With $500 and fingers crossed, Laura Uhlir opened her Austin shop, Olive, in 2012. What began as a pop-up in the now-defunct Domy Books soon became its own standalone store. As the former event coordinator at The Blanton Museum of Art, it made sense that she would move on to open a perfectly curated place of her own. “It definitely gave me a leg up on juggling lots of moving parts, vendors, and keeping things in order,” said Laura.
She stocks everything from local favorite Miranda Bennett to printmaster Dusen Dusen, minimal heels from up-and-coming LA label Rafa, and beautifully designed apothecary products from Maine-based Wary Meyers. As a 10 year resident of East Austin, Laura has seen the area transform into a design-centric hub for indie businesses like her own. “It's been really amazing to watch it grow and change,” said Laura. “The block Olive is on has seen quite the transformation, in particular. Happily, all the businesses that have opened on the block are independent. It's nice to be part of a community of small business owners and support one another.” As for her neighborhood hangouts and haunts, you’ll find her go-tos just below. -- Sydney Pfaff
Olive Austin, 1200 E 11th St. #101, Austin Tx
Hillside feels like a real hub in East Austin. I don't think I've ever stopped in without seeing a familiar face. It's ideal for sunning on the patio, sipping killer cocktails, and slurping up oysters. My favorite way to spend an afternoon.
1209 E 11th St.
Charm School Vintage
Hands down my favorite spot for vintage. I don't think I've ever left empty handed. Shari's selection is well edited, expansive, and fairly priced.
1111 E 11th St.
Full disclosure: I co-own this little gem, but even if I didn't, I'd be stopping in on the reg for all things smoke related. Everything you ever wanted from a head shop: artful design, pretty rolling papers, small-batch apothecary, pipes that you're not embarrassed of...and nothing you don't: creepy vibes, rasta flags, bad nag champa, or nudie girl posters.
1200 E 11th St, #105
If you're a late riser like me, Paper Boy is a godsend. They serve breakfast exclusively, which is heaven for those of us that always sleep through brunch. I've never had a bad thing on their menu (hello, fried egg sandwich with pimento cheese and sweet potato hash!). Get the Sweet Toast—trust me.
1203 E 11th St.
A dark old dive bar with stiff drinks, friendly bartenders, and a decent juke box. It hasn't changed since I've been frequenting for the last 10 years, and that's just what I like about it.
1133 E 11th St.