Discussion: Solid Gold’s Katie Friedman

6 11 2008

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One of the first shops we found on the East Side was the lovely little gem, Solid Gold. Filled to the brim with clothes, accessories and awesome gifts, it is incredibly difficult to leave this store empty handed. And store co-owner Katie Friedman is one of the friendliest, hardest working gals we’ve met. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

EA: What brought you to the East side of Austin/ what is it about this side of town that inspired/lured you in?

KF: We really just liked the energy over here-the mix of old and new Austin. It has been interesting to see how fast things are changing and inspiring to be around all of this change while still embracing the roots of East Austin. As business owners, it is really important that we have something special to bring to this community. We think we accomplish both as a place where you can shop for great clothing, home goods, and gifts in your neighborhood, and through our support of East Side charities.

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EA: What’s the idea/ reasoning behind your store, and what are some of your favorite pieces you sell? i.e. what’s the artist’s name who did the woodblock bird prints?

KF: Anya and I came up with Solid Gold as a combination of what we are both doing in the space.

I wanted to focus on interesting design detail, quality construction, and fabulous fabrics, which I think is best showcased in solids. I also wanted my customers to have items from the shop that are their favorite pieces-you know that dress that you reach for a million times because it fits great, looks amazing, will never fall apart or go out of style. I think prints are hard for this because they tend to be trend based and I would rather you get something that you aren’t going to hate in a few seasons or even years…I also want to bring something new and different to the Austin shopping scene by offering unique pieces from new and upcoming designers and artists. Some of my favorites right now are: clothing by Chulo Pony, Peel, dace…woodworks by Sylvie Rosenthal…jewelry from local Tannis Jones (esther designs)…fun home goods from Japanese artist Shinzi Katoh….i could go on and on!

And Anya is the Gold – pretty much because we thought it fit for a day spa. You know, that gold glowy feeling you get after a massage or facial. Plus, I mean, Solid Gold, how can you beat that? It works for us because we don’t ever want to take ourselves too seriously…

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EA: What do you like to do/where do you like to hang out on the East side?

KF: Because I am always at the shop I pretty much don’t do anything unless it is in the neighborhood. The Longbranch and Scoot are like cheers-it is so nice to go places where you can see old and new friends. Anya and I have been friends with Kevin (one of the owners) for years and we love to see him so successful and if we need to have a few drinks in support, so be it! The Blue Dahlia, El Chile, and The Redhouse are other favorites. There are so many great new things happening over here all the time it is hard to keep up (but fun trying!). Oh, and if you want the worlds best breakfast tacos go to Chapala on Cesar Chavez. I’m not kidding. The best.

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EA: Anything else you’d like us to know?

KF: Um, I guess just come check us out for yourselves. I know we will be happy to find that your new favorite place to shop is just around the corner!

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