Tucked among the treasures of West Hildebrand Avenue’s antique row, looms a large oasis on a corner lot. Breezy open fencing surrounds a mystical contemporary garden filled with pottery, statues, and most importantly, bamboo. Big Grass Bamboo has been the go-to spot for San Antonio’s eco-conscious cognoscenti since 2006. Owners John and Duang Hanesworth, “bamboo enthusiasts on a mission” as they call themselves, have established the company as the premier source for sustainable, elegant, stylish and globally friendly merchandise in South Texas.

A recent name change, from Big Grass Bamboo to the more simple Big Grass™, helps reflect the diversity of products available. While Big Grass carries everything from silk textiles to antiques to lanterns to hammocks, the store’s selection ultimately reflects a high-end design sensibility.  
“The Thai have a very refined sense of style. Many of our pieces are handcrafted by trained architects who became furniture designers,”
says John Hanesworth.

Already well known for outdoor room furnishings and garden decor, Big Grass is promoting two indoor furniture lines this season that integrate well with different design styles. Both product lines are made of distinctive, long-lasting bamboo. Loi™ (which means “flowing” in Thai)
is fashioned from laminated bamboo strips that are clamped and formed into fluid, contoured pieces. “It’s not instantly recognizable as bamboo,” says Hanesworth. “It actually has a very Scandinavian, contemporary look.” The Sabai™ line is made from solid core (not hollow) bamboo, giving it an appearance much like wood. Big Grass has a full complement of Sabai pieces: living room, dining room and bedroom furniture all featured in-store. Big Grass is the only US source for both furniture lines.

Big Grass may be best known locally for the innovative Ong™ jar. In a region with water shortages and the level of the Edwards Aquifer a major concern, rainwater collection and recycling is becoming increasingly mainstream. With the Ong jars, it can be beautiful as well. The jars are handmade in Thailand from dense concrete, and then custom-stained to match your décor. They can collect hundreds of gallons of water per rainfall, more than enough to water your landscape during the next drought. The only supplier of Ong jars in the US, Big Grass is so committed to rainwater conservation that it has donated several Ongs to area non-profits.

Beyond the sustainability of the objects they sell, Big Grass has another admirable aspect – a commitment to artisans. Working directly with skilled international artisans, the Hanesworths manage to ensure fair compensation, keep local traditions thriving, and maintain competitive prices for South Texas customers. “Many of our artisans are single women running their own businesses, or husband/wife teams. We love exploring Thailand and finding new artists to work with,” adds Hanesworth. In Big Grass, South Texas has the source for authentic, sustainable, stylish objects that are good for the planet.

Big Grass is located at 637 West Hildebrand in San Antonio, Texas. To learn more about their inventory, the artisan families they work with and to get tips about sustainability in practice, call 210.735.7999 or toll-free 877.735.7999, or visit their website at www.biggrassbamboo.com.