In this month’s selection of shops around town, we highlight hotspots that sell sexy, sweet and sentimental products that say "be mine," just in time for Valentine's Day.
Beautiful flower arrangements make a great gift, but there’s nothing like giving something that’s alive and will continue to grow (like your love). Stop by Tillery Street Plant Co. for plants from California, such as Knife Leaf Acacia and Arctostaphylos Emerald Carpet, and a variety of seeds. If succulents are more your thing, Tillery’s neighbor East Austin Succulents will create arrangements and terrariums to your liking. Pick up a ceramic squirrel or gun pot by Traci Hutson to complete the gift.
Hold your wallet tightly; chances are you’ll want to purchase everything from this home décor and gift shop. From its Texas beeswax candles to its contemporary solid wood furniture, everything is sourced from Texan artisans. Mockingbird is partnering with Gypsy Floral to sell flower arrangements in jadeite tumblers, plus Mockingbird's owners have created several Valentine’s Day sets to simplify shopping for the indecisive. "To the Romantic, with Love," for example, comes with a tea towel, a jadeite salt and pepper set and a pair of rose gold earrings. Also of note: there’s a coffee and chocolate pairing class with the experts at Houndstooth Coffee and Great Bean chocolate on Thursday, February 6.
As the only inhabitant of the Rosewood Collective now, Olive has filled the bungalow with even more accessories, vintage clothing, housewares and gifts. Owner Laura Uhlir started carrying minimalist hand-dyed clothing and scarves by Miranda Bennett ("I can’t keep it in stock," Uhlir says) and of-the-moment jewelry by Hey Murphy, Canoe and Odette. Uhlir’s recommendation for the perfect Valentine’s gift for the ladies? In God We Trust’s Snake Bite Cuff, a double-headed snake bracelet made from solid brass and jade. Or, you could make your sweetie some herbal infused honey during Botanicals Folklorica’s workshop on Sunday, February 9 at the shop.
This highly curated East Austin boutique sells a mix of vintage and contemporary clothing, jewelry, art and records that owner Veronica Ortuño sources nationally. Some of the hotter items in the shop include gothic-inspired local jewelry brand Rima Hyena, sack dresses by Hai, handmade pillows made from vintage Turkish carpets, and New York jewelry line FAUX/real. Pick up some perfumes "made in Loving Kindness" by Pretty Hole Collective for your Valentine.
Burlap Bag stocks a variety of quality handmade goods from local designers and artists that you’d otherwise find on Etsy. Owners Lauren and Josiah Lowe curate plenty of unique jewelry (a laser-cut Texas-shaped ring, anyone?) and quirky gifts. They even have their own line of soy candles that come in "Tooth Fairy Breath" and "Princess Sweat," among other scents. If your sweetheart likes all things cute, the shop’s plush Itty Kitties, Fox Friends and Bear Buddies made with colorful fabric and felt by Amanda Michael Design are a choice gift, as well as Nothing But a Pigeon’s crocheted mice heads mounted on wood.
When it comes to updating your wardrobe, Service Menswear is always a good choice for the dashing man. This season the shop has received several new shoes by Cole Haan, an outerwear collection designed in collaboration by Deus Ex Machina and Reigning Champ, and, since raw denim is all the rage, new styles of Naked & Famous Denim. If you're looking for a gift, get your guy a classy timepiece by Nixon or impress him with a bottle of Castle Forbes cologne (because it’s made in a castle in Scotland!).
Be warned: this is the undergarment shop’s busiest season, and understandably so. Men and women stock up on lingerie sets, rompers and sexy nighties for their sweethearts leading up to Valentine’s Day. Underwear will be hosting a Be Our Valentine party with champagne and cupcakes on Thursday, February 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Attendees who spend $50 or more worth of merchandise will receive a $20 gift card for their next purchase.
Now is the time to snatch up some designer pieces at this Westlake establishment: everything from fall and winter 2013 is half to 75 percent off! At the same time, Valentine’s Too is filling the store with several new lines for spring, including jewelry by Taylor and Tessier and Giles & Brother. The high fashion boutique has also expanded to sell shoes and gift items. An easy gift: pick up a match pewter picture frame, put your photo in it and get it engraved for your lover.
Austin’s favorite candy shop has an entire wall stocked with Valentine’s Day candy, ranging from red velvet caramel to chocolate covered bacon. Show your love with a box of truffles or a Hello Kitty pan filled with hot chocolate.
While most people know Uptown Modern for its mid-century modern furniture, artwork, lamps and home accessories, many don’t know about its ample supply of vintage jewelry. If your baby loves vintage, it’s worth looking through the shop’s three cases of jewelry to find something that will melt her heart. Pieces date as far back to the ’20s and range from costume jewelry to Navajo turquoise and Mexican sterling silver.