From playing violin to owning her own store, Chi Oh is a woman who wears many hats.
A native Korean who moved to Texas eight years ago, Oh is the proud owner of Heylee’s Collections, an accessory store that opened recently at 2813 W. Berry St.
Oh moved from Pohang, Korea, to Dallas in 2005 and has always dreamed of opening her own store next to a college campus. She attended Yeungnam University in Taegu, Korea.
“It is common in Korea to have gift shops and girly stuff around campuses,” she said.
Oh wanted to bring that culture to her new life in Fort Worth and provide residents of the109 and Texas Christian University students with a place to shop for the latest accessories.
When Oh first moved to Texas she began taking English classes at a community college in Dallas. Later she attended graduate school at TCU earning credits toward a master’s in music.
Oh plays violin for the Las Colinas, Arlington and Garland orchestras many evenings. She loves to perform, but thinks about playing the violin as more of a hobby. Her true passion lies in owning her own store.
It was during her time in graduate school at TCU that Oh noticed there was not an accessories store within walking distance of the TCU campus. This realization is what led her to open Heylee’s Collection Jan. 21.
Oh had been eyeing a vacant space on West Berry Street for several months and decided since she does not have any children yet that this would be a good time to finally open her dream store.
The name is derived from her birth name, G-hey Lee. She combined parts of her first name and maiden name to create, Heylee’s, as in Heylee’s Collections.
Products at the store can range from facemasks, jewelry, scarves and iPhone cases. The majority of the products are imported from Korea, Japan and Germany. Because of this, Oh believes the products she provides are unique. For example, the skin masks imported from Korea and are considered as super food for your skin. Jessica Hayes, a TCU senior majoring in Supply Chain Management, has shopped at Heylee’s Collections.
“I think the store sells products that I will not find at Target or other big chain stores and that sets it apart,” Hayes said.
The imported products are not the only unique aspect about Heylee’s Collections, for Oh plans to begin teaching sewing classes and hosting crafting nights at her store.
“The sewing classes will be mostly about having fun,” Oh said.
The classes will teach the basics about sewing and provide a time to relax and do something different for residents of the 109.
Oh wants the store to be a place where people can go to unwind and where anyone can stop by and simply wander through. Oh loves to shop and believes it’s a great way to relax, even if nothing is purchased.
The store has been open about two months and Oh said she has seen some success. There is a large construction project going on directly in front of her store on West Berry Street.
Oh believes that the construction has had a huge effect that has slowed her ability to build a solid customer base since the shopping strip is more difficult to drive to and is harder to see behind the construction. She may not be wrong in this assumption, because Tom, (who asked that his last name not be used) a cashier from Crazy Jay’s, a pizza and pasta restaurant located next to Heylee’s Collections, agreed.
“The construction has cut down on our foot traffic a lot,” he said. “The appearance is unfriendly and makes it harder to obtain new customers.”
James Boliou, who is the store manager of the nearby Game Stop store said he has seen a slight decrease in business since the construction project started in June of 2013.
Construction is projected to conclude soon and Oh hopes this is true and when it is finished she will see increased interest.
Oh loves working and living in Fort Worth and has faith that the store will acquire a solid base of customers
Oh welcomes people to come by and browse the store, which is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.
For further questions about what Oh sells at Heylee’s Collections, email her at [email protected] or call her at 817-929-2395. Also, you can check out Heylee’s Collections on Facebook at www.facebook.com/heylees.collections.