We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra and Paul Van Fleet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra and Paul, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My husband and I are both Science teachers, and every year we would struggle with getting prepared for a new year. Buying supplies and preparing your room for the students was always exciting, but very expensive. We would travel to multiple shops to get everything we needed; so between time and money, we figured that there had to be a better way. A way for us to get inexpensive supplies, pets for the classroom and teacher supplies without breaking the bank. So our shop was born from this very simple idea.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a small family owned shop in historic Old Town Spring, TX. We are so proud of how our little shop has grown and flourished in just five years. We have had many struggles, with this year being the largest to overcome. We have made it through personal family issues, flooding, hurricanes, Covid and lockdowns. It has been a straining five years, but we have persevered. We believe that through our struggles, we will be stronger and learn how to overcome. We pray for better days, but we are grateful for everything we have accomplished. Lord willing, we will continue for many more years.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Old Town Spring is full of unique shops, services and restaurants. You can stroll Main Street and pick up a book from Glow Worm, a beautiful piece of furniture from Perfectly Vintage, home decor from Camille’s or Thad’s or Lana Williams or evening Fiora Fine Gifts, a new outfit at Feign Boutique, a Brazilian handcrafted piece of jewelry from Susy’s Stuff, makeup from Adam the Avon Man, create a piece of art with Creations Market or My Picqasso, grab some wine from the Tasting Room or Envy Wine Room, grab some spices for dinner at Simply Texas, get a pandora bracelet from GG’s, grab some wedding dresses from Princess Bridal or Fiancée Bridal, get married with Thyme Square, pick up some tunes from Space City Audio, art from Thomas Kinkade @PTL gallery, grab a hat from the Hat People, get a tattoo at Noble Street Tattoo, dine at Puffabelly’s for some good old southern comfort, pick up made from scratch bbq at Corkscrew, vegan to go at Soo Veganly, homemade Latin inspired meals from Belly of the Beast, elite cuisine from Elm & Magnolia, or hit up Jailhouse Saloon or Prohibition for that handcrafted drink that will hit the spot! Take a trip down Gentry and you can hit up Ellen’s Cafe for some hot and fresh chef prepared meals, Loose Caboose for some deep fried comfort foods, relax and have a hand rolled cigar at Blackhouse Cigars, grab a purse to hold all of your goodies from JJ’s Closet, grab some hand made boots from Linama Boots, grab some gourmet popcorn from Popp’s or Ma and Pa Kettlecorn, pick up a one of a kind toy from Why Not Toys, grab a coffee or ale from Trilogy Brew, get a new doll from Doll Hospital, pick up some candy from Emmy’s Sweet Shop, get some home decor from Vintage Inspired Interiors or Pierce and Belle at Home, pick up some novelties at Fun Gifts and Treasures, get some authentic German decor from German Gift House, fudge from Little Dutch Girl, make sure to hit up Cutter’s Canyon for your souvenirs, Reclaimed Leather and Masterpiece furniture for all your one of a kind items along with Amish Home Furnishings, pick out some outfits at Gypsyrose or On a Whim, get some cosplay from Celtic Odyssey or the Spotted Pony, perfumes from Crazy Mama’s, fabrics from Cupcake Quilts, jewelry from Silver Smith’s or Art Glass Jewelry, have some tea at the Tea Kettle, crystals at the Spirit Quest or Mallott’s Hardware, grab some tamales from Granny’s Tamales, sports paraphernalia at the Dug Out, hit up the British Market for all things British, homemade soaps from Connie’s Bath Shack, beautiful flowers from Keekee’s, grab some art from Spring Cottage, and even more fantastic home decor at Don Quixote’s. You can grab haircuts all around town from salons like Hair Wunderbar, Wild About Hair, Willow + Ash, Secret Hair Extensions, BeU Boutique, RTB Barbershop, and so many more. Escape from the Armadillo Escape Room, learn with the Tailored Teacher or Rebel Birth, have a foot massage with Maria Reflexology, get your ears pierced at Pretty and Pierced, get your clothes tailored with Colletti’s Threads, get your dog groomed with Spa La Paws or Lucky Dog, get married at Hochzeit Hall, and Advance Shooting Solutions for all your weapon needs.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We could not do this without the support of the Lord, alongside all our family and friends. All the praise and glory go to them. We feel led by Him and pray about our decisions. In our hardest times, we look to Him. With God on our side, we can do all things through Him. This does not discount our family and friends, that support us mentally, financially and physically. Plus, we have awesome customers and are blessed to still be in business after five years. We could not do it without everyone’s support!
Sandra Van Fleet