Top 5 List: Things Ive learned while building our new store

-written by Kitty Bird, Store Manager

As most of you know we are getting closer and closer to moving into the new store on Burnet Road. Significant progress is well underway. It’s been quite a learning experience! Here’s my Top 5 List of things I learned while building out the new Burnet Road Ten Thousand Villages:

  1. The magical powers of sweeping compound. Who knew you could buy a 50 pound bag of magic powder that sticks to dust and eliminates the huge clouds that form when sweeping.  With all the concrete dust in our space right now, we’ll likely burn through several hundred pounds of this stuff before opening day.sweeping compound
  2. Austin’s commercial building codes are insane. Austin’s codes and regulations require professionals to navigate their murky waters. Then there is the permitting process.  Once you finally get to the “first approval” stage, there are many, many more approvals that follow. I’m thankful we had professionals on the job to see us through this sometimes nonsensical adventure. welcome-to-austin
  3. Blocking walls is a complex art. I used a giant marker and wrote all over the walls indicating where framers needed to “block” the walls. If you aren’t familiar with this term its the wood mounted to sheet rock between frames that allow the end-user to easily mount pictures and shelves with stability. I was called in to explain some of my notes where I learned two lessons: 1) Be sure to mark which side of the wall will get blocked 2) The more blocking you have the more cost you have. Lessons learned! In the end, I decided that the abundance of blocking is money well spent to showcase our artisan’s beautiful handiwork.IMG_0417
  4. Good BBQ and conversation are healing.  One day, we stopped in for lunch at The Pit Barbeque, located just down the road from the new store. It’s nice to see this tiny little gem in the bustling Burnet corridor has kept the charm of it’s past. My lunch dates were the amazing framers creating the walls in the new space. We enjoyed good ice tea, great cole slaw, heaping mounds of barbecued meat and great conversation. Get rejuvenated and visit The Pit Barbeque when you’ve worked up an appetite shopping at our new store at the end of this month. Learn about our other Burnet neighbors here.FullSizeRender-1
  5. Our builders are hard workers. I’ve met wonderful and dedicated people while working on this project. Our General Contractor keeps me constantly informed. Our electrician saved us money on lighting. The flooring installer is eager to begin. We can’t wait! Everyone has been friendly and most of all, appreciative of our fair trade mission. Pictured below is the self-proclaimed “first customer” once we open!


I’ve also been reminded of how dedicated our customers and volunteers are through the course of this whole process.  The constant rescheduling of dates for this and that has been frustrating, and we’re incredibly grateful for your patience sticking with us.

Finally, a big thanks to those who have donated to our moving fund! Your support is appreciated and necessary for us to continue our fair trade work. Haven’t yet donated? Here’s our crowd-funding page with lots of fun pictures of the process. Donations in any amount will help!

Look for us at our new location in just a few weeks!