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!

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!

 

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!

Announcing My Latest Project

I’m beyond excited to announce the launching of my newest project!  Social Marketing On The Fly is a beginners guide to understanding social marketing and how to effectively engage your customers without spending your day in front of a computer. Specifically written for creatives who travel great distances to display their finds at shows and flea markets, but the techniques can be applied to any small business owner with limited time for social media marketing.

My love affair with social media began in 2008 when I met my best friends through a Tweet Up in Columbus, Ohio.  My addiction to social media has open many amazing doors since that time.  I’ve helped small businesses develop plans to utilize social media, traveled as a travel blogger with Weekend ReTweat, built Flown The Coop’s social media presence and have taught colleagues at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques how to jump start their presence on social media.  It was Heather Basden at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques who encouraged me to teach my friends in the field how to use social media to promote their businesses.

I am always open to helping small businesses wrap their minds around social media.  It occurred to me that I would be able to help more small businesses by writing an easy to read Ebook.  I hope to convey how effortless social marketing can be once you understand how to properly use and connect the various platforms available.  As a follow up, I will be offering assistance in setting up and launching a social marketing for readers who need a little push out of the nest.

I am dedicating this book to raising money for a single mom who came into my life while I was writing Social Marketing On The Fly.  I fell in love with her and her precious little ones.  She opened my eyes to the struggles she must overcome, while figuring out life and raising her little ones on her own.  Truth is we are all struggling to discover our value and purpose.  I hope to give her some relief and encourage her “take a leap and build her wings on the way down.”

Starting in April, I will be offering a limited number of packages for businesses who need help structuring a social marketing plan for their business.  Contact me to reserve a consultation.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our grand opening!  March 25th will be here before you know it.  Life is heating up just in time for spring!

~Tiffany

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

 

Contact me if you would like to

Celebrating what is right with the world

Go with the flow and you’re sure to grow.

In my experience, the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is the insecurity of not knowing where the next big idea will come from or even being able to predict with certainty where the money will flow from.

I’ll never forget when I came across Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk “Your elusive creative genius.”  I finally realized that I wasn’t alone in the fear of never fully achieving the success of my dreams.  I love the idea she presents that we are not geniuses, but vessels for genius to flow and at times must be worked out.

I’ve lived with insecurity for many years, learning to press through the inevitable failures along the way.  Even when the journey has been wonderful, I spend days after each show and adventure worrying about which direction I should go.

I need to alleviate worry.  Birds in flight don’t worry, they go with the flow.

Celebrating what is right with the world

Mr. Flown The Coop came home from a leadership course today and shared a video that has challenged me to think about life and business is a new light.  It was exactly what I needed to hear and the best twenty minutes I’ve spent all week.  In the video Dewitt Jones shares what he learned working twenty years as a photographer at National Geographic.  I encourage you to take the time to watch it!

Dewitt reminded me that I should live with uncertainty, yet act with confidence.  I need to focus on opportunity, rather than scarcity.  I was inspired to believe in abundance, keep looking for the next possible answer and move from a good frame to a great frame.

As Dewitt says, “Look for ways to work cooperatively with others.”  If you take the time to view the video, let me know what you got out of it.  I’d love to be encouraged by your journey!  I don’t think we can have too many cheerleaders on our court.

~Tiffany

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