Funky gift shop Black Sheep Ranch offers vintage, new home goods and more

Black Sheep Ranch, owned by spouses Donny and Case Houseman, was one of 11 South Austin businesses profiled by the Southwest Austin edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2017.

Black Sheep Ranch, owned by spouses Donny and Case Houseman, was one of 11 South Austin businesses profiled by the Southwest Austin edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2017.

To find the eclectic gift trove known as Black Sheep Ranch, travelers must wander to the end of the road, where SH 45 dead-ends into FM 1826.


Spouses Donny and Casi Houseman reflected inward when naming the boutique—an homage to their mutual identities as outsiders.




Visitors to Black Sheep Ranch can find items ranging from home decor and art to furniture. Visitors to Black Sheep Ranch can find items ranging from home decor and art to furniture.[/caption]

“We are both kind of the black sheep of each other’s family,” Donny said. “That was the theme of our wedding; we had a black sheep on our cake.”


Once Casi and Donny had agreed on opening a gift shop, it took months to find the ideal spot. Eventually the couple decided on a summer camp cabin turned Shamrock gas station built in the early ’40s.


“I looked all over, but I wanted to stay South,” Donny said. “I wanted to stay somewhere funky.”


A laundry list of renovations, such as ripping out the gas pumps and replacing the floors, had to be made before the boutique’s opening, the couple explained.


“It’s such a cool old building,” Casi said. “It probably would have been cheaper to tear it down than renovate it, but that’s why we loved it.”


When the shop finally opened for business in February 2016, the Housemans filled it with a mixture of art, gifts, furniture and home goods. Visitors to the shop can find Texas and Austin-themed souvenirs, potted succulents and vintage items.




Visitors to Black Sheep Ranch can find items ranging from home decor and art to furniture. Visitors to Black Sheep Ranch can find items ranging from home decor and art to furniture.[/caption]

“In the beginning when we started ordering merchandise we both had a vision for what we wanted it to be,” Donny said. “But then while you’re looking, you go off into other wormholes.”


The Housemans are working through the city’s permitting process to build a food trailer park on the business’s 3-acre property.


“That wasn’t even the plan in the beginning, but as I came around the corner and saw the field, my first thought was ‘food trailer park.’”


And if the food trailer park falls through, the couple has a backup plan.


“We joke that if we can’t do the food trailer park, we might start up a farm raising black sheep,” Donny said.






Black Sheep Ranch


11606 FM 1826, Austin
512-301-1986 • www.blacksheepranchatx.com
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m., closed Mon.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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