Bexar’s Eye: GOOD Goods Settles Into New Digs on Austin Highway

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Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

GOOD Goods owner D'Ette Cole stands in her boutique on Austin Highway. The shop got its start in the Dignowity Hill area.

It was the bold, white lettering and salmon-colored doors on the black building that first caught Juliana Huff’s eye as she drove by. It was the credenza in the window and other taunting wares that led her to pull over and check out GOOD Goods, Huff said.

“You just got a great, curated eye going on here,” Huff told GOOD Goods owner D’Ette Cole. “You’ve got an eclectic mix.”

The shop is filled with midcentury modern furniture, pillows, candles, jewelry, rugs, and oddities from all over the world – from vintage sign letters and iron wheels on the wall to laboratory beakers holding bracelets. Almost all of the art is from local artists. Pingpong paddles and hairbrushes are used to hold rings for sale.

Cole re-opened GOOD Goods, which sells vintage and new home decor, at its new location at 1055 Austin Highway on Sept. 29. It was previously located in the near Eastside neighborhood of Dignowity Hill.

The new space gives Cole more square footage for the shop, a more private studio and office space for her interior design business, and plenty of storage for both, she said.

The new location also comes with a lot more foot and car traffic compared with Nolan Street in Dignowity Hill, where she opened GOOD Goods in 2015. She had moved into an apartment at the back of the space in 2012 and previously used the shop as storage for her design company.

“I would see people pushing baby carriages and biking, so I starting thinking, ‘You know, there is some foot traffic here. So I’ll give it a try,'” she said. As younger, more affluent families move into the historically neglected neighborhood, other shops have cropped up in the near East Side.

“I loved being in Dignowity Hill,” she said. “It had been my home for several years. That was a hard choice. But when I was shown this building [on Austin Highway], the first time I walked through it … it just felt right.”

In the new location in Terrell Heights she gets enough business to be open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The building was built in 1946 by the Atkins family who operated the What Not Shop there for decades. The family closed the shop and leased the building out to ACE Furniture Refinishers for some 40 years. The Atkins family still owns the building. 

“Eclectic” is the same word Cole used to describe GOOD Goods’ aesthetic. It blends midcentury modern and old world, with styles from around the world. There’s a stack of old photographs next to velvet pillows from Turkey next to block print textiles from India. A man from Peru who lives in San Antonio frequently comes back with merchandise from his home country.

“I want it to feel like it’s curated and has a sophisticated edge but it’s not at all off-putting or fancy,” she said.

The retail business is always a challenge, she said, and the interior decorating industry is often closely tied to the economy – and how much extra spending clients can do.

And with the rise of online shopping platforms such as Amazon.com, some brick and mortar stores have seen a decrease in overall revenue. “People can buy a vase or whatever from their phone right after they have breakfast in the morning,” she said.

“But there’s something that people appreciate about the tangible, the tactile nature of spaces and places that you just can’t get online,” she said. “I’m busy.”

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A cactus for sale is a living knickknack.

In a store like hers, people can find things they didn’t know they were looking for, she added. Some of the vintage designer furniture can set you back hundreds of dollars, but GOOD Goods also sells imported clothing for reasonable prices and knickknacks that make for unique gifts.

“There’s a little bit of a hunt and discovery,” she said.

After purchasing one of the store’s signature scent candles, Huff promised to return to GOOD Goods to hunt for more. 

“Your space kind of inspires people to think differently,” she said.

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