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by Halley Sanford June 20, 2021 5 min read 1 Comment

With shops in two of the most lowkey-posh parts of Texas – Georgetown and Marfa -- 6Whiskey might not be what its name suggests, but we promise you won’t be disappointed by your visit. They don’t distill whiskey (though they’ll gladly share a shot with you if you pop by) and the name, well, that’s a little closer to heart and home.

“6Whiskey is actually named for my father. He’s a glider pilot and 6W is his tail sign, so we were always the ‘6Whiskey Crew’. And it’s catchy. Plus, we sell men’s apparel as well, so it gets the guys in there because a lot of people think we’re a whiskey bar,” laughed Allison Ray, owner of 6Whiskey

Allison’s father, Bill Snead, still competes as a glider pilot at 80 years old. In addition to the namesake, 6Whiskey’s map dots have ties to Allison’s father and family. The first 6Whiskey storefront found its home in Georgetown, where she grew up and the home of the family business, Texas Crushed Stone Co., and then much like us with Daddy Doug in Ruidoso, she developed heartstrings to Marfa, where her daddy competed in the summers.

“That’s really what led me to Marfa,” she said. “As a kid we always came out here, the championship tour was held out here; Marfa has the best thermals*. I was always coming out here every summer, and that’s what eventually led me back here. It was always on the list, to try to get back, to open a second store here, and that’s what we did in October, in the midst of the pandemic.”

[*If you, like us, are not familiar with the jargon, we’ve got you. According to AuthenticTexas.com, “The infinite sky, a palate of blues and wisps of white clouds, harbors some of the best thermals a sailplane pilot could dream of. It’s the thermals above the Marfa Plateau that beckon sailplane pilots from around the world to launch their craft into the skies over the Big Bend region of West Texas.”]

In building the 6Whiskey brand identity, Allison aimed to stay authentic to herself and her family.

“We really wanted to focus on brands that we grew up on, like Pendleton, and Duckhead, and Double D Ranch,” she said. “We try to carry what would appeal to the Double D Ranch lady, and her husband or her boyfriend or her son. That was the approach.”

Though Allison only just recently dived into the world of retail, it’s something she always had an inkling she’d do.

“In my twenties, I started working retail,” she said. “And then slowly I started collecting little things for a little shop I always knew I’d have one day. As I got older, I thought I’d better do this now. I’d been in corporate and it was a great job, but it didn’t have a lot of creativity to it, and 6Whiskey kind of evolved out of that. I was still working my regular job, so I would be open from 6-8 in the evenings. And on the square in Georgetown, everything else closed at 5, which was great for us because it was this time that we could kind of unwind and create, but there were still a lot of shoppers because everything else was closed.”

The response was strong and soon, patrons were imploring Allison to keep 6Whiskey open during the day as well. So, she made a plan and made it happen.

“My oldest daughter, Bailey Johnson, is running our Georgetown store now,” she said. “She’s our manager and she’s also a buyer. She’s 25, so gives me a whole new perspective on sizing and style for that demographic. And she’s introduced a lot of young people to the Double D Ranch brand; it’s been exciting.”

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget she opened a whole other brick-and-mortar in the midst of a pandemic. Successfully. And pretty much runs it solo.

“Thankfully, it’s been steady since we opened in October,” she said. “It’s just been constant. We had a really good Memorial Day weekend, we had a really good spring break – a lot of families out. It’s been just insane and awesome.”

With Georgetown in 2018 and Marfa in 2020, 6Whiskey seems to be nestling quite comfortably into their natural niche: a devotion to the Lone Star lifestyle.

“We try to be more of an experience. It’s not just the women, it’s the men. One of my favorite things is when a guy comes in and he’s like, ‘I’m not a shopper, I’ll wait for you outside’ and then he’s the one who stays for like, an hour. It’s great. He’s comfortable, he finds things he likes, we educate them about the product. They get submerged in the experience. They end up telling me their names, I them mine, we have a shot of whiskey, and then they tell their friends and bring their relatives when they come into town – men and women – and that, that was the goal. It’s so fulfilling. I love it.”

TAKE NOTE: Ladies, we all know half the battle of shopping with men is getting them in the store – whether it’s your husband, your boyfriend, your son, your nephew, your dad, etc. If you can get him inside and actually enjoying it? You’re golden -- even better if he likes whiskey! Especially if it’s a store that carries Double D, because come gift-giving time, he’ll remember it.

But don’t get us wrong; as much as Allison wants you to enjoy your experience within the walls of 6Whiskey, above all, she is enthusiastically passionate about her customers feeling their next-level selves.

ALLISON’S FIRST DDR:

I bought my first jacket in the late ‘80s in Waco at Spice. I still have it and I still love it and I still wear it. For me, that was the [proverbial] ‘Louis Vuitton bag’; if I can save up my money and get a Double D jacket, thenI’m the sh*t. That’swhat I want. I’m a cowgirl, this is what I’m working for every day – it’s gonna be a Double D jacket.

ALLISON’S FAVORITE SISSY:

My favorite piece from Sissy is the “Oil and All That It Implies Vest”, for the beautiful palomino color, the hair pipe and that fabulous drape over the female frame. DDR is wearable art that is rooted in the country, has a rock-n-roll soul, and a deep appreciation for quality and timeless classic lines. That’s why I tell everyone, “You don’t just buy Double D - you collect it!”


1 Response

Beki Smit
Beki Smit

June 23, 2021

Although I lived in Georgetown for over 15 years, this little store opened after I moved back to Austin. That hasn’t stopped me from getting some items from 6Whiskey in the past year. Great service and wonderful packaging. One of these days, I’ll pop up to Georgetown and shop in person.

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