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Local boutique thrives in aftermath of trauma

By Amira Van Leeuwen

BUDA — Lindsey Childress had always loved the idea of opening a boutique, but it wasn’t until a devastating accident that she began seriously considering it. 

Nearly two years ago, 4-year-old Tripp Archer Childress, fell into a pool and drowned. For 90 minutes, he did not have a heartbeat.

Tripp’s father administered CPR and once first responders arrived on the scene, he was whisked away to Dell Children’s Medical Center. His mother, Lindsey, felt the greater hand of God through the doctors who managed to revive her son.

“He’s a true miracle,” the former kindergarten teacher said.

Tripp stayed at Dell Children’s for 116 days, where his condition was still very unpredictable. 

The Childress family (photo contributed by Lindsey Childress).

“It was almost up in the air a little bit because we’d have a really good day and then the next two days; there’d be complications of some sort, whether it was a blood clot or an EEG that showed maybe something like seizures going on,” Lindsey said. “It was just a constant tugging of emotions like, ‘Oh, this is really good,’ and then the next day, ‘Oh, but then there’s this.’ So, even once we got out of the woods of, ‘He’s going to live,’ it became, ‘Yeah, but what’s that going to look like?’ And that was really scary. Is he going to need a ventilator to just give him oxygen? Is he going to even know who we are or be able to think or communicate or, you know, all of those things that you really don’t think about.”

After her son’s nonfatal drowning accident, Childress’ life changed. With the cost of medical bills, equipment, therapy and medications, she knew that it was the wrong time to be a one-income household. 

While a boutique was not at the forefront of her mind, it was through her husband’s encouragement and her love for fashion that Tripp + Archer was created. 

Tripp + Archer started as an online boutique and while Lindsey had no serious plans for opening a physical store, a space became available. In October 2021, Tripp + Archer was officially open for business. 

The boutique, located at 112 Main St. in Buda, carries patterns inspired by Tripp’s passion for hunting with his dad and Lindsey’s inclination to “live colorful and bright.” 

“Anytime you’d ask him, you know, being a 3-year-old, barely a 4-year-old, what was his favorite color, he would always say camo and so camo, fortunately for me, is kind of trendy and so it’s on a lot of different things women’s apparel wise,” she said. “And so I definitely try to incorporate any of that when I come across something just in honor of him and his story.”

Tripp + Archer also carries a variety of clothing, accessories and home goods. 

The boutique is in the process of forming an official nonprofit organization, where a portion of sales will go directly to other families who find themselves hurtled into unexpected situations.

“Now Tripp + Archer boutique is going to be not only a means to support our family and our son, but also give back to people who suddenly find themselves in this unimaginable scenario where their life has changed completely and how are they going to pay for these things,” Lindsey said. 

She was inspired by the other organizations and people who helped them along the way like Team Luke — Hope for Minds and Dr. Brian Crawford, owner of The Austin Center for Developing Minds, along with other families that have reached out with contact information for specific doctors. 

“Unfortunately, a lot of the therapies nonfatal drowning kiddos need are not covered by insurance and so we were so blessed that people reached out to us that didn’t even know us to be like, ‘Hey, you need to get to Louisiana, and you need to go to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, then you need to go to Phoenix, Arizona and get stem cell therapy.’ We had no clue,” she said. “They’ve just been such a source of hope; there is hope and there is a future beyond an accident, despite what medicine may tell you, there are other ways to heal.”

Those interested in donating can visit www.trippsarmy.com.

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