Who We Are!

My name is Tracy Smith and I started cactus creek 21 years ago in the barn behind the home where i lived with my husband at the time.

I grew up in Houston , Texas and went to Texas A&M where I studied retail and marketing. After graduation I moved to Topeka Kansas for a VERY brief stint in the world of corporate retail. I quickly realized that I wasn’t meant for the corporate world and moved to the store side of the retail which was a much better fit for me.

In August of 2001 I walked away from a solid retail job to start my own dream store. I was young and had ZERO idea what I was doing. I opened the shop with my ex-mother-in-law in the barn behind our house in Kansas City.

The concept of cactus creek was much different then. We went to Guadalajara, Mexico for our first buying trip with the idea of importing Mexican furniture, metal work and leather goods. That was a fiasco - we were lucky to get all of our merchandise but we almost lost our shirts when the Mexican consolidator’s partner split with all of their money just a month after we received our first and only shipment from Mexico.

After that we worked with middle men but still the same concept of importing from Mexico. For the first couple of years of business we just did shows - rodeos, horse shows, etc - plus a monthly show in the barn. In 2002 we left the barn and Kansas City to move to Weston MO - a small tourist town just 15 minutes northwest of the Kansas City airport. It was then that we finally opened a traditional retail shop with regular store hours.

It was successful but fast forward to 2005 and I was popping out babies like a Pez dispenser so we took a hiatus until 2009.

In 2009 we opened back up on Main Street in Weston MO. By then we had transitioned away from the Mexican imports and overall Western theme. The goal in this new space was something more universal - rustic with a modern edge.

In 2016 we added clothes to the shop and that was a complete game changer. No one else on Main Street had clothes priced below the $50 mark so that was our new goal for clothing inventory - classic pieces at easy prices. Our sales doubled that year and we haven’t looked back. Now we try to never have any clothing over $68 - most of our inventory is under $38.

In 2020 we shut down on March 15 and re-opened on June 7. In the 12 weeks we were closed I remodeled every square inch of our shop - painted everything, re-did the floor and opened the space up to look twice as big. It was a labor of love and worth all of the blood, sweat and A LOT OF TEARS :)

In this fresh new space 2021 has met us with the best sales we’ve had in over 21 years. We are so grateful for everyone that comes to us, hangs out, shops, spends their hard earned dollars. We try to keep in mind how lucky we are for each and every sale. Our aesthetic now is a far cry from the Mexican import years. Now we are very boho, vintage, and a mix between rock n’ roll and classic country like Johnny Cash.

Because we have an enormous tourist demographic - and a state park with a huge campground just outside of town - we are increasingly focusing on adventure, travel and camping themes. Most of our folks are city people trying their hand at the great outdoors so we want to capture their dollars.

Do you have questions?

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