Damon Waxler always collected lots of “stuff” starting with baseball cards purchased from Ben Franklin stores in the 1970s, but when the couple’s garage ran low on space, he suggested it was time for a retail location. His wife Dawn agreed, as long as they offered quality men’s clothing and accessories. That’s how Dixie Pickers in Collierville, TN was born.
The first Dixie Pickers store opened on Collierville’s historic town square in 2012 in an 1100 square foot space, which they quickly outgrew. Fortunately, Damon had to look no further than across the square when he discovered the space McGinnis Hardware, a popular local store that had been in business for several decades, would be available.
“Sealing the hand shake deal to move into the old hardware store space was one of the only major decisions I’ve made without consulting my wife,” Damon sheepishly told OneSouthernMan. “She wasn’t happy at first but fortunately it proved to be a good move.” The Collierville store was followed by a second location in East Memphis in 2015.
When you first walk into Dixie Pickers in Collierville it’s like entering an 1880’s dry goods store, but with a modern touch. The original wood floors and high ceilings provide a relaxing environment where shoppers can browse and purchase brands like Southern Marsh, Orvis, Mountain Khakis, Cotton Brothers, Volunteer Traditions, Southern Sock and Madison Creek Outfitters.
Other popular items range from Yeti Coolers to Jack Black skin care to Browning shotguns.
“I doubt you can find a store where you see Drake Waterfowl (a line preferred by Duck hunters) and Bill Khaki’s next to each other,” said Waxler. “People walk in and discover they haven’t been in a store like Dixie Pickers. That’s part of what makes us so unique.”
There are many features that set the store apart from you basic casual men’s clothing store.
First, there is a ton of college-themed clothing including polo’s, button down shirts, caps and outerwear. These have proved popular with the huge local fan base of schools such as Ole Miss, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Alabama and the University of Memphis.
It also won’t take you long to figure out an outdoorsman owns this store but catering to hunters wasn’t part of the original business plan. “As I saw customers that needed guns and hunting gear, I began adding various lines,” Waxler explained.
Then there is the vintage stash that truly separates Dixie Pickers from the rest.
Being a music buff, Damon has complied an incredible collection of vinyl albums including finds from vintage rock bands and performers you can no longer find in your local Wal-Mart.
Some of the more popular items Dixie Pickers currently stocks are sports paraphernalia from such greats as the Manning clan (Archie, Peyton & Eli) and many other hall of fame champions of football and baseball. “It’s not everywhere you find a power blue Ole Miss helmet like Archie wore,” said Damon.
To top everything off, the Waxler’s are involved in a number of community efforts and support organizations such as Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Christian Brothers High School and Ronald McDonald Charities.
Anyone that runs a retail store can tell you taking time off is rare, but after five years in business Damon and Dawn will soon celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
“Dawn actually asked if I would take her fly fishing in Arkansas,” said Damon. “She didn’t have to twist my arm and I’m happy we’re spending time near the water.”
Hopefully they can find a few moments to make plans for Dixie Pickers future growth opportunities.
Dixie Pickers has two locations:
99 N. Center Street
Collierville, TN 38017
Mon-Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
964 June Road
Memphis, TN 38119
Mon-Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Find Dixie Pickers on the web.