Gathered and Good Good things we've gathered for your life Sun, 08 Aug 2021 00:54:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thank You for Shopping Local Tue, 22 Dec 2020 23:37:32 +0000 December 2020–As the end of the year approaches, we just wanted to thank you for supporting us as a small business. It has especially meant a lot to us this year with the challenges we have faced together.

Last week someone came in and told us she was making it a point to shop local as much as she could for her gift buying. What she didn’t realize is that we also make it a point to choose local vendors whenever possible. The shopkeepers in our rooms all have local connections–

Donda Vinson

Linda Harman, Steel Magnolia Marketplace

Bet Kullak

Many of the items we sell in our shop are crafted by small businesses and individuals across the country, including Found Blessings paintings by Kristin Ashman, Blue Chelsea Jewelry by Leta Altom, original cards, candles, and many other one-of-a-kind creations.

This philosophy goes back to the reason we started Gathered & Good more than 2 years ago–to gather together good things made by good people, to enhance your home and your life.

Thank you again and we hope to continue seeing you in the New Year and beyond.

Hannah & Dawn

Steel Magnolia Marketplace Tue, 12 May 2020 16:29:08 +0000

Why do we all love to shop?

“It’s an experience!” said Linda Harman, proprietor of Steel Magnolia Marketplace. “There will always be the need of a place to gather and have a good time, to touch and feel, to feel part of a community.”

Linda Harman is Gathered & Good’s newest vendor. Originally from Tyler, she and her late husband worked in the oil and gas business. They retired to Lakeway in 2007. One of the things she missed most about Tyler was all of the unique southern type gift shops where everyone knows your name.

Living in Tyler and Lakeway, Linda was part of a group of friends that called themselves the Steel Magnolias, in tribute to the popular book and movie.

After the loss of her husband in 2017, she needed a happy distraction and a way to honor all the strong women girlfriends that helped her get through a difficult time. Steel Magnolia Marketplace gift boutique and its theme of strong women girlfriends was born.

After two years, Linda decided to spend more time in Fredericksburg, closer to her children Bryan and Christina Ray, and Mark and Pam Harman. After a little off time, she discovered she missed the excitement of going to market and “taking care of my customers.”

So she started looking for a retailing partner in this Central Texas destination that would fit her brand.

“I had branded it a certain way, so I didn’t just want to stick it anywhere. So I kept praying about it, sending out letters. That’s when Hannah replied, and Steel Magnolia Marketplace moved into Gathered & Good.”

Linda describes her inventory as classic southern gifts, wedding and baby stationery, candles, bath and body items, and jewelry. All of it ties into quotes from the movie, or otherwise shows an “attitude” of independent, irreverent, amazing sisterhood.

As does Gathered & Good, Linda honors the woman entrepreneur and vendors who give back to the community.

“It’s all about the back story to me. That’s why I put up little signs–I want you to know more about the person each item came from.”

While Linda’s original goal had been to find a location on Main Street, she likes the benefits of the off-Main location on Hwy 87 South, where parking not a problem, and it is more conducive to serving both tourists and locals.

Her room is now open, and she invites her new “Steel Magnolias” to come by and be a part of this unique shopping experience. Linda’s goal is to provide that fun, inclusive atmosphere to loyal customers for many years to come.

Linda Harman, Steel Magnolia Marketplace

“Come see something new and different in Fredericksburg! It feels good and you’ll love it!”

Leta Altom: Patterns of rust Thu, 12 Mar 2020 16:45:03 +0000
Leta Altom now offers her unique Blue Chelsea Treasures jewelry at Gathered & Good in Fredericksburg.

If art is the ability to turn the mundane into the beautiful, Leta Altom is the consummate artist.

About 8 years ago, Leta was helping the owner of a farm near Wimberley clean up the property. They came across a pile of 10,000 small metal disks, the kind used roofers used to use to hold down tar paper. Someone had thrown them in a pasture and covered them up.

The disks were already rusted, but Leta considered them gorgeous.

“I asked, could I take a few of these? I saw the unique patterns of the rust, and I got so excited. So I started fooling around with them.”

Leta was already an inveterate collector. She had pieces of Victorian lace and bric-a-brac she had saved since being in her teens. She has made regular trips to England since 1983, picking up finds from jumble sales.

She started going through her boxes and combining textures and patterns on her little metal disks. The result? An entire collection of jewelry–broaches, earrings, necklaces, and more.

Her business is Blue Chelsea Treasures and based in Wimberley, where she works with her daughter, Courtenay. The collection features vintage and rusted elements put together with contemporary design. In addition to lace, she has been known to use horn and bone, antler, dried pumpkin stalks, and even wasps nests.

A distinctive necklace made from rusted metal disks and other finds.

“The thing with unique shapes in nature is that there can’t be duplicates. Every piece is one-of-a-kind.”

Word has spread of Leta’s unique art, and now friends and neighbors drop off weird things they come across.

“I got a message that someone had dropped a bag of bones on my front porch. I love it!”

Leta now works on staff at the church where her husband is associate pastor. But design has always been her passion.

“I would say I have an exaggerated sense of placement and design. I know that people can walk into a room and immediately feel comfortable because it’s designed well. I try to create that atmosphere.”

Leta now offers her jewelry line exclusively in Fredericksburg at Gathered & Good, where she is attracting a growing following.

“I love the idea of gathering and the finding and putting things together that they have here. Plus being a mother/daughter business here in this shop run by a mother and daughter.”

Or even more generations.

“I like to save things that meant something to somebody else a long time ago. I’ve made quite a few custom pieces, where people bring in items from their grandmothers. That is wonderful that they can pass them on to their granddaughters.”

Take the 290 Wine Shuttle! Sat, 27 Jul 2019 02:32:17 +0000 Aug 2019–We have a new neighbor at Gathered & Good! It is one that will be of interest for both visitors and locals looking for a convenient way to sample the blooming palate of wineries in the Texas Hill Country.

The 290 Wine Shuttle now picks up and drops off passengers directly across the street from our shop, in the side parking area of Inn On Barons Creek.

Mike Kinchen is the impresario who first came up with the “shuttle” concept back in 2013. He had a vision: “We want to provide good, safe, affordable transportation from downtown Fredericksburg, Texas, to the wineries on the 290 Wine Trail.”

His simple idea took off beyond expectations. Starting with two vans and an idea, 290 Wine Shuttle today has grown to 21 buses and vans, with 25 drivers. Here’s how it works:

The 290 Wine Shuttle picks up and drops off riders in the parking area behind Inn On Barons Creek. A shuttle leaves every 10 minutes, making the circuit to 16 wineries. Guests can hop off at any destination they prefer. Pick up in town goes from 10:00am until 3:00pm. The shuttle continues operating between wineries until 6:00pm.

Newcomers to our German heritage town make up the bulk of his ridership. They appreciate the fact they can use the shuttle to take them to a mix of large and small wineries, both new and established.

“Our guests stay here in Fredericksburg, and have the opportunity to shop and eat here. With 290 Wine Shuttle, we give them the added opportunity to spend a few care-free hours at several local wineries of their choice.”

You get all this with an all-day pass of just $29.99, and you can book online at

Coordinating schedules, riders, and drivers every Saturday turns Kinchen into a field general. He parks at a strategic point along the wine trail and mans his cell phone, dispatching vehicles to accommodate larger groups, fielding calls from wineries, and making sure everything runs smoothly.

It’s a service popular both with riders who want to enjoy the wine trail with no concerns, and for winery operators who appreciate the controlled flow of visitors. Tourists have the option of leaving in the morning so they can return mid-afternoon, or sleeping in and starting their tour after lunch in town. They also offer a free service where riders can leave purchased items with the shuttle drivers throughout the day, and have them waiting when they arrive back in town.

While taking the shuttle is always an enjoyable experience, Kinchen encourages riders to “Tour Responsibly.”

“We emphasize that people drink responsibly and respect other guests and the wineries. It’s not a party bus.”

With a track record of seven years and 5-star rating, the service is embraced by the wineries and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Likewise, Kinchen supports local Fredericksburg businesses, including restaurants, accommodations, and shops like Gathered & Good.

“Our goal is that when people visit Fredericksburg for the wine experience, they think, I want to take the 290 Wine Shuttle!”

And before or after your tour, you’ll want to walk across the street and pop in to Gathered & Good for a great Fredericksburg shopping experience!

For information and tickets:

Inn on Barons Creek
308 South Washington Street
Fredericksburg TX

They also provide private tours by arrangement.

Step into our Gathered Shed Sat, 08 Jun 2019 20:18:39 +0000

Leo places the final touch–the sign–on our new Gathered Shed. Now Open!

June 2019–After settling Gathered & Good into the wonderful Easter Haus for several months, we began eyeing the interesting shed/garage tucked under the crepe myrtles at the back of the yard. Peeking inside the double doors, we found it to be filled with the usual “stuff” that accumulates over many years. What if, we wondered, our landlord would let us clean it out and convert it into display space?

The old garage behind our shop had been used only for storage since the 1960s.

So we asked Fred Petmecky, Jr. He was delighted to have someone dig through the piles that had grown over 60 years. Under his supervision, we hauled out every single piece. There were old cans of paint and oil, broken display stands, so so many tangles of plastic Christmas decorations and lights, and paper signs from forgotten parade floats. Under the dirt and dust we also uncovered a few gems. The best were two small file cabinets filled with writings and newspaper clippings of his father, Fred Petmecky, Sr., including his work on the original Easter Fires pageant (link). We found a box of handwritten letters that Fred, Jr., had written home from college in 1960, along with some old slides, and an arrow with a real flint arrowhead.

It took 2 days and several loads to haul off the accumulation.

Anything of value we separated out and saved, and the rest was hauled off to thrift stores, recycling centers, and the landfill.

After that came a thorough cleaning. Aside from a few weathered boards, the shed’s structure was sound and the roof free of leaks. Leo and Phil, the “silent” partners, spent the good part of two days sweeping out every corner of cobwebs and mud dauber nests, then blowing out remaining dust, and finally fogging the whole structure to encourage any lingering pests to find new homes.

All cleaned out, dusted, and de-bugged, the Shed is ready for stocking.

We had no intent of doing a total makeover or disturbing the original character of the building. Other than thorough cleaning, installing better lighting, and reinforcing the old garage-style doors,the rest of the building was left as we found it, complete with markings on the walls and stains on the concrete floor. Then the Gathered Shed was ready for stocking.

The doors were opened during our Gathered Outdoor Market over Memorial Day weekend. Delighted shoppers were drawn to the cozy structure, where they found chairs and tables, dressers, vintage metal toys, yard art, even a few chandeliers hung from the rafters.

Finds new and old, quirky and vintage, are now placed in the Gathered Shed for you to discover all over again.

Our intent is to use the Gathered Shed as a display space for items that don’t quite fit inside the shop. It also has a small covered area off of one side. We are working on cutting back the brush and converting that into another display area for outdoor goods.

On your next visit to Gathered & Good, be sure to allow time to wander out back and look through the new Gathered Shed. You never know what you might find… except a clean, quirky space filled with interesting discoveries!

Welcome to the new Gathered Shed!

A job well done!

Truck of a different color Tue, 16 Apr 2019 23:13:31 +0000

Store partner Leo Jauregui and his 1951 Chevy flatbed truck.

April 2019–While driving past our new shop in Fredericksburg–Gathered & Good–you might notice people hanging around our vintage blue and silver truck parked in the drive.

Classic Chevy

I saw two couples there last week. They were laughing and taking turns snapping selfies in front of the vehicle. This is a common sight, so I pulled in to visit with them.

Turns out they were regular visitors to Fredericksburg, and the classic 1951 Chevy 3600 flatbed truck brought back memories of growing up in Montana and Illinois. They were full of questions about the vehicle, so we wanted to share its story with everyone.

The distinctive grille and profile.

Store partner Leo Jauregui came across the 1951 Chevy near Fredericksburg in 2017, shortly after moving his family here. He just liked the truck, but also knew it would make an eye-catching display when we opened a shop.

It was not driveable and needed lots of love. So Leo towed it home and worked nearly two years in his spare time getting it into running condition.

Leo definitely had some upgrading to get the truck in running condition.

It turned into kind of a “one piece at a time” undertaking. While the original body components were there, it had a 327 V-8 engine that came out of an early 1960s vehicle. Here is a list of parts that he had to replace or refurbish:

  • All new brakes
  • New carburetor
  • Complete fuel system replacement
  • New spark plugs/wires
  • New (old) wheels and tires
  • Replace wiring for lights

The original teak boards were sanded and stained.

He found there were a bunch of bolts missing that connected the transmission housing. He also needed new motor mounts and replacement seals around the windows.

Cosmetically, the truck was in pretty good shape. Leo left the paint job, an unusual (and not original) combination of blue cab with silver fenders. The original teak bed only needed sanding and staining, and Leo built new side rails to fit the slots.

It’s now licensed, inspected, insured, and driveable.

It runs!

So, how does it run? He had to pause before answering.

“Like a 1951 Chevy,” Leo said. “It’s not meant to go fast, so it’s definitely just a cruiser. And it still has the factory front and rear drum brakes, so make sure you have plenty room for stopping.”

This could haul a piece of furniture or two.

While it may have trouble stopping, the truck is a great conversation starter. We love when our visitors snap a selfie or give it a closer inspection.

So on your next trip to Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country, drive by Gathered & Good to check out our old ’51 Chevy truck. You’ll find it parked somewhere around our shop on Highway 87 just two blocks from Nimitz Museum and Fredericksburg’s famous Main Street.

Think of it as an added little side trip through history.

Harlow helped decorate the truck for the Christmas parade.


Welcome to “Easter Haus” Fri, 05 Apr 2019 21:41:47 +0000
Easter Fires of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg’s famous Easter Fires story was written in this building.

December 2018–When you step into Gathered & Good, you are stepping back in history.

That’s because the building and the family that lived here played key roles in making Fredericksburg the welcoming community it has become.

The home was built in 1937 by William Petmecky, Sr., and his wife, Emma, on family land granted by the German Immigration Company. With its stately architecture and prominent porch it created a distinctive appearance on one of the main highways into town. But more striking were the inhabitants.

William Petmecky, Sr., was a prominent citizen. His grandfather Gottfried Petmecky was an original immigrant in 1845; his father A.W. Petmecky was a stonemason who created the enigmatic white elephant on the White Elephant Saloon on Main Street.


Plaque honoring William Petmecky, Sr., for his civic leadership.

William, Sr., served as the county tax assessor-collector, postmaster, and head of almost every community service organization, from the Gillespie County Fair Association to the Chamber of Commerce. He was influential enough to receive calls from favorite son Lyndon B. Johnson after he became President of the United States.

The Fredericksburg resident was also among the leaders to take steps to recognize the priceless German heritage. He was one of the first to set in motion the preservation of the old rock houses in Fredericksburg, noting that someday they will be a treasure to us. He created Night in Old Fredericksburg, and was instrumental in pushing for the formation of a historical society.

But his most original contribution was creating the Easter Fires Pageant. Petmecky was Chair of the committee to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Fredericksburg in 1946. Working with a local history teacher, Petmecky decided to capture the oft-told tale from pioneer times, when a young mother soothed her frightened children by telling them the Indian War Fires on the hills were built by the Easter Rabbit to cook and dye Easter eggs.


Clipping from an old “Around the Square.”

For the celebration, they turned this tale into an outdoor pageant. It was a massive production, with a role for nearly everyone in town. The response was so favorable that Petmecky decided to condense it. He reworked the story, and two years later, in 1948, the Historical Society and the Fair Association put on the first production. It lasted for more than 50 years, and is being revived to share with the legions of visitors who come to appreciate that Fredericksburg heritage.

Read the history of the pageant here…

That enduring story was written in this very building, according to his son, Bill, Jr., “on an old fashioned manual typewriter, using Dad’s four finger typing style that he used over the years to write news articles about Fredericksburg for a number of papers throughout the state.” (He still has the typewriter!)

And that is why it is called Easter Haus.

But current owner Bill Petmecky, Jr. knew it as his boyhood home that was “just a wonderful place to live.”

So many good things happened here: community meetings, Saturday night parties, informal get-togethers with beer, sausage, and gemutlichkeit. He fondly remembers gatherings of Cub Scouts and Gillespie County Fair Queens.

He is happy that the home where he was raised continues to be part of the life and commerce of Fredericksburg. Gathered & Good is proud to continue the Petmecky tradition of being a place for family to gather and do good things together.

We are pleased that you will help us continue writing the story of Easter Haus.

Bill Petmecky

Current owner Bill Petmecky, Jr., has fond memories of growing up in Easter Haus.

Ghost of the Haengerbande Thu, 25 Oct 2018 14:21:18 +0000

The notorious Haengerbande tree next to the Nimitz Hotel, where lynch mob leader J.P. Waldrip finally was cornered by respectable Fredericksburg settlers. There are still bullets from that fatal gunfight lodged in the tree trunk, as described by Derek Spence (right) on a Fredericksburg Ghost Tour. Photo by Phil Houseal

Even when it’s not Halloween, there is a spooky-ooky history surrounding this part of Fredericksburg.

Back in the late 1800s, a Gillespie County desperado named J.P. Waldrip roamed the Texas Hill Country. This outlaw led a group of 60-odd men who claimed to be Confederate soldiers. But according to historian Michael Barr, they were really rustlers, bandits, and murderers. They made up the dreaded Haengerbande, a lynch mob that targeted anyone they suspected of being Union sympathizers, pulling them from their homes and hanging them from the nearest oak without a trial or proof.

Derek Spence, who leads Fredericksburg Ghost Tours, tells the tale of Waldrip’s demise, when local citizens finally rose up and shot him in the shadow of the Nimitz Hotel. There are conflicting stories of who fired the shot and what happened to the body. But Spence’s research shows that Waldrip was buried in an unmarked grave along Baron’s Creek, not far from this location. Bill Petmecky, our landlord, whose family at the time owned the entire property from Main Street to Highway Street, confirms that the outlaw was buried somewhere on the original lot. It is claimed the body was dug up by scavengers–of the animal kind–and was then reburied in the vicinity of Lochte Feed, just around the corner. The family took pains to keep the exact location secret to prevent desecration by the families of those wrongly hanged.

This is just one of the ghost stories attached to nearly every building in Fredericksburg’s commercial district, and, like those stories, based on very real historical events. To hear more tales, be sure to check out Fredericksburg Ghost Tours.

And don’t fret–shopping at Gathered & Good is guaranteed ghost-free! Despite his horrible acts, no one has seen anything of J.P. Waldrip since 1867.

Finding her mother’s couch Tue, 23 Oct 2018 02:11:21 +0000

Betty Anderson (left) once again sits on the couch she grew up with in her Houston home.

Oct 22, 2018–“Oh my gosh! That’s my mother’s couch!”

Betty Anderson was flabbergasted, staring at the ornate green velour couch sitting on Gathered & Good’s front porch the first day we were open in Fredericksburg, Texas. We had to find out the story. It took a while, because the tale goes back to 1937 and involves an adopted child, the Texas oil business, and two world wars.

It turns out Betty’s parents, Doris and G.W. “Blackie” Wheeler, were prominent citizens in the Houston area the first part of the 20th century. Her father was one of the original successful Texas oilmen. He also served as a reconnaissance pilot in both WWI and WWII. He donated many of his memorabilia to the aviation museum in Galveston, including a photo of him at Malta inside a tent with General Eisenhower, Field Marshall Montgomery, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

In 1937, Doris purchased a new couch for entertaining company. It was part of a set, with matching chairs and coffee table. She had it recovered in the 1960s in the popular color of the times, which we’ll just call “avocado green.”

When Betty’s mom died, Betty received the living room furniture. She kept it until about five years ago, when she sold it at a resale shop in Kerrville, Texas.

There, Dawn Houseal purchased it to use in her former business, Sisters Vintage Party, a wedding and event rental company. It was used by bridal parties to add a vintage feel to their big day. Looking back, that limited use is the reason it remained in such good condition.

So when Dawn opened Gathered & Good, she decided to place it for sale as part of the inventory. It was sitting on the porch the day Betty Anderson, now a resident of Fredericksburg, stepped out of her car and saw it again for the first time.

That by itself would be an interesting tale. But there is more to the story…

One day 70-some years ago, Betty’s mom was sitting in the beauty parlor when she heard that a local woman decided to give up her 8-month-old son for adoption. When Doris heard the news, she ran out to tell her sister, who ended up adopting Tom Boyd. While growing up, Tom spent lots of time at his cousin Betty’s house, and the couch held special memories.

So when Betty mentioned to her family about finding the couch, cousin Tom decided he wanted to buy it back. Tom and his wife, Marilyn, were building a new home near Columbus, and thought it would be perfect. They even had the original chairs to pair it with.

Reunited with the distinctive couch from their childhood are Tom Boyd (standing, right) and his cousin Betty Anderson (seated, right). On the left are Tom Anderson and Marilyn Boyd.

So two weeks after Betty saw the couch, Tom and Marilyn drove over to Fredericksburg where we helped load up their once lost prize. The last we saw of them they were happily driving down Hwy 290, with the “green” velour couch strapped to a trailer sailing off to its new/old home.

All kinds of morals come to mind to wrap up this tale. But we prefer to think the story is not over, and that there will be many more memories spring up around that ornate family heirloom. We were happy to have played a part in a story that truly fits our name–Gathered & Good.

June Phillips, Our Hero Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:22:37 +0000
June Phillips

June Phillips, our inspiration for Gathered & Good

Note: We wanted our first post to be about the woman who was our inspiration for this shop and much more.

June Phillips was our mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

She was our hero.

June Phillips spent her whole life in the Texas Hill Country, giving more than she took.

While raising six children with her husband, Les Phillips–who was a lifelong counselor at Fredericksburg and Harper High Schools–June also worked in the Middle School office.

When her kids were grown, June volunteered for every organization she could.

She was a founding and lifelong member of the Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity. They honored her by creating a scholarship in her name.

With her time and money, she supported Meals on Wheels, the Fredericksburg Food Pantry, Hill Country Needs Council, and the school reading program OTTER. She was active in First Baptist Church, working in the office, singing in the choir, and participating in every program.

On her own, and very quietly, she helped out many in town, feeding young families, and counseling people struggling with divorce, legal issues, or just hard times.

June left us in 2017, on to the heavenly reward she believed in and deserved. When we were trying to choose an appropriate name for our soon-to-be open shop, we felt June was guiding us.

We came to the word “gathered” not only because it referred to goods we could gather for our customers’ homes, but also for its meaning of creating opportunities for people to gather and share special times. Because June Phillips taught us that you create everlasting memories when you bring people together.

The word “good” came from the goodness she taught, lived, and showed everyone she ever came in contact with. From strangers she invited to Thanksgiving to letters she wrote to people in prison. Her kindness knew no boundaries.

We realized “Gathered & Good” was the right name for our shop when we noticed the initials were “GG.” GG was the name our first granddaughter called her, short for Great Grandma.

Thank you for helping us honor the legacy and life of our mother. We hope your experience coming into our shop will create similar special memories in your home and your life.