design dialogue: amanda brown.
July 15, 2011
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DARREN CARROLL
Amanda Brown is vibrant, creative, and looks great in a dress, but she can also wield a staple gun like no one’s business. She launched Spruce in Austin in 2008, quickly mastering the art of upholstery herself, to turn the retail-only shop into a full-service destination. “There was a real need in the community that we just happened upon,” she says. “We were still able to offer up a real love of design but with the backing of technical skill.”
Get to know her a little better here:
What’re some of your favorite places to shop?
I love the Blue Elephant in Austin, and there’s also a really cool store here called Corner Collector’s Market. They’re actually our neighbors and have been in business for over 20 years with really awesome antique pieces in any style you can think of.
Who’s your favorite furniture designer?
Charles Rennie Mackintosh. His furniture was clean and modern and way ahead of its time.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Being creative and getting to work with my hands all day. I also get a lot of customers with really great stories, since most of the people who choose to reupholster are bringing in pieces that have been in the family for a long time.
Do you have a special keepsake?
I have this really phenomenal old Frederick Cooper lamp. It has a great porcelain basket-weave base. I collect lamps, and it’s one of my favorites.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
French fries. The Gallery Café here in Austin has sweet potato fries that are truly to die for.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Frye boots. I have about half a dozen pairs of them, and that’s what I wear to work every day. They’re the only things that are fashionable and functional for what I do.