Mockingbird Domestics: A new nest for design enthusiasts
Mockingbird Domestics opened its virtual doors in December 2011. The store features a select group of primarily Texan artisans — dubbed the Mockingbird Guild — who specialize in home furnishings. Owners Jeff and Laura Daly hand-selected this flourishing team, which they see as synonymous with quality and fine craftsmanship.
After almost a year of online success, the Dalys and their Mockingbird Guild fervently anticipate the opening of their first brick and mortar store. Mockingbird Domestics’ new home, which is slated to open in early September, is nestled in Austin’s cherished South Lamar district.
The impending storefront allows the couple of 30 years to bring their full vision to fruition: Beyond providing a hub for modern classic décor, they envision a store that brings the artist forward, thus closing the gap between the craftsman and the admiring consumer.
The goal is to bring the artist’s face and name to the spotlight rather than simply using their work to promote the retailer: a concept that bolsters a personal tie between consumer and craftsman.
The Dalys plan to fill their new space with hand-crafted and vintage furnishings, accompanied by infographics that give insight into each piece and its creator. “We really want to invest in our craftsmen,” Jeff said. “Our real mission and purpose is to help them out.”
In fact, the Dalys' garage now doubles as a workspace for one of their venders. The close-knit relationship with the Guild fosters the comfortable, approachable nature that is Mockingbird Domestics. They know the path of each piece — from the materials to the inspiration — creating an element that transcends the tangible and gives each piece a relatable story.
Each vender will be featured on rotation in a designated space within the store. The goal is to bring the artist’s face and name to the spotlight rather than simply using their work to promote the retailer: a concept that bolsters a personal tie between consumer and craftsman. Laura said she’s most excited to see these connections made in person, as every Internet transaction is relatively impersonal. “When the customer leaves the store with a table, they’ll have a story with it. It’ll mean something to them.”
Mockingbird Domestics’ commitment to design and those who create it is its lifeblood. Driven by this passion, Jeff and Laura are creating an interactive retail space where customers can participate in workshops for everything from hooking rugs to painting techniques, with The Mockingbird Guild and other featured artisans teaching these specialized classes. Customers will also be encouraged to work on their own projects in the residential kitchen and dining space within the store.
Jeff and Laura created Mockingbird Domestics specifically for their customers. They think of their inventory as curated art and furniture that was meticulously chosen with someone in mind. “We look for pieces that will fit well in Austin homes,” she explained. “We’re thinking of up-and-coming collectors who are just starting their homes as well as people our age who have moved several times.” They hope that Mockingbird Domestics can provide those rare, special items that bring a room together and personalize a home.
The Mockingbird Domestics eye is not for the eccentric, but rather for quality pieces that are useful and genuine. Although vastly different, the store’s products share a practical yet modish quality. Paired with a story, these pieces will make seamless additions to any home.