Talena Rasmussen: The Five Question Interview

Talena Rasmussen is the mastermind and creative force behind sowing and cultivating a handful of most popular and successful vintage retail stores in Austin. She is the owner of the soon to be one -year-old Newbo Vintage on Main Street in historic downtown Elgin.

1. Why did you move to Central Texas? 

I moved to Central Texas, New Braunfels to be specific, from Kansas when I was 15 to live with my dad in an attempt to experience a better home life. Lesson learned- you can’t run away from your problems.

2. What compelled you to start a business in Elgin?

I opened Newbo in Elgin because the only local competition (other than online) is The Lion’s Club thrift store, Wal-Mart and Tractor Supply; downtown Elgin is super cute; I live 25 minutes from the shop (which is a big deal after commuting to Austin every day from Webberville for the last 10 years); and Austin is so expensive you cannot take risks with the products you choose to sell, you have to cater to the majority and that just isn’t fulfilling.  I prefer having a store that can afford to be hyper inclusive and cater to all styles, sizes, preferences etc.  I don’t tell people how they should want to dress; I provide enough options so you can try things and figure out what feels right to you.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

1. Never be a part of a 50/50 partnership. Someone has to hold the majority especially if only two people are involved.

2. I don’t hate all bacon; uncured bacon is delicious. 

3. Country birds are superior to city birds.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

I am currently reading 1960’s/70’s sci-fi short stories in preparation for a personal project.

5. Cake or Pie?

Cake only because I feel like I have to choose but really it’s a tie. I love them both.

Follow Newbo on Instagram @newboelgintx

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Tessa McDonald: The Five Question Interview

Tessa McDonald hails from the great state of Alaska. After serving in the U.S. Army she relocated to Texas. She owns and lives on Green Woman Farm amid an edible forest she is cultivating with her husband. With the aid of their sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, guineas, and turkeys they are regenerating the land without pesticides. Tessa’s interest in studying best practices in harvesting and preserving herbs led her to create hand rolled Incense, blended herbal teas, herbal extracts, and dried herbs grown on the farm. 

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

I found my love for gardening quickly outgrew my backyard and wanted to start a farm with an lots of animals and an edible forest. I fell in love with Elgin’s downtown and how close knit everyone was like back home. After we settled, we quickly noticed we made the right choice with our community and don’t plan on ever leaving.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

The need to discover is what got me on my journey of gardening, herbal remedies, & tea brewing. Many people don’t know how much one herb can help with so many problems, so I started to explore this and the many methods of preservation. I wanted to be able to take a small seed, and make that plant into natural cleaning supplies, dried herbs, soaps, extracts, anything my imagination could make. I take time to study, fertilize, and grow my plants. I put them to good use, and surprise myself a lot with the things I make and what can survive here.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I think my biggest lesson is learning when to stop. Farming is a nonstop job, but the need to slow down and rest is also just as important.

My second thing would be stuff doesn’t happen on my time. Mother nature will send us winter storms, spring hail, and sometimes drought and we have to move with it, not against it.

My third would be to let go, sometimes a plant or project cant be saved and you just need to yeet it & start from scratch and that’s just the circle of life.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

So my current thing to do is binge watch tv at night while I roll incense. I just watched Ink Master and I’ve moved on to watching Greys Anatomy. I’m harvesting my collection of culinary and medicinal herbs to dry out and putting them to use in incense, oils, vinegars, teas, & extracts. As for music, I constantly have some blasting on the farm while I work, so mostly Electronic Dance music so my goats get a mini rave. My current favorite songs are My Best Life by KSHMR and Legacy by the Sidh. As for what I’m nose deep in reading, I got this new book the Lost Book of Herbal Remedies that’s inspiring me to expand the herb garden once again.

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie… and I know this won’t win me southern points but I love pumpkin.

Learn more about Tessa and Green Woman Farm…

Instagram @greenwomanfarm20

Website greenwomanfarm

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Making a list + checking it twice ☕️

Yesterday’s Fall Fest & Market Days at Down Home Ranch was a blast! I held back on putting out any new Christmas cards and items, because I like to wait until after Thanksgiving to sell those items. As I say this I realize this may not make very good business… but it feels right for me.

This morning I’m making a list of items I’d like to make for upcoming holiday markets… if I have time. A couple of these new things will be fun to try, so they have stars next to them. I may not get to the rest and that’s okay. 

The luxury of having a day job offers me this flexibility and I’d be unwise not to allow myself some grace. The moment printing and participating in community events like this is no longer joyful… I will know I’ve pushed too hard.

Next up is Shop Small Saturday at Body + Shine Wellness. I can’t wait to trot out my new holiday letterpress & watercolor cards, block printed notebooks, and a handful of new hand printed items.

Upcoming Events

Shop Small Saturday
Saturday, November 27

Body + Shine Wellness
28 N Main Street
Elgin, Texas


Holiday Luna Market
Friday, December 3

Earthen Metals
202 E 1st Street
Elgin, Texas

Hosted by She Creates Union

Best for Last Holiday Market
Saturday, December 18

Ironbridge Farm
Elgin, Texas

Hosted by Felting Farmer Lady

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