The Blue Butterfly: Art and Marketplace located in the old Spare Time building at 705 NE Big Bend Trail, will officially open on Friday, June 12.
The Blue Butterfly is set up for vendor booths and will only feature new merchandise like handmade or refurbished items.
“We’ll have smokers, like barbecue smokers and grills out front,” said owner Melissa Braswell. “We’re going to have furniture that is made from plastic soda bottles. We have two guys that do woodworks. We have a blacksmith. We have two ladies and children’s boutiques. We have five different jewelry makers, car smellies, goat soap and T-shirts.”
The Blue Butterfly features about 40 vendors, including Serendipity Art and Gifts, a local business owned by mother-and-daughter duo Pam Hespe-Wall and Ayla Wall who sell tie-dye shirts and dreamcatchers.
“A lot of artists don’t really have a place to showcase their talent, so we have one wall dedicated to artists where we’re going to have light shining down on that particular wall,” Braswell said. “It’s going to be different – something you’ve never seen before.”
Braswell prides herself on how “unique” The Blue Butterfly is.
“There’s a consignment place in Mansfield so [my husband and I] went up there. We looked around and the thing I don’t like about them is that every third group is the exact same thing; it’s clothing, jewelry and shoes, so something we are not doing is duplicating anything,” she said. “When you come in, you will not see a booth that has the same thing. We’re not going to have panels separating the booths either; it’s going to flow like it’s a store. We want it to be different and unique.”
Braswell closed Spare Time in October due to her husband’s health and she had someone come by who was interested in leasing the building to host vendor booths. However, the woman ended up backing out, but it gave Braswell a wonderful idea.
“That’s what my mom wanted to do originally with Spare Time was to have vendor booths, but she ended up doing the entire store herself,” she said.
The Blue Butterfly is also named after Braswell’s mother, Nettie Slater, who used to run the dollar store and passed away about nine years ago. Slater built Spare Time for Braswell’s dad to run in 1997.
“My mother loved butterflies and her favorite color was blue,” she said. “I’ve had two artists paint me blue butterflies; it made me cry.
“What’s really cool is that I've had three or four people say that ever since they’ve become one of our vendors, they notice blue butterflies. We had this one lady that does crosses. She was asking me what the blue butterfly was significant for and I told her. She said, ‘I have to give this to you.’ She pulled out this blue butterfly with rhinestones on it that was on her keychain. She said, ‘When I put this on here, I knew I was going to give it to a special person and you’re that person.’ We’re making all of these really unique connections with people we’ve never even met before.”
Braswell said she is spending about 40 grand redoing the inside of the store and said she has many future plans for The Blue Butterfly. She purchased the house next to The Blue Butterfly and plans to turn the yard into an overflow parking lot. She also plans to have her youngest son play guitar on select nights and have her husband, Riki, show customers how to use Dutch ovens.
“My husband never gets excited about anything,” Braswell said, with a laugh. “He told me, ‘What I want is for when people come to Glen Rose to go to Dinosaur Valley, when they drive by, I don’t want the woman to say, ‘Hey, we should stop there.’ I want the man to say, ‘We need to stop there.’ We’re going to have all these smokers and all this lawn furniture outside. We just want to be different.”