Coryanne Ettiene is a self-proclaimed workaholic. She spent a decade writing and traveling, working as a home lifestyle influencer—á la Martha Stewart—during a time where influencing wasn’t even considered a profession.
“I loved the idea of seeing my name in lights,” she says. But eventually she lost track of the lifestyle she was promoting and her own life in the process. She’d be prepping spring content in December and Christmas in July. The final straw came when Ettiene brought Easter cookies to her son’s Halloween party. “That’s when I kind of took a real hard look at my life.”
Ettiene was burned out. So in 2015 she pivoted and opened her eponymous kitchen and homewares shop, Ettiene Market, in McKinney. She threw herself into it, and the shop grew quickly. “I had set myself on this trajectory for retail domination,” she says. Ettiene received fanfare from the press. She opened up small shops in Round Top and Grandscape. She expanded her offerings and social media commerce platforms and hosted cocktail workshops.
Facebook made a commercial for her and put up billboards. In March 2020, right as Gov. Greg Abbott was shutting down businesses for a few weeks to stem the spread of coronavirus, she opened another Ettiene Market location in Bishop Arts.
“There was just a lot of excitement,” she says. “It was like being on a whitewater raft. All of a sudden, you’re like, ‘hold on, we’re gonna have some fun now.’”
But Ettiene overestimated the demands of running multiple stores. She was stressed about caring for her growing staff. She felt she spent more of her time working in spreadsheets than being the shopkeeper she wanted to be. She felt unable to fulfill her creative side. She had big dreams, but she didn’t have time to do them.
Then, on June 23, she posted a video on Ettiene Market’s Facebook page: “I am closing Bishop Arts on July 2,” she announced. People were shocked, Ettiene says, but she says the decision was a long time coming.
Ettiene was burned out again. During the pandemic, she had to shut down her Round Top and Grandscape locations as she began to realize she didn’t want to run an “empire” of stores. She wanted more time to be creative. But she didn’t want to close and have people think she couldn’t handle running a business or that she was “a silly woman.” Everything came to a head this year when it came time to renew her lease in Bishop Arts. Instead of continuing on, she decided to close her doors.
“I felt immeasurably lighter, more focused, more confident in my decisions, and could really see like the future where I was going,” she says.
Ettiene is now putting all over energy into planning and revamping the other legs of her business. She wants to expand her cocktail workshops. She’s organizing a three-day Miraval-inspired wellness retreat in Round Top for next May. It’ll be like summer camp, she says, “but with wine and cocktails.” She’ll continue to set up shop in Round Top during the antique shows. She hopes to self-publish the second edition of Anectdote, a cross between a ’zine and coffee table book that Ettiene calls her manifesto, in October. The 100-page print and digital journal will feature recipes, cleaning, hosting, gardening, and life advice throughout the four seasons.
And she’s planning a “beautiful, glorious makeover” for her original Ettiene Market in McKinney. Inspired by Marfa and Terlingua, Ettiene wants to trade out her French farmhouse-style boutique for an eclectic desert aesthetic. “I have a box of skulls, which I know that sounds very ominous,” she says, plus a 4-by-4-foot tumbleweed.
So, while it might be end for Bishop Arts, Ettiene is by no means closing up shop. She’s just—as she’s done so many times before, pivoting to a new direction. And, she says, it feels amazing.
“The creativity is bursting out of me,” she says. “And it’s just like if I was like a technicolor [rainbow]. I just have rays of color shooting from me at every angle.”