Tribeza Talk August 2017
An Insider’s Guide to What’s Buzzing Around Austin
by Nicole Beckley
When it comes to looking good while doing good, Esperos Soho has got it in the bag. Sales from the brand’s premium handmade leather and canvas totes, backpacks, and briefcases help fund children’s education in develop-ing countries through partners such as the Nobelity Project. Designed locally and made in the US, Esperos Soho opened their flagship store in the Second Street district in June.
Finding a pair of jeans you absolutely love is never easy. Searching for the perfect fit, Kelly Ernst came up with a new solution — connecting a delivery service to denim. Redenim provides a selection of jeans hand-picked by a stylist and shipped directly to your door. Try three pairs in the comfort of your home and keep what you like best.
Creators of Industry
Looking for a way to connect creative individuals across industries, in 2016 Ashland Viscosi started Creatives Meet Business (CMB), an organization offering resources and special events for makers, artists, designers, and a wide array of creative business owners. “Austin is a phenomenal place to test concepts and ideas and to tweak something until you get it ‘just right,’” Viscosi says. Often the right idea might just need to find the right person to help take it to the next level.
For this, Viscosi hopes CMB events can provide a way to build those necessary relationships. “Our community is full of very honest and well-intentioned people that want to help others create and build their projects,” Viscosi says. Keep an eye out for the three-day Creatives Meet Business Experience event, offering workshops in storytelling, digital marketing, and social media in September.
Love to Loot
Since 2011 brides, realtors, and party planners looking for event staging materials have sought out Loot Vintage Rentals for temporary styling pieces to make a room pop. Now, Anna Crelia and Rhoda Brimberry’s rechristened Loot Rentals is launching Loot Finer Goods, a brand of vintage and one of a kind items including wall hangings, furniture and home décor. From teak tables and leather sofas to Turkish hemp rugs and African mudcloth pillows, the collection promises unique items and handmade goods that can’t be found elsewhere.
It’s rare that the answer to a business question is “bugs.” But for the makers of GrubTubs, bugs are the key ingredient in their food waste recycling concept. Founded by Robert Olivier, GrubTubs uses insects to help transform wasted food from restaurants and food trucks into animal feed for farmers. So far, the idea is a hit – with GrubTubs winning the City of Austin’s [Re]Verse Pitch competition in December 2016, and a WeWork Creator Award, along with the top prize of $360,000, in June. Go bugs.
“In the creative world people get stuck working at home in their home studio and they don’t end up talking to a lot of people and they don’t know who to ask questions to,” explains Hayley Swindell. After closing her fair trade product subscription box company, The Hip Humanitarian, Swindell went back to the drawing board, ultimately dreaming up The Refinery — a downtown creative-focused co-working space set to open this fall.
“I think Hip Humanitarian could have been a success if I had just had a community and resources at hand,” Swindell says. Now, backed by Dan Graham’s Notley Ventures, Swindell is crafting the supportive space she’d wished she’d had, which includes two f loors of co-working, a photo studio, kitchen, event spaces, and a retail storefront for makers looking to test the market. Working with architect Michael Hsu and interior designer Claire Zinnecker, Swindell says, “If you’re a lifestyle blogger you’re going to want to live here and take photos of everything.”
Read more from the Makers Issue | August 2017