For many Austinites, living downtown creates a streamlined and vibrant lifestyle. Downtown residents have made a conscious decision to integrate their work and leisure lives, enjoying the added perk of spending less time in the car. One such person is Kristi Pruett, owner of Finch and Wee, two stores on 2nd Street.
An alum of The University of Texas, Kristi noticed what was happening downtown after returning to the area in 2006. “The stores in the 2nd Street District were unique and contemporary and I loved that they were local,” says Pruett. “The vision for downtown in general was exciting and something that I wanted to be a part of.”
Kristi opened her first retail venture, Finch, in December of 2006. Specializing in independent designers, Finch offers a stylish mix of tabletop and home décor items from around the world, with a heavy emphasis on handmade ceramics and textiles. “It’s a store filled with all of my favorite things,” says Pruett.
After opening Finch, Kristi decided to try her hand in the baby market, opening Wee in January of this year. Wee sells contemporary furniture, bedding and apparel for babies and toddlers. With a modern take on everything from cribs to bottles, the store has a style that strays from the traditional pastel pink and blue. True to Austin, Wee carries eco-friendly furniture lines as well as organic bedding, clothing and bath products.
Two years after opening her first store on 2nd Street, Kristi decided to move the rest of her life downtown. She now lives in a property just a stone’s throw from her two stores. “I moved last month, and I wish I had done it a year ago,” says Pruett.
Of course, being only a bike ride away from work wasn’t the only draw. “I love being in the center of the action where new things are opening every week.” says Pruett. “There is a lot of energy downtown right now and everyone moving is excited to be here.”