Cheryl Schulke, owner of Stash Co, brings together a love for collecting materials and finding ways to beautifully showcase them. Having spent her early career in the fields of writing, consulting, and software development, she found herself seeking the tactile satisfaction of working with her hands while amassing a vast stash of unique textiles and materials. In fact, her business name originated when family nicknamed her Stash as they convened to assist with a move and found her collection of rare vintage finds took up every hidden nook of her home.
Officially started in her home studio in 2007, Stash moved into their current studio space in a Texas Historical Landmark building, just outside Houston, in January of 2011. The space provided room to expand the operation and Schulke found it to be in tune with her focus on mindful handmade production using vintage hand-tools, bootmaking equipment, and the early stitchers original to her new studio space.
Now entering her seventh year as Stash, Cheryl has designed more than 100 styles of bags and has personally built a few thousand. Determined to remain connected to the process, she still builds bags when time permits between the busy days spent designing and building a business.
Working hand-in-hand to build Stash Co is her partner, Paul Forde. Forde left high-tech consulting and software development about a decade ago to run his family's road construction company. Never content to sit idly by, Forde was the early catalyst for Stash, buying Schulke her first industrial machine for their anniversary and encouraging her every step of the way. Soon Schulke found ways to bring Forde, who she affectionately calls, Mr Stash into operations. He has built her everything from business software to wooden forms and vacuum press tables. She says he specializes in her impossible.
Eventually, her calls for woodwork led him to begin his own stash of native Texas woods. His goal became preserving those trees that would have otherwise been destroyed due to construction. To embrace the entire process, he invested in a mobile saw mill and has been milling the trees to suit building a limited selection of furniture and fixtures that can be seen and purchased in the Stash sales spaces.
You will have an opportunity to shop the designs of both Schulke and Forde and their teams when the company opens a pop-up in A118 over at West Avenue on the corner of Westheimer and Kirby. The shop plans to open December 13 and run through the 31st. Holiday hours are 11 - 7. There you will find a good selection of Stash handcrafted leather bags. We will also feature a collection we are calling "Stash Loves". This collection will be a few of our favorite things from other artists and friends including handmade wool wraps from Gail Chovan Atelier of Austin, vintage kantha goods from Mela & Roam, art from Dolan Geiman.