Shop Local Houston: 5 Small Businesses You Should Know About

In the era of Amazon Prime, it’s tempting to spend your hard-earned dollars on something that can be purchased with one click & delivered to your doorstep within 48 hours. We get it- there’s nothing wrong with spending your money that way. But what if your money went towards helping your community, fostering creativity and innovation?

Local businesses are the backbone of their local economies: they hire locally, they pay local taxes that improve their communities, and they help create a unique culture within their city. If you love your city and want it to thrive, supporting local businesses and makers is important.

To help you get started, we’ve got 5 great small businesses here in Houston that we think you’ll love:

  1. Forth & Nomad

Forth and Nomad Storefront in Houston Heights Area, TX

Forth and Nomad Owners Andy and Morgan Sommer

“Forth + Nomad is a contemporary, curated shop with all the hand-crafted goods and accessories you need - and want.

Founded in Houston in 2017, husband and wife Andy and Morgan created Forth + Nomad as a platform for Houston’s insanely talented makers to share and sell their high-quality goods. The inspiration for Forth + Nomad came as Andy and Morgan traveled the world together – from Sydney to New York, and Tokyo to Mexico City – during the early days of their relationship and well into their marriage.

During their travels, they noticed something: that their favorite cities were the ones that celebrated people and their art. They felt Houston lacked a strong appreciation of their local creatives, and wanted to provide a platform for Houstonians to become more intimately involved in their city’s artistic community.

Forth + Nomad operates under several missions: to connect makers with their consumers; to get Houstonians more intimately involved in the city’s maker community through maker-hosted workshops, classes and live events; and to serve as a creative hub for the vibrant, scrappy, one-of-a-kind city they call home. Forth + Nomad supports handmade, small batch, and locally crafted goods.

While the vast majority of Forth + Nomad’s goods come from local artists, the store carries goods from brands located all around the U.S. Every product in Forth + Nomad is carefully curated by Andy and Morgan, and has a strong connection to Houston’s culture and artistic community. And everything in this store – from its wallets to its jewelry to its home goods – will help you tell the world a little bit about who you are.

Welcome to Forth + Nomad. Welcome to the community, where we encourage you to seek inspiration and live authentic.”

2. Moo-chila

Handcrafted Leather Footwear & Goods by Moo-chila in Houston, TX

Leather Bags & Shoes by Moo-chila

“MOO-CHILA is a brand of Comfortable Leather Footwear & Handcrafted Goods made by artisans for the Modern Day User. Our Design and Sales Team is based in Houston, TX, USA. All our products are made resposible in Ecuador, and we are proud to provide fair employment to local artisans and family-owned shops.

Our team focuses in designing and making quality products that achieve great comfort without sacrifycing the look. We have dedicated a great amount of time ensuring astouding durability and quality on our footwear. Our experts at local tanneries do endless amounts of research to choose and discover these hard-to-find leathers to create these fine pieces to tailor your style and energy. A few years ago we found a material called TR "Thermoplastic Raw Rubber" that now we put in all our 3-layer soles. This material provides the same comfort as a Tennis Shoe while at the same time reducing bulkiness that comes with it. From the feel of the leather to the cushiopn of our soles, these handcrafted products are ideal for your daily use for any occassion, because the secret to our footwear is Comfort!”

3. Year of None

Sustainable Wood Furniture Design by Year of None

Owner & Operator of Year of None, Mikey Kendrick

Year of None is a design studio owned & operated by Mikey Kendrick that prides itself on the following:


“Process: no plastics. no rubbers. no metals. no chemicals. all work is constructed by hand with sustainably sourced, all natural and renewable materials by way of traditional solid wood joinery and upholstery techniques in houston, tx by owner, designer and craftsman mikey kendrick.

Timber: one hundred percent domestically sourced non treated [chemical free] solid american white ash and black walnut. [f.s.c. certified when available]

Upholstery: all threads, textiles, and other upholstery materials used are u.s.d.a., oeko-tex, g.o.t.s., or g.o.l.s. certified all natural and organic. [domestically sourced when available]

Finishes: all woodwork is finished with an earth and human friendly, hypoallergenic, food safe certified combination natural oil and natural resin wood sealer formulated from essential oils derived from plants. [more information at www.livosusa.com]”

4. Claire Drennan Knits

Handmade Knitwear by Claire Drennan Knits

Claire Drennan, Houston Fiber Artist & Owner of Claire Drennan Knits

“Carrots, not sticks. Claire Drennan Knits is a part of the solution to fast fashion. All items are made in Texas from sustainable materials. They are designed to be fun, soft and fit right into your life. With proper care, they can last you for many years.

Fast fashion antidote: Only 3% of our clothing is currently being made in the United States? Claire Drennan Knits is ethically and sustainably made in Texas.

It takes 2,000 gallons of water to produce one cotton t-shirt. Claire Drennan Knits are made with recycled cotton, which uses almost no water at all. Recycled cotton is made from pre-consumer waste and gives you all that softness and washability with a tiny footprint.

Vote with your dollar for locally and sustainably-made goods.”

5. Box Sparrow Studio

Handcrafted Ceramics by Box Sparrow Studio in Houston, TX

Owner of Box Sparrow Studio, Abbie Preston, Creating One-of-a-Kind Ceramic Pieces

“Box Sparrow Studio was established in 2014 when I came to the conclusion that clay was the right medium for me. My work is primarily wheel thrown with a focus on simplicity and a minimal aesthetic. I’m drawn to the ways that handmade pieces are integrated into families and passed down generationally. I can recall the many meals gathered around the table as a child in our Georgia home, cherishing specific pieces used for holidays, family traditions and the every day. This feeling of nostalgia combined with the desire for my creations to become family heirlooms, challenges me to slow down when creating. It pushes me to focus on the craftsmanship and quality of each piece so that they may be used for years to come.

 I’m motivated by the idea that each handmade piece is a way of opposing mass production. The contemplative flow of studio work allows me to slow down, becoming a way for me to resist the daily temptation to partake in a culture that is often fast paced, distracted and demanding instant gratification.”



How to Size the Perfect Sign for your Craft Show Booth

Want to stand out at your next craft show? Upgrading your booth signage is an easy way to brand your booth and catch the eye of potential shoppers. In this blog post, see examples of standard 10’x10’ booth set-ups with various size signage to help you make the right decision for your booth!

We’re able to make a variety of types/sizes of signs, however many signs fall into the three categories below:

24”x24”

15”x30”

24”x48”

Example of craft booth signage - wooden sign with fern and painted wood on easel for art show display

We created the sign above for Alex Hood of Hazel Street Press. Alex’s sign is 30” wide x 17” tall. Her sign is made out of double layered birch plywood, with a stained backer board and painted wood lettering. She bought a wooden easel to display her sign on, so it doesn’t have holes/hardware for hanging.

We created the sign above for Stateline Designs. Elyse’s sign is 24” in diameter. Her sign is made out of double layered birch plywood with a stained backer and a painted wood logo.

Laser Cut Signage Dimensions/Size Example
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ready to create your perfect craft show sign?

Hand Lettering + Laser Cutting

Hand Lettering + Laser Cutting

We’ve learned a lot about hand lettering since we’ve started Laser Cut Co. Hand lettering is an art form where letters are drawn by hand. It differs from calligraphy, where the artist uses specific strokes to create consistent letters. Hand lettering has really re-emerged over the last 10 years and is popular with events - such as invitations, day-of signage, and place settings.

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Material Spotlight - Vinyl

Material Spotlight - Vinyl

We cut vinyl using a vinyl cutter. It operates in a similar manner to our lasers - you start with a file and the machine reads the file/code and cuts out your shape. The main difference is that a vinyl cutter doesn’t have a laser, instead it has a mini blade, like an x-acto knife.

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Laser Cut Cake Toppers

Laser Cut Cake Toppers

We cut a lot of cake toppers at LCC! We make cake toppers from wood and acrylic. We can cut acrylic toppers from clear, white, black, silver mirror, gold mirror and rose gold mirror acrylic. Our cake toppers range in price from $28 to $55 depending on material, design and size.

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