Field Trip Friday: The Tinderbox

Welcome to the inaugural post of the weekly series Field Trip Fridays, in which we will visit maker friendly places around our fair city. We chose The Tinderbox to profile first for a variety of reasons. Read on! 

Ren Mitchell and her husband Wayne opened The Tinderbox just under 4 months ago. Their goal was to provide a place that would rekindle things that have become relatively obsolete to our generation: hand sewing and stitching, building your own furniture, or making your own soap, and buying things from local artisans. When we visited the shop recently, Ren spoke of her great grandmother and how it was normal in those days to buy bread from the baker, who was also your neighbor, and the regularity in which she made items she needed herself.

 "My great grandmother wasn't thinking about the next new thing on the market - she was always reusing, recycling, doing it herself. I can't imagine the world 100 years from now if we can't reign in what we're capable of."

The Tinderbox strives to offer an atmosphere that encourages being more mindful of the things around us - where they came from and who made them. Speaking to this mantra, they hosts a wide variety workshops and classes that concentrate in craft and Do-It-Yourself. You can take an ottoman upholstery class and use those skills to re-upholster your whole house, or come hang out at a Crafternoon and socialize with other aspiring makers. Their tagline is "DIY with PYL" - Do It Yourself with People You Like!

Ren also wanted to provide an outlet for local makers to sell their handmade items, and has curated a selection of desirable products from artists like Abbie Drue Designs, Tiny Deer Studio and ML Leather.

 "Buying local means more than you think. It's a small thing you can do for the bigger picture. My mission is really a social and political one. I'm not out marching the streets, but I can plant seeds with people every day."

The Tinderbox gives Houstonians interested in DIY and shopping local a great place to start! Our culture gets stronger the more we interact with each other and work together, and the atmosphere of this shop encourages that. 

"It's never too late to bust out some paintbrushes or learn how to sew!"

The Tinderbox is located at 3622 Main Street Suite B Houston, TX 77002. Stop by and strike up a conversation with Ren or Wayne. Before you know it, you'll have made some great friends and inadvertently learned how to build a dining room table.

Copyright Houston Makerspace, LLC 2013.  Background images by Marisa Brodie and Alex Barber.