American Apparel Petticoat

Andrews family fits Austin in undergarments at Petticoat Fair

In 1963, the sitcom “Petticoat Junction” first broadcast on CBS.

The tv show about an austere railroad resort run by a steadfast matron, the lady lazy uncle and her three voluptuous daughters ran for seven months, yoked in American minds with “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Green Acres, ” two various other indicates that riffed regarding juncture between rural and metropolitan ways.

In 1964, Petticoat Lane exposed on Austin’s Guadalupe Street. The Andrews household, headed by Bob and Betty Sue, had been currently operating two dress shops regarding Drag. Their brand new concept, later on redubbed Petticoat Fair, ended up being a full-service boutique attempting to sell simply women’s undergarments.

It nevertheless thrives today, today as a one-of-a-kind store with considerable dressing areas in Northcross Center off western Anderson Lane.

“It was funny, ” Betty Sue states. “Customers will make their particular inspections off to Petticoat Junction.”

Through three generations of management, the family has actually stuck by their particular initial idea, while growing offerings to include as much as 300, 000 bras within their stock.

“People accepted that we had a sight the total girl, ” Betty Sue says. “From top to bottom and everything in the middle. Maybe not since the old, days of the past in shops had been truth be told there you to definitely really help you. We had an overall total idea of real service.”

Do their clients — just who relish the private accessories in dressing areas that look like one thing from the classic 1939 motion picture comedy “The Women” — consistently confuse the name regarding the shop using the title associated with the program?

Granddaughter Kali, produced 21 many years following the sitcom left air, quickly volunteers: “They nevertheless do!”

Three years in underclothes

No body within the Andrews family members meant to sell undergarments.

Robert “Bob” Andrews, 90, grew up in tiny towns on the Great Plains during Dust Bowl days. His moms and dads, just who divorced when he ended up being 14, mostly worked in food markets. Bob served on a Navy tanker within the Pacific Theater during World War II, after that on a destroyer throughout the Korean War.

Betty Sue, 84, was created in Paint Rock, where the woman parent, specialized in the highway construction business, was creating a bridge. Wherever they relocated, her mom fed the employees in the building camps. Their particular Tx migrations brought all of them to Austin after Pearl Harbor to construct the runways at Bergstrom Air Force Base.

Bob and Betty Sue found in 1950 at UT, where she learned company management in which he business and accounting.

“It was supposedly a blind time, ” Betty Sue says, “but we checked one another aside beforehand.”

That they had three young ones: Mark, 62; Susan, recently deceased; and Kirk, 56, whom took over Petticoat Fair whenever their father retired.

Born on old Seton Hospital on western 26 Street, Kirk grew up in Tarrytown, in which the Andrews family members moved in 1958 after residing moderate postwar houses in Cameron Village and Allandale.

A few of Kirk’s very first thoughts involve Petticoat Fair.

“The store had been my babysitter, ” he states. “I’d just come and hang out here.”

At UT, he ended up studying petroleum manufacturing, but not before whiling away too much time on fraternity life and dealing for his uncle in the highway construction business.

“After three years of this, I was all set to go back again to college, ” he smiles. “we dropped down a bridge in Katy.”

After college, he worked offshore for almost nine many years, testing overseas rigs. He married in 1990, it is today separated.

Considering the woman father’s task, Kali, 25, was raised in West Africa, Singapore, Thailand in addition to Philippines. After That Allandale. After twelfth grade right here, she enrolled in the style Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.

“i desired doing home design, ” she claims. “It’s now a hobby.”

Kali returned to Austin in 2012, and after a couple of months she acquired shifts on family shop, in which she had started as a cashier at age 16. Since that time she has aided redesign boost the area. Kali is now Petticoat Fair’s primary buyer besides.

Kristi, 23, takes classes at Austin Community university. She actually is also a fitted expert, having offered formerly as a Petticoat Fair cargo checker and a cashier.

“We continue to have too much to discover, ” Kristi says. “I always wished to make a move that will help individuals, like therapy or nursing. However When We saw what we do for females here …”

Behind the petticoats

In 1958, who owns the CoEd store at western 24th and Guadalupe streets in the Varsity Theater building, desired to offer. Bob Andrews had cultivated tired of nomadic building work, along with his mind switched toward local business.

“There ended up being many traffic and a lot of women thereon place, ” Bob says. “There in addition ended up being a men’s shop along the block for sale. But men don’t buy that much. Girls shop.”

He borrowed capital from Austin National Bank and hired students through the UT manner program to serve as clerks. An old German soldier, “a mature lady, ” handled the area.

The Andrews family members then bought the Colony, another gown store when you look at the 2300 block of Guadalupe, in 1961, accompanied by the first of Petticoat Lane three years later when you look at the 2500 block. The theory behind the shop would be to combine the fractured marketplace for fundamentals, shapewear, bras, sleepwear along with other undergarments.

“We had no supervisor in the beginning, ” Betty Sue says. “I thought it had been great. It had been the first time I had accessibility everything i desired. We also reached select all of them aside. I Became 100 % to be in business ourselves.”

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