Road Therapy

 

It is time for this road warrior to hit the open road.  The Road has a way to clear my active mind and set my soul free.  I’m off to see family and friends, hunt for treasures, experience spring for the second time, and then to come back to Burton recharged by the adventure.

Don’t get me wrong!  I’m not escaping from anything.  In fact, I’m torn between wanting to stay put and the call of the road.  I’m hoping to use the endless hours on the road to listen to books on tape and get infused with new ideas.  Road therapy is part of my creative process.

I’ll share my adventure on Facebook and Instagram @2Flownthecoop.  AND…You’ll be the first to see any cool piece I discover.

Are you looking for a certain piece?  Email your item or list of items to Eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com  I’d be happy to text you pics of finds that might work.

The Coop

Jeff will be the ring master of this shit show (might even wear the socks) Saturday and Sunday (May 20 & 21, May 27 & 28).  Marlene will keep Flown The Coop open Thursday and Friday (May 25 & 26).  They will be happy to see you!

The Coop will be closed June 1rst – 4th.

Road Trip Therapy

I hope you are able to hit the road soon!  I’d love to hear your stories from the road!  What has the road taught you?  What treasures have you found?  What are your fondest memories of the road?  Where do you plan to take off to this summer?

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~Tiffany

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

 

 

 

A Feel Good Experience

e88c7da511340f6f93482e1b771d52a3I am one of those crazy people who actually believe in changing the world.  Well, at least in making a difference on the local level.

I aim to make shopping at Flown The Coop a “feel good” experience!  First by supporting local makers, creators and entrepreneurial friends… the backbone of the American Dream.  Shopping small and local not only makes a difference to creatives, but also to Burton’s economy.  Earlier this year I turned my attention toward ways I felt could directly contribute to my community.  I made the decision to donate ten cents for every dollar spent at Flown The Coop to the Bridge Ministry of Burton, TX.

The Bridge Ministry of Burton,TX. is a collaboration of thirteen churches in the Burton area.  There are six ministry teams within the Burton Bridge Ministry; Seniors, Children and Youth, Helping Hands, Community, Corner Shoppe and Manna Ministry.  This type of community outreach is rare and could only be accomplished by people who believe in making a real difference.

Today I had the privilege of lending a helping hand to the Manna Ministry, a Food Pantry led by Karen Nelson. This dedicated team meets at the Food Pantry at 5:30 am every Tuesday.  Together they unload the delivery truck, organize items and greet their clients with dignity and respect.

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Carolyn’s Country Corner

 

The Manna Ministry feeds over 200 households every month.  Most of the volunteers know each client by name and are interested in their families.  Carolyn is in charge of the miscellaneous items donated by local grocery stores.  They call it Carolyn’s Country Corner and is filled with “exotics.”

 

 

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Karen Nelson saw the need to create Manna Ministry in June 2014.  She is responsible for following all state and local guidelines, keeping records, volunteers and storing the donated food.  It is not uncommon for a neighboring Food Pantry to call Karen throughout the week with donations.  This week she picked up a load of sweet potatoes discarded by a Houston grocery store due to a damaged shipping box.  They were good looking sweet potatoes!

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I’m sure I’ll be back to help out at the Manna Ministry Food Pantry.  I left feeling good about serving my community.  Burton is truly a wonderful community to live, work and serve in.  It is my hope that you feel it too, whether you are a local or a welcomed visitor!

Stayed tuned as I visit the remaining five ministries, and a sneak peak of exciting projects in the works!

#BringmetoBurton

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How are you attempting to change the world?  Share with me!  I’d love to root for you!

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

~Tiffany

 

 

 

Resilient

“When we face a decision to fall back or press on, the whole universe holds its breath.”  John Eldridge

Let that sink in.

Fierce or Resilient?

My 2017 Pinterest Board was labeled “The year to be FIERCE.”  What was I thinking?  The Board should be labeled RESILIENT.

It’s hard to be fierce when you are recovering from a major surgery, then break your arm and face another health scare all in the first quarter.  I’m not a sick person!  Dealing with doctors is not my favorite thing to do.  Up until this year, I have avoided the doctor’s office (except for the yearly well visits required by insurance).  Good health was a badge I wore proudly!

Finding a doctor was a frustrating ordeal for me in 2016, followed by various issues that led up to surgery on January 9th that didn’t go as planned.  Six weeks later, I was disappointed to learn that the doctor who did my surgery was moving to a different health care system and would no longer accept my insurance.  When a new and potentially scary health issue arose, I was more defeated by the necessity to find a new doctor than I was the scare.  Even more aggravating is the system that requires a regular doctor to order tests, who will then inevitably need to refer me to a specialist if there is a problem.  I spent a couple days deciding wether to press on and have the new issue looked at ~ or fall back and ignore it.  Side note, I never made it to my follow up appointment for my broken arm.  I figured that they would just confirm what I already knew, it’s healing fine and just be careful.

As if walking through an internal struggle about health issues and recovery wasn’t enough, I had to add shame and embarrassment by transparently posting my dismay to Facebook, along with a sad picture to emphasize just how miserable I felt.  Why do I always feel the need to air my emotions so publicly?  I feel like a whiner just explaining my situation.  I have friends and family who are quietly walking through FAR WORSE.  Fortunately, I discovered most people didn’t see it as a character flaw (craziness displayed on the porch with a cocktail) and sent massive words of encouragement.  This embarrassment was a wake up call to me and was the catalyst into a life lesson.

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I now have both.

Proper perspective is helpful when faced with the choice to fall back or press on.

Resilient

re·sil·ent
adjective
        (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  strong, tough, hardy
AKA – FIERCE

Resilience is an important life skill that is not taught in school, or comes naturally.  It is only learned by walking through rough stuff.  Although, it would be helpful to teach children to look at the world honestly and not expect life to handed to them.

I had expectations that I would hit 2017 with fierce determination.  I am truly happiest when I am fiercely pursuing an idea.  My ambitions were to conquer fitness and weight loss, and had grandiose business dreams for Flown The Coop.    Reality was a healthy dose of adversity; physically, emotionally and with my business. The combination has given me a fresh lesson in resilience.

I am a “glass half full” type of girl who is currently working on the idea of happiness.  I’m learning to align my expectations with realty, an essential skill in withstanding or recovering quickly from difficult conditions.  I generally see life through a lens of possibilities and abundance.  The lesson is:  pray, do your best and let go of the outcomes.  I am not in control.

There are two ways I look at adversity.  I’m doing something right and am a target, or I’m doing something wrong and am being punished.  I chose to believe that I’m doing something right.  I didn’t come this far to fail now.  I am learning to dream big dreams and make exciting plans for the year, with the expectation that there will be bumps in the road.  It’s not healthy to avoid trials.

I’ve had plenty of time to analyze life while recovering from surgery.  It is encouraging to think there is a host of witnesses in the universe holding their breath; waiting for me to flip a switch, to embrace my life as it is and live in the flow.  They are cheering me on!

I’m not a quitter.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Philippians 3: 12

Trust In You by Lauren Daigle has become my anthem.

Yeah, I know most people don’t put their struggles on the Internet for the world to see.  My hope is that transparency will encourage you.  Life isn’t always what it appears to be on a polished Facebook or Instagram account.  Going for dreams and pursuing ideas is the sweet spot in life, full of promise and excitement.  Equally important are the seasons that stretch us and makes us stronger.  In 2017 I will be Fiercely Resilient, while I give myself permission to cultivate dreams with my expectations balanced in realty.

Your Word

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What is your word for 2017?  I’d love to hear about your goals, dreams, visions, and even setbacks. Let’s cheer each other on!  If you are faced with the decision to fall back or press on, I will hold my breath and cheer for you!

~Tiff

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

Texas Antiques WeekSSSS!

It’s that time of the year again!

“It’s my favorite holiday!”  Marlene Kahanek

It’s my favorite holiday too!  I love the spring antique show!  Bluebonnets will be in bloom.  The weather is unpredictable, BUT IT’S NOT HOT.  Excitement blows with the wind as trailers packed with treasures begin to ascend upon our beautiful countryside.  I’m convinced that even the birds are singing about it.  What I look forward to THE MOST is visiting with friends who make their bi-annual pilgrimage to Texas to shop for their stores, find out what’s new in design trends and to be inspired by a creative community.

Flown The Coop will kick off our show March 16th and run through April 1st.  We’ll be open 9am – 6pm daily.  This spring we’ll host a St. Patty’s Day Karaoke Party in the back yard on March 17th 7:30pm.  The Kountry Karoake Chick will bring her show to our back yard stage.  Bad Girl BBQ will be here serving AWEsome BBQ!

GRAB YOUR BOOTS, or some comfy shoes, a coat (or shorts… who knows), a good hat, sunscreen, AND a good friend!  Hope to see you!!!!

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Flown The Coop will close for ONE weekend, March 2nd – 5th.  

Sorry for the inconvenience, but this shop girl is taking ONE weekend off to visit family.

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

Social Purpose

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Commitment to A Kindred Tribe

From the very beginning, Flown The Coop has been committed to dreamers, doers, makers and believers in the American Dream.  As much as possible, I fill The Coop with locally made products and curate items that are created by entrepreneurs I personally know.  I love to be surrounded by a kindred tribe of creatives.  I will always look for ways to cross promote entrepreneurs.

This year I added a line of sassy socks by Blue Q, a company that donates 1% of sock sales to Doctor’s Without Borders.  As customers read the witty sayings on these socks, The Coop is invariably filled with contagious giggles!  Purchasing these socks are not only fun, but also allows customers a  feels good to be helping a worthy cause.

It just feels good!

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Commitment to Community

This year my attention is turned to another “social purpose.”  In addition to our commitment to a Kindred Tribe, Flown The Coop will align with a cause (or ministry) in 2017.  Honestly, I didn’t have to look far to find a worthy cause to support.  Burton is blessed with the Burton Bridge Ministry, a ministry that is having a BIG impact on Burton.

The Burton Bridge Ministry was founded in 2010, when all 12 churches in and around Burton decided to combine outreach efforts and form a separate non-profit organization. They believe that, working together, they can make the community a powerful example of what it looks like when one town commits to truly living out the Christian discipleship, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Check them out!  I promise you’ll be impressed with the scope of their impact on Burton.

There are five ministry teams within The Bridge.

  • Seniors Ministry
  • Children and Youth Ministry
  • Helping Hands Ministry
  • Community Ministry
  • Corner Shoppe Ministry

Starting this January (2017), ten cents for every dollar spent at The Coop will be donated to The Burton Bridge Ministry.  On top of that, I am committed to dive into all the different ministry teams.  I want to look at ways that I can use my gifts to benefit their outreach.  Stayed tuned!  I hope to blog about what I learn, introducing you to Burton’s finest.

It just feels good!

And though she may be little, she is fierce.  ~Shakespeare

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Pinned from WomenYouShouldKnow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha!  I’ve always felt rather small in the big picture, but its never stop me from dreaming BIG.  In fact, I believe great accomplishments are realized when we offer our gifts and talents to the greater good.  I’m looking forward to fiercely go forward in 2017 contributing in my small way to Burton and a Kindred Tribe.

BTW:  2017 will be the year to be FIERCE!  Stayed tuned for more on that topic.  🙂

As always, I’d love to hear from you.  What is on your heart for 2017?  What is your mantra for the year?  Let’s make 2017 a year to be proud of and encourage each other.

The rising tide lifts ALL the boats.  🙂  ~JFK

~Tiffany

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

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

 

 

 

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!

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!

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

 

A gen.u.ine Free Spirit

I’m here to tell you that wild and crazy dreams come true.  The day Jeff and I put an offer on our new home, I woke up with a vision for March 25th.  We were going to have a party! I envisioned live music, food trucks and fun.  Months later, I can’t stop smiling over all the tiny details that I envisioned fall into place.

For example, several months ago I began searching for an artist to paint a free flying mural on the outside wall of The Coop. The vision for it was vague.  As time ran out on hiring a talented artist, I realized that this would have to be a DIY project.  Could I really do this?

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

I sat down to my computer and played with different ideas until the mural emerged.

YES!  It is exactly what I hoped for.  With help from Jeff, a borrowed projector and the talented Stephanie Jarvis {who gave the mural wings}…. my vision took flight.  A gen.u.ine free spirit!

Let’s kick off this party with a photo contest!  It’s easy as 1.2.3!

1. Take a photo of yourself flying free in front of the gen.u.ine Free Spirit mural.

2. Post your photo to Facebook or Instagram with 3 tags: #2flownthecoop @2flownthecoop and #BringmetoBurton

3. The photo with the most likes wins a $50 gift card to Flown The Coop!

Contest rules: Contest runs March 25 – April 1.  Winner will be announced on April 2.  Winner will receive a $50 gift card for Flown The Coop merchandise in The Coop with no cash back.  No purchase necessary to win.  All sales are final.  I will monitor Facebook and Instagram for photos using #2flownthecoop @2flownthecoop #BringmetoBurton only.

Can’t wait to see ALL YOU gen.u.ine free spirits!  NOW LET’S HAVE A PARTY!