SALADO, Texas — If you blink, you might just miss Opal x June, a small shop in Salado built on the back of a dream and vision from God.
"I never had any intention of being a jewelry maker or owning a small business but it was something that's been on my heart for awhile," said Lexy Carlson.
Carlson said she awoke from a vivid dream and that the Lord wanted her to do this, after all she's accomplished in the broadcast arena, to slow it down and begin anew on the heels of a pandemic.
"It might sound silly to some but I had a dream and in the middle of the night one night and I just felt it was on my heart to do something in the creative space, I wasn't sure what, but fast forward and it lead me to making jewelry," she said.
Carlson worked at ESPN for almost six years and was the first job for her after graduating from the University of Texas in 2013.
"ESPN is an incredible place and it was a dream come true and is really hard to encapsulate what it means to me even today," Carlson explained about her former life, calling it the best years of her career.
"I'm so thankful and was able to do so much in that timeframe with my career, honestly more than some are able to do in 15 to 20 years," Carlson said.
Carlson said God has been so important in her life, opening doors and pushing her to walk through them.
"I was fortunate to win two Emmys while I was there, I was a producer on College Gameday, SportsCenter and then at the end of my career, I was an Associate Producer on Mike and Mike before their split and that show ended," she told 6 News.
Carlson said she's grateful for her time at ESPN but knew it was time to come home when she left after a handful of years. She grew up in Temple and called working in a big corporate environment difficult when she was away from those she loved.
"I am someone that, if I am going to do something, I am going to do it 100 percent and it just got to the point that, I was engaged and our goal was to move back to Texas to raise our family," Carlson explained about her decision to leave ESPN.
Carlson agreed, with a smile on her face, when asked how lucky she feels to be a part of the Salado community and living a whole new dream after the one at ESPN closed, albeit on her terms.
"I am extremely blessed to have been able to experience the best of both worlds and it was truly a dream and a wild ride to be a part of a place like ESPN," she said. "But to be here, business-wise and career-wise, it is completely different but it's another dream for sure."
Carlson said she's taken the passions from ESPN and implemented them at Opal x June. Those passions center, she said, around people.
"I've always had a heart for people and that's what lead me to pursuing a career at ESPN was storytelling and the person-to-person connection," she said.
While ESPN and Opal x June are two very different ventures, at the heart of it all is people, something Carlson said can be found in her created pieces. She said in the last year, she's collaborated with small businesses in the area and created jewelry pieces for them to aid in their marketing efforts.
"When I launched last year, I knew that I wanted to attach my brand to other small businesses," Carlson said. "While it does give my brand more exposure and awareness, I had this hope to create an outlet for other small businesses to bring awareness to their own brands and efforts."
Carlson said Opal x June is rooted in faith and also family, so much so it can be found first and foremost in the name.
"The name stems from two really important things in my life, Opal is my husband birthstone and June is just a really big month for our family, my husband and I were engaged in June, we were married in June, my birthday is in June and we also conceived our only child in June," Carlson said. "It's a special time of year for us."
Carlson said she has high hopes for the future and does believe that, small businesses together, can and will continue to be the backbone of America.
"Small businesses can support other small businesses and we can use each other and work as a team even though we have individual brands, products and goals," she explained. "We can come together and help each other while, at the same time, blessing people's lives and impact our communities as a whole."