Ever wonder how our lively little off-the-beaten-path gallery found its way to Round Top, Texas? (Not gonna lie — sometimes we do, too!) The adventure began when John and Laurie Lowery purchased a former dairy farm in nearby Burton. City slickers who didn’t know a thing about livestock — but who’d grown tired of Houston’s big-city hustle and bustle — they decided to split their time between Houston and their new digs, buy some farm equipment and see what small-town serenity was all about.
Of course, old habits die hard. And for John, a life-long artist, advertising guru and former NASA illustrator, art was a really, really old habit. In 2016 he decided to pick up his paint brush and put his own spin on the animals, rusted-out tractors and other stuff that called the region home — and sell it out of his very own gallery. (As for Laurie? She’s a very patient woman.) Humble Donkey Studio began in a tiny cabin on Henkel Square, then moved into a larger space on that same square — and eventually added on to that building. (What can we say? Size matters.) The introduction of Laurie’s Lower40 Found Objects a few years after that initial opening was what cemented the ever-growing store into the one you know and love.
Today, John and Laurie fill their time curating and creating fun new items that give shoppers the chance to own a little bit of Round Top, Texas. They now call Burton their full-time home, and they’re all in on that small-town life. But can we let ya in on a little secret? They still know zilch about cows.