The Austin Chronicle

Boutique of the Week: A Town Austin Lifestyle Store

By Anne Harris, August 8, 2011, 5:09pm, Chronique

It's just too hot here to think about fall clothing, and no matter where one looks right now, whether in magazines or retail displays, we're faced with scratchy tweeds and dark jersey. We were thinking about just that when we burst into A Town Austin Lifestyle Store on Burnet Road this weekend to beat the heat. What a surprise!

We were met with a Pandora's boxful of shopping trouble that includes clothing to use right now and plenty of transitional-worthy pieces to wear in September and October, while we pretend it's fall. There is also a salon planned for the rear of the space, foretold today by a truly great display of Bumble and Bumble products, which opens in the spring of next year.

It seems the folks that brought us the boutiques, Luxe (now located at The Domain) and Blue Elephant, have opened this breezy, well-organized space in a former furniture store to answer the call of Austin's free spirit with unexpected gifts, cards, accessories, and locally crafted jewelry, as well as changing exhibits of Austin artists. Our local picks for the day? They range from the special jewelry pieces by M Squared, Third Coast Art Glass from Mona and Danny Prater, Holli Brown's mosaics, Jane Bryer's amazing photography, and Adreon Henry's wonderful acrylic paintings. The art we crave, however, is anything by John F. Metcalf, whose droplets of paint create forms to muse by. The pieces range from $180-$1200, and we want all of it, grouped together, just as it is seen here. It sounds like a lot to get your head around, but the space is organized in a way that invites rather than overwhelms. Take your time over by the burgeoning men's section, which features great t-shirts by SmashTag, and enjoy some fresh chocolate chip cookies and/or a glass of wine.

More than one hundred local artisans are represented here at any given time, which makes gift-giving more fun than it is a schlep, if you don't keep everything for yourself. We suggest buying doubles if you expect to put anything in the mail.

Note: Don't miss the Torchy's and Amy's Ice Creams-sponsored grand opening celebration on September 9 for great raffles benefiting Austin Pets Alive, and in the meantime, stop by for live music on Wednesday afternoons starting on August 25th for Shop & Listen Local.

5502 Burnet Rd.

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