Springfield is being reborn. It’s been in the works for years now, with rapid innovation in the city’s development and dining spaces. Now, on the eastern outskirts of town, the Galloway neighborhood is having a moment. Just south of Sequiota Park, the Galloway Creek development promises a fresh injection of housing, dining and shopping. At the center of the activity is Culture Flock, a progressive, pink-tinted boutique that became the development’s first retail space in October of 2018.
The boutique, which is owned by Summer Trottier and her wife, Brittany Bilyeu, is straight out of a cheeky fantasy land. The walls are lined with groovy T-shirts featuring Missy Elliott lyrics and bold statements like “Vote Local.” Social justice messages are sprinkled among patches, sassy prints and a few more unexpected items. For example, my last trip to Culture Flock yielded an altar candle featuring my personal lord and savior, Dolly Parton. It’s feel-good shopping.
Culture Flock’s brick-and-mortar location is the result of five years of e-commerce success. The journey began when Trottier and Bilyeu resolved to print their own T-shirts on a multi-armed Lovecraftian contraption that currently lives in the back of the boutique. Despite the near-constant demand for wholesale goods, Trottier and Bilyeu continue to hand-print their T-shirts, many of which feature illustrations by Bilyeu and local artist Kendra Miller. That scrappy energy feeds Culture Flock’s ultimate goal: to support local artists while speaking out for minority groups. The latter is a passion for Trottier and Bilyeu, who married in 2014. “We’re creating a place in Springfield that I wish had existed when I was in high school and college,” Bilyeu says. Bilyeu’s adolescent self would be proud: Culture Flock is a beautiful space with an even more beautiful message.