Waiting for the bat migration at the Congress Bridge in Austin. 

Waiting for the bat migration at the Congress Bridge in Austin. 

One of the best parts of building a creative shopping space is hunting down unique items to fill the store. While visiting Austin, Texas, Eric and I decided to pick out some great products from local businesses to bring back home to Regina. Austin is known as the live music capital of the world, which already makes it pretty awesome (along with the ridiculously good food I insist on stuffing myself with on every visit!) but the best thing by far about Austin are the amazing people! Friendly, helpful, and unbelievably talented, the people of Austin keep us coming back year after year! I knew we needed to bring back a little taste of that beautiful city for all of you!


Our first stop was the Burlap Bag, nestled in the University of Texas neighbourhood. The Burlap Bag is a cute little shop full of adorable treasures, curated by owners Lauren and Josiah. They support all forms of local artists, from prints to jewelry to greeting cards - Josiah insisted we take his picture by the cards, which are some of his favourite pieces in the store. They take great pride in their place, and it shows in every corner of the Burlap Bag. We particularly loved the candles that Lauren and Josiah make themselves, delicious scents with ridiculous names like Crazy Cat Lady, Hippie Scent, and Eric’s personal favourite – Unicorn Puke! I fell in love with their candles after picking one up at a different shop on a previous trip to Austin, and the quality is amazing. They are the perfect pick me up for any living space. Lauren and Josiah were so helpful in getting our order together, and I know they are looking forward to hearing which candles our customers love the most! We can’t wait to have you come into the store and smell them.

 Josiah from The Burlap Bag

Josiah from The Burlap Bag

 

We also got the chance to visit the studio space for one of my favourite jewelry companies out of Austin, Ornamental Things. When we contacted owner and designer Natalie, she insisted that we stop by the studio while we were in town, where we got to meet the lovely Beth who let us take a peek at some of the amazing pieces they are developing, and the work spaces where they create their beautiful works of art. Ornamental Things is the perfect balance between vintage and modern, with a wide array of styles to suit pretty much everyone. We’ve brought in a great cross-selection of pieces, and they are even more stunning in person! They can be worn casually, or as beautiful finishing touch on your holiday party outfit – either way they will definitely garner you some compliments. Big thanks to Natalie, Beth, and Hilary for taking such great care of us!

 

I said before that one of the best things about opening your own store is picking out the great items to fill it with, but actually, I think it’s meeting all the incredible people along the way; the small business owners, the artists, the people who are dedicated to creating high quality clothes, jewelry, home décor, and art, and put that dedication and passion into every item they create. These are the people we want to support and feature in our store, and it’s why we’ve started on this journey. We want to find people who are as passionate about handmade goods as we are, and we were so lucky to meet some of them in Austin!

We have so many more awesome artists to share with all of you, many of which are from Western Canada and the US. Check back often as we start to showcase more small businesses and artists we will be featuring at Mortise and Tenon!