Archive - 2018

1
Veatge Handcrafted Fine Jewelry
2
Flophouze Hotel – Round Top’s Sustainable Best Kept Secret
3
Into the Countryside…

Veatge Handcrafted Fine Jewelry

I was first introduced to Veatge while I was browsing Flea at Silver Street several months back. I met with the lovely Krishna- who is the brand’s creative director. She preceded to show me her best sellers and other unique jewelry. Her pieces are simple, yet are refined and statement-worthy.

Veatge (pronounced way-aaa-je) is Catalan for “journey.” Catalan is a language that is spoken in parts of France and Spain.

Krishna Chavda’s journey began as a teen. She was working with her father and uncle in their fine jewelry business in India, where she was born and raised. The business mainly dealt with 22k bridal Indian jewelry. She goes on to explain, “I wasn’t really into the traditional designs, as they were only for special occasions. One day I found a tiny shop in the old part of my town, it had beautiful glass beads and gemstones and I was completely mesmerized by the colors and those unique beads, I bought a handful and made necklaces and chokers for myself. All of a sudden, I was a cool kid in the school. (Yes, chokers were trending big-time 25 years ago, and it came back in last few years). Collecting beads and making jewelry was always a hobby, I never thought about making a career in it. After migrating to the USA and working in the corporate sector for several years, I realized the crazy markups in the jewelry industry, and it felt like spending an entire paycheck for a well-made fine piece of jewelry. I also briefly worked at a Turkish jewelry store during my college days, which gave me a good understanding of women’s choice in the western countries.”

After migrating to the U.S., her goals were different, she wanted to be independent and travel the world. She then settled in Houston, and began sorting out her future. “After finishing Masters in Business Administration I started working as a Financial Analyst at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and then later moved to Houston’s oil and gas industry. My time was mainly spent with numbers, large data, and spreadsheets. It wasn’t until my daughter was born and I stayed home with her, when the major shift in interest happened,” she explained.

While she was staying home with her newborn daughter, she decided to take up silversmithing class. Then, an idea dawned on her. “I was already making jewelry and gifting it to friends and family. But inspiration didn’t come until my husband pointed out that I COULD actually create a business I wished existed all along – a new direct to consumer concept in fine jewelry that provides a single platform for unique high-grade designs from around the world at fair prices. With a little bit of bootstrapping, combined with his business expertise and my creativity, together we launched Veatge. The name aligns well with my personal journey of connecting back to my roots and a passion that I never even knew I had.”

Krishna goes on to explain her brand, “Veatge is known for fine jewelry that is minimal, modern and made to last. You can pick a piece of Veatge jewelry, and tell that it is made with high-quality materials by skilled hands. We work directly with trusted manufacturers who share our values and have been in business for many years. All our jewelry is made using only precious metals (sterling silver, 14kt gold, 18kt gold vermeil). We are merging technology and fine jewelry and creating a unique brand experience, with price points that are affordable and easily accessible through our website – this is what sets us apart from our competition.”

When asked about her favorite pieces from her brand, she replies, “I love to wear jewelry depending on the occasion and time of the day. I keep it simple with dainty pieces such as opal ring and studs during daytime and nighttime is all about statement gold jewelry. Dome Ring and Abstract Wire Hoops are a staple. I also wear hammered hoops in silver with three circles ring, you can never go wrong with them when you are in a hurry.”

You can find Veatge through the website, as well as through pop-up markets. They will be doing a pop-up in Dallas later this year. Be sure to sign up for a newsletter, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Veatge, necklaces, handmade jewelry, jewelry

One of Krishna’s first creations. (Image provided by Veatge)

Veatge, necklaces, handmade jewelry, jewelry

Dome Ring and Abstract Wire Hoops – Krishna’s signature pieces (Image provided by Veatge)

Veatge, handmade jewelry, jewelry

Krishna Chavda- founder of Veatge (Image provided by Veatge)

Veatge, handmade jewelry, jewelry

Me wearing Veatge. (Image by Krishna)

Flophouze Hotel – Round Top’s Sustainable Best Kept Secret

Hotels and inns all around the country have recently been embracing the small, sustainable, and minimal lodging markets. I’ve heard of glamping in luxury tents and yurts in the desert, airstreams, domes, tiny house AirBnBs, and more.

Matt White, who is known for his shop- Recycling the Past and venue (which is available for event rentals and photo shoots)- Round Top Ballroom, took tiny living to another level, and built Texas’ first shipping container hotel just minutes from downtown Round Top, TX. Matt has always had the constant urge for wanderlust, the need to recycle, and to create. Over 18 years ago, one of his friends who owns one of the fields in Round Top told him that he needed to come and check out Antiques Weekend. He took a half-loaded box truck and set up in the mud…and kept coming back to both the spring and fall shows for about seven years. In 1996, he launched one of the first salvage companies on the internet. The business has since been a interior design source for clients such as: Nordstrom, Anthropology, Polo, etc., as well as numerous restaurants, hotels, and other designers.

After falling in love with Texas and the Round Top area, he bought the current 7.5 acre property where the Texas branch of RTP is located. It wasn’t long after, when the idea of the shipping container hotel was conceptualized on a napkin while he was flying to some far off destination. He’d always been toying with the concept of building something from containers, which he also likes to refer to as his version of Lincoln Logs. He wanted to create something that looked raw on the outside, but nice on the inside; like the flophouzes, or rugged tiny surf shacks, that dot the New Jersey shoreline. The name flophouze just fit with the vibe he was going for.

In 2016, Matt and his team officially opened with three containers, all adorned with reclaimed artifacts that he had found while on trips around the globe. The hardwood floors are original to the containers, which have traveled the world numerous times over. The interior white pine walls were sourced from an old distillery in Kentucky, as well as the company’s farm in New York. All the windows were salvaged from an old school in Philadelphia that was slated for demolition. Kitchen cabinet bases came from an FDA lab in Brooklyn. The counter tops came from an old bowling alley from Texas. Matt wanted the overall vibe of the containers to be minimal, yet functional. Throughout his many years of traveling, he has spent nights in anything from luxury hotels to dumpy hole-in-the-walls, thus sparking his drive to deliver something unique and nice to his guests. Each houze has a different personality. The decor is also constantly evolving, and everything (including the containers) is for sale.

In 2017, the team added three more containers. Earlier this year, they added a small shipping container pool/spa that was crafted by Modpools. The pool continues to add to the ‘relocatable’ and ‘try before you buy’ themes that it shares with the living quarters. Flophouze partnered with Modpools, and is offering a free night’s stay to folks who purchase a pool through them. The property also features a covered BBQ area, complete with a smoker and a gas grill for guests who want to bring their own food. Guests can also relax on Adirondack chairs, hammocks, and also have access to the fire pits.

Matt has plans to continue to grow the property, as well as the possibility of expanding his concept to other parts of the nation.

My friend, Sofia and I stayed at the boutique hotel a couple weeks ago. The hotel has a self check-in process, where you receive an email after booking, explaining the process of getting the code to the lockbox, etc. Our home-away-from-home was Houze II, where there was a living room, kitchenette, bathroom, and bedroom. The whole space was open concept, with the bathroom that can be closed off with sliding doors. The living room offered a cozy couch with a coffee table and a selection of books and magazines. There is no TV, however, there is Wi-Fi and a Crosley record player with an assortment of records. The kitchenette had a Chemex coffee system, tea pot, mini-fridge, microwave, and other useful utensils that would make a short-term stay comfortable. The bathroom features an enclosed shower with rain shower head, and bath towels by Los Angeles-based Matteo. The bedroom had two twin beds that boasted cozy linens from the famed Pandora de Balthazar (a favorite at the Arbors field during Antiques Weekend). We enjoyed the pool, the pastoral views, the mooing cows, the sunset, and the overall quiet and slow atmosphere of the countryside. It was a nice contrast from the hustle-and-bustle of the city. While in the area, we checked out Henkel Square, Royer’s Pie Haven, Teague’s Tavern (awesome service and veggie burgers), Junk Gypsies, and Round Top Mercantile (for groceries and such). Don’t forget to get a photo of the sign!

Matt recommends going into town for a beer or wine, sitting at Flophouze and watching the sunset and stars, taking a drive along the backroads, checking out Festival Hill, and eating at Feed and Firewater.

You’ve gotta book your stay at Flophouze ASAP…and in the meantime, #StayAwesome!

Round Top, TX sign.

Sofia and I also did a mini photoshoot on the property. See those photos, along with photos from the trip, HERE.

Scroll down for photos from our stay…

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX, pool

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX, pool

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, TX,

NOTE: I was given a complimentary one-night stay in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Countryside…

Round Top, TX is home to 90 people most of the year. But every fall and spring, thousands of people gather for Antiques Weekend- where there are hundreds of vintage and antique vendors throughout Round Top, Warrenton, and other surrounding communities.

Sofia and I took a road trip to the hamlet a couple weeks ago. I’m usually there during the antiques festivities, so it was sorta weird being there “off-season.” We had lunch at Teague’s Tavern in Henkel Square. They have the most incredible veggie burger I’ve had (at least in Texas). We ventured over to Junk Gypsy– which is this magical, whimsical retail space with vintage, country-chic, and bohemian finds. After a few hours of letting our food settle from lunch, we went to Royer’s Pie Haven for a piece of pie. Later that evening, we went to Round Top Mercantile for snacks, since we weren’t supper hungry for a large dinner. Overall, there’s not a whole lot to do there, but it’s always worth it to take a drive to neighboring communities. I also recommend hanging out outside in the evenings and catching the nice sunsets. For more information on the area, check out HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel, Teague's Tavern

Teague’s Tavern

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel, Teague's Tavern

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel, Teague's Tavern

OMG…. Best veggie burger and fries!

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel

Round Top, TX, Henkel Square, travel

Round Top, TX, Junk Gypsy

Round Top, TX, Junk Gypsy

Round Top, TX, Junk Gypsy

The following photos were taken by Sofia

Round Top, travel, OOTD

Round Top, travel, OOTD

The following images were shot at Flophouze Hotel.

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top, Texas, photoshoot

Have you been to the Round Top area? If so, what are your favorite things to do/see/eat? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

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