I get asked a lot about how I came up with the name “Our What Not Shop” for a handmade shop with jewelry and wood items. The story is a pretty funny and cute one. When my husband and I were in our first year of marriage, he took me to Holland….Holland, Texas, that is. Holland is an itty bitty town somewhere between Killeen and Temple. It is one of those single-stop light towns that you would miss if you blinked it. It is one of those towns I love and love to write about (another hobby of mine).
As we were driving through the town square, my husband (Michael) pointed out this old storefront that looked like it may have been a feed store, a department store, and a mechanic shop in its previous lives. He told me excitedly that it was his grandparent’s shop when he was a little kid and was their “The What Not Shop.” His grandparents were collectors and not hoarders by any means; they just collected more than they had room for and owned the building. They had antiques, handmade items, a little bit of this, and a lot of what nots. He told me about growing up there during the summers listening to the older men tell stories of their youth and his grandma reminding them there was a child present when they told their stories. He would spend the dog days of summer helping with inventory, making sales, and just being among the what-nots in the shop. To see his eyes light up when he told me this story was beautiful.
As the years went on, we talked a lot about “The What Not Shop,” how fun it must have been, and how we would love to have a shop like that someday, but I wanted it to be full of my handmade items. After we sold our first house, we were able to start investing in Michael’s wood shop, and he fell in love with making cutting boards and other wood items. A few years later, when I was pregnant with our youngest, I spent evenings crafting and making jewelry after the oldest went to bed. One night we were talking about selling our items, and I was reminded of the story of Michael’s youth and growing up in “The What Not Shop.”
When you open an Etsy store or any eCommerce business, the first thing they tell you to do is to find a niche, but for me, I can’t ever just fit one niche. I love making all the things and trying all the things. Plus, Michael was into making wood items, and I was into making jewelry. My mother-in-law made paper items, so we weren’t just a shop for one thing. Jokingly I told him that we should call our Etsy store “Our What Not Shop” because it would be full of our what nots. The idea stuck, and the rest is history, as they say.
I love the story behind our name, and I love telling stories. Our What Not Shop stories are told through our crafting and items. Each item is handcrafted and made with love from our family. Our dining room table is often covered with wood items to be painted, paint brushes, pen-making kits, and more. Our What Not Shop is a family business and labor of love. I sincerely hope that you love our items as much as we do. And now we get to carry on the “What Not” legacy with Our What Not Shop, named in memory of my husband’s late grandparents.