Wood & Rose Nails ‘Feminine with an Edge’

The women’s boutique carries clothes that represent the spot-on style of owner Wendy Vaughan

By Darcie Duttweiler
Photos by Brittany Dawn Short
Wood & Rose Austin
Wood & Rose owner Wendy Vaughan.

Walking into Wood & Rose on North Lamar Boulevard, with its stark white walls and glistening floors, feels like entering a modern art gallery — except you can actually touch almost everything in this gorgeous women’s boutique. Owned by Wendy Vaughan, the shop is a feast for the senses with luxurious textiles like Italian cashmere (oh so soft!) and silk, the eye candy of colorful prints and patterns, as well as the sultry and earthy ZenBunni Holy Smoke incense permeating the air.

“Shopping here is a very tactile experience,” Vaughan laughs. Dressed in a long white skirt, pink checkered Vans sneakers and topped with neon green glasses, Vaughan is a walking calling card for her store. In fact, with her ruby red rose sleeve tattoo trailing down her arm, the shop is literally an extension of Vaughan and her fashion sense.

“The rose is just the most beautiful, feminine flower,” she explains regarding the store’s name. “And Wood is my middle name, after my great-grandma, Charity Wood. I just loved how the name is feminine with an edge — just like me!”

It’s easy to see how the shop is a reflection of Vaughan when browsing racks of dresses, denim, handbags and accessories from international designers like byTiMo, Hannoh Wessel and Munthe. Girly, floral dresses are nestled next to funky, boxy tie-dyed button-downs, amongst plenty of gold accents and lush, blush pink velvets. The interiors were crafted by Kim Lewis, who also designed EyeJoy and Kesos Tacos, and the shop feels extremely welcoming

“I want my customers to feel comfortable. I created a low-pressure environment for people to come in and feel inspired,” she adds.

Perhaps that’s because Vaughan’s a Texas gal who made a pit stop in Cali to hone her fashion sense but never lost her Southern hospitality. In 2002, Vaughan opened a West Hollywood boutique called Bird and later moved to Austin in 2015 to be closer to family. She recreated the boutique off South Lamar and then opened Wood & Rose in 2018 before shuttering Bird to focus solely on the second shop, which she felt spoke more personally to her.

“I wanted to showcase my own style, and I had grown so much since opening Bird,” Vaughan says.

When asked what she senses clients will gravitate toward in the coming months, Vaughan shrugs and explains that she doesn’t follow trends too closely. She peruses international fashion magazines to find designers that inspire her, but she never wants to carry items that will fall out of style in six months or a year. Post-pandemic lifestyles have dictated that while people are ready to dress up again, they still want fabrics that feel luxurious on the body, which is also a big motivator against “fast fashion.”

“Clothing is an investment,” Vaughan explains. “All of my pieces are built to last, and it’s important that we invest in a nice quality of clothes instead of dumping things that are no longer trendy.” Vaughan even still wears items she sold in her very first year at Bird in L.A.

At the end of the day, she wants her customers to purchase clothes they love. Of course, there will be silhouettes and designs that will flatter a certain body type, but most importantly, it’s all about feeling confident and gorgeous, and she’s here to help.

“Women set too many rules for ourselves on what we can and can’t do, and we all should wear what makes us feel beautiful and not listen to the parameters the fashion world has told us.”


Read More From the Style Issue | September 2021


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