Monday, June 13, 2016

Doing the Math for the Summer Kick Off Sale

            New things come into the store every day.

            It can be a little distracting. I often find myself side tracked just walking from one side of the store to the other.

            Something new and shiny always catches my eye and it sometimes can take me 10 minutes just to get from my office to our employee break room. It can shorten my lunch break significantly.

             Right now the culprits are the powder coated insulated beverage transportation systems; cups, bottles, and tumblers.

            I go from staring at a computer monitor to dreaming of all the warm weather adventures I could participate in and enjoy.

            The story starts to unfold behind my eyes… camping, fishing, hiking, tubing the river, and days on the beach.

            Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures like rooting for the home team or just sitting on the porch with friends; even driving back and forth to work with a cool iced tea.

            Every time I try to walk by those colorful cups and bottles, some new possibility springs forth fully formed from the part of my brain ruled by and obsessed with weekends and vacations.

            I won’t call it the lazy part of myself. It’s more the part of me that can walk away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The part of me that can turn the cell phone completely off. No vibrate… no lowered ring tone, but all the way to paper weight mode.

            Off.

            But, reality intrudes. Lunch is finite.

            The to do list I leave sitting at my desk to remind me what needs to get done before the day ends steals my attention and my earlier musings slip quietly into the background. Gone, but not forgotten; sleepily waiting for the next burst of inspiration.

            Until critical mass is accrued.

            Which is where we are now.

            I can no longer resist.

            The lure of the colorful beverage holders are just too much and I just happen to have a bit of mad money burning a hole in my pocket.

            You see, I can be a little tight with myself. Spending money on non-essentials requires a bit of internal debate.

            So I sat down last night and did what any good geek would do.

            The math.

            Bottled water is at least $1.00. Over the course of a year, I buy at least 100 bottles.

            That means buying and filling a colorful, powder coated, insulated beverage container would actually save me money.

            I love math.

            At least math like that!

            That startlingly over simplified piece of logic might not have been enough to push me into a purchase, but the timing is too much to resist.

            Two more occurrences have conspired to make my desired purchase a reality.

            One: my tax return finally came in. That’s where the mad money comes from.

            Two: it’s the Summer Kick Off Sale next week.


            The cups and bottles aren’t on sale. But if I buy two items from the sale room then I get 10% off all my regularly priced items AND my sale room items.

            Which works out cause I really need a new pair of boots and there just happens to be a pair in my size that are 30% off. And with so much getting moved into the sale room for next week, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one more thing that needs to come home with me.

            That’ll get me 10% off my insulated bottle and 40% off my boots.

            Not a bad haul.

            And all backed up by math.

            The only thing left to decide… which color?








Written by L.H. 
A cubicle denizen we keep in the way back, back, back of South Texas Tack in Brenham, Texas
Life's Ride


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The STT Military Discount, Memorial Day, and Getting Tack-y

            We are a tack-y kind of crowd.

            Horse tack that is.

            Remember that horse obsessed kid you went to school with?

            That was us.

            Well, maybe not us specifically, but we were that kid in our respective schools.

            As Memorial Day approaches, we have been trying to get the word out about our military discount without straying into the other kind of tacky.

            Tacky without the hyphen.

            Turns out we have Vets who have been coming to the store for years without knowing they were eligible for the discount.

            When something is going on around the store we put up some flyers and put it out on social media.

            But really, we’d rather focus on making sure you are getting the right kind of tack for your horse.

            See, tack-y with the hyphen.

            But to all you Vets out there… you get a 10% discount year round.

            Not just on special holidays.

           There are a few exceptions. We keep prices as low as we can. So, there are products for which even a 10% discount is more than we can do.

            You do need to bring in your military ID card and we do not keep that information in the computer. But it is year round, every day that we are open.

            We will be closed on Monday May 30th.

            It’s a special day and we too need the time to gather with friends and family. Time to remember.

            And, like the rest of the nation, at 3pm we will stop. Whatever we are doing will stop.


            There is always going to be some chore that needs to be done; always be a to-do list waiting.

            Perhaps that is the very reason we invented holidays.

            A time to step back from the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind and let our eyes stop focusing on the trees so we can see the majestic forest all around.

            Americans are a diverse people, who don’t always agree on things; but we are a nation united by the constitution, a body of laws, and the heroes who have served in the past, are currently serving, and will serve in the future.

            They are the common thread that holds the flag aloft and the people free.
We don’t say it often enough, mostly because the words feel so inadequate.

            But… Thank You!

            Thank you for your service.

            Thank you for your sacrifice.

            Thank you for keeping the flag aloft, the people free, and the American dream alive.

            Thank you.

            See…

            Wholly inadequate.


            There just are no words that can adequately express what we truly mean. 



Click here to connect to a YouTube video of 'Taps'.



Written by L.H. 
A cubicle denizen we keep in the way back, back, back of South Texas Tack in Brenham, Texas
Life's Ride



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother’s Day:
A Token
           

            Moms can be hard to shop for.

            Mine never has a wish list. It’s always “Let’s just spend the day together” and “I don’t really need anything!” There’s also “Anything you give me is special! It doesn’t matter what it is!”

            A few years ago I decided to take her at her word.

            I went to the store and bought ribbon, pasta, and gold spray paint. The results were ridiculous.

            All I wanted to prove was that she did care and that giving us hints as to what she would like to receive would have made her Mother’s Day better.

            But it backfired on me, because she wore it.

            She wore it to dinner.

            She wore it to work.

            She wore it to church.

            Well played Mom. Well played.

            It seems that the only thing I will ever be able to teach my Mom are things related to her computer and smartphone. Everything else she already knows.


            I still haven’t decided if she is the wisest of them all or if she just really has my number?!?!

            Who among us remembers all the times she stayed up all night waiting for our fever to break? Or how about all the 3am diaper changes?

            As Mother’s Day approaches we try to say “Thank You” for a job done so well it appears effortless.  A job so tough it could pass for torture under any other circumstances.

            But, it’s a token. The cards, the flowers, the gifts, the food we prepare, and the dinners out we pay for… it’s nothing but a token.

            I shudder just a bit when the memories of my hormone fueled self-important adolescence surfaces from the recesses of my mind.

            Let’s all pretend none of that happened… especially now when I hear so many of my Mother’s words coming out of my own mouth.

            There simply are no gifts or gestures grand enough.

            We will all try anyway. Knowing we will fail. Knowing we will fall short. 

            Of course, that’s OK.

            Because your Mom already has it all figured out.


            Well played Mom. Well played.






Written by L.H. 
A cubicle denizen we keep in the way back, back, back of South Texas Tack in Brenham, Texas
Life's Ride






Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bits and Tack:
A Conversation

            When it comes to horses, riders, bits, and tack the answer is almost always the same.
            
            “It depends.”

            What kind of horse do you have? How old? What’s their health like? How are their teeth? What discipline are you participating in? Is this a pasture ornament you ride on alternating Sundays or are you both training to compete?

            What kind of rider are you? Do you have heavy hands? A light touch? Somewhere in the middle? Are you new to your discipline? Is your horse new to it?

            Every one of these questions go together to give us a baseline. But that’s it. This is just the beginning of the conversation.

            The answer to any question about tack will be as individual as every horse and every rider.

            And the answer will change if that horse gets a new rider or if that rider gets a new horse.

            Because riding is a symphony of communication and teamwork; and no two teams will come together in the exact same way.

            So the answer to every question you may have about what will work best starts with all the questions above and won’t end until you feel the magic between your animal and yourself.

            I say magic, because when it all comes together there are no other words to describe it.

            And it all starts with a conversation that starts with the words“It depends.”

            Our store is run and staffed by walking encyclopedias of everything equestrian. We are hoping to find a way to better communicate some of that hard earned wisdom.

            But, because everything MUST be approached on an individual case by case basis, the task is a little daunting.

            There are some general rules of thumb, but they really are no more than likely scenarios. Really, it’s just a good place to start.

            Still, it seems a shame to hoard this wealth of expertise for locals only. Not everyone can come down to Brenham with their horse and spend the day.

            It’s an amazing experience and I have seen it transform a rider’s relationship with their horse, but it’s not practical for everyone.

            So we are going to try to put together some articles and YouTube videos, in an attempt to share what we know. But we want it to be a conversation.

            Do you have any questions?

            How about any suggestions?

            We want to hear from you. If we put our heads together we have an opportunity to put decades of experience in one place.

            There is no substitute for the hard lessons we have all learned, but maybe we can pass what we know effectively onto the next generation.

            So that they may make a whole new set of mistakes, instead of just repeating ours. 


If you have trouble leaving a comment below contact us using FaceBook, Instagram, email, or snail mail. 

 info@southtexastack.com
4765 Hwy 290 E
Brenham, Tx 77833








Written by L.H. 
A cubicle denizen we keep in the way back, back, back of South Texas Tack in Brenham, Texas
Life's Ride



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rodeo, Antiques Week, and BBQ

           We’re always a little sad to see the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo end.

           It’s an event that celebrates our roots, and the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit you can find in every nook and cranny in the great state of Texas.

           The scholarships, the international exposure, the spotlight on innovation, the exchange of ideas and best practices, and the cultural and culinary delights all come together to create an event like no other in the world.

           We go to a lot of rodeos, but around these parts we all call HLSR “The Rodeo”.

           A few Saturdays back we had a family come up from Houston. They were here for the rodeo all the way from Costa Rica. They had heard about South Texas Tack from the people they had met at HLSR.

           It was really something watching them load their rental car. Newly shaped hats going to what I consider an exotic locale, but to them it’s just home.

           We come together once a year in Houston to celebrate Western culture and agriculture with an eye towards an even better future for our children’s children… and the BBQ.

           Oh, how we love the BBQ!

           But all is not lost.

           The Rodeo may be over but just over in the next county is the world’s largest flea market and antiques show. Give or take 10 miles of junk, treasure, fashion, and food set up in cow pastures, tents, buildings and trailers. 

           Twice a year Fayette county is transformed from pastoral paradise to flea market nirvana, and it’s nearly impossible to quantify. It’s Antiques week and it just… is.

           “Many people don’t realize that Antiques Week is not run by any one single organization, group or person. It is actually a bunch of individually run events that all coincide over roughly a ten-day period. By our count, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 shows going on during Antiques Week. Pretty impressive, especially when one considers that no one is in charge.”   Roberto Alvarado of Show Daily Magazine


           Only in Texas.

           For 11 days we will be in the Boot Box on Neece Hill at the Lone Star Gallery in Warrenton, Texas. It’s a chance for us to get out of the store, to meet people with whom we might never otherwise come into contact; to talk with and learn from those outside our immediate sphere.

           Plus, all the boots we take out there are 20% off.

           Last fall we met a German foreign exchange student. Listening to her talk about the shock she experienced getting off the plane her first day in Texas and seeing all the cowboy boots; talking about our culture and the agricultural roots that are much, much more than just ‘footwear deep’.

           There’s never a dull moment in rural Texas.

           So much to see.

           So much to do.

           As the sun sets on one event, there is another dawn waiting to take our breath away.

           We don’t live in our Grandparents’ rural communities any more, but it’s definitely a place built on the dreams they had for us… and BBQ.


           Oh, how we love the BBQ! 






Written by L.H. 
A cubicle denizen we keep in the way back, back, back of South Texas Tack in Brenham, Texas
Life's Ride




Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Best Kept Secret at
South Texas Tack

            We got a phone call from a customer who’s been coming in to STT for years. The question he had went a little something like this: “Where in the name of San Juan Hill is the sale room?”

            Someone once told me that humans almost never look up because we have no natural predators that attack from above.

            I haven’t gone out and verified this information, but the story has stuck in my head.

            Which is how it became a part of my (not so grand) theory about the STT sale room… the sign is too high.

            The evolution of the sale room is an interesting one.

            Instead of hoarding things and putting them on sale every now and then, we put those items into the sale room and discount them right away.

            Why wait?

            Useful things will break or wear out at an unfortunate time. It’s a variation on Murphy’s Law.

            An old pair of boots and a roll of duct tape are a potent combination. But eventually a rainy day will go from interesting, to dicey, to a string of expletives your Momma would take you out behind the wood shed for.

            Yes, there are rare occasions when even duct tape can’t fix it.

            It’s alright to take a moment while the shock wears off. The words on this page aren’t going anywhere. Take all the time you need.



           

            

            Glad you’re back.

            The sale room is located in the south east corner of the building.

            For those of you who know you will not have a compass on your person, come in the front door, hang a right, and look for the blue sale sign.

            But you gotta look up.

            And while you’re looking up, take a moment to admire the decor. You will see family trophies from the family ranch decorating a family run store.

            That’s the other reason we created the sale room. STT is run by horse people, for horse people. We try to cut our customers a break whenever we get the chance because we know what it’s like.

            With it being show season and rodeo time, expenses can add up. That’s why we’re having the Annual Rodeo Blowout Sale, every Friday and Saturday during the month of March.

            Buy any two items from the sale room and you will get an additional 10% off at the register. There are some exceptions, but that is an additional 10% off your whole ticket. Not just the sale items.

            We can’t run a sale like this for long. Not without going dark.

            Turns out the electric company is very particular about when and how often they get paid.


            But you can’t take advantage of the sale if you don’t come into the store and look up. You’ll see the sign for the best kept secret at South Texas Tack. 




Written by L.H. 
A cubicle denizen we keep in the way back, back, back of South Texas Tack in Brenham, Texas
Life's Ride