Female Feature Friday: Christina Phillips of Park + Eighth
We are back at it, bringing you another Female Feature Friday. We are so excited to be sharing a new amazing Girl Boss every week. The inspiration behind this series was to highlight the brilliant women running small businesses in an effort to inspire other women to bring their talents to the table. We can do it all, ladies!
Since I’m a sucker for all things home-decor, this week’s Female Feature has me in my feelings. Christina Phillips, interior designer and owner of Park + Eighth, brings a unique and beautiful approach to home decor and her passion overflows into the Fort Worth community. Christina, thanks for making our city more beautiful, one home at a time.
LET’S GET DOWN TO (SMALL) BUSINESS:
NAME AND OCCUPATION:
Christina Phillips- Interior Designer/ Home Decor Retailer
BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS
Park + Eighth is a boutique vintage furnishings store that offers high-end classics like lucite, brass and chrome, vintage upholstery and original artworks from local artists. We carry some of the best artists of the mid-century era including: Warren Platner, Milo Baughman, Mastercraft, Lion and Frost, Ello, Henredon and Pace-just to name a few. We have pieces that are mid-century modern, as well as some that are mid-century French and Italian… A little something for everyone!
HOW DID PARK + EIGHTH COME ABOUT AND WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE ITS CREATION?
I was doing design work and collecting hoards of vintage furnishings- unsure of what I was going to do with it. The right space became available at just the right time, so I took a leap of faith and I opened the store. I have always felt that there was a void in the Fort Worth home decor shop scene. There were very few that people could walk into, make a purchase, and leave with beautiful pieces instantly.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING AN ANTIQUE FURNITURE AND HOME DECOR BUSINESS?
Number one is the hunt! The second thing I love is helping others introduce the mid century craze into their existing decor, and finally, I love coordinating original art with all of the above for the perfect look that is so “today”.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
It’s hard to say… I love everything I buy, but my navy, velvet Warren Platner chairs are at the top of my list for sure. Next on the list is probably my brass ibex dining table/desk. Both pieces are in my shop and my own home as well.
WHY IS SMALL BUSINESS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?
It’s important because it feels personal. It’s not a chain/box store experience. I also love supporting the dreams of my fellow Fort Worthians and the unique things they bring to our city.
What motivates you to keep going on the less than awesome days?
My addiction to great furniture LOL! For me, the hunt is exhilarating and the sale is rewarding.
AS A YOUNG BUSINESS OWNER, JUST 25, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNGER ENTREPRENEURS WHO WANT TO START A BUSINESS?
Go with your gut! If you have a real passion to start a business where there is a real need, then run with it and trust your instincts. Be smart and don’t overspend or get yourself into crazy debt- even if that means building it slowly. Seek mentors in the business. Be prepared to live and breathe nothing but your business during the first three years.
Do something that no one in your area is doing. Be the OG “lady-prenuer”. Cut yourself some slack when you experience failures- because you will. So just learn from them, and move on. Ask for help when you need it. Small businesses are very hard to manage alone…. hmmm maybe I should take this advice myself, haha.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE AND WHAT/ HOW DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
My biggest mistake was over-buying out of a fear of passing on something that I would never find again. Now, I know that it’s okay to pace myself. Sometimes that means passing on things to keep my expenditures manageable.
WHO HAVE YOU LOOKED TO FOR ADVICE AND MENTORSHIP?
I have a sweet friend who is the queen of all things vintage in Dallas- Leslie Pritchard of Again and Again. She has given me stellar advice, and I have followed it! She has been so instrumental in my success. I also watch what others in my industry are doing- I see where they are strong AND where they are weak. I think observing is a wonderful tool.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE A WOMAN IN SMALL BUSINESS?
It means that anything is possible, and it means that dreams are attainable. However, it also means HARD work and long hours. It means pushing through even when you think you can’t. I hope it shows my daughter that dedication pays off, and that she should fight for what she wants in life. I hope it teaches my son that women are equals, and I hope it teaches him to always support the efforts of the women in his life. I hope it makes my husband proud of my accomplishments. Those things mean more to me than the bottom line and the almighty dollar.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR PARK + EIGHTH?
We are opening a second location on Camp Bowie! We’re going to be offering new things to our customers including a fabulous collaboration with Kisabeth Furniture, Verdi rugs out of Columbia, new artists and more.
LET’S GET THE SKINNY ON FORT WORTH:
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO FORT WORTH?
I was born and raised here!
BEST TACO IN FORT WORTH?
Velvet Taco. Hands down.
BEST QUESO IN FORT WORTH?
HG Supply CO’s vegan queso!
FAVORITE MARG IN FORT WORTH?
The marg from Bar Taco or the spicy marg from Cork & Pig Tavern.
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP IN FORT WORTH?
Honestly, I don’t frequent many because I LOVE the Miele coffee maker that I have at home.
FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A DAY IN FORT WORTH?
Eating and drinking my way through town with my family. There are so many fun places to explore here! The zoo is unbeatable, the museums are incredible. The list is long....
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS OWNER IN FORT WORTH?
I love getting to work with the amazing people in our city. Everyone is genuinely friendly, kind and they want local businesses to succeed.
TELL US 3 OF YOUR FAVORITE FORT WORTH SMALL BUSINESSES.
You Are Here, House Of Tuscany and K.Flories. They are owned by GREAT small business women.