Photo by Lauren Allen.

After a trip to see friends in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Lake Highlands-residents John and Kasey Bower noticed his friends sporting home-designed and embroidered hats labeled “Ypsi.” He wondered why, with all the pride that neighbors have, merch representing the neighborhood wasn’t readily available. John and Kasey aimed to change that. 

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“If you go to Oak Cliff, you can find 10 stores with really cute stuff to represent Oak Cliff or Bishop Arts,” Kasey says. “So we started with a ‘For Lake Highlands Hat Co.’ design.”

They designed and embroidered 48 hats in 2019. They sold out quickly.

The Bowers weren’t the only Lake Highlands residents who wanted to display their pride. 

But Kasey was a retired teacher staying home with three young sons and helping John plant Normandy Church. They didn’t have the time or energy to start a business in addition to their full schedule.

“I looked at her and I was like ‘Look, I want to do something together,’” John says. “(I wanted to do) something that elevated her creativity, because being a mom is glorious, but she’s really creative.”

When several major life changes occurred, including the church closing, adoption, fostering, health concerns and parenting three — now five — little ones, it was the perfect opportunity to make hats a full-time gig. 

Or as John refers to it “the kind of chaos that you’ve always dreamed of.” 

With John’s prompting and Kasey’s design savvy, the Bowers came up with new designs, colors ways and styles. 

“(Sometimes) she frustrates the fire out of me, but she is a freaking badass,” John says. 

They sold out yet again, still hand-delivering the hats to their neighbors.

Thus, Neighborhood Supply Co. was born, now with dozens of designs and insignia representing East Dallas, White Rock Lake, Old East Dallas, Bishop Arts, Deep Ellum, Highland Park and whatever custom order suits a neighbor’s fancy. 

The pair set out to find a permanent space with a bit more room than their living room.

And after about a year of looking, they found a space on Church Road, which opened in November. The store has space for the embroidery equipment and a storefront for customers to peruse through on the weekends. 

The Bowers have bigger dreams for the space. They want to work with organizations to hire single mothers, provide coffee and become “a pillar for the neighborhood itself,” the Bowers say.

The slogan sums up what they hope to accomplish — love thy neighborhood.