When Sue Harbert opened The Polkadot Giraffe in 2018, she did so on the heels of a 31-year career as a hairstylist. Before she opened her new business, she enjoyed a brief retirement.
“My husband said I could retire; then I spent too much money,” Harbert said with a laugh. “So, he said I needed to find something to keep me busy.”
She said she always wanted to open a gift shop because of treasured moments she shared with her mother. She signed a lease for a space on Olive Street in Old Town Keller because she knew she had found the perfect place to launch her business.
“My mom and I used to go to this little gift shop in Cincinnati called ‘The Polkadot Shop,’” the Keller resident said. “It was a big treat for my mom to go there, and it was like this one because it was in an old house.”
Harbert chose to include “Polkadot” in her business name to further emphasize the homage to her mother. She said after pairing a menagerie of objects with ‘Polkadot’, ‘Giraffe’ was the one that stuck. Harbert said many of her customers are women looking for gifts. Her front room is dedicated to home decor while a portion of the back room contains what she describes as snarky gifts.
“It is so much fun for me to sit and listen to these people laughing,” the business owner said. “That gives me more joy than anything that people find my stuff unique and funny.”
Harbert prides herself on having an ever-changing inventory.
“I look for smaller businesses that supply a unique product that you can’t get at a big box store,” she said.
Currently, there are three local artists who are on consignment at The Polkadot Giraffe. Their products include painted mirrors, glassware and pottery. Quite often her customers include mother-daughter duos.
“It’s fun to see that because it reminds me of time with my mom,” she said.
Harbert said one of her favorite things about owning this business is shopping for the store.
“I get to buy four of one thing, and one goes to my house,” she said.
The Polkadot Giraffe, 138 Olive St., Keller. 817-789-9445. Facebook search: The Polkadot Giraffe. Hours: Tue.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun.-Mon. closed