Back in the 80’s and 90’s, the trend was going to the mall. Everyone went to the mall. Teenagers went to hang out for hours so they could do pretty much nothing at all, and the adults went to shop at every store imaginable in the comfort of central air conditioning. If we go back even further to the 50’s, the trend was downtown shopping. The era of window shopping was at its height, and the displays were elaborate and constantly changing. Families would get all dolled up just to go shopping in the city. It was a big deal.
We now found ourselves in a transitional state when it comes to shopping options. Malls are becoming a thing of the past because online shopping is taking the forefront. But in the meantime, downtowns are being revitalized, and small local shops are once again gaining ground. Maybe we realize that being outside is more fun than air conditioning (well. . . .unless it is 114 degrees outside) or maybe we are getting bored and want more variety. . . .or maybe those once awe-worthy mega chain stores are finally losing their luster.
Waco has caught on to this trend, and I am impressed by the number of locally owned shops that are available to us! Just on Franklin and Austin avenue, you can find anything from sports equipment and antiques to scrapbooking supplies and trendy clothing. If shopping local is important to you, be sure to put action to your words and check out these local shops. I’m keeping this short and sweet so you can have more time to jump in your car and check them out this week! Supporting our local businesses is essential in maintaining a thriving local economy! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will get you started.
And by the way, did you know we have a hot dog stand downtown on Austin Ave? He is there every weekday selling hot dogs for $2.50.
Bloomingals is mainly a florist who specializes in events. However, they also have rustic decor items for sale in their shop on Austin Ave.
Linen and Cake is a home decor shop that is fun to window shop at. They are open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10-5
Simply Irresistible is a mecca for decor and gifts. They have a 2nd anniversary celebration scheduled for August 2-4, 2019. Their sister shop, Caliente Home & Apparel also carries jewelry and interior design.
Golden’s Books is a hidden gem for used books. They accept trade ins and have a pretty decent turn over in their stock. I enjoy browsing around and taking in the old book smell.
Sedberry Furniture is a fun find. They have an eclectic collection of furniture that can fit any personality. It’s refreshing to visit a furniture store that carries so much variety rather than just a few brand names. Definitely worth checking them out.
Hinge is a clothing boutique on Austin Ave. They carry a wide variety of clothing, purses, jewelry, shoes and even “dog stuff”.
La Grange is a nicely laid out antique shop with a lot of rustic farmhouse style options and more to choose from.
Lanes on Austin Ave. is a great place to go for a wide range of gifts. They have something for everybody and every occasion!
Honey’s Home + Style has a mixture of antique, new and unique pieces. If you are struggling to find the right piece for your home, give them a try!
Waco Running Company is the place for you if you love to run! Visit them before your next marathon.
Kirkpatrick & Witt Furniture is probably the longest running local business on this list. There is something to be said for that!
Summer Ellis Bijouterie/Paper Crown Creative Hub These two business are in adjoining spaces, so you can easily visit both and then end your shopping visit with an espresso at Bru Coffee which is also connected to the Paper Crown Creative Hub.
Cottontail Jones is the place to go if you have young children. They have an adorable set up that will make you want to return again and again.
Milk Bottle Cookies is to die for. There is no other way to explain it. Order the cookies, eat them and go back for more. I promise you will.
Bolt 254 is a fun boutique with a local flair. They have a wide variety of everything. Cards, gifts, jewelry, clothing, t-shirts and more. And it only took me 6 months to realize what the 254 stands for. You think I’m kidding?
Roots Boutique is another fun and trendy clothing store. Dresses, rompers, shoes and more!
While this list covers a lot of ground, it only touches the surface of what Waco has to offer when it comes to locally owned businesses. Most of these are on or around Austin Ave. Just that alone is amazing. Look at all downtown has to offer. If you have any others to add, please comment below.