A Dreamy Evening With The Dreamers

The Gathering at Round Top

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Months ago Tara Royer asked me to share my story at The Gathering At Round Top on September 22, 2016.  What was I going to say?  NO?  Of course not, it was such a privilege and a great opportunity.  I was a nervous wreck.  So, I spent months writing and rewriting what I’d share.  Then I spent hours practicing and making changes.  The day of I kept asking myself, “what are you so afraid of?”  Well, it turns out I had nothing to get worked up over.  It was actually fun overcoming a fear and to be surrounded my SO many kindred spirits.  It was a dreamy evening with the DREAMERS.

Thanks to ALL who put in countless hours preparing for The Gathering!  I love that you all cared so much to give of your time!!!!  Your love for sister/dreamers inspires me.

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Thanks to Beverly Martinets {owner of Bel Sole} for videoing me!

Words I meant to share

I skipped over a few details in my rush to finish.  I forgot to say that I actually got the job and didn’t let Jeff down.  🙂  However, it only lasted six months.  I can’t be caged to a desk or clock in.

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Hello!  My name is Tiffany Eckhardt, owner of Flown The Coop in Burton just 9 miles down the road.  FTC is an antique store specializing in Vintage, Industrial and Homestead Goods.  I also love to feature a variety of local products and my entrepreneurial friends!  My work IS dedicated to those who can’t be caged.  I hope to inspire kindred spirits to go for their dreams despite the directions others have taken.

I am so honored to be asked to share my story.  It is humbling to stand before so many rock stars in business.  There are so many stories I could share!  I have Forest Gumped my way through life.  It’s true.  Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.  If I’m brutally honest, I struggle with fear that I don’t have what it takes to succeed.  I don’t have a college degree.  I didn’t come from money.  AND I often feel like the underdog.  But God has given me a stout heart that perseveres.  The truth is I only become defeated when I compare my journey with others and allow my limitations to define who I should be.

It has taken me a long time to figure out what God had in mind for me. This road to RT has been a long one.  I am very determined and usually choose the road that is uphill both ways.  I am NOT afraid to try anything and get more motivated by being told it can’t be done.  Although, the older I get the more I am learning to lean into God for direction.  In hindsight, I can see how he used each time I thought I had failed or that the deck was stacked against me.

If you get anything out of the stories I share, I hope it’s that… If I can do it… you can too.

I was born in a beautiful suburb of Columbus, Ohio and grew up in a wonderful old house.  I am the child of very hard working parents, Robb and Rose Landon, who instilled in my sister Gretchen and I the importance of working for what you want.  My Dad is a retired fireman and my Mom drove school bus while we were in school.  My Grandpa, his father, owned his own insurance company when insurance was just a developing industry.  I believe I get my entrepreneurial spirit from him.  One of my earliest memories is standing in the doorway of our kitchen while my Mom was making dinner and making the proclamation that I was going to own my own business some day like my Grandpa.

We were a frugal family.  I grew up shopping thrift stores and loved going to garage sales with my Grandparents who religiously went every Friday morning.  I learned to negotiate watching my grandma asking for a better price, even when it was cheap enough.

After graduating high school, I decided not to take the college path and enlisted in the Air Force as a reservist.  I was hoping to begin a new adventure…  It is in Tech School that I met my future husband Jeff Eckhardt.  We lived in the same dorm and became best friends.  After training I went back to Ohio and Jeff went onto Florida for more training.  We stayed in touch and after traveling back and forth several times, until I moved to Florida.  We married in 1989.

After Florida we were stationed at Columbus AFB in Columbus, MS. where we started our family.  We have 2 children Emily and Hayden.  I thoroughly enjoyed staying home with my children.  Being a Mom was the best job ever!  I fed my entrepreneurial spirit with a couple direct sales opportunities.  And Jeff and I stayed busy renovating historic homes.

After 9 years in Mississippi, we moved our family to my hometown Westerville, Ohio. While my children were in elementary school I took over my parent’s drive through coffee shop called Rosie’s Java Hut, which was fun for about two years.  I learned the importance of great customer service during that experience.  My customers loved that I had their drink ready for them by the time they pulled up to my window.  And all of them thought I did it only for them.

Moving our family to Urbana, Ohio is a great example of my willingness to go for it.  Jeff was working for a traveling CatScan company.  The kids and I would travel with him to explore the museums and parks in the area where they sent him.  I will never forget driving down Scioto Street in Urbana for the first time and falling madly in love with the stately historic homes.  I told the kids as we drove down Scioto St. that I would love to live there.  I’m sure they thought uh-oh, knowing their Mom was a free spirit.  That day I found a home that was up for silent auction on Scotia Street.  Jeff and I went to look at it on during his lunch and decided put a bid on it.  The next day we got a call that we won.  In a matter of weeks we moved our family into our fourth renovation project.  This time the kids knew what to expect and were not thrilled.  I tried making light of our adventure the first few months by reading them the book Onto Oregon by the fire before we went to bed in our pop up camper in the back yard.  The kids quickly made friends and it ended up being a great small town for them!  I jumped into volunteering, serving on a the Main Street board and founded First Fridays.

Later when the kids were in high school I became a realtor.  I loved showing off the historic homes in Urbana, until 2008 when the market came crashing down on us in Ohio.  Eventually I couldn’t afford to market homes that didn’t have a chance to sell and had to step away from my first real career.  I was crushed.  So, I did the only logical thing to do:  I sold my car and went to Costa Rica for a month to find myself.  Thank God my husband is totally supportive of my need for adventure.  I went to a language school and stayed with a host family.  It was a great experience, but I didn’t find myself.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was glad to get back to my family and figure out what my next step would be.

A funny story after I got back: A friend of mine in real estate went to work as a sales manager for a local manufacturer.  He called and asked me to apply for an inside sales position.  I went to an interview and thought to myself that I would be a shoe in…. Wes knew my work ethic and I had done sales my whole life.  He and I had several conversations about how it’s hard to teach sales, you either have it or you don’t.  Well, I was called back for a second interview.  I was totally annoyed.  I did not see the point.  On the way out the door the morning of the second interview, I asked my husband for some advice.  I never really held a corporate job.  He turned to me and said, “All I can think is this is your one chance fancy don’t let me down.” I got the job, I worked for the man all of 6 months.  I just couldn’t be caged to a desk or clock in.  I worked there long enough to save for a trip to Italy… Which was a dream Jeff and I realized in March 2011.

I may not have had a job, but I was never idle.  I was trying a variety of opportunities to figure out my “muse.”  I had a blog and had learned how to promote businesses using social media.  I had founded a group called Weekend ReTweat.  We were a group of ladies who had met on Twitter and then later in person at Tweetups in Columbus.  Weekend Retweet used our various social media platforms to collectively promote B&Bs and area attractions. It was fueling my need to travel and my passion for marketing.

I had also become friends with a Brenham native, Kristie Herlong, who had moved to Urbana and opened a cute little shop called the Green Owl.  We had the bright idea to put all our stuff together and do the Springfield Flea Market in the month of July.  Kristie was really good at merchandising and we were both excited.  We had no idea what we were doing, but were having a blast and felt like we were making a killing despite being an off month. That weekend hooked us into this crazy business.  We later named our little business Flown The Coop.  Mainly because we both wanted to get out of the house to JUNK.  Kristie and I had done Round Top together.  We set up at the Antique Depot (which is now the Stone Cellar).  Funny thing is when we did that show I never in a million years would predict that I’d be living in this area within a few years.

Jeff and I had been married about 20 years when he shared with me his dream to move to Texas.  Our kids had graduated high school by this time.  So, he told me that it was his turn to live near family.  I hate to admit it, but I was devastated by the idea.  I couldn’t imagine moving away from my kids, family and friends.  I was frightened by leaving my projects behind and starting completely over.  It took me several months after Jeff moved to finally join him.  I moved and took the name Flown The Coop with me.  Flown The Coop took on a new meaning for me.  Most families send their kids off into the world…. Jeff and I flew off and left the house to the kids.

This was really hard for me.  I am a small town girl who moved to Houston, the fourth largest city in America.  It took months, but I gradually found my groove doing the Canton Flea Market once a month and Round Top twice a year.  We found a cute little house to rent in the Heights and I rented a booth space in Chippendale Eastlake Antiques on 19th St.  I quit Canton to take care of my booth and set up at Round Top 2x a year.

One of the best things that happened to me during this time was befriending Brian and Melonely Russell, owners of The Seedbox.  They were rock stars in my eyes.  Both of them are extremely talented, generous and took me under their wings.  I helped them with Urban Market in Houston and the Dallas Gift Market.  I learned so much about merchandising and ways to look at the business from them.

Brian and Meloney encouraged me to add Urban Market and the Dallas Gift Market to the list of shows I did a year.  I quit my booth space and was so proud to set up seven times a year at shows.  To say it is hard work is an understatement.  I have a deep respect for the dealers out in the fields.  I got better at merchandising and figuring out what works for my booth with each show.  But honestly, I was not happy.  Jeff could not do this business with me because he had a REAL JOB that he loved.  And I haven’t figured out how to be his Sugar Mamma.  Traveling away from Jeff and toting all the heavy industrial pieces I love was taking a tole on Jeff and I. I started dreaming of a property that we could live in and work at.  I had specific ideas of what I wanted life to be like.  I wanted to walk to live music.  I wanted to be in a community of creatives.  During the show I would drive around Round Top and wish I could have a store here.  Jeff and I began looking for warehouse space in Houston and drove around the country looking at options.  Everything seemed way to expensive and totally out of reach.  I was tired and discouraged.  During the Fall Show in 2014 I remember telling God that I something needed to give.  I had just finished unloading our truck and setting up my booth.  I was exhausted and just couldn’t do it anymore.  During that show my friend Meloney came to our booth one morning and asked me if I knew Old Glory was selling their little property in Burton?  I remember my eyes getting big and told her that I had to have it.  I had been to the property several times and knew the past two owners.  I called Jeff to tell him the news and expected him to say that I had lost my mind.  Instead he said, “Let’s make an offer!”  I immediately called Brian Kuhn to tell him Jeff and I would like to make an offer on his property.  This was on a Friday and we agreed to meet him on Monday.  That weekend was so hard for me.  I knew that I’d be heart broken if it didn’t work out, I’d have to start all over again figuring out what to do with my life.  Jeff and I went by the property on Saturday evening after we closed my booth.  When we got there we saw a double rainbow over Burton.  It was a sign.  I called my daughter Emily about the property, she told me, “you know it will work out Mom, you didn’t have time to think about it.”

We signed the papers to close the deal at the end of November 2014, our year of jubilee.  This is the first home we moved into that didn’t need a renovation.  And we love Burton!  It is the obvious choice for me, off the beaten path with so much scope for the imagination.  Flown The Coop has become everything I dreamed it could be.  Thank God for Social Media!  I’m convinced that no one would know about Flown The Coop without friends talking about it on their social networks.  I couldn’t make Flown The Coop happen without the constant support of my husband Jeff!  He’s been making my dreams come true for 27 years.

My Mom always liked to say, “go with the flow and your sure to grow.”  I think my stories illustrate the importance of being willing to go with the flow, work hard, show up, never give up and talk about what you want. I am dreamer, but I also believe that you have to keep trying until the perfect solution presents itself.  I talked to God a lot about it.  Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses:  For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future. After the 2008 crash “the year from hell”, I was convince that he was not even on my side.  But He knew what I needed and recaptured my heart in the process of pursuing this dream.  And HE knows exactly what you need and can lead you to it.

I couldn’t be happier developing my little piece of heaven.  I’m so thankful that my journey led me to Texas and especially this area.  I love being involved in Burton and watching this secret town develop into a creative haven with several new businesses opening this month, one being the Burton Roadhouse where I can walk to hear live music!

So, I leave you with the words of Steven Tyler…

I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes.  I know it’s everybody’s sin.  You’ve got to loose to know how to win.  Dream on!  Dream until your dreams come true!

DREAM ON!!!!!!

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky

 

 

 

Spreading Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all of my wonderful customers {dear friends} for helping me put Burton on the map during the spring Texas Antiques Show!  Each show just keeps getting better.  Karaoke Night and White Linen Night were both huge successes.  Karaoke Night felt like a scene from a Reese Witherspoon movie, as I watched guests approach The Coop carrying their lawn chairs and coolers to listen to Karaoke singers in the back yard.  The community did not disappoint on White Linen Night either.  Loved seeing the crowd dressed in white enjoying Libby Koch, Bad Girl BBQ and of course all the talented artists who participated.

It was an exhilarating and exhausting three weeks.

Now that I have had time to catch my breath, I am ready to take on new and exciting things at The Coop!  The past few months I’ve been exploring high quality and light hearted items that compliment our “Industrial, Vintage and Homestead Goods” core products.  I promise to never stray too far from our core, but would also like to

be delight and frolicsome, I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.

Have you ever felt like an underdog?

I confess that I often feel like the underdog as I forge my way in a secret town.  The underdog is a role that many entrepreneurs can identify with.  We march to our own beat and take the path least traveled.  Part of my mission at Flown The Coop is to promote fellow entrepreneurs and underdogs. I wholeheartedly believe everyone can achieve a dream by hard work, persistence, determination and being flexible to market trends.  It also helps when your small business community focuses on discovering ways to support each other.

I am so proud of the variety of talented people featured at The Coop.  Our vendors are dear friends who are chasing a dream and the majority of them are local folks.  We currently offer tee shirts designed by Sugar Pie Tees and Display,  Pamela Fagan Hutchins fiction and nonfiction books, artwork by Humble Donkey Studio, Lazy Bee Honey and honey jams, lavender products by Lacey Farms and sugar scrubs by Massage Therapy by Emily (my daughter).

In May The Coop will add jewelry created by Anastasia Gregoire.  Anastasia designs jewelry from vintage silver platters.  Stayed tuned on our Facebook Page for details!

New to The Coop: Boomtown Coffee is now sold at The Coop in one pound bags of whole been blends {Ethiopian Amaro Gayo and the very popular Darkness blend}.  You can now buy THE coffee voted number one in Houston at The Coop!  {EEKS!}  Jeff and I made Boomtown part of our daily routine when we lived in the Houston Heights.  Our son, Hayden, roasts coffee and is a barista for Boomtown.  We love this company and are thrilled to bring the Boom to Burton! #BringmetoBurton #BringtheBoomtoBurton 🙂

Items Just for the FUN

I am open to any idea that will make our customers smile!  A few months ago my daughter texted me a picture of novelty socks that she insisted we carry at The Coop.  So I did.  The first weekend we sold ten pairs.  SO FUN!!!!  I love watching people read the socks.  Most of them supports my sassy side.

When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead. ~ Hemingway

Spreading my wings

Despite my love for The Coop and my beloved secret town of Burton, I need to fly free from time to time.  In May I will hit the road for a buying trip to Ohio.  I have several stops planned along the way and will see my favorite pickers once I’m in Ohio.  I hope to bring back amazing Industrial and Vintage finds.  You can follow my journey on our Facebook Page and Instagram.

Contact me if you would like me to hunt for something specific for you!  The Coop will be open while I’m on the road.  But please call or check our FB and Instagram for possible closings.

That’s the scoop on The Coop!  I’m excited to spread my wings with new ideas, products and an upcoming road trip.  Hope you have something zesty to pursue!  I’d love to hear about your adventures.

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged,

~ Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

 

Exploring The Back Roads

The Local Experience

I love to travel, preferring trips spent exploring back roads and discovering local hot spots.  No matter where I go, I always spend the trip wondering what it would be like to live there.  Several years ago Jeff and I realized a dream trip to Italy.  One of our best decisions was renting an apartment in Naples for a week.  We thoroughly enjoyed walking to the neighborhood markets and bringing food back to prepare in the kitchen.  Every evening we saw the same couples strolling down the street as a part of their daily ritual.  By the end of the week we felt satisfied that we immersed ourselves in the local experience.

Back Road Dreaming

As a dealer who set up in Warrenton at Bar W twice a year, I often wondered what it would be like to to be a local in the Roundtropolis.  I found it was difficult to immerse myself in a local experience.  I was there to work and had so little time to get away from my booth.   After a day selling junque, my friends and I would go to our favorite local restaurants, which were always packed with visitors and dealers.

I woke up early some mornings to spend time exploring before I had to head to my booth.  On those early morning road trips, the back roads seem to be calling this road warrior to the country.  A dream to open my own store in a small community was developing.  I was willing to answer the call, but the dream felt just too far out of reach.  And really, did I want to be “caged?”  Could I live in the country?  What did locals do for fun?

Where The Back Roads End

You know the story… dreams do come true!

After a full year, I can honestly say that living on a back road is more than I could have ever imagined!  Our friend Abbey Road coined the phrase, “Where The Back Roads End.”   Burton IS where the back roads end!  Life travels at a slower pace out here.  It is not uncommon for people to stop by The Coop just to shoot the breeze.  I love the sense of community!

We are supported by the most generous and hard working people.  The business owners of the Roundtropolis understand the need to promote each other, which has been helpful in growing Flown The Coop.  I showcase several local entrepreneurs, a local author and a local artist in The Coop.  The creative community is flourishing on the back roads!

Our social calendar is never boring.  I am so grateful to live in Burton with so many kindred spirits who enjoy life!    Here’s one of my Facebook posts from February 8th:

For those who wonder if country life is boring… We started the weekend Friday at ROYERS ROUND TOP CAFE and then dropped by a friend’s house to sit by the fire for a bit. After another great day at The Coop, Saturday evening we went to Saddlehorn Winery for wine tasting and sang carpool karaoke on the way to a Mardi Gras party at The Stone Cellar. Sunday I worked in my garden (this weather is awesome) and then went to a Super Bowl party at The Cottages on Mill Creek-Round Top Lodging.

Exploring the back roads for yourself

Wether you need to recharge yourself in the quietness of the country or you’re in need for an adventure, exploring our back roads will not disappoint.

When you hit the road, I hope you make your way to Burton.  We are located half way between Houston and Austin on 290.  It’s where the back roads end.  If you want the local experience, stop by The Coop to ask for directions.  I would love to visit with you!  I try to keep up with what is going on, where to eat, nice places to stay and who you need to meet.  I’ll point you in the right direction.

You never know what you’ll discover off the beaten path.

Happy Trails,

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

Answering The Call

 

My restless, roaming spirit has called.

“Traveling is like flirting with life.  It’s like saying, I would love to stay and love, but I have to go; this is my situation” Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

The Coop is currently at an all time low in the junk department.  While I love pouring over beautiful catalogs, ordering from a catalog pales in comparison to the joy I experience junking, and meeting up with my friends who deal in the coolest junque!  “Chief Junker” is my favorite hat that I wear at The Coop.  Returning to The Coop with a trailer load satisfies my restless, roaming spirit with adventure.  I hate to leave my beloved Burton, but I have to Fly The Coop.  This is my situation.

The Coop will be closed January 14th – 23rd

Jeff and I are answering the call with a road trip to Ohio.  Armed with audio books and a journal for my crazy ideas, we’ll hit the road next week.  The hours on the road often feel endless.  If I’m lucky, we’ll stop at a few interesting places on the way.

I know once we make it to our destination I’ll have plenty of treasures to pick from.  I have an idea of what I’m looking for, but am always open to the unexpected.  On our last trip Jeff bought a stack of eight foot church pews (the seats and backs, without the ends) from our friend Ken.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea.  They took up a lot of room on our trailer.  There were enough ends to make four pews.  Jeff cut the eight foot pews into four foot sections and added a galvanized detail to the ends.  The finished product turned out fantastic.  The owners of The Grand Texana saw the pews Jeff crafted and commissioned him to make eighteen short pews out of the remaining stack of eight foot pews.  I shared this story with Ken.  He laughed and reminded me, “Tiffany you weren’t even 40% on those pews.”  Lesson learned.  Jeff and I will never question each other’s wisdom or sanity when junking.

I am on the hunt for specific treasures for a few of our customers.  I enjoy the satisfaction of finding the perfect piece and their delight when it is delivered.  Email me what you are looking for at eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com if you are interested in this service.

Remember to stayed tuned to the Flown The Coop Facebook Page and Instagram account @2FlownTheCoop!  We’ll share our adventure on these two platforms.

Flown The Coop Reopens January 28th

The doors will reopen on Thursday, January 28th.  Will you answer the call to fly the coop?Plan a road trip to be the first to pick from the treasures we bring back to Burton.  While your here, show off your wings by taking a picture in front our Gen.U.Ine Free Spirit mural.  Tag them with #2Flownthecoop so we can celebrate all our free spirits!

#BringmetoBurton

Happy Trails!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

Hit the road!


Happy New Year!  Time for new year resolutions?  I’m just wondering how we’ll top 2015 and what 2016 will bring?

2015 was a fantastic year!  Jeff and I love our Burton home, community and have enjoyed building our little store, The Coop.  So much so, that I had a hard time hitting the road.  This road warrior has been content to stay close to home.

As I ring in 2016, the old familiar need for adventure is beckoning me.  Time to fly the coop!  This month Jeff and I will travel to my home in Ohio to hunt for junque (fancy junk).  Stayed tuned to our Facebook page and Instagram @2flownthecoop.  We’ll be announcing our crazy January hours, posting pictures of our finds and planning an upcoming preview party at The Coop.

I’m also itching to do a remodel project.  Over the past 26 years, Jeff and I have remodeled five homes (two unlivable historic homes).  Watching reality tv has been killing us.  We’ll scratch that itch this year with plans to transform our garden shed into a Guest House.  It’s my desire to have it ready for the spring Texas Antiques Week (God willing and the creek don’t rise).  Don’t worry, we’ll share the progress with you.

One resolution:  I have every intention to blog more in 2016.  I’m not a professional writer.  I simply enjoy sharing this crazy journey with you.

I’ve declared 2016 to be The Year of JOY.  I will capture all the moments of joy in a mason jar.  Follow my The Year of Joy 2016 Pinterest board as I learn what living with joy is all about.

What are your hopes and aspirations for 2016?  I hope you FLY FREELY with a Gen.U.ine FREE spirit!  Truly LIVE the life you’re given!  And remember, we’re all in this together.  So, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs, The Once and Future Carpenter….

Hitting the road… Living the life I’m given,

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Traditions

This Christmas has been an emotion roller coaster for me as I reminisce Christmas memories and focus on creating new Christmas traditions with Jeff.  Doubtful I’ll get through writing this without becoming a sappy mess.

Growing up my Mom made sure my sister and I had perfect Christmas memories.  We grew up making more cookies than our neighborhood could eat, stringing popcorn and cranberry garland, visiting Santa at my grandpa’s Masonic Lodge, driving to downtown Columbus to see the lights, decorating the tree and waking up to a living room full of presents on Christmas morning.  I’m sure it was very similar to our friend’s Christmas, but it was magic to me.  This picture cracks me up… not sure why I was shooting my sister a stern look.

When Jeff and I were raising our little family, I was either really into Christmas or the biggest ba-humbug in history.  I never felt that I could live up to my expectations and was exhausted before I even attempted to gear up for Christmas.  Somehow, we managed to create a few traditions that stuck over the years.  We made cookies (always buckeyes), hunted and cut down the perfect tree, decorated the tree, topped the tree with a lift from Dad, and a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve.  Most years the kids opened all their presents before Christmas because Jeff and I simply could not wait.   Cutting the tree became an all day event, as I insisted on hunting the tree farm until I found the perfect tree, regardless of the weather.  As the kids got older, the traditions were for my benefit.  Yep, the kids were having a blast!

The year before we all flew the coop…. oh boy, did the years fly by.

Over time, I experienced my favorite traditions in other ways.  Like the year my sister and I baked cookies with my Grandma.

My Mom now makes Christmas cookies with Emily, my daughter and her friends.

Emily and Jacob (daughter and son-inlaw) have started their own traditions, including cutting down a tree from our favorite tree farm.  Emily posted to Facebook, “We got a Christmas tree. I was channeling my mom and made us walk all the way to the back of the tree lot, in the cold to find the “perfect” tree. Good memories.”  LOVE that girl!

I LOVE the smile on her face!

Last year Jeff got to place the star on the top of our tree for the first time.

This year I went shopping alone for our trees (yes I said trees, meaning two for our house and five for The Coop) and bought them from a big box hardware store.  GASP!  After all these years I discovered that I can get seven trees for the price of one.  However, it will never have the same magic.

This year Jeff and I started a few new traditions.  He joined me in making buckeyes.

We went to see The Nutcracker at The Festival Institute in Round Top.  Jeff and his mother, Ginger, had never seen The Nutcracker.  None of us had experienced The Festival Institute.  Wow!

This was my first year to decorate The Coop.  I honestly enjoyed transforming The Coop, making ornaments and hosting Christmas At The Coop.  I look forward to Rocking Around The Coop next year.  Great memories to build new traditions upon!

I miss the traditions of my childhood and the ones Jeff and I created with our kids.  It is heartwarming to watch my adult children maintain some old traditions, while creating their own.  Jeff and I have whittled down the traditions in our empty nest and have enjoyed a slower paced holiday.  I’m insisting we wait until Christmas morning to open our gifts, a first for us.

The traditions are fun, but it’s the people I created them with that is priceless.  I’m so grateful for a rich life filled with family and friends!

May your holiday season be full of joy!  In the midst of a hectic season, I pray that you savor time with loved ones and make memories to last you all year long!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing, “YES” in the sky!

 

The Year of Joy

In January I declared 2015 to be the year of living Wholeheartedly.  Every year seems to have a focus and a Pinterest Board to match.  I learned this year to accept myself.  I am a dreamer, a risk taker and persistent; character traits that at one time I believed to be construed as selfish.  Now I know that I can’t run from who I am.  These themes run through all the yearly boards I create.  Here’s one of my favorite pins from Living Wholeheartedly 2015

2016 The Year Of Joy

I am declaring 2016 the year of JOY!  A Pinterest Board The Year Of Joy 2016 has been created.  For something more tangible, I’ve also started a Joy Jar.

It is empty now.  I hope to fill it with moments of joy that I can read next December, an idea I’ve seen posted to Facebook several times in the past few weeks.  Wonder what I’ll discover about myself in the Year of Joy?

A moment of joy

I already have a moment of joy to put in my jar.  Yesterday I stopped into Branded Boutique, a cute little boutique in Brenham, Texas.  I was looking for a new outfit for our Christmas picture.  I’m not exactly a fashionista, but I don’t want to look frumpy for our Christmas card.  I left with a gift for myself that just made me smile!  {Please don’t judge, I know “things” aren’t supposed to make you happy.}

Every Gen.U.Ine FREE spirit needs a pair of Living Your Dream boots!

What’s behind the smile?

As I was purchasing these amazing new boots, I mentioned to the adorable shop owners how perfect these boots were for me to wear at Flown The Coop.  I learned a little bit about these sisters who run the the family owned boutique and shared a little bit about The Coop.  It was fun to talk shop with other entrepreneurs and kindred spirits.

Various social media platforms and this blog allow me share these experiences, and the fellow dreamers and risk takers I meet.  This is what truly makes my heart soar and is behind the smile!  I’ve discovered that I LOVE cross promoting other small businesses.

Cross promoting

I learned the importance of cross promoting in 2008 when I had the privilege of hanging out with early adapters who led by example.  My best friends; Michele Savoldi, owner of Columbus Impressions and Kelly Blanton, co owner of Sugar Pie Tees built their businesses by sharing themselves and the businesses they admire.

The success of Flown The Coop can be contributed to the many people who share their experiences at The Coop!  I appreciate all the friends of Flown The Coop who posted to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Looking back through Visitors Posts on Facebook and Photos Of You on Instagram testifies!  Every post ads to my joy!  THANK YOU!!!!!!!  

I also appreciate the kindred entrepreneurs who understand cross promoting.  Businesses that have a large following can do so much in helping small businesses!  I have some great friends in the Roundtropolis who get it…

This year I was totally blown away by a few.

One day Tara Royer Steele, from the famous Royers Pie Haven and Royer’s Round Top Cafe, came to visit The Coop.  I had never officially met Tara, but recognized her when her precious family stopped in.  I enjoyed chatting briefly and watching her son carry their purchases to the car.  So sweet!  Not long after they left I noticed @thepiequeen post to Instagram.  That weekend a few people shopped The Coop because they saw Tara’s post.  I’m not sure if she knew how that simple act of kindness made my day!

I’m blessed to have cross promoting friends in and around Burton.  Here’s a few:

  • Abbey Road is a natural promoter.  Her recent Where The Back Roads End article is spot on!
  • Denise Withington, the Kountry Chick Karaoke & DJ has been a great promoter!
  • Beverly Martines, owner of Bel Solé B&B, has shared all the many uniques finds she has purchased from The Coop.
  • Pamela and Eric Hutchins of Skipjack Publishing are promoting rock stars!
  • Theresa Cano, owner of Garden Antqs Vintage, is a master of cross promoting our friends in the junker world.  I’ve appreciated her posts about Flown The Coop!

Burton has a hard working team at The Burton Chamber Of Commerce who are continually looking for ways to promote other businesses.  I’ve been blessed by these ladies who continually promote Burton on their business pages.

 Act of kindness

Local businesses count on your support.  It is an act of kindness to choose to shop small and local anytime of the year.  Go a step further and tell your friends about your shopping small experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  I promise your time sharing will not go unnoticed and will be appreciated!

My first Joy Jar memory is a moment of joy shopping at Branded Boutique.  I met sisters pursuing their dreams and left with an awesome pair of boots.  That shopping small experience got me thinking about the importance of cross promoting.  I am so blessed to have friends who continually promote The Coop.  Thank God they embrace my dreams, risk taking and persistence wholeheartedly as well.  🙂

May your joy overflow

Photo cred: Homegrown Hospitality

Happy Holidays!

~Tiffany

And the bird fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Rocking Around The Coop

Getting in the spirit

This year is my first year to decorate The Coop for Christmas.  Sadly, I don’t normally enjoy decorating for the holidays.  It’s just not the same since Jeff and I flew the coop, becoming empty nesters.

I forced myself to start thinking about it in October, already feeling behind the retail schedule.  Saying a little prayer for creativity, I started pinning ideas on Pinterst.  One pin led to another, and then the Christmas spirit took me by surprised.  I was actually looking forward to transforming The Coop with my new ideas.

During the same time, I was putting together our first Christmas At The Coop scheduled on December 6th, 11am – 5pm.  Planning a party is one of my all time favorite things to do.  I am really excited for all the creative people who will be joining the celebration.  The special guests include Pamela Fagan Hutchins (author), John Lowery (artist), T-Roy Miller (musician) and my son Hayden Eckhardt (barista & coffee roaster with Boomtown Coffee)!

A few of my favorite things

I had an idea of how I wanted to incorporate our existing Vintage * Industrial * Homestead goods with a Christmas selection that focused on shopping small.

First I placed orders with my favorite entrepreneurs, procuring an assortment of great gift ideas including tees, bracelet charms, candles, bags, pillow,etc.  Then I stocked up on our local homestead goods, Lazy Bee Honey and Honey jams and Lacey Farms Lavender.

This month we are introducing local talent into The Coop.  We now carry a local author, Pamela Fagan Hutchins with Skipjack Publishing.  We met Pamela and her husband this past fall at our Karaoke Night at The Coop.  Pamela didn’t miss a beat and sang two songs that evening.  John Lowery, a local artist, has been popping into The Coop since we opened in March.  It took me by surprise the day he stopped by to ask if we would display his Engelbrecht Longhorn prints in The Coop.  Of course we would!!!!  You can meet both Pamela and John on December 6th during Christmas At The Coop.

Taking time to create 

Making a list of projects I had pinned, I decided Jeff and I would create a few of our own Christmas decorations {another first}.  Jeff used his new plasma cutter to make wonderful galvanized Christmas ornaments.  He also hand crafted a mantel and some church pews with galvanized embellishments.  I created paper ornaments, paper chains, forced paper whites into canning jars and chalk boards with messages of Christmas cheer.  My friend Carolyn spent an afternoon crafting at The Coop to help me get it all done.

A vision realized

I waited until the Sunday before Thanksgiving to transform The Coop.  The weather was finally cool the day I insisted on pulling everything out for a complete re-do.  It was fun to rearrange and add the Christmas collection to our Vintage and Industrial design.

My excitement ignited when Jeff hung my chalk boards with messages of Christmas cheer.  It was one of those moments when you realize a vision exactly how you had hoped it would be.  We were rocking around The Coop as we added the Christmas trees!

I am proud that The Coop has become an unique shopping experience with Vintage * Industrial * Homestead Goods, and fun gift ideas for the holidays!  The best part is that you can feel good that you are supporting local businesses, local talent and my entrepreneurial friends.

Even Maggie Magenta got dolled up for the holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can honestly say that I am in the Christmas spirit.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Here’s a sneak peak… check out our Christmas 2015 album on Facebook for more pics!

What is your favorite part of getting in the holiday spirit?  Will you be rocking around the Christmas Tree?  I’d love to see you ideas, hear your traditions and what you are looking for when you shop for your loved ones.

May your days be Merry & Bright,

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Christmas At The Coop

It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating our first anniversary of life in Burton, Texas!  Jeff and I moved into our Burton home a few days prior to Thanksgiving 2014.  It has been a very full year of making memories, realizing our dreams and becoming apart of an amazing community.

Christmas At The Coop

December 6th 11am – 5pm

I have thoroughly enjoyed planning our very first gen.u.ine Christmas At The Coop!  Here’s what you can expect on Dec 6th…

From the beginning, I envisioned featuring homestead goods at The Coop.  It has been a joy procuring local products, such as honey and honey jams from Lazy Bee Honey and lavender from Lacey Farms.  I am confident you will find unique gifts from our mixture of vintage and industrial home goods, along with our hand crafted items and fun tee designs.

I dream of filling The Coop with live music.  It was a goose bump kind of moment when my friend Abbey Road helped me book T-Roy Miller for an acoustic jam from 11am – 2pm. Not sure how we got so lucky! T-Roy’s guitar picking is mesmerizing and will definitely put us in the holiday spirit! Check out his web site http://www.t-roymiller.com/ and this video: https://youtu.be/7KGIu4-iQuE! If you weren’t in the holiday spirit yet, you will be now!

Where the backroads end, Burton is a homestead for creative and talented people!  I am thrilled to be hosting two very talented individuals whom I have had the privilege to become friends.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins, author and co-owner of Skipjack Publishingwill be joining us for a book signing.  I recently completed her Kate Annalise trilogy and couldn’t put the books down.  Her books will make great gifts, especially signed by the author!

 

Local artist, John Lowery has chosen The Coop to exclusively display his Engelbrecht Longhorn.  The original painting is quite large at 50″x50″ and depicts a typical scene if you drive down Engelbrecht drive between 390 and Post Oak Road.  You will be able to meet John and purchase one of his prints for the art lovers on your gift list.

Be sure to get there early!

11am – 1pm Boomtown Coffee, voted reader’s choice 3 years in a row, will be in the house!  My son, Hayden Eckhardt will be using his mad barista skills to serve java and espresso drinks.  Bags of freshly roasted coffee will be available to purchase as well.  The perfect hostess gift for your upcoming gatherings.

Make it a day!

Burton’s Heritage Society has planned a Tannenbaum Tour and Christmas at the Depot. Tour our local businesses and vote for your favorite Christmas tree, have your photo taken with Santa and enjoy the holiday spirit in our magical little town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make it a tradition

December 4th – 6th small towns throughout the Roundtropolis area will be celebrating the holiday season.  So, book a B&B and make a weekend of it!  We hope that slowing down for a country Christmas will become your annual tradition.

Stay updated on the event HERE!

Happy Holidays!  ~ Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

TIME FLIES

It’s true!  Time flies, much like a gen.u.ine FREE spirit.  Since opening The Coop on March 25th, we’ve had so much fun nestling into our Burton home.  We honestly LOVE the community and all our new friends.  Thank you ALL for making our first few months in business a tremendous success!

Hard to believe we are weeks away from another Texas Antiques Week!

Getting Ready for the BIG SHOW

Jeff and I will hit the road again for a buying trip.  I already have a large load waiting to be picked up!  I am super excited to visit my favorite dealers to see what they’ve uncovered in their latest hunting adventures.  This promises to be epic!

Flown The Coop will be closed August 30 – September 22.  The Coop will undergo a complete redo to prepare for Texas Antiques Week.  During this time we will bring back our new treasures and create all new vignettes.  Sorry, no sneak peaking…

The Burton Antiques Market

September 23rd – Kicking off the Burton Antique Market

Flown The Coop will throw open the doors September 23rd at 9:00 am.  Be the first to grab the newest treasures from our buying trip and one of our BRAND NEW gen.u.ine FREE spirit tees.  Don’t forget to snap a pic in front of our gen.u.ine FREE spirit mural.  Tag us #2flownthecoop so we can highlight your pic on our FB and Instagram accounts.

Later that night we have a BIG treat for you…  Flown The Coop will open our backyard stage from 7:30 pm – midnight for Kountry Chic Karoake & DJ.  Bring your lawn chairs and BYOBeverages!  It will be a fun evening under the stars with Denise and our favorite local karaoke stars.

 September 26th – White Linen Night 

Several months ago the idea for White Linen Night came to me while dreaming up events for Texas Antiques Week.  I saw a throwback picture on Facebook from one of Theresa Cano’s Blogger Parties.  All the ladies showed up dressed in white.  The idea popped into my head:  Burton needs a White Linen Night, much like the New Orleans and Houston Heights tradition celebrating the arts and surviving another sultry summer.   So ladies and gentlemen, get out your favorite white outfit and join us on September 26th from 6pm – 9pm for Burton’s FIRST EVER White Linen Night!

Flown The Coop is teaming up with Market Realty/ Rita’s Antiques to sponsor White Linen Night.  Artists, creatives and makers will line Live Oak St. in front of Flown The Coop.  Live music will be on the porch of Market Realty.  Food by the Burton Volunteer Fire Department will be located in front of Market Realty.

There is still room for artists, creatives and makers to join White Linen Night!  Email me at eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com for registration!  

Check out the White Linen Night Fabebook Event for the updated list of Artists * Music * Food * Fun.  

Burton Antique Market

Putting Burton on the Antiques Show Map!  Burton will roll out the welcome mat for pilgrims of Texas Antiques Week September 23 – October 3rd.  Our charming little secret town has even more new Antique Stores and will host a few events you will want to be aware of during this bi-annual event.

September 26th Burton Trade Days, because it’s nearly impossible to have a garage sale in the country.  Located at The Railroad Details from 9am – 5pm.

September 23 – 25th Volunteer Fire Department will serve BBQ at the Fire Department under the water tower.  11am – 7pm

Flown The Coop will be open daily September 23 – October 3rd  9am- 7pm

The BIG FUN will be here before you know it… I can’t wait to see all my friends I’ve made over the past several years! #TexasAntiquesWeek #BurtonAntiqueMarket #BringmetoBurton