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.

Unexpected Bend In The Road

As I predicted, 2014 already presents an unexpected bend in the road.  This chic is flying to Vegas baby!

Dreaming of displays

Next to my love for digging for “junque” and discovering unusual objects out of the piles of discarded items, I dream of creating displays.  My friends at The Seed Box Designs have inspired me to continually improve on my displays at the shows I set up at.  In November I had the opportunity to assist Meloney in merchandising the store Homepieces in McKinney, Texas.  It was a huge treat for me to watch Meloney transform this lovely shop for the Holidays!

Side note:  I fell in love with McKinney, Texas.  McKinney has a wonderful downtown filled with amazing shops like Homepieces.

I have learned so much from Brian and Meloney!  Brian and Meloney create award winning displays at the Dallas Market Vintage Home.  They are always a crowd favorite at Urban Market and Texas Antiques Week.  In addition to transforming discarded “junk” into unique items with functional design and offering custom design fabrications, this creative couple have added more services to their design business; traveling across the United States merchandising for companies like Park Hill CollectionsE. Barrett General Store and Leftovers.

Flying The Coop to Vegas

I could have not predicted this bend in the road…

Thanks to my good friends at the Seed Box Designs, I am so excited to have the opportunity to work for Creative Coop.  I’ll will take flight on January 3 to Las Vegas to help merchandise their market show room!  I hope to make my friends proud!

This is uncharted territory for me.  I am both excited and nervous for the new challenge.  I am a hard worker and plan to give it my all.  I knew this year would offer bends in the road, but had no idea that it would happen as soon as the first week in January.

Life is a journey

Have no fear, I am not forsaking my love for junque!  I will continue picking and offering my finds at my favorite shows!

At the same time, I will enjoy the unexpected bends in the road.  I truly believe that opportunities present themselves when you allow yourself to be open to the journey.

Fly Free in 2014

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  Fly free!

I hope that you find yourself flying free in 2014.  What passions excite you?  What will you pursue this year that you haven’t in the past?  It doesn’t have to be a monumental expedition.  Simply allow yourself to explore and be open to unexpected bends in the road.

Happy New Year!

~Tiffany

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

 

 

 

Lessons learned in 2012

Flown The Coop will take part in Folk Magazines year long Journaling Agenda, a community journaling/blogging project. Here’s to the first blog of the year!

Dear Tiffany,

It is safe to say, 2012 is over and you can move on.

Looking at your 2012 ~ Goals, Mantras and Dreams Board on Pinterest, the message is clearly the importance of pressing on. You are a dreamer. You always will believe that you can create the life you want.

2012 challenged that belief.

The year started with a move to Houston, Texas. This was not your choice. Leaving your two grown children in Ohio was difficult.  Fulfilling Jeff’s dream of living near his family, you made the move with the love of your life and was hoping for the best. You didn’t do so well.  You missed your family back in Ohio and the best friends in the world! You learned that you are a small town girl, who enjoys knowing your neighbors and walking around a historic downtown with lovely old homes. You missed The Depot, your favorite coffee shop, where the community gathers for their daily dose of Java and everyone knows your name.

With a wounded heart, but not a wounded spirit, you pressed on.  Not many people in your new home understood that you were having a crisis of belief.  You questioned, “Could you really be happy and fly free when you didn’t have the ability to choose your circumstances?”

Despite the Houston traffic, you managed to find your way around the “fourth largest city in the US.” Exploring a new city is always fun! You even managed to find a new coffee house to frequent, Boomtown. You enjoyed decorating your little flat in Rice Village, but parking tickets and loud college students made it clear that it wasn’t the ideal situation.  You longed for community and a feeling of place.  You and Jeff decided to end 2012 by placing a deposit on a rental house in the Heights.  The Heights is a neighborhood inside the loop that in many ways feels like your small town and is the only thing like it in Houston.  The cost of living is drastically higher than we are used to, but the decision felt like a leap towards creating the life that you wanted.  After your move in January, you will be able to make new friends, get involved in community and even walk to Boomtown!  You learned that given time, you can find what your heart longs for if you are willing to pay the price.

You hustled in 2012 and will need to hustle some more in 2013!

Flown The Coop made the move to Texas too. It was a scary move for you. How would you find ways to buy and sell, restore and repurpose wonderful Junque?  You rose to the challenge and Hustled.

You set up at several shows in Texas. You did Canton, Warrenton, Junk Salvation, Discovery Green Flea Market and the prestigious Urban Market Houston. In July you opened a booth at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques on 19th street in the Heights. Your were even invited to help out The Seed Box at the Dallas Market. All of these opportunities inspired you work harder at Flown The Coop. You learned a lot about merchandising from the pros in the business. You were encouraged to discover a niche, which is still a work in progress. The best part in stepping out in the various opportunities was making fabulous new friends! You have the best colleagues and customers who continually support your dream of flying free!

Creating a life on purpose is very important to you. In 2012 you learned that even when life isn’t zesty, you don’t have to be caged. You can fly free! The happiness you long for isn’t in a destination, but is in the way you travel. You’ve proved to yourself that you are strong, willing to persist and that you have the ability to start over!

Life is a journey, come travel with me!

 ~Tiffany

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

 

 

One Crazy Month!

Updates from our continuous flight…

 

Not one to sit still… we’ve been in continuous motion for several weeks now.  It has been hard to write about every adventure.  So here’s a little recap of the highlights.

 

 

May 30 – June 3  Our last month in the field at Canton was bitter sweet.  We won’t miss battling the elements, but already miss our friends!

June 4  Move into our new “coop” at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques.


June 8 – June 17  Trip to Ohio.  Oh… where to begin?  Life is not all work… we all need to be refueled by fun times with family and friends!  This trip was the perfect mix of junking (aka work) and creating memories of fun times!

Ever wonder where I get my spunk?

Grandma Maggie is 92 and loving life.  She inspires me!  🙂  She took me to many garage sales over the years and is an excellent negotiator.  I got to spend one day taking her to lunch and shopping at the Goodwill.  🙂

Hanging out with my parents… they truly have a better social life than Jeff & I.  🙂  Had lots of fun at dinner with them!  They sent me home with a treasure that I’ll never be able to sell.  Dad gave me grandpa’s tool chest filled with antique tools.  It now has a new home in my living room.  🙂

I was very thankful to see my kids and my sister’s family too!  I miss them so much!!!!

Enjoying life with friends

Had more than one adventure with this group of ladies… Kristie Herlong, Kelly Gingery and Michele Savoldi!  🙂

While in Ohio, Michele Savoldi hosted a Girlfriends and Grapes night at her house.  The evening was over the top wonderful!!!!  Michele thought of every detail creating a wine tasting with three whites and three reds, pairing each with delicious bites! Above is a picture of us on the “step and repeat” she created for the event.

Kelly organized a fun night on the town, hopping from Milestone 229 to The Jury Room… what a fun group of peeps!  A few of us even went to Skully’s to dance to the 80’s!

We had the chance to hang out with many of our friends throughout the week.  It was also fun running into friends at the Depot Coffee House!  Gosh… I miss ya’all so much!

I really DO have the best friends in the world!

Junking… of course!

Isaac Cohn, a young entrepreneur from Urbana, Ohio struck the jack pot while I was visiting.  He won the bid on an attic full of vintage clothing.  We helped him sort through his booty and had fun trying on his vintage treasures.  I am so proud of this young man!  Stay tuned for more on his thriving vintage clothing business, Montage!

No trip to Ohio would be complete without a visit to my favorite junk store.  I was all prepared with my clip board and everything.  I wasn’t prepared for the emotional break down I had though…. who cries over missing a junk store?  GEESH!  It was worth it.  I uncovered some really cool junk and one of my favorite pieces… check out this cabinet I scored!  It is proudly displayed at Chippendale.  I think it could be a great piece as a vanity in a bathroom or as a buffet in a kitchen or dining room!

The Green Owl at The Boston

A huge highlight for me was spending time with my friend and original Flown The Coop partner, Kristie Herlong.  One day, with a bottle of wine and the Dixie Chicks blaring, we had a blast re-staging her shop at The Boston.  It was just like ole times.  🙂

Wow… we fit A LOT into those five days!

Sadly, we had to pack up our treasures and hit the road again….

June 18  Redo my booth with all my new treasures!

With only a couple days to redo the booth at Chippendale, I worked hard to fit all my new treasures in.  I definitely need to learn the balance of getting a lot of junk in the space and setting up meaningful vignettes.  No time to fret with it… I had another adventure to get to.

Driving into the sun once again… 🙂

June 19 – June 22 Dallas Market

Brian and Meloney Russell of The Seed Box Antiques invited me to help them for a couple days at their booth at the Dallas Market, Vintage Home FINDS.  I was excited about this adventure for several reasons.  I had never been to market before.  Seeing the world trade center for the first time was a bit overwhelming.  I really enjoy hanging out with Brian and Meloney and am always challenged to work harder on my business.  Also, I love seeing all the regulars that set up around Brian and Meloney.  I don’t mind being their plus one.  🙂

As always… their display was over the top!  Check out my album on my Facebook page for more pics!!!!

June 23  First day working at Chippendale

Starting off with a sidewalk sale!  I love jumping right in with Shop Heights 19th Street Summer Tent Sale.  It felt like I was back in the field as we set up our tents and filled it with fun “junk” from the shop.  It gave us a chance to display a sample of all the great merchandise inside Chippendale.

It was a great day!  I love the vibe on 19th and how the locals show their support!!!

What’s next?

Not sure what July will bring.  As of this moment we don’t have any July travel plans.  I do, however, have a list a mile long of projects that I’ve collected.  I am always up for an adventure though!  Stayed tuned.

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged!

~Tiffany

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