The Reid Feed: Zoua and Leon Davis bring upcycling with style and savings to Fort Bend – Fort Bend Star

You will be hard-pressed to find two people in Fort Bend who work as hard as longtime residents and small business owners Leon and Zoua Davis. They are the husband-and-wife team behind the new Uptown Cheapskate in Sugar Land, which opened in November in the University Commons Shopping Center next door to Ulta Beauty. With their Texan grit, Leon and Zoua want to help you clean out your closet and pay you for it.

Uptown Cheapskate is a fast and easy way for you to upcycle your clothing. Now, you may wonder what upcycling is and how it is different from your run-of-the-mill thrift store. Upcycling is when you transform something old and repurpose it in new ways. Unlike other thrift stores where you simply donate your items, Uptown Cheapskate actually buys your gently used and on trend clothing for a choice of either cash or store credit. If you choose store credit, you get an extra bonus of 25 percent more than your cash price offer. This empowers you to constantly refresh your wardrobe without ever having to spend any money, or shop at deep discounts. The range of clothing and accessories offered is impressive. You can find gently used, brand new, vintage, collectible, and luxury items at Uptown Cheapskate. The shopping experience is creative, transformative, eco-conscious, and budget friendly.

Uptown Cheapskate is a Utah-based company with stores in 26 states. This is the first one in Fort Bend. The Davises curate their inventory for the community and from the community. According to Uptown Cheapskate, “When you shop at big box retailers and online companies only 10-40% of every dollar you spend stays in your community. Shopping local business keeps 90% of your money in your local community to benefit your friends and neighbors. It’s like an

ecosystem that keeps your community humming, and more and more people are jumping on board the Shop Local train.” Like many people during the pandemic, the Davises had an idea they had been thinking about for years and finally decided to pursue. They shared with us, “We wanted to own a franchise but we weren’t sure which sector would be a good fit for us. After a bunch of research and meetings with the corporate office of Uptown Cheapskate in Salt Lake City during July 2022, we decided to go ahead and move forward with it.”

Leon and Zoua also brought new jobs to Sugar Land with more than 20 employees. Most of them have been along for the ride since day one, and their loyalty is a testament to the Davises positivity. This is not at the least surprising since Leon and Zoua’s work ethic and candor is contagious. They both still work full-time jobs because launching a new business is hard. Zoua, a U.S. Air Force veteran, still works at a small oil and gas company, while Leon has his own oil and gas consulting firm. They are also parents of three young children. When we spoke to Zoua, she was managing the store while Leon was watching their three kids all under the age of seven. Hattie is oldest at 7, Lily Belle is 3 years old, and Jai is the youngest at 15 months.

The store’s merchandise is locally sourced. Prior to the opening, there was a “Buy Period” when they purchased inventory from the community. “At first it was overwhelming,” recalled Zoua. “I remember we had piles and piles of clothes in the front and had to start using the changing rooms as storage. It was rough for the first few weeks.” There were lines out the door of people wanting to sell their clothing and accessories. “One of the biggest successes in my opinion,” says Leon, “is the community response. We filled this store up with gently used merchandise from the community as well as new items in about six weeks.”

The diversity of Fort Bend is clearly reflected at Uptown Cheapskate. They have you covered regardless of your aesthetic. For example, right now, there is a dedicated section just to get you ready for the upcoming Houston Rodeo. There is an impressive shoe collection just for the local sneakerhead community. They previously carried dress shoes, but soon found out that Kenneth Cole’s just simply weren’t what their customers wanted, Sugar Land is more of a “Jordan’s” city. Lululemon also has a dedicated section for those who love athleisure. The vintage section is for the old souls who appreciate the lost art and color blocking of an old-school Lacoste tracksuit. For our luxe locals, Uptown Cheapskate has steals and deals on designers including Chanel, Chloé, Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Louboutin.

Whether you are an experienced thrifter or complete newbie, you will appreciate the curation done for you by Uptown Cheapskate’s buyers. They do the heavy lifting for you to avoid the usual thrift store experience of sifting and digging through copious racks of clothing, hoping to find that elusive needle in a haystack. Beyond just men’s and women’s clothing, they try to put your whole look together with hats, accessories, bags, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, belts, and scarves. What’s unique about Uptown Cheapskate in particular is how selective they are when it comes to the items they buy and sell, Zoua tells us, “We’re super selective on the items we bring in. We make sure that it’s gently used, no holes, no tears and it’s freshly laundered since it has to be ready to wear.”

As for promotions, there is currently a “Pick Your Pink” special, which gives you 15 percent off anything pink in February. In March, for every $50 you spend, you will get $10 in Uptown cash. In April, there will be a BOGO (buy one get one) promo. There will also be a Lululemon drop of brand new merch before Spring break. “The Lululemon drop date is in the works. It will be kind of like a little LuluLemon pop-up shop with refreshments and activities,” says Zoua.

To stay posted on Uptown Cheapskate’s offers in Sugar Land, follow them on Instagram:

You can visit Uptown Cheapskate in Sugar Land 7-days of the week:


Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday: Noon – 6 p.m.


13574 University Blvd, Suite 500

Sugar Land, TX 77479

(University Commons Shopping Center next to Ulta Beauty)

PHONE: 281-201-8600

Ryan Lee Reid, “The Piano Cowboy”, and Janet Sue Reid, “The Culinary Cowgirl”, are artists and creators. They transform space and time to move and heal people through art. They live in Sugar Land with their children. Find their full bios and contact them through