The Container Store is officially opening in Nashville tomorrow, filling the much mourned hole that David Kidd left (one of the last major independent book sellers in the area) when they shut down earlier this year. I hope they have every cashier available, because I’m predicting that they’re going to need them.
In advance of their opening, folks from the store reached out to local bloggers to offer them a sneak peek of the store before they opened it to the public. Oddly enough, though I’ve lived within minutes of big cities like Boston and Baltimore (and traveled to a half dozen others with Container Store locations), I’ve never actually been inside one. So when they tweeted their invite, I jumped at the chance to see the store sans first weekend mob.
We were treated to a fantastic Lunch, an awesome grab bag of goodies, and yes, a tour around the store. The only bummer was that we couldn’t buy anything, although, maybe that was a good thing – I couldn’t walk down an isle without seeing something I could use. Must. Have. Self. Control.
It was hard to pick favorites, but according to our intrepid tour guide, over 80% of the store’s stock is under $20, which makes me feel slightly less guilty about the trunk load of stuff I’ll no doubt be picking up.
Behind the Store is a new regular feature on Lovely Spaces that goes behind your favorite indie and mainstream stores to find out who’s behind them and what makes them unique.
Two Astronauts sells wonderful vintage/industrial items for the home. They have a great aesthetic and a nose for picking out just the right kind of vintage finds. I talked to them just a week before the husband and wife team got married (congrats, guys!!). Here’s what they had to say:
Who’s behind Two Astronauts?
Two Astronauts is husband and wife team, and longtime vintage hunters, Billy and Cara Walters.
Photo Credit: Bao Huynh
Why did you decide to start Two Astronauts?
Cara had been talking about vintage library card catalogs for a while, so I surprised her with one that I found by chance. After that we kept looking for, and sometimes finding, similar pieces in the vintage institutional and industrial vein. Pretty soon our home looked like a vintage store, and we realized it was time to share the love online.
Where are you located?
We live in Houston, TX, but like a lot of small businesses these days we exist online. There’s no storefront or anything, although it’s nice to dream.
How do you find goods for your store?
Some of the pieces we’ve had actually found us. For instance, a local library here was redecorating and we found out about it almost by luck. We got to rescue a wonderful wood card catalog and a beautiful flat file that had been in daily use for the past 45 years. We don’t necessarily have a standard process, at least not yet, since we’re still so new. Treasure hunting (the buying trips) includes hitting the dusty trails in our green pickup and seeing where that takes us, be it old warehouses, mom-n-pop stores or even office buildings.
What’s in store for you guys in the next few months?
We’ll be focusing on acquiring new inventory. We already have quite a few pieces in the works, although we’ve found that getting a great piece is only half the fun. If we didn’t have these pesky jobs we need to pay our bills, then we’d be able to devote much more time to treasure hunting, photography, descriptions, online promotion….all the things that make working for ourselves fun and such a great adventure.
In 5 years?
Five years, wow. Honestly, if we’re able to do this full-time in five years then we’ll both be extremely happy. On a practical level, because we tend to gravitate toward larger pieces, we hope we’ll have more storage space so we can free up our home again!