Perusing the racks of stores across Texas is part of my job. My husband doesn’t fully believe this. “So is coming home with a shopping bag also part of your job description?” he often asks, to which I respond: “It’s all in the name of research, my dear.” Looking back on 2017, I found quite a bit of retail inspiration, especially in Round Top, where a year-round retail scene is quickly being created by inspiring and visionary shopkeepers. One of my favorite reporting moments came when I was talking to famed Houston restaurateur Armando Palacios about his new high-fashion men’s store, Bad Hombres, which is housed in an early 1800s log cabin. He pointed to the studded and perfectly worn-in punk rock jacket that sat under what seemed like a spotlight in one corner of the store. “See that jacket?” he asked proudly. “I bought that off a kid walking down the street in Seattle in the nineties. He was wearing it without a shirt while walking down the street. I asked him if I could buy it for $100 in cash, and he gave it to me right off his back … a piece like that would cost thousands if I had bought it in a store, although I did have to air it out for weeks before I could wear it.” More than just interesting Texas characters with great stories, our independent shop owners are artists who create these magical worlds through their curation of goods that invite us in not only to shop, but to be inspired. Here’s a look inside my ten favorite Texas-owned shops of the year, each showcasing that there is no better time to shop local.
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