Hello Austin, Where are my people?
October 21, 2012 9:40 PM   Subscribe

Hello Austin, Where are my people? I recently moved to Austin, TX from Fargo, ND (of all places). I've quickly discovered that this place is flooded with awesomeness, to a point of being mildly overwhelming. Thus, I am asking for help with finding things and people with similar tastes. I am, a maker crafts person type, I mostly sew and knit but I have a background in sculpture and some interest in learning electronics. I am also a cyclist, who loves chill coffee houses and a sense of community. I'm looking for: 1. a place to consign/wholesale goods I make, mainly plush toy monsters, before the holiday season. also craft fairs 2. a couch, or a place to find a couch (secondhand); thrift stores dont seem to have much in the way of furniture. 3. a good, non-chain, hardware/surplus store. 4. a good fabric store 5. a job 6. fellow makers
posted by misformiche to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Austin hackerspaces?
posted by hattifattener at 9:48 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Upcoming art fair: The Violet Crown Art Festival
Bike shop that is an educational facility open to anyone who wants to learn about fixing and riding bikes: The Austin Yellow Bike Project
Food co-op and community hub, job possibility: Wheatsville
Job listings, couch and other furniture: Craigslist
Knitting and Crocheting Meetup Groups
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:55 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

1. Consignment: try Secret Oktober.
2. The giant new Goodwill off of 183/Research has furniture, as does the Goodwill on Burleson. City Wide Garage Sale will be back in November. Otherwise, here's a pretty good list from Yelp - I've found some nifty things at Far Out Furniture (oops - looks like they're in the process of moving, but you can follow them on FB to find out where they go next) and I know folks who really like Simply Austin. There's a place on S. Lamar just North of the Broken Spoke on the same side of the street - it often has metal animals outside. They have a mix of neat stuff at good prices and things that aren't so neat at strangely high prices. There's also a HUGE thrift store off I-35, Texas Thrift Store, which reliably has furniture. Craigslist, though, is a pretty good resource for that sort of thing here.
3. Hm. Callahan's is technically chain (True Value) but locally owned and extremely well-regarded around here. Zinger is great fun, but stock is carefully selected (read: limited). Breed & Co. gets talked about a lot, but I've never been. What do you mean by "surplus", though? My brain instantly goes to military surplus, but I'm thinking you mean something else. We have a Re-Store, if you mean that sort of thing.
4. I give up and go to Hancock on S. Lamar or a Jo-Ann's when I find one, so I'll be watching this to see what others suggest for more local options.
5. What do you do? Have you posted your resume on jobs?
6. I'm a maker on hiatus, but I'm resuming in December. Happy to trade more info via memail.
posted by batmonkey at 11:32 PM on October 21, 2012

PS: if you aren't yet patronising Spider House Cafe, you should give it a go.
posted by batmonkey at 11:33 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check out the blog AbbyTryAgain. She lives in Austin and is organizing a maker's fair. =)
posted by jrobin276 at 2:08 AM on October 22, 2012

Hi! I'm part of a group called Arts and Drafts that meets at Rio Rita (another chill coffeehouse/bar you might like) on E. 6th every Thursday night. It might be a good way to meet some more folks and source things. (It's how I met my housemate and my boyfriend!)

We are SO BAD about keeping up an online presence, but this is our sixth (?) year and people seem to keep finding us anyway ;]

A little piece from the Statesman recently:

It's a very mixed group as far as what we make (off the top of my head: knitting/crochet/needlepoint/leatherwork/stained glass/basket weaving/beading/drawing), and one of the best things about it is that if you want to learn something new, or fix a mistake with something, someone will almost always be able to teach you.

I keep meaning to organize another Austin MeFi meetup, since we've had so many folks move to town lately, but in the meantime, think about coming to A&D!
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:03 AM on October 22, 2012

Consignment: see if you can get into Parts & Labour on South Congress.
Fabrics: Stitch Lab on South First. The woman who runs it is a friend. There's also a new upholstery-fabric store that just opened called Bolt (which is basically what used to be Fannie's Fabrics). Also, Hancock Fabrics.
Holiday craft fairs are all already booked. If you have a friend in one, you might be able to piggyback on that person's space.
Breed & Co on 29th is your hardware store.
Spider House is a huge hangout coffee shop. Also check out Bennu, Epoch, Cherrywood, Thunderbird (two locations).
posted by adamrice at 7:15 AM on October 22, 2012

Seconding Stitch Lab - that's your people. And Future Craft Collective.

Sell your wares at Cherrywood Art Fair.

Austin Craft Riot

We had a mini Maker Faire back in May.

Not a traditional coffeeshop, but may I recommend Easy Tiger?

posted by mattbucher at 8:26 AM on October 22, 2012

It's too late for this year, but next year you should try to sell at Blue Genie Art Bazaar.
posted by jaksemas at 9:14 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Welcome to Austin -- I just moved here a few months ago and don't have much to add, but I'm a knitter, a cyclist (sort of) and a lover of coffee shops, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you find out and would be interested in meetups.
posted by hrj at 1:54 PM on October 23, 2012

Check out the annual East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.) coming up. It's huge; two weekends, venues and events all over the East Side, where amazingly creative folks mingle with each other and their funky admirers who want to see and buy creative work. Trust me, this is just right on up your alley! I would guess that you wouldn't have much trouble arranging a space to hock your wares, but time might be running out.
posted by theperfectcrime at 12:35 AM on October 24, 2012

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