Parts & Labour, 1117 South Congress Street, Austin Texas
Parts & Labour is a vaguely earthy-crunchy, hipster shop in Austin whose young owners have a mission to exclusively feature Texas based artists, designers, and craftsmen. That alone would interest me, but the icing on the cake for our visit was the co-owner Lizelle. She went above and beyond in making restaurant recommendations, telling us stories about her product sources and the people behind them, posing for photos, and even chasing us down at a nearby restaurant when she realized we'd left a couple personal items near her cash register.
The shop features clothing, art, jewelry, and a modest range of small home decor items. Here's what I brought home, made by the husband/wife team of Squid Ink Kollective. It's a hand sewn and printed linen dishtowel. I know, I know (Joanne!) that these somewhat retro, tightly woven linen towels practically repel water until you break them in. But I also know that every time I use this quirky little towel, the goofy squid imagery will make me smile. That's worth a damp dish or two, in my book.