Western & English Today

SOURCE 19

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: CHERYL SCHULKE/COURTESY STASH CO. AND CURATE Urban hubs and big chain stores aren't the only ones using technology to attract shoppers. by Lindsay Stafford Mader SMALL-TOWN TECH W hen Hurricane Harvey brought tor- rential flooding to Houston in August 2017, Cheryl Schulke closed the city location of her leather business and lifestyle shop, downsizing to a sin- gular location in Round Top, Texas, population about 100. It might sound crazy, but Schulke was onto something. Many small towns throughout the country are experiencing a rebirth of sorts, as people trade city life for a breath of fresh air, and Round Top, home of the beloved triannual antiques show, is part of the movement. "Here we are in this little bitty town, right smack dab in between Houston and Austin, and I'm getting a greater reach because of the diversity of people who come through for the show," says Schulke, cofounder of the Stash Co. leather company and its brick-and-mortar store, Curate. "Everything we carry, we carry because it has a story and because it has a his- tory. In a larger city, those things get lost." And she doesn't just rely on the show to support the popular store. Schulke has put con- siderable effort into envisioning Stash Co. and Curate's identities and communicating these through various online platforms. In essence, STASH CO. AND CURATE 46 Western & English Today

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