Husband and wife Matthew and Katy Culmo own By George, one of Austin’s most successful apparel boutiques, which is celebrating its 29th anniversary. With its 4,000-square-foot contemporary flagship and a 2,000-square-foot addition focused on designers in the heart of downtown Austin at 524 North Lamar, the store’s two locations reflect the trendy beat of Austin. Its original space opened on the University of Texas campus nearly two decades ago but closed last year. Its latest door bowed in 2007 on Austin’s hip SoCo (that’s South Congress Avenue). But these days, By George is feeling like David fighting the Goliaths of new national stores moving into Texas’ capital city.

WWD: What was the style and the retail scene like when you opened in 1979?
Katy Culmo: There weren’t many stores here. The Cadeau has been around for 50 years, and the big department store was Scarboroughs. We were on the college campus in the bottom floor of a high-rise dormitory. Austin was really earthy, crunchy, supercasual, a big music scene. I miss it.

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