The Greer Guide to Austin: The Special and Powder Vintage

In an unassuming storefront nestled within the bustling bar and restaurant scene of East 6th, husband and wife team Hannah Wood and Johnny Ogle have created something, well, special.

A physical embodiment of creative collective intelligence, The Special captures the spirit of ‘Austin cool’ with a blend of vintage furniture and decor, gifts, and, now, a killer vintage wardrobe.

Powder Vintage has taken an in-house residence within The Special's retail space, the latest brick-and-mortar iteration of the vintage shop that has been selling on Etsy since 2009.

Its doors open for nearly nine months, The Special is the brainchild of an impossibly cool couple with a shared love of design. Originally from L.A., Wood and Ogle moved to Austin two years ago in search of inspiration and the ideal place to create their dream retail space: a place that’s happy, visually compelling, highly curated and thoughtful, and high-end yet approachable. 

It’s this element of ‘attainable retro-cool’ that they’ve cultivated in their East Austin flagship that makes it the perfect backdrop to Powder Vintage, a menagerie of vintage clothing that transcends time, trends, and occasion. With each piece hand-selected by Powder Vintage’s owner, Karla, the vintage clothing selection within The Special elevates the ‘shop within a shop’ concept to stunning new heights. The range and broad selection of incredibly well-preserved vintage clothing that Powder Vintage has curated is, in a single word, impressive. Karla's favorite piece in her collection for the shop is a cropped crochet jacket from early 1900s Ireland, a testament to the level of quality of the pieces Powder Vintage seeks for its shop.

With her start in vintage reselling in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico in the mid-‘90s, Karla’s experience in the business runs deep. After selling two vintage shops she started (the first in Monterrey in 2003; the second in San Antonio in 2008), she moved to Austin in 2009, selling vintage wholesale both online and to shops around town. After buying a piece from Karla at the Citywide Garage Sale over a year ago, Wood and Ogle invited her to sell her clothing at The Special, and a match made in vintage lover’s heaven was born.

Wood’s current favorite piece at The Special is a bright red iron candlestick holder; a piece whose identical twin went to Leslie Hernandez at Aro, where Passport Vintage used to reside. It’s another example of the Austin vintage community supporting one another, both financially and philosophically. When asked if there’s any commingling between Powder Vintage and The Special in terms of merchandising, Wood laughs knowingly, saying that she and Ogle “literally can’t go to the bathroom without trying something on!”

Now we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below and tell us your favorite place to shop in Austin.

The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe.