Bringing back a little bit of Austin


Local shops
Compared with my eating bucket list, I had a lot more checked off on my Austin souvenir bucket list plus some things that weren’t on the list.There was an opportunity to get over to Whole Foods so I went along with my friends to the store where it all started. Yes, Whole Foods was originally established in Austin, Texas. I figured that I could get some of my food shopping out of the way.

I brought home two jars of honey. I was hoping to bring back some BBQ rubs but apparently, these are not widely sold. I am guessing that folks in Texas take pride in using their own blends of secret herbs, seasonings, and spices for their rubs. I wasn’t too devastated.

Texas Honey

I also bought a bag of coffee beans roasted somewhere in Texas. I was not planning on getting coffee until I saw it, and thought that TH might like this. He is a coffee drinker so I bought it for him. The coffee expert at Whole Foods recommended this particular bag after telling him what I was looking for.

It was at this point where I was introduced to Elizabeth who I only had the pleasure of exchanging emails with and a brief conversation on the phone regarding the bachelorette party. She introduced me to an all natural make-up company called W3LL People; yes, “well” spelled with the number “3” and not the letter “E”. It was at W3LL People that I found a great finishing powder to replace the depleting supply of the pressed powder that I was using from Prescriptives (a make-up company that has folded since 2010?). I’ve been looking for a replacement powder and finally found it with Realist X: HD Matte Mineral Setting. They have a great transparent finishing loose powder that erases away shine with a natural looking finish. It’s well priced and comparable to similar types of make-up. I was very pleased to have found this product. Plus, it is also available in NYC!

As I mentioned in a previous post, Austinians dress casually and can be found wearing something as simple as T-shirts, and there were plenty to be found especially showing off love for Austin. Two stores on South Congress specialized in selling fun graphic T’s and I just had to get a few for myself and to share. Many of the T-shirts seem to be screen printed with American Apparel T’s. Their T’s are available in two types of sizes. One fit is for female and the other is unisex.

Parts & Labour is one of the stores I visited that sell more than just T-shirts. They sell handcrafted and locally produced items that celebrate Austin, Texas. You’re sure to find a unique gift for yourself or for somebody here. You’re not going to find any of these things at the airport gifts shops. I bought a couple of T-shirts and handmade soaps. I like handmade soaps. They smell nice and feels good to cleanse with.

Handmade soaps

Next door to Parts & Labour is Storyville and they sell only T-shirts. Storyville is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana but have expanded their brand of “Wear Your Story” to Austin, Texas. I like their graphic designs of their tees and how they paired with the overall color of the T’s. Some of the designs that they featured have a nostalgia appeal for American brand wash detergent like “Tide” while there were other tees that played on an identifiable superhero logo like Superman but it wasn’t. I preferred designs that have a “traditional” south and/or western aesthetic vs. something that is contemporary. For instance, I chose this design for myself…a unicorn with cowboy boots. I love the font they used to say, “Austin is Magical”. The font reminds me of something you would see on one of those old timey carnivals that pass through dusty towns.

There are plenty of clothing shops along South Congress. I could have easily brought home another full luggage. As it was, my luggage was filled to the brim because I brought back a pair of cowgirl boots from Heritage Boot. These boots are handmade, and the craftsmanship and quality is incredible. Jerry, the owner of Heritage Boot, helped me with my boot selections. I tried on several pairs and I could have bought them all but eventually decided on the Patti boot. The decision wasn’t difficult. I picked one of the ones I tried that I liked and this one was in the size that fit me perfectly. To be honest, at first I was disappointed that they had a limited selection but in the end, it helped me to make my decision, and I walked away a happy customer. Returning home and going onto their website, there are styles I want to try and buy next time I’m in Austin.

Patti boot

I also popped into a really cute candy shop called Big Top that offered various types of sweets as well as ice creams, sodas, and handmade chocolates. They didn’t have much to offer for locally produced sweets except for the pecan brittles, which are made in Texas. Pecan is popular and grown in Texas so I expected to bring home some pecans. I also got these other types of sweets, whole cherries encapsulated in chocolate, giant cherry cordials. I’ve never seen these before and they are packaged in a simple wrapping. I bought two and I suspect they will be sugary sweet but I can’t resist cherry anything.

If I could, I would have shopped around for more things. They had lost of great clothing stores up and down South Congress. The merchandise were all very enticing but I had a limited budget, and that helped me to be selective with my purchases. And besides, I was running out of room in my suitcase to fit everything I had already purchased that I really wanted.

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