Y’all ready for our next Meet the Maker? This one’s for the boys… er, men. Meet Travis Weaver, the founder of Manready Mercantile. His Houston-based store for American made goods features his personal lines, Manready Mercantile and T.S. Weaver & Co., as well as curated goods from other makers in the country. One of our favorite picks from his site? This custom 24k gold axe. What?!
And guess what? Travis and his co-founder Rob will be joining us at Re:Make Austin on May 3rd and 4th! Be sure to register for FREE here! Read on as Travis fills us in on his sources of inspiration, his life motto (“work hard, live well”) and his advice for other makers.
First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a small-town country guy from Zephyr, Texas. Currently I live in Houston with my Weimaraner, Dylilah, who is a complete handful. Growing up in rural Texas taught me a lot about respect, honesty, loyalty and hard work. When I’m not working, which is rare these days, I prefer to spend my time out pickin’ or doing anything that I possibly can outdoors.
Why did you start Manready Mercantile?
The crazy American Dream story started in late 2012, so it’s all really new to me. I met my neighbor and now business partner, Roby Fitzhenry, at the back of our apartment and we got to talking about what we each did for a living. He was a graphic designer and apparently I was a “maker.” After a few glasses of whiskey, we became business partners and the brand was officially born.
The growth has been out of hand and it’s really taken some getting used to. I started the business just to prove a point…the idea that you can start something from nothing and make it these days. You just have to work smart and work hard. This company is proof.
Why focus on men?
The focus was on women. Women spend money and they love to shop, so why not give them something to buy for their man? I mean, every time it’s a holiday or a birthday, I get a call or text from my buddies’ wives or girlfriends, or boyfriends, and they all say the same thing. “What do I get him? If he wants something, he just goes and buys it.” Well, I can guarantee you that I make products that he either never knew he needed or would want for that matter. To top it all off, we have goods that he can’t live without… like whiskey-soaked beef jerky. Who WOULDN’T want that as a gift?
What is the difference between Manready and T.S. Weaver & Co?
Manready Mercantile is more of an apothecary line, mixed in with some home goods. T.S. Weaver & Co. is a dry goods line that focuses on custom made leather goods and unusual products that are one-offs or deadstock. Some of the T.S. goods are really wild… like 24k gold axes on 33″ hand painted hickory handles, for instance. There needed to be a dividing line between the type of products and ideas that were coming out and the other name was the only way to do it.
In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.
I can make it better.
What other creative hobbies do you have?
I’m an excellent welder and a great cook!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Mostly from my late granddad, Lawrence Crutsinger. He was the hardest working and most honest man that you will never meet. He loved quality goods and things that were made to last!
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Don’t try to do it on your own.
Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.
We can now advertise for free through social media and drive interested buyers straight to our website to make purchases. That’s huge! There’s something to be said about doing things like they did in the good ole days, but when it comes to marketing, digital media is crucial to a small business’s success.
What’s up next for Manready?
The plan is to grow the website and launch new, quality crafted goods every few months. I want to keep folks wanting more and looking forward to whatever we dream up. Lastly, I want to open up Manready Mercantile shops all over the country and be known as the go-to store for the person who has everything.
Have you fallen in love with Manready Mercantile yet? Then don’t forget that they’ll be joining us at Re:Make Austin on May 3rd and 4th. Stop by Palmer Events Center from 11am-6pm to check out their goods!