SOLID GOLD BOUTIQUE
FOUNDER: KATIE FRIEDMAN
WHY DO YOU CALL AUSTIN HOME
It is interesting that I’m doing today because I realized on my way to the shop I moved here 20 years ago to the day. I originally picked Austin because I was ready for a big change and I wanted to live somewhere that was warm, fun and kinda flat where I could ride my bike without having to go up too many hills (20 something priorities!). I bought a bike immediately upon moving here which I lost within the first 6 months – I left it somewhere during sx and could never remember where. It haunts me to this day! I guess Austin just felt like home right from the start. And after 20 years, I’m married to an Austinite, have a kiddo, a business...my roots here are pretty deep.
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
This one is hard. I like listening to stuff I know inside out that I can sing and dance along to without really thinking about it while using my creative mind. Anything Prince usually does the trick.
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE or TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
I like both! I drink coffee most days but am totally not picky about it. Tea is more of a ritual and I love that about it. Pearly (from Old Man Jam Box) recently renewed my love tea with milk because we were reminiscing about times we had both lived in the UK. Tea is serious business there.
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION
The Onikas! My bestie Hudson who is an awesome mom and artist and skater and the funniest person I know. And my friend Meredith who travels the world as a reiki healer (rainbow_healing and rainbow_energy_and_light)
GO TO MID-DAY SNACK or ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
Apples and peanut butter. I’m a peanut butter fanatic. At one point I had 16 jars of peanut butter in the shop. It might be a problem..
WHERE DO YOU DESIGN BEST? EX: HOME, STUDIO, NATURE, ETC.
Nature for sure, for inspiration. When designing something new I usually find the textile first and let it help me decide what it wants to become.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BEGIN THE SOLID GOLD ADVENTURE
I’ve worked retail since I was 14 and knew that I liked the community aspect of being in a brick and mortar store. In high school I worked at a surf & dive shop-and growing up in the surf/skate world I just spent a lot of time with my friends at skate shops! I wanted Solid Gold to be like that – a place where you meet up, hang out, have a party… but also your neighborhood go to when you needed a gift, a new outfit, or just a little retail therapy.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR OF SOLID GOLD
I kind of feel like its all been pretty exciting. I guess the thing I love the most is that I’ve met so many people that have become my closest friends here. I love that I get to see my customers go through all the big things in their lives. We have grown up together and get to share our lives.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND/SHOP STANDS OUT
I just try to be true to me. I’ve always curated the shop with pieces that I like rather than relying on trends and I think that resonates with my customers.
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
Probably my mom. She is really just such an amazing woman who has made me know that I can do accomplish anything I set my mind to and that freedom has given me the space to explore.
HOW HAS SOCIAL HELPED YOUR BRAND / SHOP
I have a bit of a love/hate thing with social. I love that I have a more direct avenue of conversation with my customers and my Solid Gold community. But it takes a lot of time away that I’d like to be spending with my family!
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS HAVE YOU LOVED COLLABORATING WITH, IF ANY
I loved working with Amber of Busy-Being, Pearly of Old Man Jam Box and Rebecca Layton of Rekh & Datta (we have a collab in the shop right now that I am obsessed with-come see!). I am so excited to be working with Jonnyka and Veronica of The Onikas, our new shop in shop.
TELL US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SLOW FASHION
I’ve made sure that every line we carry is sweatshop free and ethically made. I don’t necessarily brand the shop like that but it has always been my priority. I hate the waste and toxicity of this industry so even if it’s just my tiny piece, I am not going to promote products that add to the damage. And it’s so wonderful that the ethical business model has taken off. Even in the time I have been in business the options for products that are ethical, sustainable, and give back have exploded.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE PRODUCTS YOU CHOOSE TO FEATURE IN THE SHOP
I really like to have pieces with a story, whether the story is that it was made by someone I know and love or the history of how it was made.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SHOPPING LOCAL TO YOU
VERY! Not only for the economic aspect of keeping money in town, but also getting to know your neighbors and knowing where the products come from, the whole nine!
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
In every way – Solid Gold has been here so long we would not have survived without the community support.
WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO A DESIGN COLLAB WITH A LOCAL AUSTIN ARTIST
Yes. Always. I do collabs with local artists and will continue doing them!
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR COMMITMENT TO FEATURING FEMALE ARTISANS
I haven’t really sought out carrying solely female artists, I’ve always just found lines that I like, those that speak to me. It just so happens that those tend to be made by women ☺ I was actually looking around the shop the other day and thinking that I didn’t have a single male designer at the moment.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT SOLID GOLD
I love it when people just pop by to say hi! I never want my customers to feel any pressure to buy-unless there is something they need or really fall in love with, I’d rather just have a good talk then send you home with something you don’t need!
AUSTIN LOCAL INSIDER RECOMMENDATIONS
MUST-SEE RECOMMENDATION(S) FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO AUSTIN
I’ve literally been in preggo/baby/toddler land for the past four years(!) so I’m more on the where is there a good playscape mode. but really the usual Austin spots like Barton Springs, The White Horse for dancing, all the food!, bike riding around the east side. I love taking people to Casa de Luz during party weeks for a good unwind (and a little detox from all the amazing Austin food ☺).
FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD TRUCK
Something Italian (they are the nicest!)
FAVORITE LOCAL CURATED BOUTIQUE
Charm School Vintage, Take Heart, Aro
FAVORITE LOCAL COFFEE SHOP(S)
Coffee Traders. They are right across the street and on still mornings I can smell the coffee and it is so lovely.
WHERE CAN SUPPORTERS FIND YOUR SHOP
Address: 1601 E 5th St, Ste 102, Austin, TX 78702