Love at first sight. We'd say that pretty much sums up how we felt the first time we stepped in to the Houston boutique Myth & Symbol. The sister duo behind M&S specialize in hand-crafted design working with designers from all over the country. Every piece in their gem of a shop feels perfectly considered & truly special. Do youself a favor next time you're in Htown, pay this lovely spot a visit!
Myth & Symbol, eh? Tell us a bit more about your name; what’s the story?
Mid-century scholars at Harvard created the field of American studies and the first approach to this new field was called the "myth and symbol" school. These scholars looked at how American stories shed light on American identity. We were drawn to this link between story and identity. That we aren't just selling product A to consumer B made by person C, but that there are unique stories behind each creation, each creator and craftsperson, that hopefully enrich the experience of shopping at our store.
You guys are a sister team - tell us what you love about working with family. Anything you hate?
We love that we are totally comfortable with each other and there’s a trust that’s built in. If one of us needs to go away, we know the store is in good hands. What do we dislike? Sometimes one of us will have to miss a family gathering to manage the store, and every now and then we fall into the bad habit of shoptalk during family functions. Most of the time, we are good at turning off work mode and just enjoy time with our loved ones.
Your brick & mortar shop is really gorgeous. Can you tell us a bit more about the design process?
The idea was to create a space that was beautiful but always placed in the foreground the beauty of the items we carry. There is so much thought and care put into what these works—they deserve nothing less. Also, many of our displays are movable, allowing us to grow with the store. The major permanent structures are the dressing rooms. For the colorful facets on the outside of the rooms, we hand-dyed cotton rope and wrapped the wood frames for more than 2 weeks straight!
It’s Monday. The shop is closed. What are you up to? Any favorite Houston haunts?
Trang: I wish I could say that I am out and about exploring Houston but when you own a small business, you’re working 24/7. On Mondays, I'm at the store or at home answering emails. It’s also my designated day to catch up on cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. Despite the little time to relax, I always carve out time to pick up my husband for lunch. It’s our day to try a new restaurant or cafe. We have favorite spots such as Aka when I am craving a bento box or sushi, Simply Pho for pho, Cali Sandwich for banh mi or Paulie's… for pretty much everything on their menu.
Chau: I have my full time job as a high school art teacher during the week, but on Monday’s I like to treat myself to the Meatloaf special at Paulie’s. They sell out quick, but I recently learned you can reserve a plate ahead of time! My favorite Houston spots are Kaboom Books, the Cy Twombly gallery, the Cullen Sculpture Garden, Huynh (for Bun Bo hue), and Thai Spice (for Crab Fried Rice), and the James Turrell Skyspace at Rice University (at dawn or, much more likely, dusk).
Tell us a secret.
We’re sad we won’t be able to set up a booth at Feliz this year, but use the code FELIZ14 in-store and online to receive 15% off your entire purchase now through November 16th.
Images via Levi Master & Myth & Symbol