They say there’s a time and place for everything, and for Round Top’s Cottonseed Trading Company, that time was in the midst of a global pandemic, during an election year — in small-town Texas. Owned by Marsha and David Smith, the shop made its official leap from Round Top Antiques Week vendor to year-round brick-and-mortar location in October of 2020.
“We had some friends questioning our sanity through it all, but the move felt like the logical next step, and the timing felt right,” Marsha said with a laugh. “And we’ve actually been really pleased with how it’s turned out.”
Antiques were a love Marsha discovered in her college years, during a trip home with a girlfriend one weekend. Her friend’s home was filled with vintage finds — objects with a history, a uniqueness and story. And, as for Marsha? She was hooked. She soon found herself searching for her own antique treasures.
Later, alongside her husband, David, Marsha took her next step in the antiquing world: Setting up shop at Marburger Farm during the world-famous Round Top Antiques Show. The husband-wife duo sought out treasures that spoke to them, selling only items they, themselves, might keep in their home.
“It’s not just about the transaction,” Marsha explained. “We look for things that are special and a good quality. There have been times I’ve fallen in love with an object and just can’t bear to part with it. We put our money where our passion is.”
About seven years after their start at Marburger, Marsha said she felt it was time to explore the idea of having a shop all her own. Cottonseed Trading Company’s free-standing store today sits in Round Top Village. The comfortable shop gives folks the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or wine while browsing American farmhouse antiques and curated market finds.
And the new market items? They’re all products the couple uses and enjoys themselves. About 95% are locally sourced — and made in America — and they have hopes of going 100% American-made in the near future.
In addition to her antique offerings, Marsha also provides in-home design work. Focused on restyling clients’ homes — not whole-house renovations — she said her projects are all about a fresh perspective. Sometimes that means pulling different colors into a corner or pairing antiques with more modern items. And it’s clients’ reactions, she said, that provide the biggest rewards.
“People have a tendency to get in a rut, but that fresh perspective can really help,” Marsha noted. “My favorite moment is when a person sees their space for the first time. I love to see their jaws drop and to have them say ‘Wow — this is my home!’”
The decision to grow their business during an uncertain time was something of a leap of faith, but it’s one Marsha said was well worth it.
“If someone had told us five years ago that we would be living in Round Top and opening a brick-and-mortar shop, I never would have believed them. Yet, this is what God had for us,” she said. “We consider it an honor to be doing what we’re doing during this season of our life, and we’re counting it all joy.”
Cottonseed Trading Company is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays — and on other days by appointment. For more information, visit their Instagram page.