Hatter's Hideaway in downtown Houston stocks a variety of items in addition to books, including hand-crafted jewelry made by Rovene Lockhart, of Cuba.

For as long as she can remember, Amber Lange wanted to be involved in something pretty big involving books.

That desire has led to the establishment of “Hatter’s Hideaway” on Grand Avenue in downtown Houston, a store that offers a variety of new books, along with locally made crafts and jewelry. Lange and her mother, Laura Lockhart, opened the store on Nov. 27 (Black Friday).

“I’ve always wanted a book store and I’m a huge reader,” Lange said, “and my family – they’re all crafters.”

Lange is a Cuba native who is also an English teacher at Houston High School. She lives with her husband, Chip Lange, who works as a physician’s assistant in Rolla and is a local volunteer firefighter.

Lockhart resides in Cuba, and commutes to Houston several days each week. Her husband, Bobby Lockhart, has a business and is also a woodworker. Some of his unique work is for sale in the store, along with jewelry made by Lange’s grandmother, Rovene Lockhart.

Hatter's Hideaway woodwork

Hatter’s Hideaway in downtown Houston stocks a variety of items in addition to books, including hand-crafted woodwork by Bobby Lockhart, of Cuba, like this candle holder.

Lange and her mom hope to have many more crafts for sale before long. Area residents are encouraged to contact the store about having their artwork sold on a consignment basis.

“We’re definitely looking for artisans to display their work,” Lange said. “We have plenty of room.”

Located in a space occupied for many years by Neal’s Sporting Goods, Hatter’s Hideaway features multiple areas where guests can relax and hang out on comfortable furniture, and free wi-fi and access to electricity are both offered. The store is stocked with many titles for all ages, especially kids, teens and young adults. Lange said suggestions from customers are welcome.

“We would love to get feedback about what people want to see here,” she said.

Lange and Lockhart both like the idea of catering to young people.

“I love when parents come in with their kids,” Lange said. “Even if they’re just sitting down and reading, it’s exciting to see.”

“It’s nice to see parents taking an interest in what their kids are doing other than sitting in front of a TV or playing a video game,” Lockhart said. “To me that shows they’re paying attention to their education.”

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and 2-7 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 417-967-8050. 

Hatter’s Hideaway (named after the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame) can be found on Facebook and a website should be launched in the near future.

“This is a great place to just sit down and make yourself comfortable,” Lange said. “We would love for kids to come here after school and study, and just hang out. It’s a nice place to just settle.”

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