First 3 Months at The Tinderbox

DIY with PYL, Handcrafted, Houston, The Tinderbox

We recently hit the 3-month mark of being open, and it has really flown by! We knew there would be things about the space that we would change once we were in, and we were right. We just finished a large remodel, and I wanted to share the evolution of the shop in the last few months. Here are a few pictures of the shop in March 2013. It had not been used for over a year, but was a great blank canvas:

DSC_5134

DSC_5140

DSC_5135

DSC_5136

DSC_5224

We had less than a month to get the shop operational, and a huge thanks to all of our friends and family who came out and assisted with moving, painting, and everything in between. We officially opened our doors April 9, 2013 showcasing 20 local artisans and hosted our first workshop April 19th. The following 3 months were filled with fun, lessons learned, new friends, new artists, workshops, great media coverage, and lots of hours! We have gotten to know the block a lot better, and have really invested in making this area a urban destination where you can walk around and check out all locally-owned businesses.

IMG_1413

The Tinderbox

DSC_5293

DSC_5343

DSC_5300

DSC_5301

DSC_5326

DSC_5342

DSC_6139

DSC_6184

By the beginning of July, we had doubled our artisan list and underwent a large renovation to move a few walls to open up a new workshop space that was once storage and an office, and give the retail space a facelift.  I love the new space, it seems bigger and is definitely more functional than before. Our workshop and private party attendees can now enjoy their own creative area and we have the additional room at the front of the store to bring in more handcrafted furniture and home goods. If this much has changed in less than 4 months, I can only image how the shop will continue to evolve. Thank you to all of our customers that have shopped, created, laughed, and reenergized inside these 4 walls. I have been forever changed by the process of opening this shop and maker space, and I hope to continue to serve Houston with a crafty creative haven for anyone looking to get re-aquanited with traditional skills and techniques of our past, and to shop from and support local artisans who have sacrificed a lot to offer high quality goods that you can be proud to own. Take a look at the new space below, then come say hello, shop from amazing local makers, and create something!

 

DSC_6261

DSC_6259

DSC_6234

DSC_6233

DSC_6231

DSC_6217

DSC_6216

Austin Renegade Craft Fair

Handcrafted, The Tinderbox, Travel

Even though it was two weekends ago, I wanted to write about our quick trip to Austin for the Renegade Craft Fair.  Wayne and I wanted to meet and support several of our Austin makers, and support the few Houston artisans  there as well (like Lisa Chow and Angela from Purl & Loop!) Plus, Renegade is a fantastically curated show, and it was a nice chance to get out of town for a few days (although leaving the shop was a bit like leaving a newborn for the first time). We stayed at Verde Camp, near South Congress, in a fully furnished and stocked 1-bedroom house. It was very charming, offered free bike rentals, and was the perfectly located getaway for the weekend.

DSC_5791

DSC_5792

DSC_5795

DSC_5800

DSC_5805

DSC_5881

The very first thing we did when we got to Austin was promise not to stress about the shop, and decided to make it official with a margarita and live music on South Congress. It was nice just walking around and spending some time together. We also went into Parts & Labour, one of my favorite Austin destinations and inspiration for The Tinderbox.

DSC_5858

DSC_5839We decided to eat dinner at Curra’s Grill, “The Mother of All Mex,” and a suggested local favorite. We really liked the food and atmosphere, but their famous avocado margaritas were another thing. (Wayne did admit that it kinda grew on him). They were popular though, we saw almost every other table with several of the slime green concoctions.

DSC_5869

DSC_5880

Saturday morning we were up and out the door after a cute little breakfast in our cute little house. I wanted to stop by Mockingbird Domestics, a store I have been dying to check out since they opened their doors in September.  They store is incredible, with beautiful home furnishings, furniture, and other high-quality Texas-made products. The owners, Jeff and Laura Daly, were so warm and delightful to talk to and we talked about a few of our shared vendors, Satchel & Sage, Bexar Goods, and Little Low Studio.  Everyone needs to run to check out their online store, wedding registry, and fun craft events.

DSC_5886

DSC_5898

We finally made it to the Renegade Craft Fair and it did not disappoint. The event was held at the Palmer Event Center, and  the entry was free (we did pay $7 for parking, and the food onsite was a bit pricey). We decided to just go up and down each row and spent a good 4 1/2 hours shopping, talking, meeting, showing, high-fiving, exchanging, and smiling. We were able to catch up with Jessica and William of Son of a Sailor, pick up an order from Fox & Brie, hang out with Caitlin from Little Low Studio, meet Morgana and Gerran from Satchel & Sage and ogled at all of their new products.  There was a lovely vintage section of the fair, and I bought a beautiful table cloth from Stella Rae Vintage. I also bought a necklace from Bee Amour, who I am happy to announce will be coming to The Tinderbox! Anna is a bee keeper AND a jewelry designer, and each piece is handcrafted and casted from original honeycombs and cells.

DSC_5925

DSC_5937

DSC_5941

DSC_5942

We spoke with several artists interested in having their handcrafted products at The Tinderbox, so make sure to stop by the shop and see what new items we have. We had a great time, met lovely makers, and brought back some great ideas for The Tinderbox. Thank you Renegade for hosting such a wonderful event.

Support a Craftsman not a Corporation

Random, The Tinderbox

I have  been asked several times about how I find the artists that are featured in the shop. At first, I went after a few Houston artists whose work I had been admiring and shopping from for a while (Lisa Chow, Fuzzy Grapefruit, Olmox and Manready Mercantile to name a few).  I love shopping at local markets and discovering new artists (like Abbie Drue Designs), and once I knew the shop was going to become a reality, starting  sending out inquiries if artisans were interested in getting involved. I also took a trip to Austin with my dear friend Candice, and we found several artists there that I wanted to have in the store as well. (Son of a Sailor, Satchel & Sage, and Little Low Studios were some of our firsts.)  It starting growing organically from there, with recommendations from other artists, a few Etsy searches, to artists reaching out to us. I am happy and proud of the quality and variety of what we offer at The Tinderbox, and we are bringing new lines in all of the time (like Bexar Goods and Fox & Brie making their debuts soon!) so come check us out and support a craftsman not a corporation (thats a tip of the hat to ML Leather, also new to the shop)! Here is a small sample of the handcrafted products we have in the shop; you can check out a list of all of our makers here.

ML Leather

ML Leather

Abbie Drue Designs

Abbie Drue Designs

Summer Bucket Jewelry

Summer Bucket Jewelry

DSC_5470

Jessica Grundy Art

DSC_5464

Manready Mercantile

Obababy

Obababy