"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." - Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
As lifelong Texans, we simply aren’t used to extended periods of sub-freezing conditions, snow, or ice. It takes little more than a light dusting of snow or a bit of freezing precipitation to shut down entire regions of the state. Usually, everyone treats it as a kind of free day. The kids are happy to miss a day of school and the adults get a day off—or at least a day to work from home.
The winter weather that hit Texas this last week was different, though. Many people were without electricity and water for extended periods of time, creating an uncomfortable situation for some and a potentially deadly one for others. It quickly became clear that, when the snow melted and the sun came out again, there would be a lot of work to do and a lot of people that would be in need of help.
For most of the first year of our business' existence, we weren't really sure what we were trying to be. Mostly, we were trying to make ends meet while I finished my degree at UT. We refinished furniture for a bit and realized we didn’t much like that. Then we built some furniture. A coffee table here, and a headboard there.
When the West Fertilizer Plant explosion happened in the spring of 2013, the town was devastated and in need of aid. Kelley and one of her best friends, both being from the town of West, decided to put together a benefit to raise money for their hometown. Kelley asked me to make something Texas-y. I’m a very literal person, sometimes to a fault. So, what’s more Texas-y than the shape of Texas?
I took some reclaimed beaded oak a builder had given me a few years before when I was still working in the building industry and made the very first Texas wall hanging. It sold at the silent auction for around $115. The response to it was overwhelming. People were messaging us and asking if they could get one made. Pretty soon, Texas wall hangings were the focal point of our floundering furniture business.
Since then, we have made giving a priority. We built a special Texas wall hanging when Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of the state to help relieve efforts, and we donate pieces every year to various charities. As we sat around our kitchen island last week discussing the effects of the winter storm, we knew we had to chip in whatever way we could once again.
Within a few hours, we had roughed out a concept and reached out to our partners at Miller Imaging & Digital Solutions to see if they would want to collaborate on the project. Without flinching they said yes, and we were off to the races.
The idea behind the design for this small Texas wall hanging was simple: we wanted to convey hope and strength. We married retro colors we love to the suggestion of dawn breaking on a frigid Texas, and after a few rounds of edits (thanks to Vittoria at Miller!), we had our design.
The snow and cold have since gone and the sun is shining down on Texas once again, but there are still people who need our help. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these 8” Texas wall hangings will be donated to the I Live Here, I Give Here Amplify: Disaster Relief Fund. This matching gift fund is designated to support 130+ organizations on the AmplifyATX.org giving site whose missions focus on one of the following cause categories: Basic Needs, Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, Human Services, and/or Housing, Shelter & Homelessness.
Thank you all so much in advance for helping Texas and Texans stay strong and resilient. And thank you to Luci Miller, President & 3rd-generation Family Owner of Miller IDS for being so willing to partner with us on this project. We're proud to be working alongside a 100-year old family owned and operated Texas business like theirs.
-Kris & Kelley
Please click HERE, if you would like to support this effort by purchasing an 8" Texas Strong Wall Hanging. We are taking pre-sale orders now through Tuesday, March 2nd. Orders will ship out shortly after.