Living in Marfa for 18 months as a film costumer married to a fabricator — one who was integral to the design and construction of Liz Lambert's famed El Cosmico, no less — is a surefire way to develop a predilection for "Texican" art, pottery, textiles and minimalism.
In 2010, after spending those healing months in the desert on the heels of careers in New York City, Michelle Teague (owner of homegoods shop JM Dry Goods) and her husband John Davidson (owner of doefabco) relocated to Austin.
Motivated by the success JM Dry Goods has experienced since opening in the capital city in November of 2011, Teague debuts her newest project, Hijo: a chic garden shop rooted in craftsmanship, nestled in the rear of the newly opened Jardineros nursery on East Cesar Chavez.
From afar, the small glass, steel and wood structure immediately catches one's eye for the shelves upon shelves of vibrant, shimmering gifts and tools within. Walk closer and you catch wind of burning incense and hear the emanating sound of Tejano music, setting the tone for the unique retail experience.
Vibrant vases, pots, sheers, machetes, soaps, copper labels, terrarium sand, totes, hammocks and countless other rarities proliferate the modern shed's interior. To source it all, Teague heads down to the mercados of Oaxaca roughly once a month where she's made close friends in a variety of artisans.
"Everything is handmade and nothing is made by machine, even the dyes are vegetable dyes," she explains of the items she sources in Mexico. "[At the mercado] you have to make and do everything — you can't just run to Home Depot."
As she shows a brightly colored scrub bush, Teague credits her love of the Mexican aesthetic to backpacking trips in her 20s and says she loves the idea of how even an everyday, useful item "is the most beautiful thing."
Hijo is a place where one can either dip a timid toe into the world of gardening (Teague herself says she's more of a pot-based gardener) or find some tools to propel serious horticulture projects forward — or simply pick up some home decor accents.
What's more, the project is rooted in nature. Surrounded by the tropical and native plants of Jardineros, take a deep breath and you could fool yourself into being transported to somewhere far, far away from the city's center.
Should you fall in love with that feeling, you even have the option of buying the very structure Hijo exists within, fabricated by her husband. If you'd like to make a custom order, prices will range from $8,500 to $30,000 depending on what options you choose, suitable for everything from a garden shed to a streamlined backhouse.
Just a week old, Teague explains that Hijo will continue to evolve. In the future, she hopes to showcase Davidson's fire-pits and furniture, as well as host events like "night bloom parties" under the twinkling lights of the nursery. To tap into the duo's fanciful treasures and create a desert oasis all your own.
Hijo is now open Tuesday - Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2320 East Cesar Chavez.