The EHD crew went to the Round Top flea market last week and had a pretty much perfect Texan experience. You know how people come to LA in hopes to see Ryan Gosling walking his dog and Julia Roberts taking out her trash (Stars! They’re just like us!)? Well we city folk go to small town Texas to experience just this but in a different way. The scenery, the farm houses, the quaintness and authentic friendliness was the proverbial equivalent to getting VIP passes to the Academy Awards after party. We were freaking out.
In addition to this, we shopped the twice a year flea market and partnered with Chairish to curate a collection that will be for sale (come back on Thursday to see it all). But the goal of the trip wasn’t buying for the flea, this time. It was much bigger and more sentimental than that. I like to think that I run a fun company, and I try to be a ‘cool’ boss with my ‘you do you’ kinda nature and total 10am-6pm autonomy.
But with my insane schedule and double toddlers I actually don’t get to spend as much time with the talented, fun, wonderful people who are behind the scenes, making it all happen and making me look good. Most weeks involve shoots at client’s house, many meetings and calls, traveling and maybe a day and a half in the office. I can’t even write blog posts there anymore because I’m too distracted by them. Did you watch Big little Lies? Did you see the new line of Target home products? Do you think that Nick and Vanessa will be part of the 17% that get married? Just a few of our daily convos.
And while I know that all the stuff that keeps me from the office is part of my job, I feel so guilty that they are there, working so hard while I’m seemingly bopping around town or at my house building castle forts and leaving work early to ‘cuddle my babies’. It’s all work, I’m in survival mode, and they know that, but I still feel super guilty.
Instead of happy hours or parties, what I like to do is take my crew on inspiration/team building trips where we get some quality time – no distractions of kids, no other people and where I can focus on them (plus create content for you, obviously). And, yes, lucky us, I typically get them sponsored to create content for a brand so I don’t feel guilty about leaving my family – IT’S WORK!!!
I went to Round Top 5 years ago and had such an incredible time – both at the flea markets and at night, so a few months ago I pitched the idea of a work trip to my crew and they obviously were into it. Taking the week ‘off’ to hang out, shop, and create some different content for y’all is a win/win for everybody, right?
We headed out last Monday (with our matching Birdling Bags), shopped Tuesday (with Chairish for the upcoming sale), Wednesday (by ourselves) and sadly came home on Thursday (back to the real world). While we didn’t have time to see every market, and do every single thing in Round Top I thought that I’d highlight the trip, tell you what we did, and what we loved.
First off, Round Top is in picturesque Texan country. It’s like, ‘Central Casting send in American countryside and genuinely – but seriously genuinely- friendly people’. This town got the part because they embody and are that, so authentically. There are beautiful streams, fields, cows and churches everywhere (we even saw some ‘Trump’ and ‘GUNS FOR SALE’ signs which for us LA folk is like seeing Paris Hilton throw up outside a night club – it’s like – NO WAY, but at the same time it kinda makes sense).
Driving in from Austin (which is about 1.5 hours away) we were all freaking out at how beautiful and perfect that area of Texas is.
I mean. Blow. that. photo. up, folks. It’s just stunning. Which reminds me to tell you that we, of course, brought Tessa, a photographer I’ve been working with for 6 years and although isn’t part of the full-time team, she certainly feels like one of us. I LOVE working with her because she is super talented and fast, but also because she is very curious about life and as someone who is 10 years older than her, I feel like by giving her advice I’m also working through my shit.
I mean, Come on…
We checked into our beautiful lodge (more on that below and tomorrow) and the next day took to the 17 miles of flea markets. Oh, you read that right – SEVENTEEN, and yes that is a lot of adrenaline and serotonin flooding through our collective bodies. We were vibrating the first morning.
These booths are spread over a few different towns, some inside tents and buildings and many out in the field. There are some that are really curated by dealers and are expensive and others that are super garage-saley. Both are fun, for different reasons obviously.
We started out on Tuesday at Marburger, which was just opening that morning – with a huge line waiting for the cowbell to ring and the tape to get cut. It was definitely the most curated and had so many wonderful items. This is where we shopped with Chairish and I regrettably passed up on so much stuff thinking ‘we have two days! don’t spend it all here!’ not knowing that it was really the best stuff.
Marburger consists of 5 tents and some old barns, full of booth after booth of curated finds – mostly of the traditional/European/country/industrial vibe. There are a lot of dealers who shop abroad and bring containers back, making their prices not cheap, but the inventory is special (and cheaper than shopping in a store on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles).
As someone who loves the country vibe, and is currently furnishing an English country house, I was in HEAVEN. Do I wish that I had waited to buy so many pieces for our new house? ABSOLUTELY.
GEESH. The amount of farm style dining tables were insane and forget about it with the English pine, it was all so beautiful and I wanted to hoard so much. And yet, I needed very little.
If we had driven to Texas from LA I would have bought WAY too much (and on Friday we’ll share everything that we bought for ourselves, so stay tuned) because the amount of beautiful tabletop, lighting and textiles were next level.
Early Tuesday morning I met up with Anna Brockway, the founder of Chairish (who I’ve worked with before and LOVE), and we spent 5 diligent hours sifting and shopping through what the market had to offer for a special collection they are launching on Thursday. We will also be showcasing it all here Thursday morning so be sure to come back first thing to see what we found together and click through to purchase some of our vintage finds.
Anna is such a lovely person, entrepreneur, mom and of course has a very good eye for vintage furniture (thus the idea to start a website for curated vintage and used pieces, combatting the Craigslist problem and far less expensive than 1st dibs). When I came up with the Round Top trip idea I knew it was going to be expensive to get everyone there, housed, fed, etc. so I reached out and proposed a partnership. They were going to be there anyway so they jumped on board to sponsor part of the trip, and create our Round Top collection which would then be shoppable to you. Win, win. (yes, I know we are lucky people and are super grateful for these types of opportunities).
UGH. There are so many things that we bought for the sale that I’m tempted to purchase back myself from the site. That lacquer and wood ice bucket, for instance is the perfect combination of simple and special (and would modernize my bar in such a great way).
There was no shortage of landscape and seascape paintings but I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any for our house as we have WAY too many and I’m more in need of less serious modern art. We did however, get some awesome flags – I can’t seem to stay away from vintage flags as art.
We shopped for hours, took a million photos, and had a blast.
After Marburger we hit Warrenton (which is super similar) but so, so good.
We loved The Compound – which housed Eneby Home, a Midcentury Scandinavian dealer with insanely good things (I bought a beautiful old mirror there and some paintings, Brady came home with three studio sketches, and Sara grabbed two flags).
Tessa thought she needed that horse. I encouraged the purchase because I love witnessing insane experimentation. It’s like the time when my friend vowed to do ‘elimination communication’ with their newborn – you know, potty training from infancy with no diapers ever and you just sense when they are going to pee and poo. I was their #1 cheerleader – like GO FOR IT!!!! You can do it!!! Witnessing harmless insanity can be so very fun, so I was like TESSA YOU HAVE TO BUY THAT 7′ CEMENT HORSE FOR YOUR APARTMENT!!! (so I can come visit).
Much to all of our dismay she didn’t buy the horse (and I’m pretty sure that the EC method works as well as the “painless birth method” – very rarely, for like .0012 percent of the population. But I’m still DYING to witness it!)
After the horse debate we headed to Excess I and II – which is more about sifting through a lot of junk and less curated than the others, but had some great shops, too.
We met this lovely couple who sold great vintage Moroccan rugs down the street as well.
You may have seen on my FB live the house that we stayed in which was just so amazing. Paige and Smoot who designed/built and ran it were incredibly generous hosts (we’ll give you a full tour tomorrow).
It was such a lovely place to relax and work and stay up REAL late.
The days were full of shopping and the nights were full of Texas-ing. We went to a huge dinner at Rancho Pillow that had the most delicious food and amazing atmosphere. They had a dinner every night during the market that hosted 100 people, on one long table, with 6 courses and pure deliciousness (5 of those courses being meat!!).
The whole property was pretty magical and the food was delicious. Definitely a night we’ll all remember.
The second night we ate at Royers which is quite the established establishment.
It’s family owned and run, where literally the owner, Bud, is the host, with all the kids being cooks or servers. And they are not hesitant to staple stuff on the walls. It’s incredible and inspiring.
Speaking of conversation – we talked a lot. Till like 1am both nights.
We gabbed and gossiped and I told them stories that I typically reserve for REALLY close friends, like those stories where the next day you are like ‘why? why the F*&^ would you tell all of your employees that story?????’ I’m an over-sharer in general, thus having a blog/daily journal, but I may have crossed that line. HA!
When in Texas, right?
Round Top was amazing. Our team feels stronger because we know each other so much more (some due to those late night chats where we ALL overshared) but we all had such an amazing time and regret nothing. Come back tomorrow to see where we stayed and meet our lovely hosts (then Thursday we are launching and showing off all of our Chairish picks that are on sale on their site, and Friday you’ll see what we all bought for ourselves).
In the meantime, check out this video of our trip to get a better idea of just how big some of these shows were:
If anyone has any great Round Top recommendations please leave them in the comments, so that future visitors can come back to the post before their visit. We wish we had more time to do a proper tour, so the more info for others, the better, until then we are all back to the real world in LA and wishing we were still lost in the countryside of beautiful Round Top, Texas. A big thanks to Anna and Mugs from Chairish for making this all come to fruition and for being so wonderful (as always) to work with.
***Photography by Tessa Neustadt