Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Market Finds: October 2014

I started a feature last month where I highlight artisan products that I come across in my explorations - my Market Finds.  With the month of October wrapping up and including Fall Festivals, Halloween Parties, and Harvest Parties, I thought these items might inspire you as you wrap up your last of the month festivities and plans.  Read below for more details on these finds and be sure to click the links to discover more about the artisans behind these great products and to see more of their wonderful goods.  Enjoy & Happy Fall Festivities!!

Tuffy Kickshaw's Sweet Covered Corn: Pumpkin Five Spice
This gourmet caramel corn is not like any caramel corn you ever tasted.  Small batches of handmade caramel corn is tossed with other gourmet ingredients to offer a vast array of seasonally inspired flavors.  The Pumpkin 5 Spice flavor is the traditional buttery caramel corn combined with real pumpkin & Chinese Five Spice - a must have at any of your upcoming weekend gatherings, to just have on hand as a go-to munchy, or to take as a hostess gift.  Tuffy Kickshaw is lovingly made in small batches by hand in Colorado.
Tuffy Kickshaw Gourmet Caramel Corn Colorado
{photo credit: Tuffy Kickshaw}
Where to Find Tuffy Kickshaw:
Purchase from Artisan @ TuffyKickshaw.com


Waxing Kara: Cinnamon Honey Lollipops
An artist who became a beekeeper to harvest wax for her paintings (read her story HERE), Waxing Kara started harvesting the honey to create wonderful natural products.  One of her creative genius products is something I have never seen before - Honey Lollipops.  Her Cinnamon Honey Lollipops are seasonal in so many ways and are especially good for soothing a scratchy throat or to stir into a cup of hot tea.  Made by hand on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Waxing Kara Cinnamon Honey Lollipops
{photo credit: Waxing Kara}
Where to Find Waxing Kara:
Purchase from Artisan @ WaxingKara.com
Find Locally @ Waxing Kara.com/Retailers


Amanda Catherine Designs: Fall Pencils
I love pens, pencils, and paper, and so of course, these pencils with fun Fall sayings caught my eye.  I think how sweet it would be to write a note and look down at my pencil to see "Hayrides & Apple Cider" reminding me of the season at hand - so inspiring!  Amanda combines whimsical sayings with fun designs to create all sorts of inspiring pencil sets, prints, and market totes too.  Made by hand in Savannah, Georgia.
Amanda Catherine Designs
{photo credit: Amanda Catherine Designs}
Where to Find Amanda Catherine Designs:
Purchase from Artisan @ Etsy.com/ACDShop
Learn More @ AmandaCatherineDesigns.com
Follow @ Facebook.com/AmandaCatherineDesigns


Knot and Bow: Chalkboard Style Kraft Paper
As I mentioned above I love paper and this chalkboard style Kraft paper from Knot and Bow most definitely captured my attention!  Made from recycled paper, this black paper can be used to wrap a package, as a table runner, or for wine or cheese pairing events.  Find a white marker and add your words and it becomes a paper chalkboard!  This paper comes in a 15ft x 2ft roll and is made in Brooklyn, NY.
Knot and Bow Chalkboard Style Kraft Paper
{photo credit: Knot and Bow}
Where to Find Knot and Bow:
Purchase from Artisan @ Etsy.com/KnotandBow
Find Locally @ KnotandBow.com/Retailers

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Celebrating Growth

I had planned for today's post to be about my October Market Finds - a feature that I started last month highlighting artisan products that I come across in my explorations.  But, I felt led to talk about something different today and save that post for next week.

Within the last week and a half I have found out about 3 strong businesses here in the Central Texas area that have announced the growth or expansion of their business.  Their stories have inspired me ever since I first discovered each of them and to now see their opportunity to grow and serve the communities in an even bigger way gives me great joy and I just want to celebrate with them.  So today's post is a celebration of their news, their vision, and their love and commitment to their communities.  Celebrate them with me today and stay tuned for future posts about each of them here on the Olive Basket!
Celebrating Growth at the Olive Basket
I launched the Olive Basket with my feature post about one of my most favorite shops that I have come across in all of my explorations - Cherry Tree Creative.  Curie Humphreys is the creative owner behind this business and if you didn't get a chance to read about her and her shop Cherry Tree Creative, just click HERE.  
Cherry Tree Creative Taylor TX
Curie announced just a little over a week ago her plans to open The Nest Boxand I am super excited about her news and about seeing her new shop.  There was an empty space right next door to Cherry Tree, and it was just a perfect space for her to take a hold of and to provide a shop not only accessible from Cherry Tree (she's opening a space in the wall between!), but complimentary to Cherry Tree as well.  
The Nest Box, Taylor TX
{photo credit: The Nest Box}
The Next Box will be a curated collection of home goods to feather your nest and will offer favorites and finds that compliment Cherry Tree.  Her grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, November 6, which happens to also coincide with her event at Cherry Tree, "Christmas on Main Street Open House".  If you happen to be in Taylor, Texas, that weekend be sure to stop in and see The Nest Box as well as all the new Christmas goodies that Cherry Tree will have.  I am super excited about this opportunity for Curie and love that she is extending her offerings right in her own community!  

About a year ago, I stumbled across someone who was at the time writing a blog, decorating houses, and hosting an Open House to tour her newly renovated farmhouse.  Her story and her style captured my attention and I have been a fan ever since.  Since then, her story and style have captured a good portion of the country's attention too as her and her husband's home building and renovating business - Magnolia Homes - hit America's living rooms in a new HGTV show called Fixer Upper.  What a hit that show has been!  And, it's amazing to see how much people love their show and love them.  Since Fixer Upper launched at the beginning of this year, Joanna Gaines has since opened her shop Magnolia Market.  She owned her own shop years ago and had vision of doing it again, but her and her husband Chip Gaines' business was taking center stage.  However, it seemed like a great time to open her new shop, Magnolia Market in Waco, TX, this past spring.  Her shop is adorable of course, and very reflective of her style and of Fixer Upper.  
Magnolia Market, Waco TX
{photo credit: Magnolia Market}
I haven't written about Magnolia Market here on the Olive Basket yet, and had been waiting to do so for some reason.  And, now I will wait a bit longer as Joanna just announced Monday, that they will be moving their offices and expanding Magnolia Market to a new location.  This location is quite unique as it includes a grain barn and two silos, but her vision for it is super exciting.  She plans to increase the footprint of her shop and the offices for their business, but in addition she will utilize a 12,000 square foot space in the grain barn to host monthly Trade Days that will feature antique vendors and local food trucks.  
Magnolia Silos Magnolia Market Waco TX
{photo credit: Magnolia Market | Magnolia Silos}
I love the vision and more importantly I love what this vision will bring to the town and community of Waco.  You have to read the story of how they decided to make this move and you can read it HERE on her blog.  Joanna and Chip inspire me in that they have taken every step of this new found success, exposure, and growth of their business with their faith at the front of it all.  If you don't already follow her blog, please do.  She has a lot of great ideas but she talks a lot about her everyday life and her faith journey as well.  MagnoliaHomes.net/Blog - It will inspire you!

I have plans to write a post about this last business in the upcoming weeks, and as I was visiting the Owl - a home goods shop over in Elgin, TX - I learned that they were also expanding their business.  Elgin is a small town just south of Taylor, TX, and about 25 miles east of Austin.  The owners of the Owl, Molly Alexander and parnter Gary Luedecke, invested in their town a couple of years ago when they opened this home goods shop and wine bar.  
The Owl Home Goods & Wine Bar, Elgin TX
G&M Drygoods, Elgin TX
{Logo photo credit: G&M Drygoods}
While visiting last week and snapping pictures for my upcoming blog post about the Owl, I learned that they were opening a second business in Elgin - G&M Drygoods.  Just a block down the street from the Owl, G&M Drygoods will offer gifts and small goods that compliment the goods they offer at the Owl.  They plan to open this upcoming weekend and you can be sure that I will feature G&M Drygoods here on the Olive Basket as well.  

The celebration of these businesses for me is not only to see each of them grow and prosper, but to celebrate the fact that they are doing it in their very own communities located in small town America.  Each of these businesses could have chosen to relocate or open their second location in a more populated area or a more retail thriving destination, but instead they decided to stay in their own communities because it's where they live, they love where they live, and they want to not only be a part of their own community but to give back to it in this way.  That's pretty amazing to me and I respect and admire each of these business owners and community members.  Thank you for loving where you live, for investing in where you live, celebrating where you live, and inviting the rest of us into your community.  Congratulations to each of you!

{SIDE NOTE:  In this post, all links to these businesses and/or to related posts are highlighted in Maroon - please click on them to go straight to their individual Website, Facebook page, or Blog. Thank you so much!}

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Old Bryan Marketplace

A few weekends ago my husband and I were looking for something to do for the day and out of the blue we both decided that it would be kind of fun to drive over to Bryan, TX.  We had been through Bryan once before some time back but hadn't really stopped or seen much of this town.  So for whatever reason, it seemed like a good day to go back to Bryan and see what was going on over there.  Located just a few miles from Texas A&M, Bryan's historic downtown area is a nice mix of shops, restaurants, cafes and even a few art galleries, and it seems to be quite the destination for the local community as well as for those of us venturing over from the Austin area.  My most interesting find of the day however was a large brick building that caught my eye as we were driving along one of the main streets of this historic area.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
We decided to stop and check out what could possibly be behind this warehouse-y looking facade, and as soon as we entered, I knew this was going to be a fabulous find!  The Old Bryan Marketplace occupies a 22,000 square foot historic building (built in 1908) that has been renovated and re-purposed into a beautiful modern-day marketplace where you can find lovely treasures of all kinds for your home, your pantry, and even your closet.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
They have a beautiful mix of antiques and new furnishings, home decor, lighting, florals, bedding, books, teas and jams, kitchen supplies, and even women's and children's clothing.  Every corner of this rustic building invites you to discover the beautiful finds that lie within.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
You could literally spend hours here discovering all the goodies they have to offer, and if you find yourself needing a little refreshment, you can always stop and enjoy a nice lunch or dessert at Madden's Restaurant located right inside this marketplace.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
After talking a while with one of the friendly employees here, we did discover that a long-time resident of Bryan was the owner and innovator behind Old Bryan Marketplace.  Kay Conlee had vision for this building and her community when she decided back in 1996 to purchase this old historic building.  She renovated the building and brought back the life and charm of it's brick walls, old pine floors, and leaded windows, and then put her love and passion for antiques and home decor into a place where the local community could appreciate and enjoy.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
In addition to Kay bringing her own beautiful offerings to this building, she set aside space in this historic gem for other businesses to occupy as well.  A restaurant, event venue, interior designer, and jewelry shop all call this building home too.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX
I don't have as many pictures as I would like to have of this great place, but I have to say this was such a fun find for me.  I am always inspired by people who love their community and are able to invest in their community in such a bold way as purchasing and renovating old buildings that become, not only a mainstay, but an initiator of revitalization in their town.  If every small town across the nation could be restored to it's heart and it's purpose, wouldn't that just be wonderful?!  Old Bryan Marketplace has done this for Bryan, TX, and it is well worth the visit if you are ever in the area.
Old Bryan Marketplace Bryan TX

Enjoy & Explore more of Old Bryan Marketplace
Store Hours:  Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm
Website: Oldbryan.com
Facebook Page:  facebook.com/oldbryan

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Round Top Antiques Week

One of the things that I have been wanting to do since I heard about it a couple of years ago is to go and experience Antiques Week in Round Top, TX.  It's a huge, three week long, outdoor antiques market, held twice a year - Spring & Fall - and is supposed to be the place to go if you are an antiques lover or shopper of any kind.  I have heard that even buyers from Pottery Barn attend these events just to get inspiration!  The Fall event this year happened between Sept. 19 and Oct. 4, and since we now live only about 1-1/2 hours of a beautiful drive away, it seemed an easy choice to hop in the car and go check it out.
Round Top TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
We had no agenda to find a perfect piece or vintage treasure, so my husband and I went as scouts if you will to see if we could understand better how to plan for future trips when we did actually have a more specific purchasing need.
Round Top TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
This enormous outdoor market included miles of antique vendors that you could literally spend weeks perusing through, but our scouting adventure only included looking around at a few of the smaller venues.  It was quite amazing to see rows and rows of rusty, chippy, well-loved items that most assuredly would find a new home soon enough.  I only came away with a few pictures and empty hands this time around, but I have a much better idea of how I would plan a more purposeful trip in the future.
Round Top TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
One of the stops that I wanted to be sure to make on this journey was at Old Glory Antiques located in Burton, TX, just a few miles north of Round Top.  
Old Glory Antiques Burton TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
Old Glory is a well-known antiques shop based in Denver that has recently opened their second location here in Texas so they could participate in the bi-annual Round Top events.  Since they are only open in conjunction with Antiques Week, I had to stop in while we were there to see a familiar favorite from my Colorado home.  
Old Glory Antiques Burton TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
Old Glory has long been well known for bringing together a beautiful mix of primitive antiques and modern-day home accessories, and their Texas shop was no different.
Old Glory Antiques Burton TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
Old Glory Antiques Burton TX Antiques Week Fall 2014
The space was just a bit bigger, but it was filled with all the furniture pieces and vintage finds that are so well identified with Old Glory in Denver.
Old Glory Antiques Burton TX
So, if you love antiques or just like the idea of miles of shopping, then Round Top Antiques Week is definitely a trip worth taking.  It is a much bigger venture than most outdoor markets you might be familiar with so you really do have to go with a plan.  I came across a really helpful article from Country Living Magazine that gives a lot of good tips for planning a trip to Round Top, and I have linked that article for you in the notes below.  Antiques Week is also held in some of the nicest weather times in Texas with Spring being a favorite time of year for seeing gorgeous displays of Bluebonnets.  Whenever you decide to make the trip, I know you will love it and will definitely walk away with full hands, full cars, unique and treasured pieces for your home, and many wonderful stories of your shopping extravaganza!
Round Top TX Antiques Week Fall 2014

Enjoy & Explore more of Round Top's Antiques Week
Location:  Round Top, TX
Hours:  Spring & Fall each year
More Info:  AntiqueWeekend.com
Click HERE for the Country Living Magazine article about planning your trip

Enjoy & Explore more of Old Glory Antiques
Store Locations:  Denver, CO & Burton, TX
Store Hours:  Depends on the location; check website for more info

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

All Things Kids

For quite some time I had been wanting to visit All Things Kids - a toy store located very near me on the Square in Georgetown, TX.  But, because I don't have kids, I could never find any reason to go in to this shop other than my overwhelming curiosity.  Silly reason I know, but I kept denying myself the opportunity and my curiosity therefore continued.  However, when my niece and her nine month old son came for a visit recently, well, I had to do my Aunt-ly duty and go in to this amazing shop with them.
And, boy, am I SO glad I did?!  This shop is absolutely fabulous whether you have 10 kids, no kids, or you're just a kid at heart.  It will capture your imagination as soon as you step in front of the doors with the over-sized Lego Cowboy & Pirate beckoning you to come in and play.
All Things Kids Lego
All the toys (and for that matter all the items) that you will find at All Things Kids is operated only by hands, feet, and imagination - no batteries needed here.
 Overflowing from the walls and shelves are wooden and metal trucks and cars of all sizes, stuffed animals, building blocks, train sets, and puzzles galore.
Mini Jeep
They have an amazing book selection that includes sleepy-time books, learning books, and classics that your teenagers (or you) will happily add to their library collection.  
A Candy Corner is always well stocked with Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks, Licorice and all those nostalgic as well as modern-day sweet treats that speak of childhood simplicity.
Candy Corner
As parents themselves, owners Karen and Christian Soeffker, know how hard it can be to find good quality toys for their child and that's actually what inspired them to start their business and open their first store (Read their full story HERE).  Their need and their desire motivated Karen & Christian to offer only quality European and American toys that they actually hand pick themselves and that must meet their quality standards and overall mission - "It's our driving mission to be exceptional in all things: We want to be that magical toy store every single day for a whole new generation of beautiful, dreamy children".  And, I assure you that EVERY item and service that Karen & Christian offer at All Things Kids is exceptional and most definitely inspires creativity and imagination for every child, young or old.  
Fagus Wooden Toys
In addition to all the creative and award-winning toys and books they offer, they go fifty steps further and also offer all the fun extras that will delight kids and parents too.  Here is just a snippet of some of their extras that will amaze you indeed:

Play Zone is a designated area in the back of the store where kids can play & parents can work if they want (they have the internet to plug into if needed).  The Play Zone also has an Arts & Crafts area where the kids can tap into their inner artist and it's also the designated Birthday Party room.

Date Night  is one of the exceptional services offered at All Things Kids where parents can leave their kids with licensed childcare givers for a couple of hours every Friday & Saturday night and go have dinner or a glass of wine.  Call in advance to get a spot though - it fills up fast & they can only take 12 kids at a time.

Classes & Workshops are offered for kids of all ages to come and actually learn about the mechanics, the science, and the creative inspiration behind the toys they love.  This past summer they offered classes such as Lego Robotics & Magic in Motion - classes that sound like a ton of fun to me!

And, of course, there are Events galore that they host on an ongoing basis such as Story Time, Paint Me a Story, Language Classes, Magic Shows, and much, much more.  You can find their full calendar of events right HERE.
Play Zone
My words and pictures can only capture a tiny fraction of how fabulous and exceptional this toy store truly is.  And I believe it's this way because Karen and Christian have taken the bar of exceptional to the highest level by pouring every ounce of their hearts into their dreams and visions for kids everywhere.  You have to experience All Things Kids yourself if you are in the Austin area.  And if you are not in the area, then check out all that they are doing online (info & links are below).  You will be inspired, amazed, and will find yourself suddenly determined to find that Tinker Toy set you had as a child.  Visit All Things Kids and let your creativity and imagination be re-ignited!

Explore & Enjoy more of All Things Kids:
Store Hours:  Depends on Location (check their website)
Side Note:
Karen & Christian opened their first location of All Things Kids on the Georgetown Square in April of 2011.  They opened their second location in Austin at the Domain in September of 2013 and they plan to open their third location in Lakeway, TX in the Fall of 2015.  You can also become part of their story as they are now offering Franchise opportunities - just check their website for all the details and info.  They have done an outstanding job with their store concept and it's awesome to see them continue to grow!