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Plastic Surgery from a Woman’s Perspective. 2017 Super Doctors® Rising Stars® honoree Dr. Christine Fisher is inspired daily as she works with her patients, undergoing cosmetic surgery of the breast and body due to pregnancy or aging, or to restore the breast after cancer treatment. For breast reconstruction patients, Dr. Fisher offers natural options such as DIEP Flap reconstruction, implant-based and nipple-sparing reconstruction, and ‘hidden scar’ techniques resulting in no scars on the front of the breast. For cosmetic patients, she offers re-shaping of the breast with breast augmentation or reduction, and body-shaping procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction. Call today to speak with her patient care team, who will help you navigate the restorative journey. 1015 E. 32nd St Ste 306 | Plaza St. David | Austin, TX 78705

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Photo by Keith Trigaci.



Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix.



SAVVY WOMEN 20 COUNT US IN Women in Numbers 22 B OTTOM LINE Spray Paint & Chardonnay’s Katie Taylor


Diana’s Flower Shop’s

Diana Limon


Mission Accomplished’s Ebonie Trice


Thirds’ Amy Young Artist Jenn Hassin

ATX WOMEN TO WATCH 34 J anet McCullar 35 Carly Pollack 36 D  r. Zarmeena Vendal 37 A  shley Wainscott 38 H  olly R. Davis

MUST LIST 39 D  ISCOVER Spend 48 Hours in Geneva 42 LITTLE LUXURIES Wick Smart


46 TRENDS Warm Up 50 MAKE ROOM Welcome to the Farmhouse

GOURMET 67 T O MARKET Rise and Shine 70 F OOD NEWS Andiamo Ristorante

WELLNESS 72 W  AITING ROOM Preventative Health Care 76 E AT THIS, NOT THAT Kombucha 78 H  ER ROUTINE Liz Moorehead


MJ Hegar

ON THE COVER Photo by Keith Trigaci, Hair and makeup by Laura Martinez, Shot on location at Mattie’s, 811 W. Live Oak St., 512.444.1888. Alexis Bettina embellished A-line crepe dress, $744; available at Neiman Marcus, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200, Earrings, model’s own.


Smiling with you through the Holiday Season and into a prosperous New Year!





~ New location coming soon ~




Sommer Brugal, Kelly DiNardo, Lydia Gregovic, MJ Hegar, Saima Jehangir, Lauren Jones, Madison Matous, Natalie Paramore, Rachel Rascoe, Mikaila Rushing, Gretchen M. Sanders, Shelley Seale, Crystal Zuzek


Jane Black, Caitlin Candelari, Adrienne Dever, Kelly DiNardo, Philip Edsel, Amber Griffin, Sherry Hammond, Dakota Rae Luevanos, Laura Martinez, Dustin Meyer, Lisa Muñoz, Paige Newton, Natalie Paramore, Pepper Pastor, Gretchen M. Sanders, Tomas Segura, Nick Simonite, April Skinner, Alicia Sparkman, Reagen Taylor, Jessica Tayler, Keith Trigaci, Walter Wayman, Jessica Wetterer


Michelle Borquez ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Madilyn Biscoe SALES CONTRACTOR Sherry Bray


Caitlin Candelari INTERNS

Lydia Gregovic, Riley Krauss, Madison Matous, Mikaila Rushing


Emily C. Laskowski, Deborah Hamilton-Lynne, Mary Anne Connolly, Elizabeth Eckstein

Austin Woman is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc., and is available at more than 1,250 locations throughout Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved. For submission requirements, visit No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. Visit us online at Email us at 512.328.2421 | 3921 Steck Ave., Suite A111, Austin, TX 78759


It’s been more than two years since my first day on the job, and I silently laugh at myself when remembering my naiveté. It turns out, that question would be the least of my concerns. Thanks to my publisher, my AW team members, my precocious interns, the resourceful public-relations people I work with daily and sweet emails from readers like you, I’m never short of content ideas; I’m never lacking for inspirational stories just waiting to be told in the magazine and shared with the world. Because of this, each issue is that much more of a dilemma to see to fruition, from point A to point B. Whom should we put on the cover? What makes a specific story special? Is she a good fit with the issue theme? These are just some of the questions constantly flowing through my head. (It’s a fun albeit frantic jungle gym up there.) When I first heard the story of this month’s cover woman, Darbie Angell, I was struck and shocked by the fact she was put on bed rest at just 20 weeks into her first pregnancy. I can’t imagine what that must have felt like to suddenly have the rug of her day-to-day routine, job to-do list and normalcy swept out from under her. I was in awe, even more so because Angell took this disruption and turned

Join the conversation @AustinWoman #TheInspirationIssue


it into redirection. She didn’t go into a depression or lament about the things she couldn’t cross off her checklist. Instead, she decided to re-evaluate the career path she was on and focus on what made her feel most invigorated. She realized she needed to make a life change, one that would make her feel alive and inspired each morning, so, courageously, she did. My team and I recently attended the Austin Angels Dare to Dream Luncheon, an annual event that raises awareness and financial support for the more than 5,600 children in Central Texas’ foster-care system. By the end of the panel, after hearing a few heart-wrenching stories, there wasn’t a dry eye in the building. We each walked backed to our cars, tissues in hand, with a quote running through our heads, one that a panelist reminded us of from the 2011 film We Bought a Zoo: “All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage—just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery, and I promise you, something great will come of it.” Imagine all that could happen in a day if we channeled that quote each morning. So, today, take 20 seconds to ask yourself what inspires you. What makes you feel alive? Then, with all your heart and courage—no matter what fears or obstacles may present themselves—go out and relentlessly pursue that source of happiness. Sincerely,


Photo by Lisa Muñoz.


ike anyone starting a new job, when I first started working for Austin Woman, I had a lot of questions. The biggest one that lingered more than all the others: How would we keep the barrel from running dry? By this, I meant how would we find enough women in Austin to feature each month?

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Something for everyone


This month, we asked our contributors: What was the best gift you’ve ever received?


COVER PHOTOGRAPHER, “DRIVEN BY DESIGN,” PAGE 52 Keith Trigaci is an Austin-based photographer who was lucky enough to recently move back to Texas from Los Angeles. When he isn’t doing commercial photography, he enjoys documenting life’s moments, including weddings and day-in-the-life family sessions. “I was traveling out to LA for work and was gone for a week. I had been talking about cleaning up our detached garage and turning it into a studio. When I returned from LA, I was surprised to find my wife had the garage professionally remodeled. It’s easily one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.”


COVER WRITER, “DRIVEN BY DESIGN,” PAGE 52 Shelley Seale is an Austin-based freelance journalist and author who has contributed regularly to Austin Woman for more than 10 years. She loves yoga, indie movies, wine and books, though not necessarily in that order. Shelley has performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal, but she doesn’t know how to whistle. “The best gift I ever received was a summer-long trip around Europe for my high-school graduation. My dad wanted to get me something practical, like a car, but that trip inspired my lifelong wanderlust and love for travel!”


PHOTOGRAPHER, “WARM UP,” PAGE 46 Philip Edsel is a former touring musician, author of the firstever Instagram novel, and a professional photographer and didirector. His work is based on the concept of potential energy, and is inspired by classical art, modern design, vibrant colors, hard shadows and sentimental memory.

Upcoming events: December 1 & 2, 8:00 p.m. chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score ® Explore Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony! Masterworks Series Long Center’s Dell Hall

BEyonD tHE SCorE ®— ProkoFIEv

December 12, 8:00 p.m. HanDel’S MeSSiah Austin Symphony with Chorus Austin Hyde Park Baptist Church


December 29 & 30, 8:00 p.m. I Heart the 80’s™ Hear your favorite hits from the 1980s! Palmer Events Center

C o n C E rt SP onS or S

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“I love gifts that have sentimental value and appreciate over time. My wife and I were given a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon on the night of our engagement. We just opened it last week to celebrate our new home, and it was really special to us (not to mention a pretty tasty bottle of Champagne).”

Sommer Brugal is a freelance writer in Austin, by way of Washington, D.C., and the Dominican Republic. In addition to Austin Woman, her work has been featured in local publications Eastside Magazine, Eater Austin, Austin Fit Magazine and the Austin Monitor. “My father’s watch. I used to borrow it daily in high school, so he gifted it to me when he dropped me off freshman year of college. He has since purchased the same watch again for himself, so whenever we are together, we match.”

You don’t have to accept a different standard of

beauty because you’ve previously had cancer.

Austin’s premier breast reconstruction surgeon, Elisabeth Potter MD, takes a personal approach to breast reconstruction. Dr. Potter was Fellowship trained at MD Anderson in Microsurgery and Plastic Surgery Reconstruction and is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. Call 512.867.6211 to schedule a consultation. 6818 Austin Center Boulevard, Suite 204 Austin, Texas 78731


➥ More fashion advice. What should you wear and not wear to your

office holiday party? That is the question. Choosing your look can be as challenging as making it to 5 p.m. each Friday, which is why we turned to stylist Crystalline Lopez, formerly with Stitch Fix, for guidance.

a blog profiling creative entrepreneurs in Austin. With each new story Lauron tells, the goal is to inspire, motivate and guide others who want to start a business or brand of their own one day.

➥ More discovery. We list the many reasons why Georgetown, Texas, a

short half-hour drive north of Austin, is more than just a quiet suburb with a quaint downtown that’s home to retirees and Southwestern University college students.

➥ More recipes. Get your crushed ice, cocktail shakers and mint sprigs ready to make the refreshing, vibrant and non-alcoholic Saratoga Buck mocktail from Mattie’s at Green Pastures.





AUSTIN SYMPHONY TICKETS Girls just want to have fun, and now you can with this Austin Symphony Orchestra package to the I Heart the 80s concert Dec. 30! Don’t stop believin’ you could win a table for 10, along with a $100 gift card to Perry’s.


Austin Symphony Orchestra (@austinsymphonyorchestra) was founded in 1911 and is Austin’s oldest performing-arts group, offering musical and educational programming each season. The mission of Austin Symphony Orchestra is to enhance the cultural quality of life for the adults and young people of Austin and Central Texas by providing excellence in music performance and educational programming. To enter, keep an eye on our Instagram account, @AustinWoman, for the giveaway announcement in December. Word to the wise: We like to be spontaneous. A winner will be chosen and notified at the end of the month.





Dancing with the Stars Austin Dec. 2, 6 p.m. JW Marriott Austin, 110 E. Second St. The Women’s Fund Keyholder 2017 Dec. 5, 5 to 8 p.m. Topfer Theatre at Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd. Looking Back at 2017 With Austin Woman Dec. 6, 6 to 8 p.m. Studio Bella, 6507 Jester Blvd., suite 108


@ austinwoman

Sam Lauron photo courtesy of Sam Lauron. Saratoga Buck mocktail photo by Nick Simonite. Jennifer Dudley photo courtesy of A. Leigh Photography.

➥ More inspiration. Meet Sam Lauron, the founder of Movers + Makers,


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Facts and figures on females from throughout the world. BY MADISON MATOUS, ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA WETTERER


15 Percent

40 Years

Feb. 6, 2018: That’s when London will unveil the statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett at Parliament Square. The statue, crafted by Gillian Wearing, will be the first depiction of a woman to ever be placed in the square. Fawcett will join the company of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela on the square. In 1897, Fawcett became the president of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies, an organization that was instrumental in the passage of the law that gave women the right to vote. The statue of Fawcett will hold a placard inscribed with the quote “Courage calls to courage everywhere,” which was a part of the speech Fawcett gave in 1913.

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women make up only 15 percent of the engineering workforce, a stat toy companies like GoldieBlox and Roominate are seeking to change with the development of toys geared toward girls that teach basic engineering principles through building and storytelling. GoldieBlox gives girls a role model to look up to, one who isn’t afraid to get dirty and make mistakes. Founded in 2012 by Debbie Sterling, an engineer herself, the company has taken off in the past few years, winning several awards for filling a gap in the industry by bringing innovative building projects to girls. Roominate, created by Alice Brooks, equips girls with the tools to build their own pet vet, for instance, and adds the elements of creating circuits and motors to help bring their creations to life.

The release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Dec. 15 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars film franchise. After a 10year gap in production, The Force Awakens was released in 2015 as the beginning of the saga’s sequel trilogy, and introduced Rey, the central character in the new films. Continuing from where The Force Awakens left off, the latest installment follows Rey as she continues her journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker. Carrying even more weight to the film’s debut is the recognition that this was the last film Carrie Fisher starred in before she passed away last year. Fisher was most known for her role as Princess Leia, a beloved character of the franchise.

3,000 Square Feet Clothing retailer Nordstrom is trying out a new look. In response to changing consumer trends, the chain opened a new hybrid store, Nordstrom Local, earlier this year in West Hollywood, Calif. The new storefront takes up only 3,000 square feet, a scant size compared with the traditional Nordstrom store average of about 177,000 square feet or less. Another difference: Nordstrom Local doesn’t carry any clothing at its location. Instead, customers can order clothes online to try on and buy at the store or take advantage of the personal stylists who curate clothing options tailored to shoppers’ preferences.

150 Pounds of Gingerbread In 1969, White House Chef Hans Raffer established an annual trend, creating the first gingerbread house for the Nixon White House. Themes for the gingerbread houses in years since have varied from models of the White House to Santa’s North Pole workshop. In 1994, one pastry chef even made a gingerbread house that replicated President Bill Clinton’s childhood home in Hot Springs, Ark. The tradition continues today with Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison, who became the first woman to gain the position, in 2014. Last year, Morrison used 150 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of bread dough, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces to create the traditional White House gingerbread house. 20 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  DECEMBER 2017




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Blogger Katie Taylor shares her tips for how to give meaningful holiday presents, regardless of the budget. BY SOMMER BRUGAL It wasn’t until Katie Taylor purchased her first home in 2009 that her creativity and love for home décor became a top priority. She’s always been crafty, but decorating a new home, she says, allowed her to let her creativity flow. Today, Taylor is the creative force behind Spray Paint & Chardonnay, a blog dedicated to DIY crafts and home-décor inspirations for any budget. Blogging about a range of topics, from hosting a cocktail party to mounting a DIY mailbox to your front door, Taylor says she has a special passion for home décor and remodeling, especially during the holiday season. “I go completely all out for the holidays, even if I don’t plan on having anyone over,” Taylor says, laughing. “There’s just so much out there

Price point: $$$$

For higher-budget gifts, those ranging from $100 to $125, Taylor says she typically opts for decorative pieces, like a nice throw or throw pillow, both of which can provide colorful additions to a friend’s living room. Her pick: Milla Pillow in peach and cream from Lulu and Georgia, $113, or an alpaca sea-blue throw from CB2, $129. “Lulu and Georgia is a great resource for pricier items,” Taylor notes. “I’m really loving everything that they’re doing right now.” [Editor’s note: Stay tuned as Lulu and Georgia gears up to debut a new rug line designed by AW’s November cover woman, Claire Zinnecker.] For those looking to purchase throws locally, Taylor suggests checking out Hacienda or Prize, two boutiques located in Austin’s Second Street District.

that you can do.” Halloween and Christmas are her favorite holidays for decorating, the blogger confides. To gain some insight and a bit of advice for the holiday season, Austin Woman sat down with Taylor to ask about her holiday must-haves, favorite shopping destinations and reliable gift selections for every price point. Staying true to her passion, Taylor is quick to point out you can’t go wrong gifting houseware. “I tend to steer away from gifts that are very Christmas-related,” Taylor says. “I like to gift very useful things, so houseware is always a good idea.”

Price Point: $$

For lower-priced gift items, it’s clear Taylor has her list of favorites and go-to destinations to find them. “I love something marble for this category,” Taylor says, “like a salt cellar from a kitchen store, for example. It’s small but cute and chic.” One of her favorite items, though, is an Anthropologie candle. They’re a never-miss item, according to the blogger. Her pseudo-DIY trick, though, is to hop in the car and head to HomeGoods. “[HomeGoods] has really great Anthropologieesque candles for half the price,” Taylor explains. “You can get your friends a set of two, or enough to last them through the year.” Her pick: gold-rimmed bubble-glassware set of four from World Market, $19, or decorative brass cactus objects from West Elm, $19 to $24.


Photos by Reagen Taylor.

A set of cocktail glasses or a glassware set is a great idea for a midrange price point, or gifts $50 to $75, Taylor says, noting how she was gifted a glassware set last year and has since begun collecting different styles and sets. The blogger says helping a friend start a new collection of housewares is always a good idea. Her pick: Ultima Thule highball glass two-pack from Hive, $65. Other ideas for those in the midrange price point include a coffeetable book, a decorative vase or a French-press coffeemaker like Crate & Barrel’s Bodum Eileen French press in gold, $50.

Photo by Sarah Jane.

Price Point: $$$

Price Point: $

When it comes to DIY gift giving, Taylor is an expert. As her blog title demonstrates, she loves anything with a bit of gold spray paint. “You can pretty much spray paint anything in gold and make it look like you bought it in Anthropologie,” Taylor says. Her suggestion: Purchase plain coasters, dip them in paint and embellish them however you see fit. Personalizing a Christmas ornament is another idea for that perfect gift between best friends or family members, she says. Although it’s easy to see Taylor enjoys crafting gifts, she recommends taking one piece of advice to heart when it comes to gift giving: Spend your money wisely. If you’re going to spend $75 to $125, Taylor suggests opting for something luxurious. But if you plan to spend $50 or less, Taylor suggests purchasing a gift and making it your own. “One thing I love doing is adding something personalized to a [purchased] gift,” Taylor says. “DIY a Christmas ornament [and] tie it to the package of something you purchased.” She suggests spending a little extra time wrapping the gift too. Doing so, Taylor says, makes the gift a little more fun for you and a lot more meaningful for the recipient.

Be Good... To Yourself!

Rest. Relax. Rejuvenate.

DEIRDRE RHOAD, M.D. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon 512.476.9149







Business is blooming for the owner of Diana’s Flower Shop, who offers her best five garden-variety business tips. BY LYDIA GREGOVIC, PHOTO BY CAITLIN CANDELARI Nestled in the heart of East Austin is Diana’s Flower Shop, a veritable secret garden filled with blooms of every shape, size and color. Owned and operated by longtime Austin resident Diana Limon, the store has been a community staple for 32 years, with Limon dabbling in creating everything from everyday bouquets to wedding floral arrangements. With her family by her side, Limon has watched her shop—the idea for which was born out of a casual dinner conversation—flourish and blossom like the flowers she sells.

Now, with a thriving business and a bevy of loyal customers behind her, Limon shares the secrets to her success.


If you want to succeed in the long run, you’ve got to pay Uncle Sam first. —Diana Limon

HER TIPS Pay to play.

“One of the most important things that I would tell anyone starting a business is before you do anything else, you’ve got to pay your taxes. I’ve seen so many businesses fall into the trap where they start thinking along the lines of, ‘Oh, it’s fine [to put it off ]. I’ll do well next month.’ That type of thinking is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, in my opinion. You have to balance yourself and your revenue and make sure there’s enough to pay what you need to pay through the year. So, even if you do exceptionally well one month, that’s great, but remember that the money isn’t all yours. If you want to succeed in the long run, you’ve got to pay Uncle Sam first.” Make it personal.

“In my opinion, what makes Diana’s different from the bigger event planners is the level of one-on-one interaction we have here. I have customers where I’ve done flowers for them on the day they were born, and then I’ve also done their prom or their weddings. You really get to know them. That’s the key to growing a small business like this, that one-on-one time. I always say to people, ‘No matter what, you’ve got to listen to your customers.’ If they know they’re listened to, if they feel like you understand them, that person is going to tell another person [about the business]. That’s really how I believe that we’ve been here this long, because we have a lot of repeat customers and a good amount of referrals.” Lean on your loved ones.

“Diana’s really began as something that my mom and I could do together. She’s the one who was always interested in design, and the work ethic which she and my dad both possess always influenced me growing up. Especially with my dad, having a background in business, he taught me what it means to be a boss. I remember, he would be [at his store from] 4, 5 o’clock in the morning and stay there until 8, 9 o’clock at night because he had to finish. Even if his employees could go home and rest, he knew what it meant to stay until the job was done.” Remember your roots.

“I really believe that we could be millionaires and I still would be here on this street and in this building. When it comes down to it, we believe in the community that made us. And that’s another thing I would say to women starting a business: Don’t forget where you came from. Now I have customers from all over the city who come to me, but I always remember that my community has been here since the very beginning. And so, now that I can afford to, I always try to give back to churches and schools in this area. When a community has helped you prosper so much, I believe it’s important to reciprocate.” Take responsibility.

“I always say, as the boss, you get to take the credit when your business succeeds, but you also have to accept the blame when something goes wrong. In both cases, you have to take responsibility instead of just handing it to the next person in line because I guarantee you that whoever is complaining wants to hear from the boss, not the employee. Beyond that, it’s important that your employees see you being involved in your business. I like to say they know I’m a real person. I’ve worked in every aspect of my store, from designing and arranging to cleaning toilets. So, even if my designer is the one doing the actual arrangement, it’s going to have a touch of me before it leaves the store.” 24 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  DECEMBER 2017

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Philanthropist Ebonie Trice and her team of laundry angels are spreading hope in Austin’s homeless communities.

In Austin, thousands of people are living without clean clothes, food and shelter. Ebonie Trice, CEO of Mission Accomplished and a lifelong philanthropist, has made it her personal mission to help the community in every way she can. Trice founded the nonprofit in 2014 after years of opening up her home as a private shelter, and has since provided a multitude of services for men, women and children in need. “I’m just all about helping,” Trice says, “no matter what the capacity is.” On every second and fourth Saturday of the month, Trice and a group of volunteers head to North Austin’s homeless camps to wash, dry and fold laundry. “I have a washer and dryer at home and wash as often as I like, and the homeless don’t have that,” Trice says. “We don’t realize what a luxury that is.” Before reaching the camps, many things must fall into place. Every other Friday, Trice speaks with a local minister who works regularly with the homeless to find out how many people need her services that week and where they will be. As the cost of living in Austin has risen and more people are moving to the city than ever before, keeping track of each of Trice’s customers can be difficult. “People are selling their homes, renting them out and moving,” Trice says. “It’s like a domino effect, so when it comes to the homeless, we know that they are being scattered out. It may be their home today, but in two weeks, it won’t be.” Once Trice’s drivers reach the camps, the clothes head to the laundromat, where volunteers work in teams, sorting, putting together care packages and assembling fresh laundry for delivery. Although Trice’s enthusiasm when it comes to doing her own laundry hasn’t changed since starting Mission Accomplished’s Operation Clean Clothes in September 2015, she is fulfilled by her ability to help those around her.


In addition to providing laundry services for the homeless, Mission Accomplished has developed partnerships with local organizations, such as Black Women in Business, Reaching Out Supporting Every Sister, Cicis Pizza in South Austin and Habitat for Humanity, to help offer a more holistic approach to uplifting Austin’s homeless. This year, Trice and her team gave away 200 Thanksgiving baskets and went to Front Steps shelter to prepare a meal the night before Thanksgiving. At Christmastime, Trice will visit the Austin Transitional Center, a residential treatment center and halfway house in Del Valle, Texas, for caroling. Mission Accomplished also works with local youth and recently hosted its first talent show for those looking to get into the entertainment industry. The winner received a $500 cash prize, time in the studio, a mentor and a photography portfolio. While the nonprofit got its start washing and drying laundry for Austin’s homeless population, it has quickly taken on a life of its own, with Trice and her unwavering spirit of volunteerism at the lead. So, what lies ahead for Trice and Mission Accomplished? She hopes to have a brick-and-mortar, fully functioning resource center—a “one-stop shop for helping”—where Austin’s homeless will be able to take computer classes, fill out job applications and prepare for job interviews. Trice says she believes there will always be a homeless population in this city, but she stays hopeful for the future and is looking forward to growing her organization, one load of laundry at a time. To learn more about Mission Accomplished, visit

Photo courtesy of Ty Photo.






Amy Young, founder of Thirds, a curated online marketplace for handmade home goods from U.S. artisans, celebrates her business’ first anniversary this month. BY MIKAILA RUSHING Every Sunday morning, Amy Young grabs all the print magazines that have been delivered to her throughout the week and sits down with a cup of coffee to spend a few hours reading. A couple publications, Women’s Health magazine and Nylon magazine, always catch her eye. They’re a reminder of a past career, a time when she worked in New York City. Young, 31, is the founder of Thirds, an Austin-based online shop that sells artistic and naturally made textiles, kitchenware and other home goods. The artisan-driven marketplace made its debut in December 2016. Young grew up in Houston and graduated from Texas State University with a degree in mass communications and a specialization in advertising. Not long after the pomp and circumstance of her graduation ceremony had come to a halt, she was recruited to be a sales assistant at the newly launched Women’s Health magazine in New York City. Without question, Young packed up everything she could, sold everything she couldn’t and was off to the Big Apple. “I’m big on the if-not-now-then-when mentality,” Young says.

While in New York, she also had the opportunity to work at one of her dream publications, Nylon, a trendy fashion and culture magazine, as a marketing manager. To this day, Young says she considers many of the people she worked with there close friends, even family. She had so much love and passion for the craft that, for a long time, she couldn’t imagine herself leaving the print industry. But after organizing multiple brand partnerships for the magazine, she landed a job at Alice + Olivia, a designer women’s clothing brand, a position that found her surrounded by a sea of powerful female role models who, she says, still inspire her. Young continued to climb the corporate ladder and never sat still for too long, a drive that eventually led her to work as the overseer of North American retail marketing for Coach. Needless to say, Young’s diverse job experience throughout her eight and a half years in New York City allowed her quite a bit of traveling and shaking hands with many talented individuals. The more she traveled, though, the more she found she wanted her house to feel more like home, a place that truly reflected her personality. This, Young says, was the inspiration she harnessed to start her business, Thirds.

Photo by Paige Newton.

Amy Young


Photo by Adrienne Dever.

Always on the move, Young began to make some changes. She realized that while she loved New York, she didn’t feel comfortable calling it home anymore. When she came back from her travels, she felt a weight on her shoulders instead of the relief that comes with the comfort and familiarity of home. “I was running a race to get to a finish line I didn’t want,” Young explains of her life in the big city. In February 2017, Young decided to move back to Texas, choosing to plant her roots in Austin and start anew. In creating the store, Young wanted to choose products that paid tribute to the process of making art and the more naturalistic elements of home design. She wants the items in her shop to reflect how people should view others. Her goal is to have a shop that reflects a very genuine process, something people can look at and immediately see and feel the work behind. “Thirds celebrates a pared-down process,” Young says. “It all goes back to that connection with the artists, learning to appreciate the process just as much as the final result, whether that be your plate, your dinner mug or your relationships.” Young partners with a variety of artists throughout the U.S., such as Len Carella and The Monday Project Co., to create handcrafted textiles and stoneware, including everything from plates and planters to quilts and apothecary items. At the moment, Thirds remains an online-only marketplace. Young says before she builds her own retail space, she wants to be confident she can give people a unique shopping experience. In the meantime, fans can often find her hosting popup shops in hot spots throughout Austin, including at Las Cruxes, Esperos and the South Congress Hotel. Austinites have been welcoming of her concept, Young says, adding her favorite memories from the past year have been connecting with various artists and powerful women entrepreneurs in Austin. Young stresses it’s important for communities to support and acknowledge the value of small businesses. “I think it’s important that everyone have the chance to do something for themselves, express themselves,” Young says. “This is what makes me feel creative. This is my outlet.”

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With her intricate rolled-paper works, artist and veteran Jenn Hassin sparks discussion about national issues close to her heart. In the creation of her intricate paperbased artworks, Jenn Hassin meticulously imbues each step in the process with meaning. From creating handmade paper from clothing and uniforms to her group paper-rolling gatherings and symbolic pattern arrangements, Hassin doesn’t let any opportunities for significance slip through the cracks. “The materials mean everything to me, as well as what I do with them,” Hassin says of her craft. “I’m trying to give as much importance to the piece as possible. Then the body of work has that connection to a group of people.” Each layer of meaning adds up to Hassin’s big mission: to spark viewers’ recognition and exploration of current issues. Her previous meditative works have tackled issues such as war, veteran suicide, imprisonment and sexual assault. “Lately, everything has been inspired by the sociopolitical issues in our country,” Hassin says of her subject matter. “I really care about certain things, and I want to make something to raise awareness about it. I guess that’s what makes it a little bit autobiographical for me.” Hassin’s prolific interests in American policy, both at home and abroad, developed during her time with the U.S. Air Force, through which she was stationed as a dental technician in England. Hassin was raised in a military family, and her older brother enlisted the day after the 9/11 attacks. Hassin followed soon after. “As a veteran, I think of things a little differently, especially within the art world,” shares Hassin, who faithfully reads the Department of Defense report every morning. “I know more about foreign policy than I probably do about art, just because I’m invested.” After completing her service, Hassin attended St. Edward’s University with the intention of becoming a dentist. An art class quickly shifted the direction of her studies, eventually leading to the creation of Hassin’s senior thesis project, “Letters of Sacrifice,” which now stands on display at the Pentagon. The poignant work memorializes the service members killed in action since 2001. The project marks Hassin’s first major exploration in her trademark rolled-paper style, which consists of folded condolence letters for each of the fallen soldiers. The sculpture grows as the artist periodically adds more scrolls to the wire structure. “The reason why I roll is because it creates this spiral, which is a symbol of life to death, beginning to end,” Hassin says of her distinctive method, originally inspired by the practice of wedging folded written prayers into Israel’s Western Wall. The thesis undertaking forced Hassin to seek 30 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  DECEMBER 2017

Jenn Hassin

Photo by Tomas Segura.


Photo by Walter Wayman.

help with the labor-intensive coiling of thousands of letters. This led to her first group paper-rolling session, through which she was able to share her story as a veteran with other students while discussing media coverage of military deaths and the reasons for U.S. involvement abroad. Collaborative paper processing has since become a meaningful part of Hassin’s creative process, with meetings oftentimes held in her studio at Canopy Austin, the Eastside arts complex. “It’s kind of like the sewing circle. You’re sitting around a table with all these people you don’t know, and you get to know them because you’re doing this mindless act of rolling paper,” Hassin says. “You can talk and hear other people’s perspectives, and it changes your mind.” Hassin has since begun crafting handmade paper from fabrics relevant to her reflective topics. She sourced uniforms from every branch of the military and rolled with veterans for her project “A Battle Lost.” The textural work contains 8,030 rolls, one for each veteran suicide in 2014, shaped into abstract maps of U.S. war zones. She created “Targeted” in a similar vein during her artist residency at St. Edward’s, with 1,705 pieces crafted from orange uniforms representing the inmates at Texas’ Huntsville Unit prison. The Austin-based artist’s interactive piece, “Receptacle,” can be viewed locally on the grounds of the Elisabet Ney Museum, where visitors can tuck their own scribbled thoughts and wishes into the structure. Hassin’s art is also on display in various exhibitions nationwide, including a recent large-scale project at Long Island University, where Hassin was able to share her advocacy-oriented message with students.

“Letters of Sacrifice”

“I’m hoping that people, when they look at and engage with my work, can leave with an idea that they can start listening to other people’s ideas and perspectives and get a broader sense of how to make a difference with this issue,” Hassin says. “It’s not just raising awareness, but making a difference; not just the act of learning, but the act of doing.”


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WOMEN to WATCH Our pages are full of stories of Austin’s most engaging, empowering and successful women, and this section is specially designed to provide you access to even more incredible role models and success stories. Be part of this amazing tribe and share your story with thousands of women. Contact us at or call 512.328.2421 for more information. BY LAUREN JONES | PHOTOS BY CAITLIN CANDELARI








anet McCullar is a nationally respected trial attorney known for her skill and success in the courtroom. She has represented clients in hundreds of complex divorce and custody cases. Although she represents clients during trying times, her cases are routinely resolved amicably to save the client the time, cost and pain involved in litigation. McCullar is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She was also selected as a fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an organization that consists of the nation’s top divorce attorneys.







arly Pollack is the owner of Nutritional Wisdom, a thriving holistic-nutrition private practice. She has a master’s degree in holistic nutrition and is a certified clinical nutritionist. Pollack has been awarded Best Nutritionist in Austin four years running by Austin Fit magazine and has lectured throughout the country for incredible companies such as Facebook, Whole Foods Market, the Livestrong Foundation, Lululemon, Texas Conference for Women and many others. Through years of study and self-healing, she’s found the key to creating permanent change. Pollack beautifully marries the science of balancing the body with spirituality to attain permanent health. Her teachings empower her clients to shift their thought patterning, which changes their bodies and helps them live their best lives. Pollack is also an author, and her first book, Finally Full-Filled: Lose Weight Permanently and Find Your True Self in the Process, will be released in January 2019.






r. Zarmeena Vendal is a board-certified ophthalmologist and owner of Westlake Eye Specialists. Throughout the years, Westlake Eye has developed a stellar reputation for its dedication to patients and for providing individualized state-of-the-art treatments, such as cataract surgery, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery and Prelex refractive surgery. In January 2018, Vendal will celebrate her 10th year as owner of Westlake Eye, and attributes her practice’s success to the high level of personal care her patients receive due to the teamwork and dedication of her whole staff. An avid philanthropist, Vendal has been drawn to the advancement of girls so they can achieve similar success. She sits on the board of directors of Connecther, a local nonprofit that has made it a mission to empower women throughout the world. In 2013, Vendal was named a top doctor by Austin Monthly, and continues to make a name for herself as one of Austin’s finest doctors.






shley Wainscott is the founder and CEO of Simply Sold, a general-contracting company specializing in home remodeling. In an industry in which female business owners are scarce, Wainscott saw a need for a simpler, more reliable contracting process for homeowners and real-estate agents. She created a system that keeps the customer educated and informed during the remodeling and makeready process. Her perseverance and motto—“Better every day”—has helped to grow Simply Sold in the Austin market. Since launching her business in April 2013, Wainscott and her team have provided services to 1,200 Austinites, from creating beautiful and memorable spaces for homeowners remodeling their own homes to helping real-estate agents looking to beautify homes for the market. Wainscott is a newlywed and cherishes her spare time by traveling with her husband and her pup. An Austin native, she works with numerous local charities to give back to the community.






olly R. Davis is a founding partner of Kirker Davis. An accomplished and nationally recognized family-law trial attorney with more than 10 years of experience, she focuses her legal practice on highasset divorce, custody matters and complex litigation. Davis graduated from the Baylor University Law School after graduating with a double major in political science and communication from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. With a strong professional reputation for her litigation and courtroom skills, she has successfully handled cases ranging from multimillion and even billion-dollar estates, to divorces involving family businesses and young professionals. Her core business philosophy is based on fidelity to the practice of law and a commitment to client service. It’s a perspective that has yielded significant success, particularly in her time as a founding partner at one of the most well-known personal-injury and family-law firms in Austin.





Switzerland’s second-largest city is shaking things up with new restaurants, unique museums and lively cocktail bars.

Fiskebar image courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix.






With a variety of French and Swiss ski resorts just a hop, skip and jump away, visitors often breeze through Geneva, Switzerland, and make a beeline for the slopes. But those who pause en route to the chalet find Switzerland’s second-largest city is shaking off its buttoned-up-banker reputation for an increasingly creative food scene, unique museums and lively cocktail bars. Whether you’re planning to head out on a European getaway this winter or are just getting comfortable on your couch for some armchair traveling, let this suggested itinerary guide you through a fun-filled weekend in this charming city. Insider’s tip: The city is pretty quiet on the weekends, as Genevois are up in the mountains, so aim for a weekday visit to see the city in action.

WEDNESDAY 3 p.m. Along the busy Quai du Mont-Blanc, a lakeside promenade with views of the towering 15,781-foot Mont Blanc, sits the historic Hotel de la Paix. Once a favorite of Princess Grace Kelly, this mid-19th century grande dame was acquired and remodeled by Ritz-Carlton in 2015, reopening in 2017. Inside the Italianate façade, the hotel blends elements from its ornate past—marble columns, an impressive crystal chandelier—with simple, modern furnishings and rich fabrics for a luxurious respite. 4 p.m. Stroll along the waterfront promenade and take in views of the Jet d’Eau, the famous fountain that sits at the point where Lake Geneva empties into the Rhône River and shoots water as high as 460 feet in the air. Cross the Pont du Mont-Blanc bridge, located on the lake’s left bank, and stop to see the Flower Clock, an outdoor clock with more than 6,000 flowers making up the face, before heading to the city’s Old Town.

Wander up the steep cobblestone street to the bottom of St. Pierre Cathedral. History buffs will want to head to the Archaeological Site, a museum situated amid the city’s medieval ruins, for a tour through Geneva’s history, from Roman times into the Middle Ages. Make your way upstairs to the cathedral itself and climb up the spiral staircase for panoramic views of modern-day Geneva. 8 p.m. Grab dinner at the Living Room Bar & Kitchen or at Fiskebar, the city’s first Nordic restaurant. Tucked into the first floor of the Hotel de la Paix, the simply dressed restaurant is done up in natural materials of wood, glass and leather, and accented with pops of emerald green and marine blue. A fresh-fish counter showcases much of the seafood-centric menu, which includes oysters, spider crab and grilled mackerel. 10 p.m. Head to Le Verre à Monique for a nightcap. This shabby-chic speakeasy shakes up classics and more inventive cocktails, such as the lychee and rose martini. 11 a.m. The European Organization for Nuclear Research, situated on the outskirts of Geneva, is home to the world’s largest, most powerful particle accelerator. The machine, which uses magnets to smash together particles moving at a pace just short of the speed of light, made it possible for scientists to identify the Higgs boson. Better known as the “God particle,” the Higgs boson helps explain why much of the universe’s mass exists. Reserve an appointment early, as the two-hour guided tour fills up quickly.

Hotel de la Paix


1:30 p.m. Take the tram to the artsy and bohemian neighborhood of Carouge for lunch at Café des Négociants. The bistro, outfitted with warm, wood floors, retro posters and a tree-hemmed terrace, serves seasonal French fare with an impressive wine list to match.

Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix.


Living Room Bar & Kitchen photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix. Lake Geneva, St. Pierre Cathedral and The European Organization for Nuclear Research photos courtesy of Geneva Tourism.

3 p.m. Take an afternoon stroll through the charming streets of Carouge, a once independent city developed by the former king of Sardinia. Today, it’s a creative enclave dotted with galleries, boutiques, artisanal workshops and cozy cafés. 7 p.m. La Bottega’s minimalistic décor—plain wood tables, exposed-brick walls—belies the creativity of this Michelinstarred trattoria. The menu changes regularly, depending on the ingredients available at the market, but might include smoked beef tartare or spaghetti with goat cheese and anchovies. Don’t miss out on drinking a glass from the unique wine list that features several orange wines. 9 p.m. You’ll find several after-dinner-drink options on the oneblock street Rue Henri-Blanvalet. Be sure to pop into lively wine bar Bottle Brothers, or the dark and intimate L’Atelier Cocktail Club. The European Organization for Nuclear Research

FRIDAY 9 a.m. The sobering but fascinating International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum explores three of the organization’s major challenges: defending human dignity, restoring family links and reducing natural risks. Through artifacts, artworks and life-size videos of 12 witnesses sharing their heart-wrenching personal stories, the museum details the organization’s history and current efforts. An audio guide, available in English, is included in the price of a tour. noon Not far from the cathedral, on a sloping cobblestone street, you’ll find Les Armures. The traditional Swiss eatery dishes up fondue and exquisite raclette, a melted cheese dish served with potatoes, and plat Valaisan, a plate of locally cured meats. Sit back, enjoy the peoplewatching and take comfort in the knowledge that you’ll burn off all those calories on the slopes.

St. Pierre Cathedral

Living Room Bar & Kitchen

Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau






Ignite a spark and calm your senses with this back-to-basics candle. BY APRIL CUMMING

While pregnant a few years back, Michelle Simmons started clearing her home of products with synthetic scents and replacing them with natural alternatives. She hit many a roadblock on the hunt for the plant-based, soy-wax candles she loves, so she started making candles herself. The craft soon sparked a small-batch candle business on Etsy called Slow North. This summer, Simmons celebrated the opening of a brickand-mortar location in North Central Austin, from which she now hosts


candle-making classes and sells her plant- and soy-based candles, each of which are made with 100 percent essential oils and cotton and paper wicks. Scents range from eucalyptus and lavender to vetiver and smoke. One of Slow North’s newest offerings, the coffee-and-spice candle, is sure to help you feel cozy this holiday season. Made with a custom blend of coffee, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove essential oils, this combo is designed to help soothe, calm and envelop the senses. Coffee-and-spice tumbler candle, $29,





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Brooke Anderson, the founder of Bay Hill Design, shares how she made the most of a bungalow’s small kitchen and living space.


r Round Top Antiques Fair industrial iron reproduction coffee table and reproduction black metal farmhouse chairs

r Bay Hill Design custom mohair sofa

r Aidan unfinished reclaimed-wood gray farmhouse table

r West Elm leather swivel chair r custom lucite rods with brass rings and custom linen drapery with blackout lining

r antique Korean fishing-basket light fixture r Schoolhouse Electric kitchen bar light

r Forsyth white Brazilian cowhide

r Newport Brass plumbing fixtures

r vintage brass bar cart

r Lewis Dolin brass hardware

r vintage wood tray

r custom shelving and brackets

r vintage Turkish kitchen rug

r client’s own collection of vintage and new white pottery


Photo by Jessica Tayler.



“” The homes in this area of Brentwood are primarily bungalows, so we wanted to keep that bungalow feel with a modern twist of an urban farmhouse. We wanted something that was still true to the neighborhood architecturally, but updated with modern flair for entertainment and urban living. – Brooke Anderson



“We wrapped the whole house in shiplap instead of sheetrock to give it the feel of a truly old farmhouse. The shiplap gives us detail while keeping the space visually clean. Furniture is used strategically and intentionally to create barriers for ‘rooms’ to feel as if they exist, not giving up any square footage to walking space or walls. Use a shade of white [paint color] to open up a room and use the kitchen table in place of a typical island counter. It serves multifunctions of hosting a dinner party for eight, but also being the kitchen’s workspace.”

“The light, that is. Install doors that double as more windows. The modern French doors allow so much light into the space that you don’t think about the space feeling small. We dressed them with linen panels for closing off the outside at the end of the day and first thing in the morning, when the morning rays of sun light up the house.” USE A DEEP OR NEUTRAL COLOR FOR THE KITCHEN CABINETS.

“And have them made in Shaker style. This color gives dimension and warmth to the space and actually gives the illusion that the walls are further away then they appear. This can be a gray-black, dark cocoa brown, deep green or darknavy color. The Shaker style just means a flat panel with a frame, a design that lends itself to the modern-farmhouse approach you see in this room. High-gloss paint also gives an extra punch to the detail.” TRY OPEN SHELVING IN THE KITCHEN.

“If not [in] the whole kitchen, then a portion, to store your everyday dishes and any collections. The homeowner’s collection of white pottery was the perfect reason to choose open shelving. It’s her everyday use of these things that makes getting to them easily a plus, but the pretty, decorative touch they add to the space is also a bonus.” BE CAREFUL WHEN CHOOSING FLOOR COVERINGS.

“Open concepts are great and, in this case, necessary for larger living, but they can get cold. In a small space, you want the floor coverings to stay under [the furniture] or centered for each area, as to not chop up the space too much.”

Profile photo courtesy of Rory Photography. Kitchen photo by Jessica Tayler.


“Lighting, furniture, art, lamps: Fewer larger things will fill up the space in a way that helps it feel larger and live large while not taking up too much room with multiple pieces. The larger farm table sitting underneath a large basket light sets up the space to live big and look big. These statement pieces in a smaller space add visual heft and elevate the room.” PAINT COLOR

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Driven By


When she was just 20 weeks pregnant, Darbie Angell was put on bed rest. Instead of twiddling her thumbs, she chose to see this time off work as a gift, brainstormed a business idea and started her own company, Cru Dinnerware. In the process, she started living and modeling a life she wanted for herself and her future daughters, one fueled by purpose and flamed by passion. It’s a life that, to this day, inspires women near and far, and impacts those living in the almost-forgotten, far-reaching corners of the globe. STORY BY SHELLEY SEALE | PHOTOS BY KEITH TRIGACI HAIR AND MAKEUP BY LAURA MARTINEZ | STYLED BY NIKI JONES SHOT ON LOCATION AT MATTIE’S, 811 W. LIVE OAK ST., 512.444.1888,




arbie Angell didn’t set out to be the founder and CEO of a successful luxury dinnerware company that empowers women and supports communities throughout the world. In fact, in her own words, she failed time and again throughout her life, pursuing other careers and paths that weren’t fulfilling her passions or the missing purpose in her life. Growing up in the small town of Sherman, Texas, Angell attended a country school, where she raised sheep and ran cross-country. A multitalented young lady, she also played piano and was a powerlifter. After high-school graduation, she left town to attend Abilene Christian University and study interior design, a field she later abandoned to become a paralegal. Hindsight is 20/20, yes, but Angell says she knew even then what she was doing was not what she was meant to do. All the same, Angell detests the word “failure.” “I wish we could strike it from the dictionary and insert ‘speed bump’ or ‘bruise’ instead,” she says. “It just sounds so fatal to me, and I think the anticipation of failure stops most from even starting to live out their lives to the fullest. Failure is inevitable. Success is getting your booty back up after you’ve hit that speed bump and you adapt.” Adapting is something Angell has done many times, and it is this, in fact, that has made her the person she is today: strong, creative, a woman who is doing what she loves.

In a way, she has come full circle. Her company, Cru Designs,

echoes back to her original dreams of interior design. Her dinnerware and glassware pieces are each uniquely crafted, many hand-painted and personally inspired by subject matter ranging from fashion trends to global travels to the memory of a young girl who lost her battle with leukemia. Flash back to her college days, though, and you’ll find an Angell who wasn’t at all confident in her designs. “We were encouraged to only offer designs that fit into a certain box, and mine didn’t,” Angell says. “Thankfully, that is what makes me successful now; it just didn’t work in my favor back then.” She also had an even bigger problem to contend with in Abilene, Texas. A stalker targeted her relentlessly, banging on friends’ doors looking for her. Angell tried to hide from him for more than a year before making the difficult decision to leave the university. Even though it was a traumatic experience, today, Angell says it taught her about persistence and how tenacious she could be. “There isn’t anyone to hold my hand on hard days to pull me along,” she says. “It is having the mindset that we will make it and you get back up with a smile and do it again, no matter what arises. Getting back up has always been because I have insisted on powering through and not letting other women down that need my voice to continue.” When she left college, Angell needed a job. So, she turned to something she knew: paralegal work. She had worked as a paralegal for her father, and her experience allowed her to obtain a good position. A year later, she moved up to a position at the Jackson Walker law firm in Austin, working for the head partner. While at Jackson Walker, Angell and her husband learned they were expecting their first baby, a girl. But at just 20 weeks into her pregnancy, something unexpected happened: She went into labor while at work. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” Angell recalls. “I was in the bathroom and one of the paralegals came in and I told her, ‘I think I just went into labor.’ But I felt so guilty about leaving the office because our days were so hectic, and if it turned out that I wasn’t really in labor, I would be terribly embarrassed.”


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MATTIE’S Among the grounds covered in ancient live-oak trees, magnificent white-feathered peacocks roaming the fields and the subtle scent of biscuits in the air, there lies Mattie’s. Unveiled in spring 2017, Mattie’s is named after one of Green Pastures’ original owners, Martha “Mattie” Miner Faulk. The iconic Green Pastures restaurant was opened by her daughter, Mary Faulk Koock, in the historic home bequeathed by her mother in 1946. Continuing the tradition and legacy of its predecessors, Mattie’s features regionally inspired dishes and thoughtfully sourced ingredients while providing its guests with a truly memorable Austin experience that is warm and relaxed yet rich and timeless.

This page: Diane von Furstenberg long-sleeve, V-neck crepe sheath dress, $238; Oscar de la Renta tiered silk-tassel clip-on earrings, $450; Saint Laurent Babies suede lace-up sandals, $318; available at Neiman Marcus, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200, Page 58: Tibi Edwardia floral-print cropped trapeze blouse, $495; Mother Denim Stunner zip ankle step fray jeans, $220; Kendra Scott Alice cubic-zirconia teardrop earrings, $85; available at Neiman Marcus, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200,


first pieces. Once her feet touched the ground, She was, in fact, going into labor, a shocking though, the harsh reality of life many people occurrence that, thankfully, the doctors in that country face on a daily basis nearly were able to stop. Angell was put on overwhelmed her. bed rest for the remainder of her “I saw sights that no one should have pregnancy, and that very first day she to endure,” Angell says. “As we were spent at home, she took stock of her “ Failure is inevitable. sitting in traffic on a dirt road, I saw a life and thought about her unborn 10-year-old little girl that was laying child. Success is getting over her dead mother. This precious “I realized how I was living your booty back little girl was yelling for someone to day to day wasn’t anything that I up after you’ve hit help her. It was like I was in a movie wanted for my daughter,” she says. spinning in slow motion. I looked “I knew that I had to live my life that speed bump around to see if anyone else was seeing the way I wanted her to live hers and you adapt.” this, and there wasn’t a single person someday.” that gave her a second glance, among After re-evaluating her career hundreds of people. I am still haunted with choices and the path she was on, this picture, and many more like that that I Angell immediately knew the answer saw when I was there.” to rekindling her passion would come in Those images and the harsh life so many starting her own company. Her love for both Bangladeshi people were having to endure filled home design and entertaining led her straight to Angell with not only heartache, but also a determination to her business idea: luxurious and artistically handcrafted run her company with a driving mission to embrace and respect the yet affordable dinnerware. She began brainstorming design ideas culture in that country, to employ and empower women and make a for her first sample pieces of plates and bowls, drinking glasses, positive impact with her business. flatware and various accoutrements. Simultaneously, she started “My soul was impacted and rewritten that first time I went compiling a list of the dream retail stores where she wanted her to Bangladesh,” Angell says, adding that she fell in love with the merchandise displayed. She let herself think big and be bold. country and its people. “They have my heart to help their culture Getting into Macy’s was at the top of that list. and, for that reason, I won’t fail because they push me forward every day. Their faces, their texts and their messages on social media remind me of what I am here for. The places I go aren’t luxurious and, in fact, they are quite terrifying at times, but these sites have molded me and made my character even stronger. Every obstacle I am thrown is faced and conquered so that I can help o get the ball rolling, Angell needed two things immediately: provide for them.” capital to create her samples and provide seed money for the Angell made a commitment that she would hire women workers business, and contacts for the right retail buyers. The clock was in her factory, supporting them not only through employment, but ticking. She had approximately five months before her bed rest and also by giving them a voice about their work and providing them post-childbirth maternity leave would end and she would have to with benefits such as onsite doctors and three hot meals per day. go back to her job. To expedite the process, she came up with an “All of our pieces are handcrafted by women, and when you inventive scheme to raise the nest-egg money she needed: flipping purchase a piece, you are impacting the world, one plate at a time,” diamonds for profit. Angell says. “When a piece of dinnerware is produced, it ensures that “I knew that a partner at the law firm had four diamonds,” we are giving [these women] a voice in their family and a chance for she says. “And I went to her and said that if she told me what she their daughters to see them living a full life and to dare to dream.” wanted for them, and let me keep whatever I sold them for on top of [that,] I’ll flip them for you.” With a bit of side help from her brother, Angell did just that. In fact, she found it so easy to do that she started searching the internet for other sources from which to buy diamonds wholesale and resell them. She found and began working with two men in Israel on the diamond sales. At the same time, she continued researching factory er dreams, dedication and hard work paid off big time. Not only options to help produce her first products and never stopped hunting did Angell get her pieces produced and sold through Macy’s, but for the right contact for her dream client, Macy’s. she soon found her dinnerware line being featured in other bigWith just her telephone and a yellow legal pad, Angell began name retail stores, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Dillard’s, as calling until she found the right department buyer at Macy’s, who, well as smaller home stores and boutiques. incredibly, agreed to a meeting. At the same time, a source tracking “I love that each day, I am pushed to think outside of the box down factories in Asia found the perfect solution with a factory and be creative in so many different ways,” Angell says. “As I work that also produced Ralph Lauren products. harder and push forward, I become stronger, not only in business, One month after her daughter Gianna was born, Angell traveled but in my personal life as well. Most of all, I love that I have to New York City and met with the Macy’s contact. The buyer said been given the chance to be able to make an impact through this since Ralph Lauren wasn’t currently shipping the department store company as a voice for women in underdeveloped countries.” dinnerware, there was an opportunity available. Her interactions with the people she has met traveling the world “She said, ‘If you listen to me and I don’t have to hold your hand, are what inspire her to give back. I’ll pull Ralph Lauren and test you in their spot,’ ” Angell recalls. “I “I look at every moment as an opportunity to create, inspire couldn’t tell her that we were using the same factory because we and explore. And the culture of my company embraces each would have failed before we even started.” opportunity,” she says. “It drives me to go the extra mile to not only Instead, Angell made the deal. She then did what she says make luxurious pieces, but to promote change. I don’t go a single any sane person in her position would have done. She flew to day without thinking about the sights I have seen and cultures I the factory in Bangladesh to oversee the manufacturing of her have been immersed in.”




But Angell doesn’t have to fly halfway “As a mother of two girls, my first priority is showing across the world to find females who inspire them they can do anything they dream of and to her. One day when she was leaving a always be passionate about what they are doing in meeting in Dallas, she heard a woman life,” Angell says. “Seeing my girls be fearless and “ I started this in the building crying uncontrollably. hearing them tell others how we are impacting a company to show The woman pointed to the pictures culture through the company is so rewarding. my girls that they of a little girl on her wall, and told I tell them constantly that I will always be Angell it was her daughter, Madison, behind them in whatever they choose in life.” could do anything who had just passed away from Angell adds that she also wants to teach them that they dreamt of, leukemia. Angell couldn’t shake the about the power of resiliency and strength. and to be able to heartwarming stories and memories “It is so great getting to show them how show them how to this woman shared with her, and the to fall and get right back up, and seeing them be strong women. ” two continued to stay in touch. emulate this in their own lives,” she says. “I told her that I would love to design “They build each other up and encourage a piece in Madison’s name,” Angell says each other not to give up, and that is one of the of one of their conversations. “I always sit greatest things I can give them; that, and showing in Madison Square Park in New York and them how to be confident.” could picture Madison as a 14-year-old girl She remembers a cocktail event she took her daughter sitting under the cherry blossom trees in April.” Gianna to when she was about 5 years old. As the motherThat image led to the creation of the Cru line and-daughter duo entered the room, Gianna tugged on Angell’s Madison’s April in NY, from which a portion of all sales hand and said, “Mom, everyone is staring at us!” proceeds goes toward finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Angell told her daughter, “That is when you smile even bigger and hold “I feel beyond blessed to have been given a voice to help others your head high.” and try to run towards them instead of away,” Angell says. “I think, “It’s important to learn how to have confidence at a young age,” Angell for the most part, people want to help in life, but they either think says, “because that in itself will take you far.” there is no way they can actually make an impact or they feel like As confident a mother and role model as Angell can be, she confides she still they are too busy to try.” faces challenges and struggles, much like the rest of us. She just chooses not to She compares philanthropy and altruism to the first use of a muscle. allow doubts to get the best of her as an entrepreneur, a woman or a mother. “At first, it is hard to exercise, but once you start, it gets easier “I started this company to show my girls that they could do anything that and easier,” she says. “It’s the same with making a difference in the they dreamt of, and to be able to show them how to be strong women. That world. I love that I have been given the chance to dare, to be able to was always my No. 1 goal as a mother,” Angell says. “Now they are seeing make an impact through this company.” firsthand how to be fearless and to be a voice in the world through whatever One of her greatest hopes now, as a role model to not one, but two their passion leads them to. It has been an amazing journey of living boldly, daughters, is that they will see what kind of impact they can have by pushing myself through obstacles and passionately working to make an simply using their voices to help others. impact in the world.”


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The Golden Touch It takes a lot more than a creative mind for an independently owned, woman-operated jewelry store to stay in business for more than 13 years, especially in Austin’s everrising-rent district of Second Street. It takes a dose of adaptability, a handful of humility, a keen business sense, a passion for hard work and an exceptional ability to predict what the customer wants—all qualities Elizabeth Gibson graciously embodies. BY CRYSTAL ZUZEK | PHOTOS BY DUSTIN MEYER


When Elizabeth Gibson opened Eliza Page jewelry store on South Lamar Boulevard in 2004, women were clamoring for hoop earrings and anything with a tassel. Thirteen years later, those trends have come full circle, and the store continues to offer unique, handmade jewelry from local and Texas-based designers, in addition to work created by designers from throughout the world. The budding entrepreneur seized the opportunity to relocate to the bourgeoning Second Street District in 2005, and opened her second location last fall at the Domain Northside. “When I first opened, the maker movement was taking off in Austin. I recognized a market here for independently made, handcrafted jewelry,” Gibson says. “Since then, we’ve picked up a lot of local designers. That’s a special part of my business.” Standing out among Austin’s plethora of jewelry stores is no small feat. Eliza Page jewelry’s signature modern, fashion-forward aesthetic and Gibson’s ability to adapt to trends without being too trendy have given her an edge on the competition. “I’ve thrived here because we offer a unique product that resonates with Austinites,” Gibson says. “They want that local flavor. This market really values something that’s handmade by local artisans. It happened naturally that my brand mirrors what customers in Austin want and value.” While Gibson’s new 400-square-foot showroom at the Domain has the look and feel of a high-end gallery, she has worked hard to foster a happy, laid-back atmosphere in which customers can get to know their sales associates while sipping Champagne and trying on the latest designs. “We work hard to maintain relationships with our customers,” she says. “When I opened the store 12 years ago, I wanted it to be different from other jewelry stores: not intimidating, approachable, not pretentious. Jewelry is fun, and I didn’t want our products to be inaccessible.”

STAYING FOCUSED Gibson, a Dallas native, says diving into entrepreneurship “seemed natural” to her. She had been making jewelry for years, and was well-versed in learning about new businesses quickly from working with a variety of clients at an advertising agency. Still, she acknowledges the steep learning curve she faced when breaking into retail. “Taking that leap of faith isn’t unusual for me. I can’t sit still for long, and I’m not afraid of hard work,” she says. “At first, I knew I just needed to learn the lingo in retail. I would go to business meetings and then call my friends who knew retail to figure out what everyone was talking about.” Early on in her business-ownership journey, Gibson experimented with selling handbags, scarves and other fashion accessories but found it to be distracting. “I learned that was a lot of effort put into outside categories that didn’t serve the brand. I had to refocus and stay focused from that point on,” she says. Staying true to her core business values and relying on her impeccable ability to spot talented new jewelry designers make up Gibson’s recipe for retail success. Case in point: Eliza Page was one of the first jewelry stores in Austin to carry Kendra Scott jewelry. It was also among the first to sell the work of cult favorite and United Kingdom-based jewelry designer Polly Wales and Japanese designer Yoshinobu Kataoka, as well as feature Ila jewelry, designed by a Houston-based brother-and-sister duo whose collection is featured in dozens of specialty retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue. Eliza Page launched the Austin debut of fine-jewelry collection Maja Bond last fall, and Gibson is collaborating with Maja Bond designer and Founder Jennifer Resnik on her products and on refining her line as she launches her wholesale business. The retail jewelry industry has taken note of Gibson’s success. Eliza Page has garnered recognition from Austin Fashion Week for best jewelry store and from Lucky magazine as one of Texas’ Top 50 Stores. Gibson is a popular guest speaker at Thrive Online Academy and the Art Institute of Austin, and has been a featured designer judge at premier events, such as Art City Austin and the Smart Jewelry Trade Show’s Generation Next Designer.


business goals and values. “It’s easy

and often tempting to get distracted with many things. Educate and train your team, and develop your product line with your brand, goals and values in mind.” 2.Prepare financially and strategically. “You will always need more money than you think. Keep a keen eye on your day-to-day sustainability factors, such as ensuring the lowest possible overhead, maintaining a positive cash flow and growing key performance indicators in your category.” 3. Treat mistakes and failures as

lessons. “There will be many mistakes, and sometimes they cost you $5,000. Business ownership is humbling and challenging as much as it is exciting and thrilling. Learning and succeeding are the result of trying and failing.”

4. Stay positive. “You must be the best cheerleader for your brand, staff and

customers. Business does not define you, yet you will define your business. Be your best self, and know that business ownership and leadership are privileges that come with great responsibility.” 5. Ask questions, listen and learn.

“Listen to those who work for you and with you. They have wonderful ideas and are the keys to your company’s success. If you don’t have a mentor, surround yourself with a tribe of like-minded friends or business colleagues you can trust to be honest and open with you. Find personal or professional networking


groups that will build you up and help

Fortunately, Gibson works in an industry brimming with inspiration, from the rise of promising young artists to the emergence of beautiful new trends in jewelry materials and designs. The constant state of flux that is retail jewelry aligns nicely with Gibson’s inherent drive to change.

you grow according to your goals.”



You need a tribe that supports you. Being a business owner is challenging, so you need people who will lift you up.

“I’m constantly reinventing my products and store while striving to stay focused, to stay on brand and on message, to pay attention to the numbers and to what our customers want,” she says. “I like to juggle the creative side and the business side.” Gibson finds inspiration outside her work too. An avid traveler, she also enjoys hiking, cycling and running. “I travel quite a bit. It’s the only time I can relax and really get away. My brain thinks differently,” she confides, adding that she’s happiest when riding her bike. Throughout the ups and downs of the retail industry, Gibson has amassed a close-knit group of fellow entrepreneurs she calls friends. “You have to surround yourself with an amazing group,” Gibson says. “I feel like my friends have been my mentors and my inspiration. You need a tribe that supports you. Being a business owner is challenging, so you need people who will lift you up.”

GIVING BACK During the past decade, Gibson has worked with dozens of Austinarea jewelers on increasing profitability and price points, and on growing, editing and fine-tuning their product mix. She recognizes the challenges artists encounter when they cross into the business realm. “I see the talent and drive to succeed that our designers have, but they need to know the basics of business. That’s where I can help and encourage them,” she says. When mentoring up-and-coming jewelry designers, Gibson finds many of them don’t realize all the business opportunities they can 64 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  DECEMBER 2017

explore. For example, she suggested Austin-based jewelry designer extraordinaire Shaesby Scott, who specializes in sculptural jewelry and sells his work to retail giants like Neiman Marcus, create a bridal collection. He heeded her guidance and it paid off. “We were seeing his jewelry sales grow among our customers. Since he created the bridal line, we’ve sent so many customers to him for custom orders,” she says. “Because I’m in a retail space, I can share that customer perspective with designers in a thoughtful and objective way.” Women in the jewelry-design industry hold a special place in Gibson’s heart. To help them advance and develop professionally through networking, education and leadership development, she established the Austin chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association, for which she serves as president. Last summer, she was a peer collaborator with Rwandan jewelryand-accessory entrepreneur Teta Isibo, founder of Inzuki Designs. As part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Isibo visited Austin and met with Gibson to discuss business logistics, product inspiration, workflow efficiencies and plans for business growth. “I choose to mentor,” Gibson says. “I consider it a privilege, and I don’t take it for granted.” With two stores in her local retail jewelry domain, Gibson is starting to turn her gaze to the road that lies ahead. “I’m taking it one step at a time,” she says. “I have the Eliza Page bridal collection, but I want to expand into everyday jewelry: earrings, bracelets and necklaces.”




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Put a zesty, sprightful twist on this season’s holiday sweet treats. STORY AND PHOTOS BY NATALIE PARAMORE

December is the most magical time of the year to whisk up sugar and butter into something special for the holidays. The cooler temperatures lend us some wonderful produce in Texas, like pecans and citrus. I remember, each Christmas, my grandma would make lemon bars, which is why they garner a spot on my list of holiday favorites every year. Whether you want to add a sweet touch to a family brunch or whip up a homemade gift for a friend, the flavors of the Texas produce season are ripe for savoring. So, pull out your mixing bowls, get to baking and have fun putting a spin on these modern holiday favorites.





TEXAS PECAN CINNAMON ROLLS Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan or about 12 rolls

Ingredients 1 cup milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk, divided 8 tablespoons butter, divided 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting 1/4 cup sugar 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) rapid-rise active yeast 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg 8 ounces cream cheese, softened, divided 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped, plus more for topping 1 cup powdered sugar Directions 1. P  reheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan. If you’re making it the night before, skip the oven. 2. H  eat 3/4 cup milk and the butter until just melted. Add in the remaining milk and set aside. 3. In a large bowl, whisk together two cups of flour, the sugar, yeast and salt. 4. U  sing the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, incorporate the milk mixture and egg into the flour until well mixed, about one minute on medium speed. 5. Scrape  down the sides and switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time while the mixer is running. You may not need to add all the flour. Add flour until the dough is sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not add too much flour or the rolls will be dry. Knead with the dough hook for five minutes. 6. T  ransfer the dough to a floured surface and roll the dough ball once or twice. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. 7. R  oll the dough out into a large rectangle. Spread 4 ounces of cream cheese onto the dough. Fold the dough into thirds, like an envelope, covering all the cream cheese. Dust with flour and gently roll it out to smooth the folds. Cover and let it rest 15 to 20 minutes more. 8. M  eanwhile, make the filling. Combine the remaining butter with cinnamon and brown sugar, and whisk together. Set aside. 9. R  oll the dough out into a large rectangle on a floured surface again. If any cream cheese pops out, gently patch it with the dough. Spread the cinnamon-sugar mix all over. Top with pecans all over. Roll the dough tightly lengthwise. Cut the log into 12 even pieces. 10. P  lace the rolls into a greased pan, cover and let them rise in a warm spot for 20 minutes. If you are making the rolls the night before, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and place them into the refrigerator to rise overnight. 11. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15 minutes until they’re slightly golden brown. If stored in the refrigerator overnight, let the rolls come to room temperature before baking. 12. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining cream cheese. Gently stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons milk, until smooth. 13. Let the rolls cool slightly. While they’re still very warm, put the icing on top. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans. Serve immediately.



CLASSIC LEMON BARS Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan



3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick foil with an overhang for easy removal.

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon salt 16 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed

2. M  ake the crust by whisking together 2 cups of flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Use a fork to cut in 16 tablespoons of butter until crumbs form. 3. P  ress the mixture firmly into the pan until even. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. 4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

3/4 cups fresh lemon juice

5. Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar. Add in the remaining flour and salt, and combine until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and quickly pour over the hot crust and return it to the oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but the center is slightly jiggly.

2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting

6. L  et it cool in the pan on a wire rack for an hour, then cover it and refrigerate it for at least four hours or overnight.

6 large eggs

7. Lift the bars out of the pan and cut them into squares. Dust them with powdered sugar and serve. The bars can be made as long as three days in advance and stored in the fridge.






Inspired by her Italian roots, Andiamo Ristorante’s Daniela Marcone is making Italian classics cool again. BY LYDIA GREGOVIC

Family-style dinner


Tucked away in a North Austin strip mall, Andiamo Ristorante is a hidden gem that brings its guests the tastes of Italy without the cost of a plane ticket. The experience begins upon entry, when guests are immediately greeted with a scene right out of Lady and the Tramp’s first date: the cozy dining room is lit by the warm glow of candles and pristine white tablecloths are spread neatly atop the tables, awaiting the next diners. Owner Daniela Marcone was born and raised on the Italian coast, and since taking ownership of the restaurant, she’s been dedicated to showcasing the best of her culture to the Austin community. And to her, that means keeping it simple. “For us, it’s all about keeping tradition,” Marcone says. “I focus on making authentic Italian food, the kind that I grew up eating.” Unlike many other Italian restaurants, spaghetti and meatballs do not grace Andiamo’s menu. Rather, Marcone has chosen to forgo these Americanized classics in favor of a truly authentic approach, one grounded in her Italian roots. “Being Italian, cooking is something you’re born into,” Marcone explains. “When we get together, we eat.” And since she can’t bring her guests to Italy, Marcone imports the best of her homeland to Austin. In addition to including ingredients such as Italian cheeses and dried meats, Andiamo is the only restaurant in the city to exclusively serve Italian wines, each sourced from small vineyards and hand-selected by Marcone herself. The result is a menu that is completely unique in its traditionalism, featuring extraordinary selections, including fettuccine ragu e caprino, a dish of house-made spinach fettuccine with ragu and fresh goat cheese; vitello al rosmarino, tender veal scallopini sauteed in a rosemarylemon-butter sauce; and Andiamo’s seasonal special, house-made pumpkin-and-ricottacheese ravioli served with a brown-butter-andsage sauce. Don’t forget to order a basket of the best bread this side of Naples, Italy, a delicate, warm loaf woven with fresh spinach, mozzarella and leeks that is well worth cheating on any diet. Whether you’re looking for a new spot for date night or just have a craving for authentic pasta, Andiamo Ristorante allows guests to escape Austin for a few hours without ever leaving the Lone Star State.

Photos courtesy of Giant Noise.

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TESTING: 1, 2, 3

Sharpen your pencils and take note of the health-care screenings you need to schedule in the year—and years—ahead. BY DR. SAIMA JEHANGIR It’s an old adage we’re all familiar with: A stitch in time saves nine. And though an unraveling hem and your health may not seem to have a lot in common, in fact, they do. Early detection of an unraveling health condition can allow for early intervention, leading to a better outcome. Screening tests are, by nature, meant to be affordable, available to large populations and sensitive enough to detect disease. The downside, of course, is false positives, but when patients are educated about the management of a positive result, these tests can be a source of reassurance and relief rather than a burden. So, what screening tests do you need? Let’s start with the tests and visits that offer the biggest bang for your buck. PAP SMEAR WITH HPV TESTING

This is probably the test that causes the most confusion among patients, but it’s the single cheapest life-saving screening test in the history of women’s reproductive health. Pap smears have dropped the percentage of deaths due to cervical cancer by 70 percent or more since the test’s introduction into routine screenings. To be started at age 21, or three years after a woman becomes sexually active, the test can be repeated every one to three years, depending on the patient’s risk factors and whether she’s a carrier of HPV. A woman is considered at high risk if she has had more than five sexual partners in her lifetime, and should be screened yearly. Also, women who are sexually active should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases when between partners, regardless of whether they have a pap smear at the same time. These tests can be performed on urine samples and do not always require a pelvic exam. MAMMOGRAM

Once again, there’s so much confusion surrounding mammograms and when to start getting the test. Screening should start between the ages of 40 and 45, and continue yearly unless the patient has a family history of breast cancer, in which case, the screening schedule should be modified, with screening starting, in some cases, as early as age 30. Family history also contributes to whether a woman should be tested for inherited cancer syndromes. Those who carry a genetic mutation may have a screening schedule that’s altered from that of the general population.

HOW TO ACCESS AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE With insurance deductibles high and many patients uninsured, the question of how to obtain affordable testing always arises. Austin is lucky to have many reduced-cost resources and physicians willing to work toward keeping the population healthy. Most insurance plans cover one preventative visit per year. Don’t waste this annual opportunity to discuss any health-care concerns. >> If you are in between insurance plans and have seen a physician before, consider returning to her. Most offer a lower cost cash-pay visit to established patients. Otherwise, higher cost procedures can be placed on a payment plan with most offices. >> Both Planned Parenthood and Lone Star Circle of Care offer low-cost health care, often based on a sliding scale determined by yearly income., >> Lab testing is available through Any Lab Test Now and mammmograms are also available with cash payments at most local radiologist offices. Seton’s Big Pink Bus offers free mammograms to women older than 40 who qualify. >> If you are a resident of Travis County, you may qualify for the Medical Access Program, which gives patients access to affordable health care. >> There are many clinical trials available in Central Texas to treat various conditions. This is a great way to access free diagnosis and treatment and be compensated for your time. Dr. Saima Jehangir is a licensed gynecologist at Lotus Gynecology, Health and Wellness,


Much like the vagina, women cannot examine our own colons, and therefore, a doctor needs to. Routine colonoscopies should begin at age 50, unless there’s a family history of colon cancer or the patient carries a genetic mutation. The screening is good for 10 years unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. All those years of tanning with baby oil may be catching up to you. And allowing a dermatologist to examine what seems simply like dark moles and freckles may just save your life. Skin exams should be performed yearly. BLOOD WORK

Yearly blood work can detect blood disorders, high cholesterol, abnormal liver and kidney function, diabetes and thyroid dysfunction. Most all of these conditions are treatable with simple lifestyle modifications or medical management. Performing blood work yearly also allows for a comparison point if lab results do become abnormal at some point.


Dr. Saima Jehangir

Photo by Sherry Hammond.


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SUSTAINING ENVIRONMENT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS Texas Disposal Systems is preaching the importance of recycling, composting and the positive effects by way of the organization’s innovative new program, Eco Academy.

It’s no secret our natural resources are in dire need of protecThe Eco Academy curriculum is helping spread the word tion, restoration and management. We’re making progress, but throughout Central Texas communities about the importance even today, Americans produce, on average, approximately 4.4 of recycling and composting by teaching kids how they can help pounds of waste per day, per person, according to the Envithe planet at school and how to take what they’ve learned back ronmental Protection Agency, even though 90 percent of our to their homes. For example, did you know a potato peel decomdiscarded materials can be recycled or composted. What if poses within a few weeks, but it can take upwards of 200 years for we all did our best to protect the environment? What if every an aluminum can to break down? It’s just one of the things Eco person recycled, composted or repurposed used items? Imagine Academy teaches students. what our world could look This ripple effect is the key to like then. We can make saving our precious planet. When an immediate impact by children start learning these lescontinually looking for ways sons in elementary school, they to divert materials otherwise will grow up to become more intended for landfill disposal environmentally conscious adults. and repurposing them for The lessons Eco Academy teaches new life, as well as promotabout the life cycle of trash are ing environmental awareness steps in the right direction toward in our communities and making our communities and, educating others about how eventually, our world more envito recycle and compost to ronmentally sustainable. preserve resources. Each school participating in the Texas Disposal Systems, Eco Academy program receives one of the largest indepenprepared curriculum with handsdently operated resourceon activities and videos, plus management companies in educational signage that’s perfect the country, promotes living for hanging up in cafeterias and in a cleaner and more beauticlassrooms. The lessons cover such ful world, which is entirely themes as ways to reduce waste, possible. For more than 40 how to conserve natural resources years, TDS has helped comImagine all the good that can and designing solutions for the munities, organizations and future. By the end of fall 2017, Eco schools manage and divert come if we all took the time to Academy will be in Central Texas waste to beneficial uses. The elementary schools, and there are company provides educationget a little more educated about plans to expand the program to al signage for highly attended both middle and high schools by events, such as the Austin what we can do for our planet. the end of 2018. City Limits Music FestiImagine all the good that can val, and offers easy-to-read come if we all took the time to information on its website, get a little more educated about what emphasizing the importance of recycling and composting, we can do for our planet. Small changes to our daily habits can ultimately helping to divert waste from landfills, which, in turn, have a significant impact on our environment. Even if it’s just reduces greenhouse-gas emissions. throwing your leftovers in the compost bin, buying compostable But in order to get people excited about a more sustainable utensils or taking five minutes in the morning to send your child future, education is key. To increase recycling and composting to school with snacks packed in a reusable container, we can do education, TDS recently launched an innovative program called our part in helping the planet. Let’s all make more of an effort to Eco Academy. The program is designed to minimize waste in be good stewards of our environment while we still have time to schools, which is why it includes campus-wide recycling initiamake a difference. tives and compostable-material collection in cafeterias.

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A fermented, benefit-rich beverage, kombucha is rapidly growing in popularity. BY MIKAILA RUSHING

Not that: probiotic juices and high-calorie drinks with little nutritional value Says who: Carly Reed Janak, registered dietitian nutritionist at Sparkman Nutrition What it is: Kombucha is a fermented drink made with black or green tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It is often sweet, tart and a bit fizzy, with an alcohol content of approximately .04 percent. Why: Kombucha contains probiotics, which Reed Janak explains as live microorganisms that, when introduced to the body, have a health benefit for those consuming them. Kombucha, in particular, is meant to help regulate gut health and digestion, and claims have been made that it aids in boosting the immune system.

Reed Janak admits that while the research on the kombucha beverage specifically is still being conducted, “there’s plenty of research on probiotics and the probiotics kombucha contains.” It’s been theorized that probiotic digestive aids can help in lowering cholesterol levels, improving lactose metabolism and perhaps even improving mental health, as the gut is one of the primary producers of seratonin, a chemical created by the human body that works as a neurotransmitter. At the moment, though, any potential probiotic benefits remain within the realm of theory, as research is still being conducted on those subjects. Regardless, kombucha is a healthier alternative to other less nutrient-rich flavored drinks. Arguably, it also has more benefits than other probiotic waters and yogurts. “The upper hand kombucha has over some other products on the market is that it does tend to be lower in sugar, especially lower than those juice-based products,” Reed Janak says.

Consider: It’s important to consider the possible drawbacks of drinking kombucha. Because it is a fermented drink and therefore, a living organism, there can be a few unpredicted complications, particularly with home brewing. “If you’re brewing it at home, it’s an open environment where a lot could go wrong,” Reed Janak says. There have been some incidents of people becoming ill after drinking poorly made kombucha. These incidents are few and far between, but Reed Janak advises those who might be more vulnerable, such as pregnant or nursing mothers, or those who are amino-compromised, should not brew the drink at home. While kombucha can be very good for your diet, Reed Janak stresses it should not be considered the one and only probiotic drink. “Variety is your best option,” Reed Janak emphasizes. “Every fermented food is going to have a variety of probiotic in it, and our gut benefits from having multiple strains [of probiotics].” She advises adding other types of probiotic waters and yogurts into your dietary mix, as well as making sure the foods you eat are high in prebiotics— garlic, wheat and bananas—so that probiotics can be effective.


Head shot photo by Alicia Sparkman.

Eat this: kombucha and other probiotic digestive aids

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Radiologist Liz Moorehead is redefining herself after an injury halted her triathlon career. BY GRETCHEN M. SANDERS What to do when your body won’t let you do the things you love: Austin triathlete Liz Moorehead ran into that issue earlier this year. The 48-year-old radiologist, who loves to swim, bike and run, had grown accustomed to completing two workouts a day and topping the podium at local triathlons. A year ago, she won the overall female-distance division of the Texas Tri Series, four triathlons held during the course of five months.

Then Moorehead’s left hip gave out, ending her training entirely. A major surgery ensued, coupled with doctors’ orders to rest. “Triathlon was so much a part of me,” says Moorehead, who has worked for Austin Radiological Association for 17 years and is the chief of radiology at St. David’s Medical Center. “I love exercise, so I’m trying to figure out how to enjoy what I can do today and on what level I want to get back to what I used to do.” Now, every morning, Moorehead sweats through nearly 90 minutes of physical-therapy exercises to regain strength and range of motion in her hips and legs. She can do some indoor biking, but running remains off-limits. The forgiving sport of swimming has already welcomed her back. It’s not all that gloomy. Forced to do other things, Moorehead traveled to China last summer to see her mother’s homeland, and she’s had more time to study

Chinese with her children this fall. She also adopted two kittens to keep her company while she rests. Slowing down makes her appreciate her husband, Jeff, who’s always managed the kids and household while she works and trains. An absorbing job keeps her mind on her patients and not on her injury. “I’m always solving mysteries at work,” she says. “If someone comes in with stomach pain, I can find the cause. Maybe that person thinks it’s appendicitis, but I discover it’s a kidney stone. I like the feeling of helping.” Here’s how this hardworking doc stays fit in transition. THE A.M.:

“My favorite thing to give myself is time. I let myself sleep until the last second before I have to get up. Then I make sure some kind of exercise occurs. Right now, that means a whole lot of physical therapy and a little cardio.” THE WORKOUT:

“When I’m not injured, I try to swim, bike and run three times a week and lift weights twice per week. I’ll ride my bike for one hour during the week and for two or three hours on the weekend. I wish I bike-commuted more because it’s nice not using the car and it helps me sneak in a workout. Every little bit of time counts. I’ll run for an hour during lunch, shower at my office and get back to work. Apart from [University of Texas] Masters Swimming, I tend to workout on my own. I want to go when I want to go. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything unless I’ve done a good workout. It’s an addiction. It’s part of an unhealthy thing that women are prone to. I used to obsess about what I ate, but I traded that in for exercise. It’s the healthier obsession.” THE DIET:

“Coffee is the utmost priority for my morning meal. Breakfast comes after exercise, if at all. Sometimes after swimming, I’ll have oatmeal or a banana, but I don’t wake up early to eat. I roll out of bed and go. I usually have a salad with protein for lunch and Smarties or Tootsie Rolls for an afternoon snack. I have a terrible diet. I try very hard not to eat the delicious desserts that they always serve in our dining room at the hospital. If I look at them, I will eat them. I love sweets. For dinner, I usually have veggies and some kind of lean meat with my family at home. We try to keep mostly healthy food around the house. My husband and I joke that we prefer to exercise our willpower at the grocery store rather than doing it every day at home. I don’t drink much during the week, but I do love a frozen margarita on a Friday after work. I also enjoy trying new restaurants.” THE GEAR:

“I have nothing special. I’m too cheap! Workout clothes from Academy or Target are fine. I do like a good running bra from Title Nine, though. I also love my bike, a Cervélo that I got a long time ago. It’s old but it’s good enough. I don’t need the new thing all the time. The engine is what matters more on the bike. I think it’s cool when I can beat someone riding an expensive new bike. Speedo Endurance swimsuits last forever, and Nike Free running shoes with orthotics work for me.” “I feel happier when I exercise; my worries just slip away. I enjoy focusing on the goal of a workout and not the stress in my life. I also like not worrying about what I eat. If I have five desserts one day, I know with my training schedule, it will all balance out. Plus, I like feeling strong and knowing that I can go climb a tree or a tall pole if I want to. I can escape the ‘zombiepocalypse,’ if it comes to that. I can hike 10 miles any day. The highlight of ACL is riding my bike there and back with my husband. I love the freedom that comes with my physical ability to do these things.” THE MINDSET:

“Gut it out. Just keep going. Don’t give up. Do a couple more, then you will only have a few left. Working hard and being diligent has paid off many times in my life—in school, in my profession and in sports. I’m always striving to do better, but I’ve also learned that I have to listen to my body to prevent injuries. I must be kind to myself too.” THE P.M.:

“I love to read. If I had to give up exercise, I could be happy as long as I could read fiction. I try to spend at least 30 minutes in a book every night. I also like Sudoku. It’s what I do when I can’t sleep.” 78 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  DECEMBER 2017

Photo courtesy of the Danskin Triathlon.



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language and have a deep understanding of aerial-support limitaI am often asked how I stay on my path amid obstacles tions and capabilities. In other words, it was the perfect job for me, and failures. The simple answer is that I don’t see them as with one minor problem. This career field was closed to women. obstacles and failures, but more as motivators and inconI couldn’t even apply. Rather than face a desk, I chose to leave my venient delays that only serve to make me stronger. beloved military. I felt the loss of my As a young woman, I set out brothers and sisters in arms in my to become a combat searchchest. But I was also aware that they and-rescue helicopter pilot were losing a highly trained, battlein the U.S. Air Force. It was a proven warrior, and I could not let difficult road that would take that go unanswered. me through an institutionalI partnered with the American ized boys’ club fraught with Civil Liberties Union and filed suit discrimination. I would suragainst the Department of Defense, vive a sexual assault and push asserting that the Ground Combat through years of rejection. But Exclusion Policy was unconstitutionit was my determination to al. I also worked with military leaders focus on the 95 percent of the in and out of the Pentagon because men I served with who only most of them were aware that the cared about whether I was policy was also damaging our ability competent—as opposed to the to effectively execute our mission. vocal minority who needed The Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed and to feel superior to someone unanimously requested that the Secto make up for some deeply retary of Defense acquiesce. Within rooted insecurity—that helped months, in January 2013, he repealed me brush all of that aside. I the policy and cleared the way for would become a pilot and others to have the opportunity to follow my passion for fighting compete for elite military positions. for my country and taming the While my military career was wild blue yonder above us. done, I was unsettled in my corporate On my third tour in Aflife. Something was missing. The pasghanistan, I was shot down, sion in my spirit for protecting people receiving shrapnel wounds to and fighting for what was right would The passion in my spirit for protecting my right arm and leg. Hownot be silenced. The events of the ever, my crew and I squared people and fighting for what was last year have inspired a multitude our shoulders to the incrediof reactions within my heart. There ble odds of 150 enemy fighters right would not be silenced. have been times when I wanted to to our six to get everyone out look away from the world and focus alive. They had the numon my family. But now that I have children, I cannot ignore the fact bers. We had the skill, the tools and the absolute unwillingness to that this world that so disturbs me is the world into which I am relent. For me, it was just another instance of a determined group sending my boys. I have to do all I can to make it as safe as possible of people trying to stop me from my goal of seeing my crew safely for them. back with their families. So, I embark on another journey. I’m running for United States When I returned home, my injuries prevented me from continuCongress from my home district of Texas 31. Once more, into the ing my career as a pilot. But there was one job I could still do that fray I go, again, driven forward by those who would try to intimiwould make use of my skill set while simultaneously satisfying the date us. They have always inspired me to do more. They motivate passion that stirred my warrior spirit. As a special-tactics officer, I me now. Their very actions serve to dare me to try. I accept. would be on the front lines with ground forces, calling in air support and liaising between the ground and air forces. To be effective MJ Hegar is the author of Shoot Like A Girl: One Woman’s at this job, you need to maintain your composure under fire, grasp Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front. the intricacies of flight and 3-D airspace, speak the unique pilot Austin Woman features a reader-submitted essay every month in the I Am Austin Woman column. To be considered for March’s I Am Austin Woman, email a 500-word submission on a topic of your choice by Jan. 1 to with the subject line “I Am Austin Woman.”


Photo by April Skinner.

Throughout her career, U.S. Air Force veteran MJ Hegar has strived to fight for what is right, finding motivation in the face of adversity and intimidation. Now she’s running for Congress.

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