Blanton Recommends: Museum Store Favorites

Blanton Recommends: Museum Store Favorites

May 1, 2020 by Justin O’Connor

A trip to the Blanton is incomplete without a visit to our popular Museum Shop, filled with gift shop treasures to delight art fans of all ages. While our doors are still closed, we asked our Store Manager and Buyer Justin O’Connor to share some of her favorite gift items so you can still shop local and support these fantastic vendors!

I’ve always counted my lucky stars since I landed my dream job as the Manager and Buyer of the Museum Store at the Blanton. An important focus of mine is to be able to support local makers and artisans by carrying their work in the shop. There are so many talented people in Austin and I love that I am able to help share their gifts with visitors from all over the world!

As appreciation for all the joy they have brought me I wanted to highlight a few of my local favorites and encourage everyone to support them by exploring their online stores while the Museum is temporarily closed. Since many of us are spending more time at home these days, here are a few little luxuries that are helping me stay centered.

The Good Hippie

The Good Hippie is one of our newest lines, which I am currently obsessed with. Emily Butler has created an amazing line of all-natural bath, body and home products and I use the Calm Dwelling Mist daily. If your working from home environment is a juggle between different rooms, use this spray after 5pm to signify the change from “work” to “home “. Check out her entire line here and bring a little calm into your home.   

Left: Person scooping bath/body/home product out of a glass jar. On the table are other jars of glass and printed metal. Right: A close up of one of the printed metal jars lying on a black table with a gray cloth and a sprig of herb. Printed on the container is "THE GOOD HIPPIE", "CALM", "body mist", "e 2 fl oz / 59 mL" on a white background with blue watercolor splash.

Karacotta Ceramics

My “go to” housewarming gift is a sage bundle and abalone smudge tray from Karacotta Ceramics but right now I am enjoying my Descone incense dish.  My dish currently has a home on my kitchen windowsill and is being used as a ring dish since hand-washing is on a whole new level these days. Shop now and receive free shipping on orders over $40.

Benjamin Soap Company

Speaking of handwashing, I love the cold pressed soaps from Benjamin Soap Company!

Founder Jae Benjamin uses all-natural ingredients in her bars including homegrown organic herbs. My personal favorite is the sandalwood vanilla but this soap stack is a great way to try out different scents when you can’t smell them in the store.

Jae Benjamin at work. Photo: Will van Overbeek

Madhu Chocolate

If you’ve been doing a lot of extra walking like me, you might enjoy enjoy a fine quality treat after the exercise! These artisanal chocolates are not only beautiful but delicious too, with a favorite being the Orange Clove Chocolate Bar from Austin chocolatiers Madhu Chocolate. The perfect combination of spice, fruit and cacao! There’s a thoughtful incentive too; if you purchase two bars they’ll donate a third to a local hospital.


We love experimenting with cocktail recipes at home, so add some extra fun by adding cocktail candy rims by Tamalitoz. I really enjoy the Cucumber Extravaganza with a cucumber lime martini cocktail recipe I found online by celebrity chef Bobby Flay. It really hits the spot on a warm day.

While we keep our doors temporarily closed, I want to remind everyone that we miss you! Our community is SO important and  I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces, as well as learning all about what you did during this time. Maybe you’ll even have some tips for my new cross-stitching hobby! I can’t share ALL my favorite vendors, but if you’re curious for more, Katrina O’Day, Smoke & Dagger , Rebekah Vinyard, Lisa Crowder, and Fibrous have incredible jewelry. For wood & resin home décor AND jewelry check out BDJ Craftworks. Little Minnow have beautiful scarves, Latika Body Essentials– are a go-to for bath and body products, and Slow North are scent-sational candles. Also, Davis Studio’s Raku Inner Spirit Rattles are a best seller for the past 6 years in a row! Happy online-shopping, folks!

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