By Molly Atchison | Print Managing Editor
Spring has sprung all over Texas — flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and cars are honking as tourists pile into Magnolia Silos, desperate to catch a glimpse of Chip and Joanna Gaines. To welcome in the season, The Gaines family and the Magnolia corporation are hosting their second annual “Spring at the Silos” event this weekend, featuring more than 60 vendors from across the country. The event will run through Saturday, and the Silos grounds are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
The Spring at the Silos event offers a family-friendly experience, complete with a multitude of unique and creative stands. These vendors are only a taste of what Spring at the Silos has to offer, but are excellent examples of what kind of products visitors can expect when they step through the wrought-iron gates into Magnolia-land.
Rose and Rex
Rose and Rex is one of the vendors that took quite a hike to make it down to wacky Waco. Located in New York, N.Y., the children’s-toy boutique offers holistic, learning-based toys designed to encourage active play. Allison Klein, the founder of Rose and Rex, explained that her desire to create safe and efficient children’s toys stemmed from her love of teaching.
“I am a former preschool teacher, which is what inspired me to start Rose and Rex,” Klein said. “We support child development through open-ended and imaginative play with intentional toys. We don’t sell any plastic, nothing with screens, nothing that requires batteries, and we’re also founded on a social mission: Every toy purchased allowed us to donate toys to children in need.”
Klein traveled all the way to Waco for the first time for this event, and she fell in love with the city. “[Magnolia Silos] is amazing, I want to move in,” she said. “I’ll definitely be back next year. We’ve been really happy with the turnout, it’s been pretty much nonstop.”
Her colorful, minimalist designs are meant to encourage learning through playing, and Klein said that when they design toys, they look for the toys to do less so the children can do more.
“If you see a child looking at a screen, you often see that glazed, passive look, so we try to encourage active play,” Klein said.
To find out what Rose and Rex has to offer, check out their online boutique at www.roseandrex.com.
Through the Porthole
Just a few stalls over, visitors can find San Pedro couple Rozana Joncich and Patrick Gillogly placing green potted plants artistically in worn, wooden drawers and pulling knickknacks out of wire cases. Their vintage home furnishings store, Through the Porthole, offers quirky décor to satisfy any thrift-store junkie’s cravings.
“My husband and I were on a budget when we moved into our first apartment, so we started thrifting and flea marketing, and then, as soon as we were done decorating, we didn’t want the thrill to be over.” Joncich said about how they got their start in the thrifting world.
Selling exclusively online, Joncich and Gillogly have built their company around their ability to travel. They mainly work out of stands and pop-up shops, and attempt to update their website often in order to include the new items they pick up at flea markets and trading events across the country. “We specialize in unique items and home décor, and we travel all over from Los Angeles to bring unique pieces to everybody,” Joncich said. “My favorite item in the store right now is probably our collection of apothecary cabinets, I’m obsessed.”
Catch Through the Portal this weekend at the event, visit their website at www.throughtheportholeshop.com or connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.
Emily Barton — Barton Craft and Design
Not only does the Silos offer bountiful stands from across the U.S., the event also incorporated local companies as well. Barton Craft and Design catches visitors eyes immediately, with its collection of intricate woven tapestries, jewelry and wall hangings. However, it’s Emily Barton, the stand’s talented and versatile owner that keeps customers hooked on her designs.
“I started as a fiber artist about 10 years ago when I was an 18 year old, I learned how to knit and crochet, and I’m pretty much self-taught in regards to fibers.” Barton said. “I do a little bit of natural dying, in some of the things I make I use natural dyes and yarns, and I try to use more refined and high quality fibers in all of my work.”
Barton is also a builder, a display and installation artist, and works for Magnolia Silos as one of their display coordinators.
“I started my visual arts career as a display coordinator for Anthropologie, doing handmade displays … I came to Waco with magnolia to do this display job, and all the while I’ve kind of been doing Barton Craft and Design on the side.” Barton said. “It’s just very helpful and therapeutic for me to do what I do, I love my job and what I do with display and the creative aspect of it, but there’s just something awesome about design and being able to create something that’s entirely yours.
Barton’s work is all handmade, and can take between two and 15 hours to complete, depending on the size, medium and creative concept of the design. Although she works for Magnolia in a full-time position, she one day hopes to bring her side business to front-and-center, and find a studio space to sell her creations to the Waco population.
Find beautiful bohemian art on her website at www.bartoncraftdesign.com.
Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, another bohemian hero of the Silos event is Little Korboose, a home furnishings store owned by April Nemeth. Nemeth grew up painting with her mother but turned to graphic design in college. While in college, Nemeth discovered the world of corporate identity and clean, professional styling. Nemeth’s love of typography, modern architecture and simple Swiss-style design elements, combined with her desire to connect with her hands-on artistic roots, led her to screen-printing.
“This was 10 years ago, and it’s sort of evolved. We did kid’s clothing at first, and then we moved slowly to home furnishings,” Nemeth said. “I’ve always loved interiors and textile design in general. But the look of the product is based off my background in painting kind of combined with the Swiss design I learned in college, but it’s still got a playful edge to it, because with my painting background nothing’s perfect. The black and white came from that as well, just keeping it simple and bringing some clarity to the world of your home.”
Little Korboose has locations in Cleveland, Ohio, New York and Los Angeles. Nemeth takes pride in the fact that her art is affordable and has a wide price-range. Interested buyers can find Little Korboose’s products in Nemeth’s shop or online at www.littlekorboose.com.
Baylor even has a presence at Spring at the Silos, both through student volunteers and by professors and professionals alike. One of these is Andi Day, the owner of contemporary clothing boutique Mary Claret, based in Austin. Day is an apparel and merchandising professor at Baylor, and began her business two years ago in an attempt to better understand the manufacturing process, and to broaden her artistic horizons.
“I started Mary Claret and the style of the clothing is kind of women’s contemporary, it’s all linen and natural materials, and I was looking for a product that kind of fit a niche that I feel was lacking.” Day said. “I wanted something that had the vibe of like an Eileen Fisher but was for a younger customer, so you have the more natural materials but more fitted.”
Day’s designs are light and airy, and include skirts, shirts, robes and scarves, among other items. Day has made it a mission to create new and versatile clothing, which can be worn at any time. In between creating new clothing, Day teaches two sections of Fashion Illustration, and a History of Dress course at Baylor. Depending on the semester, she caters to both merchandising and design students, and so she felt it would be beneficial to have an understanding of both fields.
This is Day’s fourth event with Magnolia, and each time the company reaches out to Mary Claret, Day jumps at the chance to share her product with Magnolia lovers all over the country.
To find her styles, and to learn more about their natural and clean material, look up www.maryclaret.com, or follow them on Instagram.
These are just a few of the many vendors visitng Waco this weekend, so don’t hesitate, grab a shopping bag and head to Magnolia Silos to welcome in the Spring season (and maybe grab a cupcake too).