Houston's Coolest 10 New Stores of 2015

From trendy looks to taxidermy, new Houston boutiques did it all in 2015.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen December 31, 2015

Those who yearn to sell objects they've made, found or curated have more options than ever these days: E-commerce, Etsy, Instagram shops, booths at pop-up markets, etc. Maybe that's why the local stores that opened in 2015 seem to have such a strong sense of identity and purpose, whether it was by evoking an emotional reaction through incredible design, or by connecting with their customers through shared style. If you haven't checked out these 10 stores yet, what can we say? Get to shopping.  

10. Kissue

Two fashion-loving sisters prove that locals can still make it in the mall, taking their online shop full of youthful, on-trend fashions and expanding to their first-ever brick-and-mortar inside Memorial City Mall.

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Image: Sarah Rufca

9. The Troy Osborne Mid Century Modern Furniture

It is nigh impossible to walk past this furniture shop (located conveniently across the street from Brasil) without peeking inside at the varied treasure within, a mishmash of midcentury splendor from stylish unknowns to big names like Knoll.

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8. Iko Iko

The relaunch of this boutique along North Main was the latest sign of the ever-changing geography of Houston, and a welcoming return for acolytes of owner Camella Clement's mix of stylish clothing and accessories that lean towards the spiritual and sustainable. 

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7. ARKA Living

Contemporary style, traditional craftsmanship and global flair seamlessly blend at ARKA, which offers furniture in wood, stone and concrete from Indonesia.

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6. Catacomb HTX

If the typical makerspace tends towards the twee, Catacomb breaks out of the mold with a mix of vintage clothing and artist-made goods with an irreverent attitude that riff on pop culture and street style. 

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Image: Sarah Rufca

5. Miles David

We barely had time to miss David Peck and his eponymous, shuttered store before he announced the launch of his new line, hanging a new stylish shingle over the same Montrose space.

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Image: Sarah Rufca

4. Merchant and Market

When he's not tricking out Houston residences, restaurants and bars with a vintage-glam feel and a designed-to-wow dash of urban attitude, designer Gino Vian collects interesting and unexpected objects. You probably didn't know that you need a claw-foot tub to stock champagne in, a Roman bust to display your jewelry or a gum ball machine to add vintage kitsch, but once you're here they all make perfect sense.

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3. Stag Provisions

Okay, this men's store isn't local (it's the fourth outpost of the Austin-based shop) but it feels local, and it stocks everything the cultured and stylish lumbersexual in your life needs, from upscale swimming trunks to vintage pocketknives. 

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2. Montrose Home & Closet

Co-owners Juley Le and Kim Nguyen have created a bungalow space that's stylish and streamlined; curating a mix of under-the-radar brands from across the world, like blankets by Faribault Woolen Mill Company, jewelry by Another Feather, all-natural cleaning products by Common Good & Co., prettified greeting cards from Rifle Paper Co. and apothecary and skincare from Australian-based organic brand Grown Alchemist.

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Image: Sarah Rufca

1. The Wilde Collection

If the Addams family opened a shop, this would be it. The extravagant oddities and curiosities shop is filled with interesting, unusual, creepy, macabre and odd objects to explore, not to mention the room full of taxidermy beasts frozen mid-attack. Co-owner Lawyer B. Douglas works as a designer, and it shows: The balance between the weird and creepy objects on display and their opulent gothic surroundings is pitch-perfect. 

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