Last year, our staff visited some of our favorite handmade stores in Texas for our Summer Road Trip and it was so successful we decided to do it again!
Being located in a college town, we have a ton of out-of-towners come and visit in the summer months. More often than not, they’re telling us they heard about us through other local, small handmade businesses; people love to support local business, even when they’re just visiting a city. So we thought, “why not show our people how easy it is to support local, handmade businesses in other areas too?”. Since we already had an existing relationship with some of the stores we just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see our friends again and make some new ones along the way.
D A Y 1 - P L A N O & M C K I N N E Y
Our first stop: Plano/Legacy West
Across the Tollway from The Shops At Legacy, Legacy West is one of the newer developments in North Texas. So much thought and care went into the design and layout. There are lots of Instagram-worthy photo ops peppered with outdoor seating and lawn games for the entire family!
We started our trip visiting our sweet friends, Read Between The Lines. They opened up their second location in January and it does not disappoint. It is a highly curated, sleek & sophisticated shop that you will enjoy the moment you enter. They have their own line of beautiful letterpress paper goods (prints, cards, napkins, etc.) and are knocking it out of the park with their approach to hospitality (complimentary still or sparkling water anyone?). RBTL is one of those stores that you can walk around for an hour and discover something new every moment.
Next, we headed over to Neighborhood Goods, a modern millennial take on the classic department store. Every item in the space represents an e-commerce business or a startup that rotates out every 3 months. With a healthy dose of natural light and urban jungle vibes, the store is inspiring and definitely a place you can sit for a few hours and just soak it all in. Also, the coffee shop, Prim & Proper, serves a delicious oat milk latte, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Legacy West is home to dozens of stellar restaurants so we had a hard time choosing just one, but on a high recommendation, we ate lunch at True Food Kitchen and it did not disappoint. True Food is a farm to table, scratch kitchen that changes their menu quarterly. Everything is locally & ethically sourced and just do yourself a favor and order the edamame dumplings and thank us later.
After our amazing lunch, we hopped on 121 and drove out east to McKinney and if you haven’t spent any time on their square, you definitely want to make the trip. Us Dentonites really love and appreciate a good downtown square and Mckinney feels like we’re cut from the same cloth. It’s vibrant and charming with lots of options in upscale clothing, home goods boutiques, and fine dining.
One of the newest kids on the block, Native, was our first stop. Started by a team of sisters, Native is a bohemian desert oasis. It is perfect parts feminine and eclectic with an entire section dedicated to specialty crystals, stones, and minerals. One of our favorite details in the store was the time and effort they put into educating about their makers, one even being a local high school student. The love for their city was evident in their store and we really appreciated seeing that kind of passion!
Our next stop was Ettiene Market, a treasure trove of charming kitchen goods. Everything from spices and drink mixers to ginger graters & beeswax wrap, Ettiene Market is proof that everything can be beautiful. If you’re lucky enough to catch the owner, Coryann, while she’s in the store she will win you over with her charismatic personality and might even offer you a Topo Chico with a delicious mix in - and your entire life will be changed for the better!
We stopped in Patina Greene, another McKinney square staple, to use their beautiful restroom and indulge in one of their amazing truffles (get the Snooky) before we were back on the road, this time to Houston. It was the longest stretch of road we would drive so we wanted to get it out of the way as soon as possible.
After a long day of travel, we were all looking forward to getting into Houston and settling in for the night. However, we had a bit of a miscommunication with our AirBnb. Long story short, we were given the wrong address/check-in instructions and showed up at a significantly nicer condo than we signed up for but the host was very gracious and let us stay there instead of our original booking. We were just grateful we didn’t barge in on some strangers! So we ended up staying in the East Downtown area of Houston, highly recommended, by the way. We grabbed dinner at Rodeo Goat (they started in the DFW metroplex and is personally my favorite burger of all time) and enjoyed our free upgrade while we settled in for the night.