(Photographs by Kelsey Lawrence)
We’re really excited to have our first shop tour on the blog, featuring Laura Uhlir of Austin’s Olive boutique. As part of All of the Things’ evolution, we’re featuring more stories behind our favorite shops and makers. It’s a chance for us to explore the stories behind makers and friends who do work we admire, as well as share similar experiences as a small business.
Laura chatted with us about her shop, her top summer essentials, having a next door neighbor/friend/barista and more. Read on!
Tell us a little about Olive, and how the idea and concept for the boutique came about.
I like to think of Olive as a place to discover new work and rediscover old favorites. In coupling a carefully curated selection of independent design with hand picked, timeless vintage you get a nice mix, a realistic mix, of options. Think about how you dress in your day to day: is it a closet full of exclusively new design or vintage? Probably not. If you’re like me, odds are you’ve got a pretty even mix of both. It’s more fun that way, right?
Olive came about after helping some friends launch a shop of their own. After getting their business off the ground I realized I had a hankering for a shop of my own! So, with a few lucky breaks, loads (and loads!) of work, a few cans of paint and some luck and determination, voila: Olive!
How do you approach curating your store (to expand on this more, who/what are your influences and what other mediums inspire you?)
I approach my shop curation with everyday dressing in mind, with someone a little bit creative in mind, with young moms, chic tomboys, creative professionals and students in mind. I think about what I wear on the regular (vintage silk blouses, easy jeans, classic shapes, a few fun prints, ankle boots) and try to stock my store with that. I’m hugely influenced by the creative community around me both locally and in the wider community across the country.
It’s very exciting to see people out there every day making things happen - be it picking up a new hobby, launching a whole line, writing a book, planting a garden, getting a master’s, opening a small business… it’s just pretty rad to see people grabbing life by the balls & getting shit done! More abstractly, David Gordon Green movies, camping trips, a good cup of coffee, the desert & all that comes along with it, Cy Twombly paintings, David Bowie & Byrne tunes & road trips inspire me.
What are some of your favorite new items?
I’m consistently blown away by everything Dusen Dusen produces. Her prints, her shapes, her fabrics … man she hits the nail on the head every single time! I’m also pretty crazy about Samantha Pleet leaf shorts, soft Angel Oloshove ceramics & gauzy Miranda Bennett dresses (bonus: she’s an Austin designer!).
Although I’m sure there are many, what have been a few of your favorite moments as owner of Olive?
It’s so tough to pick a specific moment as a business owner that stands out! It’s really all the little moments that matter most to me. When a new customer comes in and falls in love .. well that’s really what it’s all about! Of course, the day Sister Coffee joined the crew here was pretty special. Having a gal pal who makes a mean cup around endlessly spoils me.
What are five of your summer essentials?
1) Summer Classic Film Series at the Paramount: it’s not summer until I’ve watched a double feature in the cold, dark theater, whiskey & coke in hand.
2) Barton Springs: an obvious one, but nothing feels like summer like dunking yourself in that freezing cold water.
3) Frozen Sangria from El Chilito: nuff said.
4) Skargorn #61 Tees: these guys are soft, comfy, roomy & can take a beating. You can wear ‘em with a pencil skirt & heels or beat up jean shorts & sandals - summer uniform, for sure.
5) Cold A/C: it is Texas after all.