When Cecilia Márquez was a buyer for the ultra-hip Montrose men’s store Mortar, she was often on the road, chasing after designers in Paris or New York or Los Angeles. And each time she took off for a show, she tugged along an empty suitcase—soon to be filled with all the modish housewares not available closer to home. “Everyone here was carrying the same thing,” says the 28-year-old native Houstonian, an edge of exasperation in her voice as she adjusts her Thom Browne glasses. “There are eight stores here that carry Rifle paper products. And there are mega independent brands so popular in other places in the country that nobody in Houston has ever touched. Names that mean a lot, people doing innovative and creative things. Kelly Wearstler—Kelly Wearstler is huge! And nobody here was touching her home goods.”
Enter Saint Cloud, a Rice Village–based home goods and accessories store opening late this month in which a majority of the products will be from lines not previously available in Houston. Trendy Eskayel floor poufs? Check. Off-kilter, ’70s-inspired geometric planters? Check. (Even Rifle-paper-addicted, non-Kelly Wearstler-worshipping Houstonians know that the season’s best interiors look like something out of Saturday Night Fever.) Márquez hopes the creative professionals moving back to H-Town will be able to find design-conscious decor in their home city—and leave the extra suitcase there, too.