Our Big Grass World

Hmong Handbags: Fall Fashion Must-Have


There is a great blog post over at coco+kelley on Hmong bags. It's a really interesting bit on the history of the Hmong people and how their intricate and stunning designs, which have been passed down through many generations, have made their way into modern fashion. We carry a wide variety of authentic Hmong bags at Big Grass. Come by and pick one for your Fall wardrobe!

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Rainwater collection system is dependable source for home

Excellent article on rainwater collection take from the San Antonio Express News

Rainwater collection seems like a no-brainer for any type of new construction, especially for a house. Whether it’s watering household plants, keeping the pool full or augmenting an entire landscape, rain barrels and storage tanks make collection easy and affordable. In some cases it may be possible to supply an entire household in South Texas using rainwater. More…

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Big Grass in Saveur

Be sure and catch our contribution to this month’s issue of Saveur. The magazine recently asked its readers to share their favorite foods, kitchen items, and inspiration from their own kitchens. The Kruk, or Thai mortar and pestle, immediately came to mind. Check out our page and the rest of the list for more ideas for your kitchen!

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Bamboo Serveware & Utensils

Make your kitchen efficient and attractive with these simple and beautiful bamboo serveware and utensils.

1. Have you ever made your own sushi? Give it a try! We have Bamboo Sushi Sets with everything you need to serve and enjoy your very own homemade sushi. Four place settings.$25

2. Coconut Shell Spoons are simply made yet artistic and useful. Every one is different! $8.50

3. Bambu Bowls and Trays are the perfect way to create a beautiful spread. Many shapes and sizes for your next party! $25-75

4. Everyone has a favorite tool they always reach for. Bambu Utensils are both durable and lightweight. Stir, Scoop, Spread, Serve…Naturally! $4.95-15

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Shopping Local: Humble House Foods

The newest products to hit Big Grass come by way of two local artisans. Luis Morales and Marsha Millegan of Humble House Foods recently began creating their line of gourmet foods that include the most divine cheeses we’ve ever tasted, as well as tampanades, pesto, and hummus.

We are very excited to be offering Humble House Food products at Big Grass. We had a chance to ask Luis a few questions about Humble House Foods.

What school did you and attend and what was your main focus?
I attended Lee High School, as did Marsha. She also attended North East School of the Arts. Then we both attended college at SAC. I also attended and graduated culinary school from the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio two years ago.

How did you get involved in making cheese and other food products?
Since I graduated culinary school I have worked in many restaurants, country clubs, hotels, etc. I knew that I was tired of working hard for someone else and not getting paid well, so I wanted to have a business of my own. We looked at many different ideas with making various foods. We decided to go with cheese mostly because of the lack of capital that we had to start the business. Cheese is inexpensive to make. With the added bonus of no one else in San Antonio making cheese, it seemed like a winner.

What is your most popular product?
We don’t just make cheese, we make various other products like pesto, hummus, tapenade, roasted sun-dried tomato, and roasted garlic. Among the cheeses, our Camembert is the best seller.

What products do you hope to offer in the future?
In about a month we will have blue cheese and a washed rind cheese. I would like to offer more aged cheeses like cheddar and Swiss. As far as other non-cheese products go, I don’t have a comprehensive plan but we would like to offer cured and smoked meats eventually.

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Another Year at Big Grass!

In spite of freezing temperatures and frozen plants, January, is a time of renewal—-new and better personal habits, a renewed energy in home and work efforts, and lots of new ideas and plans. I hope all of you have given thought to what is truly important in your life—family and friends first.

It’s hard to believe, but at Big Grass we are now beginning our fourth year of business! We have come a long way since January 2007, opening our doors, exhausted after a year spent cleaning and re-imagining the old auto repair shop that came before. With encouragement and suggestions from you, our customers, Big Grass has evolved into the largest source of eco-luxury products for home and garden in the state of Texas. New connections with artisan families, further travels, fresh discoveries and deepening relationships with our customers and design-trade partners fostered a natural arc of growth in our offerings and mission. We are committed to this spirit of adapting and evolving as opportunities and challenges arise. Nothing makes us more proud than when new customers remark how amazed they are with the store, or regular ones simply thank us for being here.

2010 is a turning point for San Antonio. New neighbors and ideas are arriving from out of state and beyond. The shape this growth and change will take is our choice to make: between locally-owned creative enterprises or big box, competition killing retailers, eating and entertainment options. Small businesses reinvest their earnings locally and foster an authentic, vibrant lifestyle. These hardworking neighbors make our house a home. With a small change in routine, or a different route home you never know what cool new business you might discover.

So, dine at a chef-owned restaurant, go out and see your favorite local band or performing arts group, visit galleries, choose original art, and shop your local retailers. Involvement like this is what it takes to have a thriving and diverse local business community.

Thank you for all of your support.
We hope to see you in 2010!

John and Duang Hanesworth, Liz Molina & Betsy O’Haugherty

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Thai Holidays Shine

In Thailand, 99 percent of the population is Buddhist and Christmas is not considered an official holiday.

In larger cities, however, “holiday spirit” is everywhere in December to mark the birthday of Thailand’s beloved king, the world’s longest reigning monarch. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, King Bhumibol was not raised to be a king, which part of his charm and appeal for many.

To celebrate, stores and city streets are adorned with brightly colored artificial pine trees (as large pine trees don’t grow in Thailand), images of Santa Claus and Rudolph, and more. Familiar western carols are heard in crowded shops. Many Buddhist Thais celebrate the “holiday season” not as a religious event, but simply as a chance to gather with friends and family and deliver best wishes for the coming year.

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Company's coming! Are you ready?

Holiday parties are right around the corner. Cousins and uncles and old college roommates are descending soon to bring laughter and joy to a guest bedroom near you. That means it’s time to spruce up the home front.

Big Grass has a huge array of affordable guest bed, guest bath and tabletop decor items that let you express your unique style. Make your home fabulous – just in time for holiday guests. Stop in to Big Grass this weekend to see what special finds are on sale for you.

Polish Up That Guest Bathroom
A little of your personal style can make holiday guests feel extra welcome

For the guest bath, the Koch and Harnn spa/bath collections feature top quality baskets, storage, towel racks, and accessories.

You can feel stylish and responsible for choosing eco-friendly and fair trade accessories made of woven bamboo fiber, solid “iron” bamboo, polished coconut, elegant silks and native embroidered fabrics.

Find little touches of luxury – candles, organizers, hand-milled soaps, and much more – at affordable prices that have BIG style impact for your guests.

Get Ready For The Compliments
(And Not Just For Your Fabulous Deep-Fried Turkey!)

Your table will sparkle with style when you add global accents like tablerunners, festive candle and tabletop lanterns, one-of-a-kind centerpieces, eco-friendly serveware and more. Ideas abound at Big Grass to get your creative juices flowing.

Rest Easy…
While Your Guests Rest in Style and Comfort

You’ll be thankful for Big Grass’ many value-oriented, stylish bedding options.

- Silk pillows and bolsters screened with contemporary graphics or embroidered with traditional designs.

- Coordinating comforters and pillowcases in crisp contemporary looks or intricate native patterns.

- Curtains and window treatments in a variety of colors and styles to “make” a room.

- Decor and accessories from wall art to nightstands and bureaus, all priced for a range of budget options.

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Bring More Meaning toYour Holidays

The holidays are upon us again. Typical scenario: come December 23rd, you’ll still be trying to scratch that final name off your list during a last-minute gift-buying spree as you down cup after cup of hyper-caffeinated peppermint mocha trying to erase the stress headache that erupted after busting your holiday budget.

If we’ve learned anything from this past year’s economic trials and tribulations, simplicity is a good thing and “meaning” is more meaningful than ever. At Big Grass, we’d like to help bring more simplicity and meaning to the holidays for everyone. To help you plan better this year, we’ve created a variety of gift collections to make shopping more budget-friendly.

And as always, every treasure you find at Big Grass has a meaningful story behind it – from the artisan family co-ops that make our stylish décor items, to the culturally significant Thai-yabera shirts for men made from traditional silk sarong fabrics, to the uber-hot and trendy handbags made by landmine survivors in Cambodia.

We’ve hand selected a few collections of our favorite gift items to help you out…without breaking the bank. Stop in today, enjoy a complimentary cup of Zhi tea and see what’s in store to bring simplicity and meaning to your holiday.

1. A great gift for anyone! Zhi Tea’s aromatic blends come in six tempting flavors from exotic to heavenly. Stylish recyclable aluminum canisters are ready-made for gift-giving, especially when coupled with our tea strainers or gorgeous porcelain tea sets. Organic, fair trade.

2. Bamboo Tealight Lanterns are both functional and beautiful, casting a warm glow from a natural sanded bamboo node with a blown glass hurricane cover. Wonderful hostess or office gift.

3. For your Zen friends! The Bamboo Box & Incense Set features intricate handcarving finished in dark or natural tones, plus a selection of exotic scents. Hand-sanded bamboo culm makes a beautiful jewelry box or chic storage piece.

1. For the chef or the hostess: Bambu® Cutting Boards are sustainably-produced, stylish and durable. Pair with Bambu serving pieces for a special kitchen-themed gift basket.

2. Porcelain Hurricane Lanterns are based on traditional Thai hanging lantern forms, but modernized for indoor and outdoor decorating. Stylish embossing and handpainted patterns convey a contemporary yet exotic attitude.

3. And for the fashionista, Hand Embroidered Cotton Bags in many styles and colors! Laotian hill tribes style these contemporary takes on traditional graphic themes to create casual, colorful and crisp looks for all seasons.

1. For the tea enthusiast or collector: Porcelain Tea Sets. Three styles from
traditional to contemporary. Embossed, handpainted and fired, the workmanship and quality will make these an heirloom.

2. This sturdy, nine bottle Bamboo Wine Rack for the wine enthusiast. Superb workmanship includes rod and dowel joinery, with no unsightly nails or screws. The cube form is perfect for compact spaces or set end to end for larger wine collections.

3. Bloom Bags are the hottest urban trend in NY and London. Messenger bags, purses, gym totes and more made of recycled Vietnamese rice bags. Featuring top quality construction with fabric linings, zipper pockets & accessories. Made by landmine survivors in a Cambodian woman-owned cooperative.

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We're Big Grass...and we're growing!

When Duang and I founded Big Grass Bamboo in 2006, we committed to a philosophy of sustainable living and bringing global culture to San Antonio. Our goal was to celebrate exquisite design, preserve artistic traditions and craftsmanship being lost to mass production, and help support the growing community of people who care about sustainability and the future of our planet.

Thanks to supporters like you, we’ve grown to become the premier retailer of sustainable home & garden decor in Texas. We’re continuing to grow across the nation as a brand that represents the whole range of choices for a sustainable lifestyle.

A New Look
To mark our evolution, we’ve re-launched with a new name and logo that represents our distinctive lifestyle brand. Our new logo reflects the sophistication and style we see in you and all our customers, while the bamboo element – central to our company’s focus – continues to be a symbol of sustainability and environmental consciousness.

Beyond Bamboo
Now we’ve grown beyond bamboo, carrying a wide range of items that represent broad cultural diversity and many design styles from traditional, contemporary and modern collections. The showroom is a treasure trove of furniture and accents for every room, historical artifacts, contemporary accessories, spa & bath items, gifts and fashion clothing.

In short, you’ll find a bit of everything for a lifestyle that values quality, design, style and sustainability. We call that the Big Grass lifestyle. Casually elegant, relaxed, distinctive and globally conscious.

We’re excited about Big Grass’ evolution and invite you to join us. Visit our showroom. Suggest features for our online store. Participate in events that support the Big Grass lifestyle. Follow our journeys to Asia and Latin America in our newsletters. Share your stories with us on our blog so the entire Big Grass community benefits. And you can always get in touch with us via email.

Looking forward to sharing a Big Grass life with you!

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Support Your Local Farmers: A Guide to Fresh Produce Year Round

Photo by ianmalcm on Flickr

This weather is perfect for a weekend at the farmer’s market! Buying in-season produce from local farmers around town not only supports your local economy, it’s also environmentally friendly. Eliminating the need to transport foods thousands of miles means savings on your grocery bill. Locally farmed produce is also picked at its peak of freshness rather than prematurely to prevent the food from spoiling during transport.

PickTexas.com has compiled a list of farmer’s markets in Texas, as well as an in-season produce guide for every month of the year. Find one near you and discover all the nutritious options available in your area!

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Always wanted to party with the models, designers and celebrities of Fashion Week? Here's your ticket past the velvet rope...

Fashion Week San Antonio Oct 6-10

GoGreen Garden Party
Thursday, October 8
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Big Grass, 637 West Hildebrand, San Antonio

Enjoy complimentary cocktails and soft fall breezes in Big Grass’ magical, serene gardens during this fundraiser for
FGI scholarships for design students.

Fashion Week San Antonio is slated for October 6-10, and green/sustainability is the theme. At the GoGreen Garden Party, you’ll get a sneak peek at some of the fashions from the gala finale runway show when you meet the models and designers of the Night of Stars Gala. Fashions on display will represent selections from the GoingGreen runway show that features eco-friendly design and materials.

$13 advance tickets, $20 at the door

Special musical entertainment

Questions? Call 210.735.7999
All proceeds benefit scholarships for design students through Fashion Group International, a 501©3 nonprofit organization.

Why fashion? Learn more about Fashion Group International’s education and advocacy efforts. Fashion Week San Antonio aims to educate the public about the impact of fashion and design on business, culture and our daily lives.

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