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  • 16 Jan 2021 7:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The “antique” of Old Town Buda Antique Mall isn’t just what’s inside, but also the building itself. Built in 1914, it has hosted businesses, apartment tenants, and maybe even served as an “overflow” nursing site for desperately ill victims of the 1918 flu pandemic.  Now it holds the vast and varied collections of 15 vendors offering items representing decades of “treasures”.

    Owners Robert and Mary Ann Gomez started their retail endeavor eight years ago when they began “picking” through offerings at estate sales, antique or “second hand” stores, and flea markets throughout Texas as they neared retirement from state government careers of 32 and 27 years respectively. They rented sales space from the Antique Mall’s previous owner in November 2017, and then bought the building and business in May 2018. They began renovations and opened up spaces the public had not seen in many years as they expanded the two stories of sales floor. Asked about their favorite sources for buying, Gomez said he likes estate sales because of the interesting international items he finds. He and Mary Ann also recognize the emotional value of items that held cherished memories for original owners. Mary Ann used to be drawn to Christmas memorabilia. Others of the 15 vendors look in many places to accumulate stock, such as one shop-keeping couple that takes an annual vacation and extended shopping trip to more distant locales like Germany and New England.

    Now that he has turned a hobby into a business, Gomez said he still enjoys it. “I never say I’m going to work. I say I’m going to the store. It’s fun and enjoyable. Best job I’ve ever had!” Due to COVID restrictions, they had to close for some time last spring, were able to reopen on weekends, and now are gradually adding back weekdays approaching “more normal times”, Gomez explained.

    Not unusual for an aged building that has hosted many people over time, this one has its share of ghost stories. Yes, ghost hunters have explored the building. There are a few tales.

    Old Town Buda Antique Mall stands stately at 212 Main Street in the middle of downtown.  There is plenty to explore—something for everyone—and maybe even a ghost story or two.

  • 22 Dec 2020 11:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Energy, creativity, and continued growth are valuable assets for anyone venturing into the world of retail fashion.  Amy Krell, owner and face of Ellipsis Boutique in downtown Buda, demonstrates all of the above on a daily basis.  Anyone following Ellipsis Boutique on Facebook and Instagram can view Amy’s daily postings that usually involve her imaginative quick-change modeling of numerous outfits.  She embodies the fun of shopping at her store.  She offers clothing needs from top to bottom, including hats, handbags, shoes, and jewelry to pull together a trendy outfit.  Amy’s customers range in age from 15 to 70, so her offerings are varied.  There is a cohesive style, though, reflecting Amy’s young-at-heart and contemporary eye.  The store’s name, “Ellipsis,” that dot-dot-dot punctuation mark indicating there is more than just what is stated, signifies, for Amy, that there is always more to come in fashion.  Her collection is ever-changing.

    Before moving south from Montana with her family, Amy gained experience working in retail fashion.  Once in Buda, she decided to embark on her first adventure in running her own business, and opened Ellipsis Boutique just over three years ago.  Amy said she has been surprised and pleased with the amount of support she gets from the entire community.  Businesses in downtown Buda work closely to help each other, and customers embrace the concept of “shopping small” and locally to keep them open.  She said her challenge is just to get people into the store.  Once there, they usually find something to buy for themselves or others.  During COVID-related shutdown, Amy still made an effort to remain “relevant” and visible to customers through social media postings, and expanded online sales.  But, as stores have reopened, she finds that her clientele prefer to come in to feel the merchandise, try it on, and get her personalized service.

    Ellipsis Boutique, located at 306 S. Main, in the Buda Mill and Grain complex, is open every day but Monday.

  • 27 Nov 2020 7:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After 25 years working as gallery director for others, Jacquie Hollis Martinez returned home to Buda to open her own. Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery, located in the Buda Mill and Grain complex at 306 S. Main, reflects the talent and skill Martinez developed while managing galleries in Santa Fe, Telluride, and Austin, as well as her connections to artists, artisans, and customers. With her natural eye for art, and passion for building collections, Martinez maintains an assemblage of pieces by fine artists and craftsmen so that customers can find a variety of mediums to suit an array of budgets and needs, from personally collecting to buying a handmade gift not found elsewhere. The gallery is a feast for the eyes—hanging art, both original and limited reproductions; pottery that is functional and decorative; contemporary as well as traditional southwestern jewelry; and assorted sculpture, décor, and textiles. 

    “I know the people (artists) and deal directly with them,” Martinez says of the living American artists represented in her gallery. She explained that they are working artists and craftsmen who need the money to continue doing what they love, building and producing their works. This is key to her as she curates their creations—making a difference.  In getting ready for holiday season shopping, Martinez says she asks them, “What is your go-to gift for the holidays?” For the most part, except for a few recent COVID-related accessories, customers will not find mass produced items in the gallery.

    Timing has worked well for Martinez. As a graduate of Texas State University in interior design, she quickly landed a gallery director’s job in Santa Fe. She later moved to Telluride, and finally ended up back in central Texas. With her credentials as a gallery director, she also worked as an art broker and consultant.  When she realized the Buda Mill and Grain complex was in development, she invited her old high school friend, Theresa Jones, to return from artistic pursuits on the east coast to partner with her in establishing the Assemblage. As the gallery neared its recent third anniversary, Jones decided to relocate to New Mexico, and Martinez now is sole proprietor. Martinez said Buda is in the beginning stages of becoming recognized as a city for the arts in Texas. There has been strong community backing of the arts as evidenced by the opening of Inspired Minds Art Center, and the establishment of the Buda Area Artists Collective. “Art is getting a foothold in Buda, and only gaining momentum,” she said. “There is strength in numbers.”

  • 22 Oct 2020 12:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When you walk through the welcoming turquoise door of the Little House on Main, you also enter Buda’s Red Door and Shabby Couture Di, all of it a retail space shared by three friends.  Located at 569 Main Street, this is a realm of pretties and whimsies and fashions, of old and of new. And, most likely, you also will hear the laughter and chatter of people enjoying each other’s company. Some are the proprietors: Lillie Alcala of Little House, Nelda Montemayor of Buda’s Red Door, and Diane Bounds of Shabby Couture. Others are the customers, many of whom are regulars, who stop by every week because “it’s their happy place,” they have told Bounds. The shopkeeper trio have fun together. “Never a dull moment,” laughs Montemayor, who adds, “We make each other laugh.”

    These three are dependable supporters of Friends of the Buda Library, offering 10% discounts on purchases made by members of Friends, and contributing to fundraising projects such as the raffle baskets that Friends use most years to help raise money for the library. Montemayor explained that they love to help “locals”, especially local nonprofits.

    Inside and outside the shop, they offer an integrated collection of décor, housewares, clothing for women and children, and fashion accessories, as well as scents and lotions for men and women. Most items are new, but there are some antiques and retro goods, too. What you will not find is a red door. Well, not these days. That name derived from an earlier location and concept of Montemayor’s, but it is her established business identity. She relocated from elsewhere on Main Street to Alcala’s Little House on Main almost three years ago. Bounds relocated her business there more recently. Judging from the good humor evident as they work with each other and visit with customers, this arrangement is a happy place for all.

  • 14 Sep 2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    Even when things seem to work out with minimal effort, there often was unseen effort that paved the way. Friends of the Buda Library participation in the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce is a perfect example of this.

    As Chamber director J.R. Gonzales says, joining an organization is one thing, but getting involved is important. Gonzales’ advice to “Be a member—but be an active member!” is exemplified by Friends member Roberta Haas. When Haas joined Friends some years ago, she realized that Friends of the Buda Library joined the Chamber every year, but no one attended the monthly lunch meetings. Like Gonzales, she didn’t see the point of belonging but not participating. So, to be community involved and informed, she started going to the luncheons, making connections with other members, and letting others in the community know about the mission of the Friends to support the public library and its varied programs that support all ages.

    As a result, when local business Sweet Nails and Spa owner Anthonio Quach told Gonzales he was looking for a local charitable cause to support, Friends of the Buda Library immediately came to mind. Through networking relationships, Gonzales successfully linked Sweet Nails to Haas and Friends of the Buda Library. Over the next year, Sweet Nails allocated $1 of every pedicure to the Friends of the Buda Library, donating over $7,700! Of his efforts, Gonzales said, “All we did was what we do everyday—connect people and businesses!”

    Gonzales said the Chamber of Commerce is a business organization, but is all about helping each other. So, the Chamber is happy to help nonprofit organizations as well as for-profits. He explained that the Chamber is there for the whole community, so when it can match member organizations, such as Sweet Nails with Friends of the Buda Library, it does. Additionally, the Chamber gets involved in a variety of fundraising drives and events because, as Gonzales explained, the Chamber’s gain is in “seeing that every organization plays a vital part in its community.”

    By: Joan Givens

    Photo: J.R. Gonzales , Executive Director, Buda Area Chamber of Commerce

  • 12 Aug 2020 6:23 PM | Anonymous

    The Buda Public Library exists, and has grown, as the result of community partnerships. One of its most constant partner organizations has been the Buda Lions Club, established here in 1975. The Lions Club is a group of volunteers with stated intent to “make as much money as we possibly can to give back first, to this community, and second, to people all over the world.”

    The usually-annual Wiener Dog Races is a nationally known effort of this Buda group, and throughout the year members also operate food concession stands at school sports events. They give much of their money to help people in need get access to vision services, and to send youth with physical disabilities or diabetes to the Texas Lions Camp. It also awards college scholarships.

    But, for decades the Buda Lions Club also has continued to be a valued supporter of the Buda Public Library. When a variety of organizations and individuals united to raise money to build a permanent library building in 1990, the Buda Lions were there to pledge. The resulting Anthony Moreau Memorial Library opened in 1993, and continued to serve the Buda community until the newest Buda Public Library was built as part of the new municipal building in 2018.

    Committed to supporting public library programs and needs, the Buda Lions Club has continued to donate funds annually through the Friends of the Buda Library. Why the library? Charles Handrick, an active and long-time member and leader of the Buda Lions Club, explained how this is in line with its mission to help provide opportunities to the disadvantaged. “The library is a vehicle for less advantaged people to utilize because a library enhances their ability to make life better for themselves.”

    Quality of life is always better when communities pull together. Our community partnership with the Buda Lions Club is a testament to what’s possible when we work together.

    By: Joan Givens

    Pictured above: Michael Criner, Buda Lions Club, and Marc Hunter, Friends Past President, at the Annual Meeting in January.

  • 14 Jul 2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    Dedicated and community-minded area businesses have long been mainstays in growing the Buda Public Library. Little Bluebird and Old Main Street Station are companion shops that regularly support the library through the Friends of the Buda Library. Located in the heart of downtown, at 122 N. Main, their respective shopkeepers, Margaret Goebler and Sandra Grizzle, are friends now sharing the quaint 1920s service station long-owned by Grizzle’s family.

    Currently, their shops offer an array of clothing, accessories, gifts and home décor. Margaret, who spent 10 years as a nurse before going into the floral business in Kyle and Buda, expanded her offerings into retail gift and clothing with her friend’s invitation to join her in the current location in 2013. Margaret said she decided the venture “sounded like fun” upon considering the potential shop, where everything seemed to “fit together” to make the move, including Margaret’s finding a little broken ceramic bluebird figurine behind the building, confirming the naming of her store.

    Little Bluebird and Old Main Street Station have supported the efforts of the Friends of the Buda Library in a variety of ways, including contributing items to raffles, offering free space for pop-up sales by the Friends, and providing discounts as a benefit of Friends membership.

    Most recently, Little Bluebird launched a community-support project that will first benefit the library by donating all profits from sales of a specially-formulated product. Margaret said she worked with Rachel Najera, owner of Rachel’s Plan Bee soaps and lotions to create Little Bluebird Shower and Shave Bars, made in Buda with a unique ingredient—a Texas beer. The resultant refreshing scent of spices, with a subtle hint of beer, makes it suitable for men and women. Four dollars of every $8 bar will benefit the library! Asked why she chose to do this in such an economically unstable time marked by Main Street road work disruption early in 2020, and followed by COVID-19 closures, Margaret said this idea has been in development for a year. “In my heart, I wanted to do something to give back.” She said she chose the library as her first beneficiary, through 2020, because the Buda Library “serves all, young and old. It is always welcoming and helpful.” Next year, she will choose a different community organization to benefit.

    So, stop in Little Bluebird and Old Main Street Station. Visit with Margaret, whose favorite part of being a shopkeeper is meeting people, getting to know them, and feeling connected to her community. And, buy soap!

    By Joan Givens

  • 28 Feb 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    We're happy to announce two partnerships to benefit our community and library:

    A very special thanks to Texas Lehigh Cement Company for their $500 donation to benefit the Buda Library!

    We've partnered with the US Census Bureau to help promote the importance of participating in the upcoming 2020 Census. Results from the Census will help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding will be distributed to states and communities—funding for education, hospitals, libraries, roads and more. See what's at stake for our community here or access resources via the City of Buda's Complete Count Committee.

PO Box 1162 | Buda, TX 78610 Email

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