Tribeza Talk: People
An insider’s guide to what’s buzzing around Austin
by Nicole Beckley
The Good Stuff
While traveling in Europe with her husband, Jeff, Tabatha Conarko discovered a passion for olive oil. After returning home, they founded Con’ Olio in 2009. Specializing in olive oil and vinegar tastings, the shop now boasts three outposts. “We really try to educate people about the health benefits and how you can cook with it and incorporate it into your diet,” Tabatha says. During the holidays the shops also bring in Italian panettones, strucà cakes and wine to taste. In early 2019, look for Con’ Olio’s relocated and expanded Bee Cave location, featuring classes and cooking demonstrations. Photograph by Velox Standard.
Add a touch of color to your winter wardrobe with statement earrings from Esperanza Heritage. Created by sisters Alejandra Stern and Andrea Hatcher, the brand features eclectic jewelry pieces, like dangling fan-shaped earrings, made from woven natural fibers. Handmade by Central American artisans, the pieces feel elegantly organic. Photograph by Sanetra Longno.
After living in Colombia for three years and traveling throughout North and South America, Marcus Segui returned to Austin, needing to replace his suitcase. “When I looked at the whole spectrum [of luggage], there was low-quality and then there was jet-set luxury, and really nothing premium that was affordable,” Segui says. So he set out to build a better bag.
Officially launching Tiko Travel in November, the resulting bag is a 22-inch carry-on with four wheels that allow for easy spinning and navigation; a water-resistant waxed-canvas exterior, in charcoal, light gray and navy; and leather handles and zippers — accommodating three to five days’ worth of clothes. “The whole premise for this bag was everything you need, and nothing you don’t. So obviously, what do you need? Great wheels, great handle, great zippers, great fabric,” Segui says.
Joy to the World
While holiday treats are out in abundance this time of year, FitJoy wants to make sure you can satisfy your sweet tooth without loading up on sugar. The protein-bar brand just released its Cookie Dough Brownie flavor, featuring a hint of indulgence while staying gluten-free and low in sugar — and offering 20 grams of protein. You can also leave a bar of the Cookies and Cream flavor for Santa.
Signs of the Times
“It costs $0 to be a kind human being.” If you’ve driven along Fifth Street from MoPac to downtown, or if you’re one of a 100,000-plus Instagram followers, chances are you know some El Arroyo wisdom when you see it. The black-and-white marquee-style sign, at the corner of West Fifth and Campbell, outside the iconic Tex-Mex restaurant, changes daily, inspired by the season or the world at large. “We try to stay current,” says the restaurant’s co-owner Paige Winstanley. “Sometimes we can even change a sign last minute, depending on if something has happened that we need to speak to.”
While the sign has been in place since 1987, Winstanley and her husband, Ellis, took over the restaurant in 2012, and in 2017 they released a collection of the signs’ messages as a hardcover book, “El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs Volume One.” In October they released volume two. “The sign is something that people look forward to,” Paige says. “All of our content is something that makes people laugh and brings light and fun to the every day.”
Looking for a way to make your next party pop? Stop by Packed Party’s pop-up shop on South Congress for disco ball-shaped tumblers, clear confetti-lined tote bags and pompom-topped headbands — all designed to summon the party spirit wherever you go. Spread the celebratory vibes by sending party packages like the “Miss Ya a Latte,” which includes cookies, coffee, coasters and stationery, to anyone who needs a little pick-me-up.