Home Life and Arts Fashion Visitors, residents ‘go down the rabbit hole’ to local gift shop

Visitors, residents ‘go down the rabbit hole’ to local gift shop

Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia Editor
Ross Hendry, who is a partner with the owner of Down the Rabbit Hole poses June 2 behind the counter in the store.

Visitors walking through Down the Rabbit Hole, a local gift shop, are exposed to a myriad of handmade artistries designed to fit any shopper’s taste.

Ross Hendry and Laurie Brown opened the store last May. Hendry said the shop was originally supposed to specialize in candles. The vision for the store changed after several of the couple’s friends asked if they could sell their handmade items in the shop, Brown said.

“It went from an idea of us just making candles to an idea of our friends that are artists selling things as well,” Brown said.

Brown said the pair originally worked together for a candle company in Wimberley. The transition to co-running a gift shop with her significant other was a smooth one because of the chemistry they share, Brown said.

“We make a good team and we tend to compliment each other instead of getting in each other’s way,” she said. “Having someone that has the same vision as you and has the same types of ideas as you, it is not really ever a conflict.”

Brown said giving local artists a platform to sell their goods turned out to be one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Down the Rabbit Hole now has 46 different vendors in the shop. Hendry said the shop has a wide selection of handmade items, including jewelry, soaps, lotions, canvases and birdhouses.

“That was part of the reason for the name,” Brown said. “You never know what you are going to find in this store.”

Elizabeth Stevens, Katy resident, said she stumbled upon Down the Rabbit Hole while traveling through San Marcos on her way back to her home. Stevens said she has great respect for the artists who made the various items.

“I love how many different items and smells they have in there,” Stevens said. “The artists that made all of these different scents and jewelry are truly talented.”

Hendry said having every item in their store handmade by local Texas artists creates a more natural shopping experience for customers and supports the community.

“Shopping local is awesome to do,” Hendry said. “When you buy one item here you are not just supporting one family, you are supporting anywhere from three to five families.”

Hendry said he loves socializing and entertaining customers.

“I love telling stories and giving information about the assortment of items we have in here,” Hendry said. “I love giving people a good time while they are looking for things that they wanted or did not even realize they wanted.”

Brown said Hendry’s openness creates a more welcoming atmosphere for potential buyers.

“His stories educate everybody on what it is they are buying so they know it is local, and it also gives them more information on the artists that made the item,” Brown said.

Brown said the shop displays pieces from an old cotton gin her grandfather owned many years ago in San Marcos. She keeps the antique items on display to remind people how important it is to remember the past.

“I believe if you do not keep antiques around, people are not going to know about things from the past,” Brown said. “There is a lot of local history in some of these pieces and in the art we sell in our store.”