began looking for a building in an area that felt dynamic but still embodies the speed and feel of our brand — which ultimately led us to South Main Street."
The new shop has 2,300 square feet, nearly three times that of the old space. The front half will offer a "premium retail experience," Teeter says, with an elevated look, custom archway displays, an oasis of natural light, and focus on personal shopping appointments. The boutique sells women's clothing, jewelry, and accessories, as well as gift items such as candles and lotions.
The back half will serve as headquarters of the company. It has a collaborative working environment, expanded inventory room, dynamic community space, conference room, and dedicated working areas for each employee with room for significant growth, she says.
Its new home, at 126 S. Main St., reportedly is a refurbished building that is 90 years old. South Main is the new hot street to be on, with retail shops and restaurant and bars (like Hot Box Biscuit Club and Bearded Lady) flocking to the historic area near downtown.
"We are next door to a creative collective that houses a couple of businesses ranging from PR to photography," Teeter says. "We've completely repainted and restored the exterior of the building to cream, and our awnings are black."
On a mission
Trive Alive has had a robust e-commerce presence since 2014, but didn't open a brick-and-mortar shop until May 2018.
It all started with Carly Burson, who, after years of international volunteer work and the adoption of her own daughter, Elie, from Ethiopia, became aware of the economic insecurity facing women in the developing world and sought to create change.
Taking what she'd gleaned from more than a decade working in the fashion industry, Burson launched Tribe Alive (the name nods to Burson's desire to build a movement) as a jewelry line produced by a group of women in Honduras.
Eventually, the line grew into a full lifestyle collection featuring textiles, leather goods, and apparel crafted by female artisans from around the world.
By partnering with international nonprofits, Tribe Alive has equipped hundreds of women from Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, India — and Fort Worth — with the tools and the support needed to provide for their families and create better lives for themselves.
Everything is designed and made by women, with the mission of empowering women to raise themselves out of poverty.
"We believe women are the key to our future," Burson told CultureMap last year. "When we invest in women, then women reinvest in the health and well-being of their communities. When you reach one woman, you reach 100 more. We're interested in positively affecting generations to come, which is why we choose to invest in women. Women pay it forward."
A recent Facebook post outlined some successes that the company has achieved in its first five years:
"We've grown from employing 8 artisans in our first year to 288 in our fifth. That is...
- 288 people with sustainable, safe, and meaningful work.
- 288 people receiving skills training and development.
- 288 people that are seen and valued.
- 288 people that are paid living wages.
- 288 people employed,
- and thousands of surrounding lives impacted."
Tribe Alive designs all products in house and sources each design through different nonprofit production houses all over the world. Its new location will allow the company Alive to serve even more women in Fort Worth and around the world, Teeter says.
"This expansion increases bandwidth for Tribe Alive internal teams and gives way for new artisan partner acquisition, inventory, and production growth," she says, "as well as offering events to engage with the local community and like-minded women."
Nicole Jordan contributed to this story.