Six-foot-something and possessing a confident swagger, the owner of Manready Mercantile—a unisex bath-goods company gone Heights bricks-and-mortar emporium for all things dude-friendly—gets excited about how clothing is constructed. “Anything that’s made on a loom has a side called the self edge or the selvage,” says the aptly named Travis Weaver, pointing it out on his own shirt. “It’s the rarer and more reinforced cut, so it’s stronger, [and it makes] the most sought-after pieces.”
From humble beginnings (i.e., making batches of bath salts in his apartment and selling them in whiskey bottles), Weaver’s business has grown to include apparel, accessories, and other fine goods. He and his partners are passionate about sourcing high-quality items locally, and they carefully curate Manready’s offerings, targeting Houstonians looking for more than just a label. Weaver chatted with Houstonia about his aesthetic, shopping local, and which Joneses are worth keeping up with.
What are you wearing?
Taylor Stitch shirt; imogene + willie Jeans; Manready Mercantile and Ebbets Field Flannels Collaboration hat; bracelets by Tres Cuervos, Warhorse Workshop, and Ewing Dry Goods; Red Wing boots with Flint and Tinder blue laces.
How do you describe your aesthetic?
I like timeless basics that are made to last. I like stuff that you can wear whether you’re working outdoors or indoors. What’s in the shop is my style. I don’t put stuff in there just because it’s a trend or some celebrity is wearing it. In fact, I’m pretty much against trend followers—they’re like little robots. They look for other people to tell them what to wear.
Do you have any favorite non-trendy items you own?
There’s a guy named Erik, he’s here in Houston, and his family is from an Indian reservation. He carries on traditions he learned from his family—working with his hands and with things from the land. He makes these really amazing leather belts, the best-quality leather you can buy in this country. The brass buckles are hand-forged—not put in a mold, but physically made by hand. They’re a higher cost, but the thing is, they’re built to last and made here. When you wear that, you feel proud.
What do you think will make people step out of the big box stores and look for smaller, locally made items?
People that buy this overpriced stuff made of inferior quality by big labels need a mindset change. You’re just paying for a label. When you say to people—instead of spending your money on something you know absolutely nothing about, except some celebrity wore it, spend half as much money on something that’s built better that you know the story about—trust me, something clicks in them. All of a sudden, they stop worrying about being so label-driven and become more quality-driven. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses on designer things, they start trying to keep up with the Joneses on how they can support more community-driven designs. And those are good Joneses to keep up with.