Eclectic Georgetown businesses unite downtown
An extended family of creative-minded businesses just moved in next door to the library. Intended as a collective workspace for designers, stylists, photographers, artisans, and nonprofits, The Co-Op 78626 gives independent businesses the opportunity to work alongside other innovative endeavors to merge creativity with community. Building owner and salon stylist Faith Clark says, “For us, the Co-Op is more than a group of people coming together; it means collaborative opportunities.”
Faith manages the Co-Op family and coordinates their community events, all while running a distinctive and successful salon. Faith uses her creative hairdressing skills to give people confidence and make them feel special; her clients trust her to bring out their best. The Co-Op’s emporium provides local and handmade art, artisan home goods, and a stunning collection of pre-loved cowboy boots. Faith says, “I stalked Linda for the boots the second we bought the building!” Linda Hart of Gypsy Hart Cowgirl was selling her boots from her carport until the business became so popular that she couldn’t pull pairs of boots out of her home fast enough. When customers started buying boots from her living room, Linda knew it was time for her to find a less intrusive location. And Faith knew Linda would be the perfect fit for the emporium.
Apart from Linda, everyone featured in the emporium works a full-time job, but each also crafts, collects, or creates on the side. One collector restores new life to vintage hats. A retired congressman carves intricately detailed wooden boxes. A former nineties punk rocker from the band Spunk and Candle Box crafts furniture part-time. For all of the artists, the work is less about making a profit and more about sharing the unique art they’ve created.
Next to the emporium, the adjoining building houses the funky offices of independently-owned businesses that share responsibility for the building: M. Brady Clark Design, Cowboy Syndicate, Spark Interior Design, Boot Campaign, and Todd White Photography. For these businesses, The Co-Op 78626 is a community for people that used to work at home. Faith explains, “They’re inspired by one another, and there’s a little bit of accountability there, too.”
All of these businesses embrace the common goal of pouring back into the community through what they’re calling “Thirst Fridays.” They plan to open their doors during each of Georgetown’s First Friday events to fundraise or garner awareness for a specific need in our community.
Faith says, “We’ll always have a purpose on those Fridays. It’s not just about The Co-Op; it’s really just about whom we can help and [how we can] give back with the talents we’ve been given.”
By uniting so many valuable businesses, Faith hopes The Co-Op will positively respond to and meet the needs of Georgetown. She says, “The Co-Op 78626 is very different in the aspect that it includes many forms of creativity. I can confidently say that there’s no other place like it. I like that we have something that Austin doesn’t.”
By Meredith Morrow
Photos by Todd White