Austin Insider’s Guide
Tribeza Talk October 2017
An Insider’s Guide to What’s Buzzing Around Austin
by Nicole Beckley
Since 1960, Preservation Austin has acknowledged projects that honor and preserve the city’s most historic places. This year the nonprofit selected nine Merit Award winners, including the Darnall House, Downs Field, and the revitalized Green Pastures. The projects were selected for their commitment to revitalization and craftsmanship. The awardees will be honored at a celebration at the Driskill Hotel on November 3.
Photograph by Leonid Furmansky
If stepping into Toy Joy wasn’t enough to rekindle the sweet nostalgia of childhood, surely walking into Yummi Joy can summon the nostalgia of childhood sweets. A new candy shop from the folks behind Toy Joy, Yummi Joy promises dairy-free Sweet Ritual ice cream, specialty coffee, and shelves and shelves of colorful sugary treats. The vibrant Second Street storefront includes glass candies hanging from a chandelier and a mural of a sweet tooth-laden squid, its tentacles wrapped around an ice cream cone, ringpop and other goodies.
Earlier this year Kacey Samiee and Aaron Lindsey opened A Modern Step, a Hyde Park showroom for upscale flooring. “We tried to make it a place for designers and shoppers to come and be in a space that promotes design and inspires you,” Samiee says. “It looks a little bit more like an art gallery or a museum.” Wanting to make more unique flooring options available, and focusing on sustainable materials, they source reclaimed wood and customized engineered hardwood, as well as designer rugs and carpet. “There’s some great beautiful and weird stuff out there,” Samiee says.
When Hiller Dry Goods originally opened in Detroit in 1904, they specialized in textiles and men’s clothing. As the name and concept have passed down through the family, the store’s been re-created as an outpost for home goods, southwestern furniture, and now as an ecommerce shop for woven blankets. “Every generation who’s had the store has had their own interpretation of what it could be and what they’re interested in,” Nick Hiller says.
After relocating to Austin seven years ago, Hiller hadn’t intended to take on the family business, until he came across a bank note from Hong Kong while cleaning out a drawer. Inspired by the design, Hiller decided to apply the pattern to a blanket. “The fact that textiles were used as currencies for thousands of years just made for an interesting connection and concept,” Hiller says. In July he launched the online shop, with nine different blanket styles, carrying on the family tradition.
“When I first saw the space, it had been a realtor’s office and it was very vintage, with bright colors and just not our style,” says Michelle Simmons, founder and owner of Slow North. “I was like, immediately, everything needs to be white, cause there’s amazing natural light; the whole front of it is glass,” Simmons says, explaining her want to create a shop that would feel cozy and modern.
Simmons and her team, including her husband, Jon, fellow founder and owner, moved Slow North from their backyard studio to a space on Anderson Lane, officially opening the shop in August. For the last two years Slow North has specialized in creating beautiful all-natural candles, and the new space offers shoppers a peek behind the scenes at the production. This fall catch them pouring two brand new candle scents: Coffee + Spice and Sandalwood + Amber.
Photograph by Michelle Simmons
The go-to getaway for hipster tourists and art lovers from Texas and beyond, Marfa might never have morphed from small town to artist mecca if not for the migration of Donald Judd. A new book by Kathleen Shafer, “Marfa: The Transformation of a West Texas Town,” examines Judd’s influence after he departed the 1970s NYC art scene for rural Texas. The book also explores what’s next, as Marfa continues to evolve.
Photograph by Kathleen Shafer