AUSTIN WOMAN MAGAZINE | MAY 2019
“I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” —Oprah Winfrey
In a split second, her world was torn apart.
Roopal Bhatt was hit by an SUV while she was walking with her son and daughter. It took months of therapy for her to learn how to walk again. Watch her story at stdavids.com.
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SHAPING THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS mj hegar, mba ’16 air force war veteran/author/activist
tamara fields, bba ’96 managing director, accenture
At Texas McCombs, we help women grow into their dreams — to be executives, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
cindy lo, bba ’98 president/owner, red velvet events
marissa tarleton, mba ’02 ceo, retailmenot
We’re focused on the future — especially the future of women in business. We believe business has the power and responsibility to make a positive impact, and that in order to serve, women must have a place at the table and the knowledge and skills to excel. Our curriculum champions sustainable business practices, enables ethical decision making, and promotes respect for the communities in which we live and work. At Texas McCombs, learning is a blend of high-quality instruction based on relevant, ground-breaking research as well as hands-on, experiential teamwork.
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ON THE COVER
LIVING LIFE ON PURPOSE BY HANNAH J. PHILLIPS
NOT YOUR MODEL MINORITY
Photo by Annie Ray.
BY COURTNEY RUNN
Photo by Salina McCullough.
69 SAVVY WOMEN
18 C OUNT US IN
92 R ECIPE REVEAL
20 GIVE BACK
Women in Numbers
22 F ROM THE DESK OF 24 S TART THE CONVO 26 P ROFILE
Deputy Comptroller Lisa Craven Fair-trade Coffee
ATX WOMEN TO WATCH 31 R OLL CALL 2019
Embracing the Gray
76 S EE HER WORK 78 A LOOK INSIDE
WELLNESS 96 WAITING ROOM
Coping With Bunion Pain
98 H ER ROUTINE
Beach-volleyball Pro Andrea Nucete-Elliott
POINT OF VIEW
STYLE + HOME 72 B EAUTY
94 F OOD NEWS
Woman-owned and -led Businesses
DISCOVER 69 TEXAS TRIPPIN’
Illustrator Becca Borrelli Hotelette Austin
8 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
100 ON THE MONEY Starting a Side Gig 102 ASK LUCY Off-leash Leisure 104 I AM AUSTIN WOMAN Mariska Nicholson
ON THE COVER Photo by Annie Ray annieraycreative.com Hair and makeup by Gertie Wilson elevecosmetics.com Shot on location at Pershing thepershing.com Bano eeMee Naz jacket, $464; Parker Alden shorts, $220; Cleobella Liliana top, $98; Lady Grey warp earrings, $180; available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., estiloboutique.com.
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A PUBLICATION OF AW MEDIA INC.
VOLUME 17, ISSUE 9
THE 2018 VO
CYNTHIA GUAJARDO SHAFER
AZINE | MAY 2018
Publisher NIKI JONES
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Brianna Caleri, Kaiti Evans, Priscilla Flowers, Kara E. Henderson, Anna Lassmann, Sabrina LeBoeuf, Amanda MacFarlane, Chelsea Perry, Auva Saghafi, Andrea Tinning, Bailey Whelton ©2018
“Find something you’re passionate
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Austin Woman is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc., and is available at more than 1,000 locations throughout Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved. For submission information, visit atxwoman.com/jobs. No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. Visit us online at atxwoman.com. Email us at email@example.com. 512.328.2421 | 3921 Steck Ave., Suite A111, Austin, TX 78759
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Publication of Austin Woman would not be possible without the support of our monthly advertisers and sponsors, who believe in the impact we are making in the Austin community. The following businesses have stepped up their support of our efforts beyond traditional advertising and we are proud to recognize them as our partners. The team at Austin Woman is grateful for these businesses that have shown their commitment to the advancement of women in Austin and hopes you, as readers, recognize their efforts and support these businesses and all our regular advertisers.
CYNTHIA GUAJARDO SHAFER
Publisher DIAMOND-LEVEL PARTNER
FROM THE PUBLISHER A
t Austin Woman, we share the stories of entrepreneurs and businesswomen every day. We’re inspired by their creativity, grit and hustle, and we’re grateful for the impact they have in our city, which is why each year, we dedicate an entire issue to their stories. When we first learned about Pamela Romo, we knew she needed to be on our cover. A serial entrepreneur, she is always dreaming up new businesses, and with Spanish podcasts, planners and workshops, she is empowering Hispanic women to follow their own passions. As a mom, she is also on a mission to reduce the stigma surrounding postpartum depression and open up about her struggles as a parent. We’re so inspired by her endless passion projects and commitment to lifting up women! In this issue, we also chose to feature Collective Blue, a local organization dedicated to creating a space for diverse entrepreneurs and artists in Austin. Nina Ho and Regine Malibiran quit their corporate jobs to pursue entrepreneurship, and it came at a high cost. From wrestling with their own Asian American backgrounds and identities to working multiple side jobs to make ends meet, they embody the qualities we celebrate in this magazine: vulnerability, resilience, compassion and drive. There are so many more women featured in the following pages that are doing amazing things, including our Women to Watch. Each month, our Woman to Watch section offers women a space to highlight their businesses and introduce themselves to you. Each May, we publish our Roll Call, an extended version of this section that includes a directory of all the women featured. Are you looking for a financial expert, a personal jeweler or an attorney? Look no further than Page 31. We hope you hold on to this directory all year and support women-owned businesses in Austin. If you’re inspired by the women in this issue, I hope you’ll join us May 9 at our annual Woman’s Way Business Awards, the only awards event in Austin showcasing women-led and -owned businesses. It brings these pages to life, and sitting in a room with hundreds of Austin’s most influential women never gets old! We love hearing stories of women attending Woman’s Way and feeling encouraged to take that next step in pursuing their dreams. This year, MJ Hegar will be our keynote speaker, and if you aren’t familiar with her incredible military career and health-care advocacy, be sure to check out her story on Page 26. If you want to make more connections, need some courage or could simply use a dose of inspiration, come to Woman’s Way. You won’t regret it. See you May 9!
CYNTHIA GUAJARDO SHAFER
Publisher BTS AT OUR COVER SHOOT
Join the conversation @AustinWoman #TheEntrepreneursIssue
12 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
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CONTRIBUTORS This month, we asked our contributors: Have you ever dipped a toe in the entrepreneurial sphere? How’d it go?
COVER STORY PHOTOGRAPHER, “LIVING LIFE ON PURPOSE,” PAGE 80 Since 2005, Annie Ray has focused on bringing out the “real stuff” in everything she shoots. Her relationship with every subject will make 1,000 words say so much more.
“Yes! I have been my own boss for the past 15 years and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
WRITER, “NOT YOUR MODEL MINORITY,” PAGE 86 Courtney Runn is a native Austinite but adopted Italy as a second home when her family moved there when she was in middle school. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism, and her love for writing always comes back to her love for people and sharing their stories. You can usually find her in a coffee shop sipping a chai latte. “In high school, I created and published an online magazine for girls living overseas. There weren’t a lot of resources for navigating high school and middle school for me when my family lived in Italy, so I decided to create it myself and loved having the opportunity to hear and share girls’ stories from around the world for five years!”
HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTIST, “LIVING LIFE ON PURPOSE,” PAGE 80 Gertie Wilson is the founder and creative director of the awardwinning beauty line Elevé Cosmetics. She has more than a decade of experience as a makeup artist, and when she’s not working on location, she’s often in one of the two Elevé retail locations. She and her husband live in Austin with their spirited 1-year-old daughter and two sweet pups.
Upcoming events: May 17 & 18, 8:00 p. m. “a Shakespearean Evening” masterworks series at Long center’s Dell Hall chorus Austin & Austin children’s choir music of Hector Berlioz, William Walton
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“I didn’t dip my toe; I dove straight into the deep end! I entered the wonderful world of entrepreneurship when I launched Elevé, my nontoxic beauty line, in 2015, and haven’t looked back. I always say I have three babies: Goldie (17 months), my husband (37 years) and my company (4 years and counting)! I love them all.”
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WRITER, “RULING THE COURT,” PAGE 98 Gretchen M. Sanders is a writer in Austin. Her most recent work has appeared in Austin Monthly, The Alcalde and The Dallas Morning News. When she’s not at her desk, this Louisiana native loves to read murder mysteries, run, swim and throw tennis balls for her yellow lab, Huey P. “I started Audio Archives, an oral-history recording business, in 2015 to help families preserve their stories. I love making business decisions, but I committed many humorous missteps early on. Once, I promoted Audio Archives at a running event alongside Nike, Adidas and other well-known companies. Their booths were covered with fancy, monogrammed tablecloths; mine came from H-E-B. A man walking by eyed my cheap plastic table drape and said, ‘I see you went to the Party Pig last night,’ and kept walking. I almost died.”
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➥ The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse. Sister Christina Chavez opened up
in a frank discussion about the recent sexual-abuse scandal in the Catholic church (which includes 22 priests in the Catholic Diocese of Austin who have been accused), how Catholics can move forward and how she’s helping victims heal.
➥ Social-media Marketing. Claire Winslow, the founder of Best Practice Media, which hosts the wildly popular annual Social Media Week event, dishes on how you can best build your brand through social media. Hint: It’s not all about your number of followers.
➥ Allergy Relief. If you’re like most Austinites, you probably suffer from some
sort of seasonal allergies. And like most locals agonizing about the allergy dilemma, you’ve likely sought all sorts of remedies. We chatted with Austin allergy experts about what works best and when it’s time to dismiss overthe-counter treatments and local honey in favor of alternative solutions or a good old fashioned doctor’s visit.
OLIVE + M FACIAL PRODUCTS
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One of our favorite local skin-care brands, Olive + M, is sure to make one lucky Austin Woman reader glow with delight. Olive + M is generously giving away two of the company’s bestsellers: Olive + M Face Oil and Olive + M Shimmer + Glow Body Oil. The product that started it all, Olive + M’s olive-oilbased Face Oil (a $38 value) is all-natural, plant-based and cruelty-free, and leaves skin feeling nourished, hydrated and glowing. The Olive + M Shimmer + Glow Body Oil (also a $38 value) was inspired by the desire to maintain a summer glow all year long—without looking like you’ve doused yourself in glitter. This lightweight formula illuminates the skin with natural minerals and smells like a dream, thanks to sweet orange oil. To enter to win, follow us on Instagram @austinwoman and stay on the lookout for the giveaway announcement in mid-May. A winner will be chosen and notified by the end of the month.
16 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
Girl Scouts of Central Texas Women of Distinction May 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fairmont Austin, 101 Red River St. gsctx.ejoinme.org/austin
Austin Woman Woman’s Way Business Awards May 9, 6 to 9:30 p.m. JW Marriott Austin, 110 E. Second St. atxtickets.com
Con Mi Madre Corazón Awards May 11, 7 to 11 p.m. JW Marriott Austin, 110 E. Second St. conmimadre.org
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WOMEN IN NUMBERS
Women entrepreneurs mean business and continue to gain ground while the odds against them dwindle. BY KAITI EVANS, ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA WETTERER
$1.7 Trillion Smart businesswomen throughout the country are really cashing in. The National Association of Women Business Owners claims in 2017, women-owned businesses in the U.S. generated some $1.7 trillion in sales and employed nearly 9 million people. Furthermore, the U.S. boasts 5.4 million companies owned by women of color, which employ more than 2 million workers and generate annual revenues of $361 billion.
78 Percent According to StartupNation, which touts the slogan “Build your business. Live your dream,” women are doing just that. Established women entrepreneurs rate their well-being some three times higher than that of women who aren’t entrepreneurs, and 1.6 times higher than that of male entrepreneurs. And more than three-quarters—78 percent— of women entrepreneurs say they’ve achieved work/life balance.
Since Texas is tops for female-owned businesses, it is no surprise Austin and three other Texas cities are among the top 10 locales with the most representation of women entrepreneurs. According to American Express, Texas’ capital city ranks fifth in the country for female entrepreneurs. To see such flourishing businesses in action, check out Austin’s Second Street District, where nearly half the shops are operated by women.
Women entrepreneurs are on the upswing in the U.S., with the number of female-owned businesses increasing by an astonishing 3,000 percent since 1972. Growth is especially significant in the Lone Star State. According to fitsmallbusiness.com’s Best States for Women Entrepreneurs 2019 list, Texas is the No. 1 state for women entrepreneurs this year, up from a No. 8 ranking in 2018, based on factors such as its business climate, the current number of women-owned businesses, overall state economic and financial health, and safety and well-being for women.
18 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
4 of 10
Once a woman’s business is up and running, the next goal is success. And according to some research, women-run businesses throughout the world are experiencing success in great numbers, often generating higher revenues than businesses run by men—sometimes to the tune of 13 percent more. Experts say this success can be attributed to four key factors: Businesswomen set achievable sales goals, prioritize collaboration, grow their businesses slowly and methodically, and employ excellent time-management skills.
IF SHE CAN SEE IT,
SHE C AN BE IT.
There are two things most everyone knows about the Girl Scouts: our motto, “Be prepared,” and if you eat one Thin Mint, you’ll probably eat the entire sleeve. These are essentially facts of life, but a lesser-known foundation of the Girl Scouts organization is the fundamental belief that girls who are exposed to powerful and ambitious women are more likely to become powerful and ambitious women themselves. Each year at the Women of Distinction awards luncheon, Girl Scouts of Central Texas highlights and celebrates dynamic women in the Austin community. If you’re looking for a pattern of success to replicate in your own life, look no further than the 2019 Women of Distinction honorees.
EVERY SPACE BELONGS TO YOU.
Margaret Jabour, co-owner of Austin business Twin Liquors, has a knack for entrepreneurship. She proves alcohol isn’t just a boys’ club, bringing an elegance and ambiance to her stores, solidifying Twin Liquors as the premier wine-and-spirits retailer in Austin. Hold tight to your talents and know that you can have a seat at any table.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER.
As the Women of Distinction Rising Star honoree, Virginia Cumberbatch is a young woman who has had a vibrant career. What’s the key to her success at such a young age? Role models. Regardless of your age or experience, strive to have a mentor and be a mentor. There is always something to learn and always something to teach.
USE YOUR POSITION TO EMPOWER.
As the director of human resources for Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Charmaine Smith-Winters has worked with Girl Scouts to provide innovative programming, cultivating increased girl interest in STEM fields. Seek opportunities to harness your spheres of influence. You don’t have to look far to find places to give back.
CELEBRATE SUCCESS, EVEN IF IT’S NOT YOURS.
Achievement is often painted as a limited commodity, especially among women. Yvonne VanDyke, the longtime chief of nursing for Seton Medical Center, made it her goal to empower and uplift the people around her. If we’re running alongside go-getters, we’re spurred on to work harder ourselves. It’s a win-win situation.
NO MATTER HOW ALONE YOU FEEL, YOU’RE NOT.
Melissa Fleming, CEO, business owner and mother, raised awareness when her son was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Amid unspeakable circumstances, Fleming’s community went to extraordinary lengths to fight alongside her, helping to raise more than $500,000 for pediatric-cancer research. Find your tribe and together, go change the world.
LIVE WITH A LITTLE PIZAZZ.
If you’re interested in something, explore it. Sandy Alcala, owner of Epic Event Design, has done everything from running the Junior League to owning an interior-design company. Alcala is proof you don’t have to choose one passion, but you do have to give 100 percent in all your endeavors.
To attend the GSCTX Women of Distinction event, visit gsctx.org/wod. To learn more about how you can support or be a role model to 17,500 girls in Central Texas, visit gsctx.org.
STORY AND PHOTO BY HANNAH BRUNO
Lifelong soccer player Kaitlin Swarts creates leadership and community opportunities for students through her Upper Ninety soccer nonprofit. STORY AND PHOTO BY BRIANNA CALERI had to talk, but most players managed to mumble out a few thoughts while rolling around the ball during their turn. Rangel’s group was full of players grateful to have a bilingual environment, most of them choosing Spanish to answer the more personal questions. They wrapped up with a scrimmage, a breath and mindfulness exercise, and an opportunity to offer praise. Rangel praised a young member of his circle for being brave and sharing, and one player praised another for showing up, even though he didn’t bring any soccer clothes. Because team circle isn’t enough to follow up with each member individually, socialwork intern Adrienne Walk is developing a program called FaceTime, which invites students to meet regularly with the interns to follow up the important circle topics, complete worksheets and play games meant to spark conversation. Sign-up was optional, but Walk is proud that teenage girls have that very few declined to participate. that constant reminder Players who show special promise can be nominated by the coaches to receive training in restorative justice and “circle that you are strong keeping,” which allows them to lead team circles and to more and you can take on deeply understand the purpose of sharing. Swarts hopes as the program expands to other schools, community leaders will run the boys—and you it, whether they are volunteers, interns or self-made successes can beat the boys.” who found their potential with Upper Ninety out on the field.
Students at East Austin College Prep and Reagan High School don’t have to try out to play soccer; they do have to come ready to do some self-work. Upper Ninety, a community-based youth-development program led by Kaitlin Swarts, offers coed soccer for all skill levels using practice, games and field trips to promote social-emotional learning for students in lowincome areas. “It’s really Explaining the need for coed sports, Swarts says, “It’s really important that teenage girls have that constant reminder that you are strong and you can take on the boys—and you can beat the boys.” Soccer is thought to be universally inexpensive, but the costs of official school leagues add up quickly. On top of that, students who don’t meet certain grade targets can find themselves on academic probation. Instead of providing an incentive to perform better in school, this structure often discourages kids who need sports as an outlet. Swarts, a lifelong soccer player who received her master’s degree in education from Harvard University, uses practice to address common stresses off the field. Her training in restorative justice helps her lead the team, especially in addressing tricky situations in which students have likely seen or suffered harm. The other adults involved are Program Manager Jordan Johnson, Head Coach Pepe Rangel, a few University of Texas social-work interns and some volunteers. The kids see them as coaches, not counselors, and they generally feel comfortable opening up. While some mindfulness exercises are hidden in soccer metaphors, some of the talks and check-ins might seem very forward for an 11-year-old. The players have shown an impressive willingness to meet Swarts’ efforts earnestly and transparently. “If I’m telling them, ‘You have to do a couple extra things to play,’ ” Swarts says, “they just want to play.” Practice starts with a warmup. One afternoon this season, the first warmup was both a mind game and a soccer exercise: One player tossed the ball and said, “Head it,” or, “Catch it,” and his or her partner had to do the opposite. After warming up, the players formed a huddle to discuss a takeaway. They concluded that in order to perform some tasks, they have to give them their full attention and be fully present. Later, during the team circle, the adults split up and sat down with portions of the team to discuss a topic. Early in the season, they ease into the activity with uncomplicated soccer-related questions. This time, they talked about drugs and alcohol. Nobody
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Texas’ deputy comptroller shares what entrepreneurs need to know before starting a business in the Lone Star State. STORY BY CHANTAL RICE, ILLUSTRATION BY MADISON WEAKLEY So, you want to become an entrepreneur. You’ve got a great idea and lots of enthusiasm. You’ve worked up a business plan and tapped into some funding to launch your passion project. Now what? Becoming a successful entrepreneur in Texas requires more than a commitment to your trade and an eagerness to succeed; it also demands you are knowledgeable about and comply with the many correlating duties of business ownership, including staying current with tax filings and payments, ensuring you secure the appropriate permits and maintaining a basic understanding of the relevant statutes—and that’s just for starters. But understanding the responsibilities of business ownership doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Luckily, the State of Texas is here to help. The office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, essentially serving as the accountant, treasurer, check writer, tax collector and bookkeeper for the state, is a treasure trove of resources, providing a variety of helpful tools and information for taxpayers and business owners at its many field offices throughout Texas, as well as through its call centers and on its extensive website, where entrepreneurs can learn everything from how to properly fill out tax forms to what services are taxable. Lisa Craven is one of those knowledgeable experts who’s helping Texans become well-informed in their business pursuits, including the many women entrepreneurs who contribute to making the Lone Star State the pinnacle for women-owned businesses. And as the deputy comptroller, Craven certainly knows how to get down to business. In fact, she’s worked in state service for more than 30 years, beginning her career as a Texas Capitol tour guide before gaining extensive experience in two of the three branches of state government, even working in the Texas House of Representatives for a spell. 22 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
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Here, Craven shares her top tips for women interested in opening a business in Texas. OBTAIN A SALES-TAX PERMIT. “The first thing you need to do is obtain a sales-tax permit. If you’re providing a taxable service or product, you need that permit. The application for that is available on our website, or you can visit one of our field offices to obtain it. We have 17 field offices throughout the state. … Texas imposes a 6.25 percent sales-and-use tax and up to 2 percent local tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as most taxable services. We have a list of taxable services on our website.” KNOW THE TAXABILITY OF THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES YOU WILL PROVIDE. “Read the applicable rules, statutes and publications available on our website. If you’re not certain if you need to apply…you can call us or visit our website. We have a ton of really good info there: forms, taxable-services publications, etc.” OBTAIN ALL THE REQUIRED PERMITS. “In addition to the sales-and-use-tax permit, you’ll need to obtain all permits required for your industry. … For example, you need to get with the [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission] for a permit if you plan to sell alcohol. Also, contact your local government to see if you need any other local permits.” PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO TAX-FILING DUE DATES AND ACCOUNT FOR ALL SALES AND PURCHASES. “Taxpayers are required to file monthly, quarterly or yearly. You will receive notification for a filing request once you receive that permit. … If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, then the next working day is the due date. Some business owners think if they don’t have any sales in part of the period, they don’t have to file a return. This isn’t true. It’s important for business owners to understand once you’re set up with a tax responsibility, you need to file a report for every period for as long as you’re in business. … If you start a new business and don’t get it off the ground right away, you still have to file a return. Or if [your business goes] dormant, you still have to file. You can have zero tax, but that lets us know what’s going on. … It comes into play when you go into an audit. If you have periods where you didn’t make anything, we estimate based on that. Follow those due dates. Keep good records.” KEEP YOUR CHARTER ACTIVE. “Texas business entities, including limited partnerships, LLCs and corporations—and even non-Texas entities conducting business in Texas—may be required to file franchise-tax reports and pay franchise tax. You can determine your obligation by reviewing what’s subject to that online. Failure to file and pay those taxes can result in forfeiture of the business and business charter. We have a link on our website that can confirm that status. Or you can call us. You can also file zero on your franchise tax too; you just need to file it.” KEEP AND MAINTAIN GOOD RECORDS. “[Everything] goes easier if you have good records. That’s the most important thing. … Keep and maintain good records of your sales, including any certificates documenting untaxed sales of taxable items, as well as records of tax paid on purchases made for use in your business. These records will make a sales-anduse-tax audit go well.”
START THE CONVO
MEETING COFFEE AT ITS SOURCE
Texas Coffee Traders supports coffee farmers through fair trade, but trouble is still brewing in the industry. BY ANNA LASSMANN underpaid farmers, many of whom had never even been afforded the opportunity to taste their own coffee. RC Beall offered to buy the co-op’s coffee at a much higher price, also ensuring $1 went back to the co-op community for each pound of coffee sold. Since then, Texas Coffee Traders has grown into a thriving business with hundreds of restaurant and coffeehouse clients. According to the World Fair Trade Organization, the emergence of fair trade can be traced back to Europe in the 1950s, and though there were some organizations emphasizing fair-trade principles even earlier in the U.S., in the 1940s, the movement didn’t truly gain traction in the United States until about 20 years ago, which explains why Texas Coffee Traders originally became fair-trade certified through Europe, Beth Beall says. “These women would have Fair trade was more these amazing vision charts, formally established in where they would’ve drawn, the U.S. during a coffee ‘This is where I am today: crisis, when prices on I have one cow. I have this HOW TO START THE CONVO the C market, where many plants,’ ” Beall says. commodities such as To support fair trade, every coffee lover can take these steps to ensure “ ‘And in three years, this is coffee are traded, began they are supporting coffee farmers and producers globally. where I’m going to be: I will tanking, Beth Beall says. now have two cows.’ And • Understand what fair trade really means. Visit fairtradecertified.org to “Where that price is they were doing it.” learn more. sets the market, so if it These Rwandan farmers • Ask your favorite stores for fair-trade products when shopping. has a tank in its pricing, likely felt hopeful about their it affects growers globfuture because they are part • If a merchant says he or she doesn’t carry fair-trade products, ask why ally,” she says. “All the of a global network, a global not and what they do instead. In some cases, businesses may carry sudden, because it is movement, that emphasizes direct-trade products that are sourced directly from a farm. the starting point where empowerment and supports people start negotiating the livelihood of farmers, prowhat to pay for this cofducers and workers: fair trade. fee, it can really drop the price down significantly, so then, people walk A concept as straightforward as its name denotes, fair trade ensures away from their farms. They cannot afford it. They lose money every farmers and workers earn enough income to at least cover the costs time they sell a pound of coffee. They can’t raise their families. It’s not associated with producing their product, and leads to safer working safe.” conditions, sustainable wages, improved life skills and so much more. Texas Coffee Traders, however, doesn’t buy from the C market. InThe vision charts Beall saw the Rwandan farmers create were driven stead, the Bealls purchase their coffee from the specialty market. And, by the skills fair trade taught them, she says. Beth Beall says, the fair-trade price for coffee is significantly higher than “It’s important to make a living. It’s important if you do work that you the bottom price on the C market. get paid the fair value for what you do,” Beall says. “But also, these things She notes it’s important for coffee consumers to be aware of fair trade that fair trade brings are amazing.” Texas Coffee Traders co-owner and Beall’s husband, RC Beall, esin order to do no harm when enjoying their favorite cup of joe. tablished one of the first fair-trade relationships in the U.S. in the early “You want to make sure you’re supporting a producer, [that] you’re not 1990s after taking a trip to Costa Rica. There, he discovered a coffee supporting poverty,” Beth Beall says. “Fair trade brings the guarantee that cooperative that produced excellent coffee but that was worked by this is actually happening.” 24 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
Photo courtesy of Texas Coffee Traders.
Everyone has a vision for their life: goals, hopes and dreams. There is no exception for farmers in Rwanda. Several years ago, Beth Beall took a trip to the African country to visit some farms for her business, Texas Coffee Traders. During this trip, she met with many female farmers, as most current producers in Rwanda are women, a circumstance that arose, in part, because many male heads of household were killed during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. Despite having experienced such a devastating crisis, these women, Beall says, remain optimistic about what is to come, creating vision charts that detail the current status of their farms, as well as their aspirations for the future.
Get Your Skin Ready for Summer BY AMANDA ROBALIN BY CORINA CORBEILLE
Summer is just around the corner, but before you swap your sweaters for swimwear, be sure to update your skin-
care regimen for warmer weather. Most of us have our holy grail products that we use year-round without a second thought. But as temperatures heat up, small changes in your skin-care routine can take your complexion to the next level, all while protecting from damaging UV rays and preventing premature aging. Here are four tips to get the summer skin of your dreams:
1. CHANGE IT UP. As Austin’s erratic spring season ends, steadily increasing temperatures can throw skin for a loop. This year, when you’re swapping out sweaters for sundresses, be sure to do the same with your moisturizer. As the weather heats up, our sweat and oil glands become more active, which can lead to oily, congested skin prone to acne breakouts. With this increase in production of natural skin oils, heavier products can promote clogged pores and lead to stubborn breakouts. If you’ve been using a heavy cream moisturizer to keep winter skin hydrated, consider switching to a more lightweight formulation for summer.
2. EXFOLIATE. Exfoliation involves removal of dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin, called the epidermis. While exfoliation is essential for maintaining smooth skin and improving fine lines and wrinkles year-round, summertime sloughing is key to achieving an enviable, dewy glow. Removing dead skin cells can be achieved either physically (with scrubs or microdermabrasion) or chemically, using acids or enzymes to dissolve the bonds holding cells together. It’s important to keep in mind that exfoliation is intended to soften the skin but not irritate it. Certain ingredients, although natural, may not be appropriate for your skin type. Many scrubs use walnut (or other nut) husks as abrasives. These have sharp edges and can actually create tiny cuts in your skin. As a general rule of thumb, if your skin is highly sensitive or prone to acne, stick with chemical exfoliants. Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid are great for more oily skin, while beta hydroxy acid, better known as salicylic acid, is incredibly effective for acne-prone skin.
3. HYDRATE. After exfoliation, remember to slather on your favorite moisturizer. Repeated exfoliation without following up with moisturizer can Respecting the natural leave your skin parched and hypersensitive. Hyaluronic is a natural substance found facial acid contours keeps others in our skin that has incredible water-retenguessing whether tion properties ideal for intenseyou’ve hydration. Lookhad for moisturizers with HA indone. them to any treatments rehydrate your skin for a plump appearance. That it also has antioxidant properties and helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is icing on the cake.
4. PROTECT. SPF, SPF, SPF: It’s not enough to just apply sunscreen, even if you don’t plan on being outside. During the brutal summer months, the sun and its harmful UV rays can do serious long-term damage, even if you’re only walking from your car to the office. A broad-spectrum sunscreen, which shields skin from both UVB and UVA rays, should be applied to any exposed areas of skin as part of your morning skin-care routine and should be reapplied every two to three hours to maintain protection all day long. SPF of 30 or higher is recommended, and if you plan to swim or just sweat a lot, water-resistant formulations are best. In addition to slathering on sunscreen, be sure to look for clothing with UPF protection, and grab a hat and your favorite sunnies to prevent sunburn, premature skin aging and skin cancer. Your skin will thank you later!
tru-skin.com | 888.451.0139
A LIFE OF SERVICE
MJ Hegar’s current role as chief patient advocate with Hippo follows a progression of roles of her putting community first.
Photo courtesy of MJ Hegar.
BY ANNA LASSMANN
26 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
From serving with valor in the military to boldly running for Congress against a longtime incumbent and now working as the chief patient advocate for health-care-focused Hippo, MJ Hegar has always put others before herself. Hegar says such selfless choices stem from her sometimes tumultuous childhood. Hegar’s biological father was abusive toward her mother and sister, and she often felt helpless as a young child witnessing this abuse. She has since vowed never to let herself—or others—feel that helpless. “I do believe in servant leadership,” Hegar says. “I do believe in putting my community first. But it’s really something that empowers me and makes me feel independent and strong and like I won’t be hurt because I’m able to fight and advocate for others.” Her most current advocacy work is with Hippo, a technology platform that works to save consumers as much as 97 percent on their prescription medications. In her role, Hegar works with consumers to build testimonials and spread the word, and advocates for patients instead of revenue in meetings with the company’s leadership. Recently, members of the leadership team at Hippo were considering making technology improvements to the app, but Hegar suggested they should focus their time on serving vulnerable populations, including immigrants and people fleeing domestic-violence situations—an aspiration that wouldn’t be profitable for the company. Despite that concern, the leadership listened to her. “By helping people, the company stopped with the revenue-generating portions of their application improvements and focused on [helping] people,” Hegar says. “The fact that they hired me to advocate for patients and the fact that they listen when I bring things to the table really speaks volumes about the leadership at the company.” Through her work with Hippo, Hegar hopes to make the company more accessible and widely known. If Americans are more informed about pharmaceutical pricing, they will be able to make the greatest difference in the affordability of health care, she says. “The American consumer, as they are armed with information and empowered and they are given choices, then they can make the biggest difference,” Hegar says. “And right now, the American consumer doesn’t have any idea how pharmaceutical pricing works. … With Hippo, they can go on and find out how much is the absolute most they will spend. … [The pricing] is really confusing for consumers, and Hippo empowers consumers.” Before beginning her role at Hippo, Hegar ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Texas’ 31st Congressional District last fall. The principles that Hippo is founded on were present in her campaign platform, which included lowering prescription-drug costs and making health care more affordable for all.
“On the campaign trail, I met people whose loved ones were literally dying—and I had a family member die—because they couldn’t afford to take their prescriptions,” Hegar says. “Something that seems mundane, like blood-pressure medicine, is actually lifesaving medicine. We think of lifesaving medicine as like the emergency room, but not being able to afford prescriptions reduces life spans and shortens the quality of life.” While Hegar didn’t win her 2018 bid for Congress, she recently announced she plans to run next year for a seat in the U.S. Senate. “I feel a responsibility to put my talents to the highest possible level of service for my country,” Hegar says. “I have to look at what’s best for my family and what’s best for my country and my state.” Hegar is confident in her chances at a Senate run after her 2018 campaign, during which she put up a fight in a traditionally Republican-held district. She also points to her time with the Air Force, serving three tours in Afghanistan, for one of which she received the Purple Heart award for sustaining injuries yet still protecting those she was ferrying after her helicopter was shot down. Hegar began her military career when she joined the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer after her experience with the ROTC at the University of Texas. She was later selected for pilot training by the Air National Guard and then spent seven years as a search and rescue pilot. “I had a healthy level of adrenaline addiction mixed with a strong desire to serve my country,” Hegar says. “Texas is a very military-friendly state and I was raised here, so I was just very patriotic and wanted to find a job that I loved and that I felt like was serving others.” Both the military and politics are male-dominated fields, but that hasn’t stopped Hegar’s success. She even advocated to overturn the discriminatory ground combat exclusion policy, which led to the military opening all ground-combat jobs to women. “It sounds corny, but things are only impossible until they’re not,” Hegar says. “The idea that…women can’t do pullups until women started doing pullups and then all of a sudden, we can, [and] women can’t be pilots, things like that. I just feel like we accept these limitations on what’s possible and we govern our actions on them. The greatest limitation is when you think you can’t do something.”
“It sounds corny, but things are only impossible until they’re not.”
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M E N TA L H E A LT H A W A R E N E S S M O N T H
did you know?
is the second most common cause of death for people aged 10–24 in the U.S.
1 in 2 college students will suffer from depression and anxiety, 1 in 5 will suffer from disordered eating behaviors (both men and women) and 1 in 3 will report sleep difficulties.
–––– and ––––
Suicide left more officers and firefighters dead than all line-of-duty deaths combined in 2017.
Every Day in the U.S., there are an average of over
3,041 suicide attempts
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
by young people grades 9–12. [4 out of 5 teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.]
From 1999 to 2017, more than
700,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Around 68% involved an opioid.
1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year
of all Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
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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 email@example.com or call 512.328.2421 for more information. PHOTOS BY ROMINA OLSON
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WOMAN to WATCH
OWNER OF AUSTIN DOORS & CLOSE TS
hristy Roberg established Austin Doors & Closets in 2017. As a former executive in nonprofit health care, she credits her 3-year-old son with motivating the career switch. During the past two years, she’s been able to successfully combine her business acumen and service skills with creating a unique home-improvement experience. Whether it’s sales or installation, Roberg is immersed in every aspect of the business, something that earns her high praise from customers. A self-described DIYer, Roberg has a passion for design and home improvement, which initially attracted her to opening an interiordoor company, but she asserts it’s the use of technology that sets her company apart from competitors. Door replacement—a historically time-consuming, complicated process—is simplified by digital measurement, robotic automated cutting and factory finishing, allowing for an entire home of new doors to be installed in one day’s time with no messy construction. Talk about a whole-home transformation! onedayaustin.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
C AT H E R I N E S T I L E S FOUNDER OF BARBECUE WIFE
atherine Stiles is the founder and head maker of Barbecue Wife, a junk-free craftcocktail-mixer company based in Austin. Stiles became a barbecue wife in 2011 when she and her husband, Shane Stiles, opened Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, an award-winning craft-barbecue joint in Austin. They opened their second restaurant, The Switch, which also serves her delicious cocktails, in 2018 in Dripping Springs, Texas. Catherine Stiles was inspired by the no-corners-cut method of prepping Central Texas barbecue and took it a step further to create a line of junk-free craft-cocktail mixers, including her award-winning Barbecue Wife Bloody Mary Mix and Barbecue Wife Texas Smoked Honey Margarita Mix. Catherine Stiles is an advocate for supporting and sharing the stories of women in barbecue through her Barbecue Wife efforts. barbecuewife.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
N AV I G AT O R AT I N G O O D H A N D S
isa Schnitzer is an operations and business consultant in Austin, helping business owners navigate difficult and time-consuming projects. She specializes in assisting women who want to apply for a womanowned-business certification. She takes over this tedious and demanding process to guide them through the procedure. Schnitzer also offers very unique divorce concierge services to those going through the divorce process. During this extremely emotional time, she navigates women through the process with in-home private consultation to help gather essential financial and other documents and records that need to be produced. She draws from her extensive corporate background as an administrator for a law firm. Her compassion, patience and knowledge of the process provide comfort and practical assistance to the client. Schnitzer also provides turnkey services and arrangements for those having to move out by handling all the detailed arrangements for the new residence. Attention to details is her main focus when navigating through operations for her clients. ingoodhandstx.com
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34 |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
WOMAN WOMEN to WATCH
DR. ANNMARIE OLSON AND DR. DIANNA WILDE D E N T I S T S AT A N N M A R I E O L S O N D D S PA
or more than 30 years, the team at AnnMarie Olson DDS PA has created a patient-centric dental home dedicated to creating lifelong health and relationships while using modern technology. Both Dr. AnnMarie Olson and Dr. Dianna Wilde are committed to bringing soft-touch dental care to a high-tech world. Highly skilled in cosmetic dentistry, these doctors are forerunners in their field, using CAD/CAM same-day crown technology and Invisalign to improve the total health and smiles of their patients. Olson is a leader in sedation dentistry and is a past president of both the Capital Area Dental Society and the Texas Association of Women Dentists. Wilde honed her skills in cosmetic dentistry and prevention at her practice in midtown Houston for more than 10 years. Both doctors enjoy mentoring younger dentists and pre-dental students, helping Austinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musicians through the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians and volunteering with their team. austincosmeticexcellence.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
MAGGIE W YLIE , AIA
PR I N C I PA L A R C H I T E CT A N D F O U N D E R O F P O I N T B D ES I G N G R O U P
aggie Wylie, AIA, launched Point B Design Group in 2015 with the mission of delivering an enjoyable and streamlined client experience by pursuing a better synergy between design and construction. With her background in design-build and construction project management, Wylie recognizes the importance of pursuing design solutions that are founded on candid conversations about the realities of budget, construction process and client requirements. By using the most current technology, like virtual reality and digital 3-D modeling, she is able to provide clear communication with the client and create efficiencies in the design process. Wylie has grown PBDG from a concept to a successful and expanding practice with a team of great employees and many pleased clients. She is excited for the future of PBDG and the privilege to design buildings that respond to clients’ desires and weave into the fabric of the rapidly expanding built environment of Austin and beyond. pbdesigngroup.com
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36 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
WOMAN to WATCH
CO-FOUNDER OF NOTLE Y
isa Graham is the co-founder of Notley, a catalyst for social innovation with a mission to scale and support businesses, nonprofits, individuals and programs making positive change. Under Graham’s leadership, Notley has revolutionized impact investing, giving away more than $1 million to nonprofits through Philanthropitch, creating affordable spaces for social impact through the Center for Social Innovation and Relay Coworking, and supporting diversity in entrepreneurship through DivInc and Women@Austin. Graham’s strategic vision and depth of experience have shaped Notley’s incredible impact on communities in Austin, San Antonio and beyond. Graham actively gives back to Austin and is on the boards of directors of Annie’s List and Friends of the Children. She is also on the advisory board for the Huston-Tillotson University School of Business and Technology. She is a 2018 graduate of the Leadership Austin Essential program. In addition to being a mother to three wonderful girls, Graham enjoys reading, hiking and yoga. notleyventures.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
E X E C U T I V E D I R E C TO R O F LOV I N G L I B B I E M E M O R I A L F O U N DAT I O N
ecky Nichols is the executive director of Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) she started in memory of her daughter, Libbie, who passed away from leukemia at age 5. Nichols has dedicated her life to easing the pain for other families by providing comfort foods to kids with cancer. In 2006, Nichols opened Bountiful Bakery and Café and started her foundation simultaneously, and they grew up together. Eight years later, she closed the bakery to devote her full focus to the foundation. Since then, her story has been heard throughout the nation. The foundation has been featured on NBC Nightly News, and Libbie’s Famous Mac and Cheese will soon be sold at H-E-B stores. The foundation’s proceeds from Libbie’s Famous Mac and Cheese sales will provide more mac and cheese to kids with cancer as they undergo cancer treatments in pediatric hospitals and clinics throughout Texas. lovinglibbie.org
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WOMAN WOMEN to WATCH
E R I N M AY S A N D K A LY N R O Z A N S K I CO-FOUNDERS OF EBCO
or the last five years, Austin Under 40 finalist Erin Mays and Kalyn Rozanski, co-founders of Ebco, have built a rapidly growing trend and innovation firm servicing the largest brands in the world. Clients span the Fortune 1000 and virtually every industry and include companies like Starbucks, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline. Ebco delivers unexpected evidence-based trends that inspire unexpected new products, technologies, business models and categories through visual presentations, immersive trend workshops for cross-functional teams and in-market experiential trend expeditions. Additionally, Mays and Rozanski have gained a following with their quarterly webinar-based book clubs for innovation leaders in a variety of industries. An Austin Inno 50 on Fire company and Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Business Enterprise National Council-certified organization, Ebco is a women-led business with leaders who are passionate about the future, and even more so about impacting the success of girls and women, donating time and resources to organizations like Girls Empowerment Network and Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the First. theebco.com
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WOMEN to WATCH
JES S I CA AM ERI E , BARBAR A M E I S N ER AN D J I LL AM ERI E ASSET MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR, BRAND AMBASSADOR AND OWNER AT SKYLINE XTREME XHIBITS
kyline Xtreme Xhibits creates extraordinary, innovative, memorable and impactful branded environments for tradeshows and events. Ensuring they practice what they preach as it relates to their work environment is paramount to Jill Amerie and her team in the creation of their campus, The Lodge. Situated on 12 serene acres 7 miles from downtown Austin, this campus will be a place that will allow employees and clients to take a step back, de-stress and enjoy nature while working from a hammock, having a meeting in a yurt, eating lunch while skipping stones on Walnut Creek or relaxing by a bonfire while indulging in a pre-commute s’more. Amerie is looking forward to designing The Lodge with the help of her mother, Barbara Meisner, and her daughter, Jessica Amerie, both of whom work with her. It’s not often that three generations work together, and Jill Amerie is grateful for this opportunity, noting, “My mother has helped me get to where I am today and my daughter is helping me get to where I want to go tomorrow. I am fortunate to have these two fabulous women in my life and working by my side.” xtremexhibits.com
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40 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
WOMAN to WATCH
C E O A N D C O - F O U N D E R O F M M M PA N A D A S
ith formal experience in dance, Pilates and creative arts, Kristen Fields has a unique background that has led her to a once seemingly unlikely career in the food industry. Along with her partner in life, love and business, and coupled with a belief in the creative process, Fields has grown her business, Mmmpanadas, from a late-night Austin food truck to a widely distributed frozen consumer packaged good product distributed in more than 300 stores in the U.S. Fields loves collaborating with others and has a passion for creating something bigger than herself. Always valuing preparation and execution as the keys to smart business, Fields approaches food entrepreneurship with the same vibrancy she tackles life. It’s not always easy, but it sure is a great ride. In 2018, Mmmpanadas won the grand prize in H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best competition and is on track to double its distribution in the frozen-foods aisle by the end of 2019. mmmpanadas.com
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Photo by Caitlin Candelari.
WOMAN to WATCH
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WOMAN to WATCH
FOUNDER OF SPL ASH OWL MEDIA
or Becky Burgess, marketing isn’t just something you do; it’s something you live and breathe. With more than a decade of experience in marketing, a degree in business marketing and more than eight years of experience utilizing Facebook advertising, Burgess has helped hundreds of clients and business owners reach their goals, increase their customer base and drive sales. In 2015, she founded Splash Owl Media, a digital-marketing agency that specializes in Facebook ads. Her passion for marketing, when coupled with her desire to help businesses succeed and grow online, has fueled the company’s tremendous growth since its inception. Splash Owl Media evokes her colorful personality while helping business owners get in front of the right audience at the right time and with the right content. When she’s not rocking it with her marketing strategy, she’s hanging out with her family of five and going on hikes in the Austin area. splashowlmedia.com
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WOMEN to WATCH
L E A H F R E D E R I C K A N D K AT I E C OY N E C O - O W N E R S O F S T O R K M A T E R N I T Y C O N S U LT I N G
others and entrepreneurs Leah Frederick and Katie Coyne are passionate about supporting new and expecting families in Austin. Everything from childbirth education, birth and postpartum doulas, lactation support and custom nanny searches are provided in-home and uniquely tailored to each family’s need. Stork Maternity Consulting was founded to deliver the highest quality of care with a touch of luxury. Frederick is a registered nurse with extensive training in newborn, child and women’s health. She has experience in a clinical setting, having worked in the newborn unit, as well as a birth center. Coyne is certified through the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Examiners and has a background in public health and education. She previously worked for the state, providing lactation training to medical and public-health professionals throughout Texas. Together, their credentials and genuine desire to support families are reflected in their work and Stork’s talented team of professionals that’s ready to educate and empower women in Austin. storkatx.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
E X ECU T I V E D IR ECTO R O F T HE HE A LT H A L L I A N CE FO R AUST IN M USICI A NS
eenie Collins is the executive director of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. With more than 25 years of experience in the field of health-care administration, she has extensive fundraising, project-management, program-development, strategic-planning and marketing/communications knowledge. In her current role as executive director, Collins leads and oversees HAAM’s programs and operations to ensure alignment with its mission, vision and values, and spearheads the implementation of its strategic partnerships to ensure the health of Austin’s musicians, providing a vehicle for them to access affordable health-care services. She oversees both the fundraising and community-relations aspects of the organization, as well as the programming and clinical operations. During her tenure, HAAM has received multiple community awards and been recognized for both its fundraising and operational excellence. She is recognized as a strong connector of people and a contributor to the community in many different areas. myhaam.org
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WOMEN to WATCH
E I G H T H - G R A D E G R A D UAT I N G C L A S S THE GIRLS’ SCHOOL OF AUSTIN
eet The Girls’ School of Austin’s 2019 graduating class. These 18 young women include award-winning writers and artists, competitive athletes, entrepreneurs, skilled musicians and philanthropists. Three members of the class are in Austin’s All-Region Orchestra and seven received regional Scholastic Art Awards this year. Members of this class are making impressions, whether it is making small-business plans at the world’s largest slime festival or writing about an ill-fated road trip to win the Texas Teen Book Festival 2018 Fiction Writing Contest. This school year, the class partnered with Casa Marianella, a shelter for displaced immigrants and refugees. They visit the shelter once a month to perform yardwork and cleaning duties and to teach the home’s youngest residents. Back on campus, their humanities curriculum provides them with context of immigration trends and global issues. These young women will attend a variety of high schools next year, including Anderson High School, Austin High School, Griffin School, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and Westlake High School. Look out for these ambitious and dedicated young women! thegirlsschoool.org
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WOMAN to WATCH
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF GIANT NOISE
Aat Giant native Texan and graduate of Southwestern University, Jennifer Sinski is the senior vice president Noise, a leading communications firm based in Austin, with offices in Charlotte, N.C., and San
Antonio. Since joining the agency four years ago, Sinski has helped grow the Giant Noise team to 40 employees, and she specializes in new business outreach, strategy development and brand launches. Her work includes major national press campaigns for alcohol brands, restaurants, festivals, hotels, developments, nonprofits and more. Sinski’s client list includes major media brands, including The New York Times, Fox Sports, CNN, Netflix and Wired, and she developed PR campaigns for locally based and nationally known brands and individuals, including Wendy Davis, Desert Door, Camp Gladiator and OkCupid. In addition to her role at Giant Noise, Sinski is the founder of rsvpster.com, a site that autoRSVPs users to unofficial South By Southwest festival events. giantnoise.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y R E S E A R C H E R AT C I S C O
Jinternet ennie Kam, a native Texan, wakes up every day to make the a little bit safer for everyone. She works as a cybersecurity
researcher at Cisco, but she lives for teaching. While still a student at the University of Texas, she discovered her passion for educating others as an engineering tutor at the Jester West dorms. In the 10-plus years since then, Kam has delivered cybersecurity workshops throughout the country at a wide range of events, from middle-school summer camps to industry conferences. Her love for education is only rivaled by her love for good food. cisco.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
H E AT H E R WA L S H
MARKE T E XECUTIVE FOR THE MERRILL CAPITOL MARKE T
eather Walsh is dedicated to making financial lives better through the power of every connection. In her role as market executive for the Merrill Capitol Market, Walsh oversees financial-advisory teams in five offices, including those in Austin and near Davenport, and in Lakeway, Georgetown and Marble Falls, Texas. Her team is dedicated to delivering goals-based wealth management, retirement and income planning, legacy planning, collegeeducation planning, portfolio development, corporate- and personal-liability management and business banking as an integral part of Bank of America. If she’s not focusing on her advisors, clients or family, Walsh is enjoying the outdoors, usually on a golf course or on the slopes. You might also spot her at Uchi or Red Ash, two of her favorite restaurants. She’s especially excited about the exploding growth in Austin and to be a part of the Bank of America team that serves the core financial needs of people, companies and institutions in the Austin area. local.ml.com/austin_tx
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WOMAN to WATCH
T I FFA N I D I O R I O OWNER OF PENNYMADE
fter 10 years as a successful owner of a health-and-wellness center, Tiffani Diorio closed up her shop to return to her Texas roots to be closer to home and family again and to raise her sweet little Penny. During that time, she worked as a nutritionist and designed a menu for a health-food chain in California, which made her increasingly excited about making traditional foods while keeping them as wholesome as possible. Fueled by a desire to raise her daughter with healthy, sustainable and non-GMO treats, this Texas mama began tweaking her family recipes, ensuring nutrition in every nibble. In 2018, Diorio was one of four contestants to win H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best contest. Her biscuits are now available at H-E-B stores. Every biscuit is made by hand and with love. pennymade.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
N I C K E L L E L E I S T- R E S N I K
M A N AGING DIRECTOR OF WHIT E RHINO FIN A NCIA L – AUSTIN
ickelle Leist-Resnik is dedicated to empowering women to feel more confident through financial education, organization and prioritization. Women have been left out of the financial conversation for many years. It is time we regain control. Leist-Resnik’s passion lies in helping women find financial confidence through the transparency of options, sharing her own story and eliminating the fear of facing your finances with education. It’s time we all learn how small changes today can make for a brighter financial future. It’s not about changing your lifestyle or having a lot of money. It’s about maximizing the money you do make and securing a future you desire. Let’s work together to create a flexible financial plan that you can implement at your own pace. whiterhinofinancial.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R O F T H E N AT I O N A L C E N T E R F O R M I S S I N G AND E XPLOITED CHILDREN – TE X AS REGIONAL OFFICE
ancy Rodill is challenging conventions to stop child sex trafficking. Before confronting the world of child-sexual exploitation, she launched and grew small divisions of large luxury companies in New York City. She’s now thriving in Austin, and her dynamic and candid attitude drives the efforts of the Texas office of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Most recently, she created Texas Women for Children, an initiative for like-minded Texas women to engage in the fight against these heinous crimes. TWC will host events and conferences to educate, engage and empower members about protecting children from abduction and sexual exploitation. Rodill believes every child deserves a safe childhood, and as the mother of a fierce 6-year-old daughter, she wants Texas to be a safer place for all children. texasmissingkids.org
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WOMAN WOMEN to WATCH
SAU N D R A FRED ERI CKS AN D M O N I CA JUARE Z
SERVICE MANAGER FOR ROGER BE ASLE Y MA ZDA CENTR AL A N D A S S I S TA N T O F F I C E M A N A G E R F O R R O G E R B E A S L E Y I M P O R T S
aundra Fredericks first found her place in the service industry with her love for motorcycles while working in the service department at Harley-Davidson. Though she still loves motorcycles, she has transitioned her skills to automobiles and moved to Austin, where she is now the service manager for Roger Beasley Mazda Central. She takes pride in her leadership role, makes providing exceptional customer service a priority and loves being a part of such a great family-owned company. Monica Juarez is the assistant office manager for Roger Beasley Imports. Originally from Austin, she has been in the car business for more than 16 years and loves what she does. She recently became a new mom to a beautiful baby girl named Addison, and even as a new mom, she continues to work hard to further her career in the automotive industry and make the people in her life proud. rogerbeasleymazda.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
DIVORCE AT TORNEY AT THE L AW OFFICE OF JANET MCCULL AR 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. jmccullarlaw.com
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Photo by Caitlin Candelari.
Photo courtesy of Cheeky Monkey Studio.
WOMAN to WATCH
TA N YA B OY D
P R E S I D E N T O F TA N YA B O Y D & A S S O C I AT E S
fter 17 years working for others in the employee-benefits field, native Texan Tanya Boyd gained a wealth of knowledge and a true passion for helping employers and individuals navigate the complex health-care system. In fall 2006, she took a leap of faith and launched her own business, Tanya Boyd & Associates. Her independent, majority-female insurance agency specializing in health insurance for individuals and companies opened its doors with zero debt and doubled its business within the first year. It all came from Boydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive to help people through cost-effective solutions. Honored by industry publication Employee Benefit Adviser as one of the most influential women in benefit advising in 2014, 2015 and 2017, Boyd is among a select few leading female brokers recognized as thought leaders and is passionate about elevating the status of all women in the industry. tanyaboydassociates.com
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YVONNE DENMAN- JOHNSON CO-FOUNDER OF SILVERCLOUD TRAILER EVENTS
vonne Denman-Johnson is a serial entrepreneur and professional photographer who has co-founded three companies in the Austin area with her husband, Chris Johnson. With a master’s degree in business administration and a corporate background in marketing, she never thought she’d own a fleet of six vintage trailers, but life is full of surprises. In 2011, the duo launched Silvercloud Trailer Events to combine their love of photography with their deep appreciation for vintage trailers. Their event-rental business offers photo-booth rentals, Champagne trailers, beer trailers and bartending services in vintage Airstreams. They have served guests at more than 1,500 weddings and events from coast to coast, including the Super Bowl and South By Southwest. The company’s services have been featured in Rachael Ray Every Day magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, Brides magazine and Southern Living Weddings. silvercloudtrailerevents.com
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Photo courtesy of Austin Imagery Photography.
WOMAN to WATCH
WOMAN to WATCH
CAROL DE CÁRDENAS
FOUNDER OF THE AUSTIN SCHOOL FOR THE PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS
Photo by Caitlin Candelari.
arol de Cárdenas is the founder of the Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she works as executive director of this nationally accredited college-preparatory school. With a passion for education and giving back, de Cárdenas has served more than 1,800 students of all socio-economic backgrounds in the greater Austin community and celebrates the school’s 13th anniversary. In a city widely renowned for its vibrant cultural life, the school equips the next wave of inspirers, creators and influencers to take on the leading role with a “two-plan As” approach created by de Cárdenas to hone both their academic and artistic talents. She celebrates 32 years of marriage to her high-school sweetheart, and together, they have raised two children who now have successful careers in creative industries. In May 2017, she was awarded Austin Woman’s Woman’s Way Award for Woman-led Business of the Year. theaustinschool.org
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WOMEN to WATCH
ELIZABETH TAYLOR, RACHEL NEWCOMB AND HALLIE BRAJE SERVICE AND REPAIR REP, SALES REP, GRADUATE GEMOLOGIST AND SALES REP AT BENOLD’S
ith knowledge and creativity, Benold’s gives each guest walking through the door the best it has to offer. With 285 years of combined jewelry experience, the Benold’s staff is able to find your forever ring, help build a jewelry wardrobe or simply give you advice on redesigning your heirloom jewelry. Elizabeth Taylor has been a familiar face for four decades. She has helped with servicing all your jewelry needs, and she always does so with a smile. Rachel Newcomb, with her contagious laugh, is sure to liven up any experience at Benold’s. She brings humor and technological knowledge to keep Benold’s up to date with today’s evolving market. Hallie Braje is the graduate gemologist on staff for 23 years. She helps customers identify and design new pieces and redesign existing jewelry. Other important members of Benold’s not pictured include Maria Aguirre, Patti White, Norma Amaro and Sharon Gentry. benolds.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
D R. L I SA M. JU K E S
B OA R D - C E R T I F I E D GY N E C O LO G I ST
Photo by Courtney Runn.
r. Lisa M. Jukes is a board-certified gynecologist whose primary practice location is in West Lake Hills, Texas. With satellite clinics in Marble Falls, Texas, and Lakeway, Texas, Jukes focuses on all aspects of gynecologic care, addressing the needs of women from adolescence through menopause. She is a skilled surgeon in da Vinci robotic surgeries and emphasizes overall health and wellness. Additionally, she was the first to offer BioTe bio-identical hormone therapy in Austin, and has for many years offered an FDAapproved weight-loss plan called Ideal Protein. Her practice was also the first in Austin to offer MonaLisa Touch laser therapy, a non-hormonal option for the treatment of vaginal dryness. Jukes was born in England and is the mother of two children. She is enthusiastic about the health and wellness of her patients and truly believes every patient matters. lisamjukesmd.com
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WOMEN to WATCH
ANNETTE ALEXANDER C H I E F P EO P L E O F F I C E R AT W P E N G I N E
Awhere nnette Alexander is the chief people officer at WP Engine, she oversees the strategic vision for human resources and
company culture. Originally from Norway, Alexander moved to Austin from Paris with her husband and daughter in 2013, drawn by the city’s booming tech scene and wide talent pool. At WP Engine, Alexander has spearheaded initiatives that promote a strong and inclusive culture throughout the business. One of her constant areas of focus is working to build an organization where employees have a sense of belonging, understand how they impact the business and know how they can continue to grow and develop their careers. wpengine.com
CARRIE CHITSEY WELLS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF ONE TOUCH VIDEO CHAT
arrie Chitsey Wells, a native Austinite, is a digital-technology innovator currently on her seventh company. She loves to stay busy running companies in such industries as health care (One Touch Telehealth), digital banking (One Touch Video Chat) and recruiting/ human resources (Live Video Interviews). She is extremely passionate about youth mental health and the opioid crisis, which led her to start the nonprofit Humans Helping Humans and expand her podcast, Executive Innovation Show, to gain awareness. She is nationally recognized on the Female Founders 100 list, the Top 50 Mobile Experts list and the Top 40 Under 40 Marketing Executives list. She calls Austin home and bleeds burnt orange. onetouchtelehealth.com
ERNESTINE LAMMERS FO U N D E R O F K A N T I G O O D S
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Photos courtesy of respective women.
rnestine Lammers is the founder of Kanti Goods, a socially minded and mission-driven mother-daughter business owned by women that supports other women and artisans globally. Many of Kanti Goods’ products, jewelry and accessories come from organizations that give opportunities to underprivileged women and small-scale craftspeople, artisans and entrepreneurs while encouraging the use of local materials and fair-production methods. Lammers’ goal is to support these women and small-scale artists throughout the world by providing them with jobs so their families and communities can thrive. Kanti means “beautiful” in the ancient language of Sanskrit, and each of these beautiful goods is infused with a beautiful story.
WOMEN to WATCH
PHOEBE MROCZEK PODCASTER
Pcaster hoebe Mroczek helps people discover the best of Austin. The podand media maven (with more than 1 million downloads to her
credit) chose Austin to launch her new podcast series, New To: Austin. Having traveled to more than 65 countries, Mroczek understands the struggle of finding and creating community in a new city and vowed to change that for newcomers and local Austinites. She takes listeners on a fully immersive experience to discover, laugh with and learn from the people, places and things that keep Austin weird. Season one launches soon, but you can listen to the trailer on the website. newtopodcast.com
with a partner
A N G E L A S H AW D I R EC TO R O F H U M A N R E S O U R C E S
You cannot talk about human resources in Austin without mentioning
native Angela Shaw. She is an expert on all things HR and has a deeply rooted passion for diversity, equity and inclusion. As an intersectionally underrepresented person, she always advocates for marginalized individuals. Shaw believes in everyone being accountable for inclusion. Her many roles include inaugural HR manager for the Hollis Company, director of human resources for the Austin Human Resource Management Association and board member for YWCA Greater Austin, and she’s a recognized public speaker seeking to influence and inspire. Her life’s purpose is to activate action for diversity in everyone she encounters. austinhumanresource.org
DARLE NE TE M PLETON C EO A N D FO U N D E R O F T E M P L E TO N & A S S O C I AT E S
Photos courtesy of respective women.
arlene Templeton is a dynamic professional speaker, CEO and founder of Templeton & Associates, Amazing Women Alliance and Amazing Women Leaders. Her business is your success and growth. These groups include high-achieving women who inspire, motivate and support each other to achieve their goals in person and virtually through the Amazing Women Alliance Member Circle. Templeton’s unique combination of extensive corporate experience (36 years at IBM) and her personal career journey have given her the ability to work with professional women, individuals, businesses and Fortune 100 companies to help define their goals, enhance performance and achieve outstanding results. darlenetempleton.com
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WOMEN to WATCH
K I M B E R LY T O R R E S D I R EC TO R O F B U S I N E S S D E V E LO P M E N T FO R N E U R O R E S TO R AT I V E
K imberly Torres is the director of business development for NeuroRestorative. NeuroRestorative provides help to those who have expe-
rienced a brain or spinal-cord injury. Therapy is offered in a community setting geared to maximize the patient’s independence and decrease his or her need for assistance. Torres enjoys the privilege of helping improve and change the lives of these patients and families by working directly with them during the admissions process. She graduated with her master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in health-care management from Our Lady of the Lake University and with her bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Torres is also a member of the American Case Management Association Central Texas chapter and serves on the planning committee. linkedin.com/in/kimtorresmba
D I R EC TO RY
WOMAN-OWNED AND WOMAN-LED BUSINESSES IN AUSTIN
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
KIRKER DAVIS LLP
THE AUSTIN SCHOOL FOR THE PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS
LAW OFFICE OF JANET MCCULLAR
Nationally accredited college-preparatory, pre-conservatory program for grades six through 13 512.522.7782 theaustinschool.org
Legal representation of individuals in complex divorce and child-custody matters 512.342.9933 jmccullarlaw.com
THE GIRLS’ SCHOOL OF AUSTIN
ROGER BEASLEY MAZDA
Award-winning Mazda dealer with four Central Texas locations 866.779.8409 rogerbeasleymazda.com
A leading provider of comprehensive wealth-management and investment services and a Bank of America company 512.397.1870 ml.com
WHITE RHINO FINANCIAL – AUSTIN
LABELLE SALON AND SPA
All things beautiful in one convenient location, exclusively for you 512.382.0978 labelleatx.com
DENTISTRY ANNMARIE OLSON DDS PA
High-tech dentistry with a soft touch 512.345.9973 austincosmeticexcellence.com
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A private school for girls kindergarten through eighth grade 512.478.7827 thegirlsschool.org
We educate, organize and build wealth while eliminating risk. 415.529.8723 whiterhinofinancial.com
A craft-beverage company specializing in making junk-free cocktail mixers inspired by Texas barbecue barbecuewife.com
Mmmpanadas makes the best empanadas money can buy. 512.406.1538 mmmpanadas.com
PennyMade specializes in a non-GMO frozen-biscuit line with four flavors. 512.710.3366 pennymade.com
GYNECOLOGY DR. LISA M. JUKES
Dr. Jukes is a board-certified gynecologist who focuses on all gynecological services. 512.301.6767 lisamjukesmd.com
HEALTH AND WELLNESS HALCYON HOME
Exceptional boutique-quality continuum of home care, home health and hospice 512.815.9009 myhalcyonhome.com
STORK MATERNITY CONSULTING A luxury consulting, concierge and maternity-services boutique 512.351.6919 storkatx.com
Photo courtesy ofKimberly Torres.
Kirker Davis LLP is a boutique law firm in Central Texas with a focus on high-end family-law cases. 512.598.0010 kirkerdavis.com
D I R EC TO RY
WOMAN-OWNED AND WOMAN-LED BUSINESSES IN AUSTIN
TANYA BOYD & ASSOCIATES LLC
AUSTIN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
TEXAS DISPOSAL SYSTEMS
Employee-benefits and health-insurance specialist for businesses, individuals and families 972.203.8180 tanyaboydassociates.com
HOME/DESIGN AUSTIN DOORS & CLOSETS Interior-door replacement and home-organization systems 512.360.0106 onedayaustin.com
POINT B DESIGN GROUP
Full-service architecture firm specializing in residential design 512.568.9803 pbdesigngroup.com
Ebco provides custom trend-and-insight research to Fortune 1000 companies. 310.779.0823 theebco.com
NEW TO AUSTIN PODCAST
HAAM serves as a lifeline, connecting musicians to crucial health-care services. 512.541.4226 myhaam.org
LOVING LIBBIE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
Comfort food for kids with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses 512.566.3077 lovinglibbie.org
NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN, TEXAS REGIONAL OFFICE Helps find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization 512.750.7366 texasmissingkids.org
Celebrating 90 years of sparkle in Austin 512.452.6491 benolds.com
Unique and custom jewelry that empowers artisans throughout the world 512.666.0907 kantigoods.com
IN GOOD HANDS
SILVERCLOUD TRAILER EVENTS
HEALTH ALLIANCE FOR AUSTIN MUSICIANS
Giant Noise is a full-service publicrelations firm in Austin. 512.382.9017 giantnoise.com
Focusing on details important to women-owned-business certifications and divorce concierge services 214.680.1300 ingoodhandstx.com
Bartending services and photo-booth rentals in vintage Airstream trailers 512.267.1676 silvercloudtrailerevents.com
TDS helps customers manage and divert waste to beneficial uses. 800.375.8375 texasdisposal.com
Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the internet. 512.790.3364 cisco.com
A fully immersive podcast about the people, places and things that keep Austin weird 619.552.5198 newtopodcast.com
ONE TOUCH VIDEO CHAT
Empowering health-care providers with their own branded-video telehealth solution onetouchtelehealth.com
Notley is a social-innovation ecosystem supporting positive change. notleyventures.com
RetailMeNot is the ultimate destination for saving money when you shop. 512.777.2970 retailmenot.com
SKYLINE XTREME XHIBITS Full-service brand-marketing communications firm 512.832.1921 xtremexhibits.com
The WordPress digital-experience platform helps drive business forward faster. 512.273.3906 wpengine.com
SPLASH OWL MEDIA
Splash Owl Media is a marketing agency that specializes in Facebook advertising. 214.470.0237 splashowlmedia.com
TEMPLETON & ASSOCIATES
Professional speaking, executive coaching and strategies for women pursuing success and growth 803.556.9930 darlenetempleton.com
Show our readers the woman behind the brand. Inquire on how to be a Woman to Watch and be a part of our exclusive resource directory. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 512.328.2421. SPECIAL PROMOTION | ATXWOMAN.COM |
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Each month, Austin Woman features 10 ATX Women to Watch in a beautiful special promotional section.
Included in the package is: r Full-page profile in the magazine r Custom photo shoot in your choice of location (and you keep the photo for personal use!) r Feature email blasts and social-media posts r Invitation to a private Facebook networking group r Invitation to three exclusive ATX Woman to Watch connection events
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ne Ferg and “w yn ne” with uson created he she crea bold an r names ted a br d meani ake bran and to in ngful de d to em which is spire joy po signs. Tr evident an ue to he wer women to fr in the co om her dream r posi social m d celebration in mmunity ed th parties th e momen tive and play fu , dare ia ro and com ugh her and spec l nature ts betw pa ph ny cultu ilanthrop ial even , een the kellywyn re ts ic . mom Ferguson for loca ne.com l nonpro partnerships by makes an ents, fits like ho st impact ing her Helping Dare to Hand H Don ome for Children. ate
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Why you should choose an
What is the difference between an oral maxillofacial surgeon and my general dentist? All dentists attend a four-year dental school prior to receiving their dental degree. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons then spend an additional four to six years intensively training in medicine, surgery, anesthesia and implant dentistry. Some receive medical degrees in the process but all get the same intensive core training in expert third-molar removal, complex-implant placement, jaw surgery, temporomandibular-joint and trauma surgery. Following this training, most then submit for written and oral examinations to achieve board certification.
My dentist says she has a specialist that comes to her office monthly and can take out my sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wisdom teeth under anesthesia. Is her office set up to provide this procedure safely? Oral-surgery offices are built from the ground up for outpatient surgery and anesthesia rather than general dental care. From anesthesia and safety equipment to patient flow and recovery, the facility is designed for outpatient surgery. All oral-surgery offices undergo on-site examination and certification to ensure office-based anesthesia standards are met. All general dental offices are different, but most necessitate that the traveling dentist bring anesthesia, surgery and safety equipment with each visit. Additionally, while complications are rare, often, patients want the reassurance of a quick unscheduled visit to check in or confirm healing is going well. With most surgeonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; offices staffed full time, there is always an expert available to provide that follow-up care and reassurance. Such accessibility is often not available with traveling providers.
I have a complicated medical history. Am I a candidate for anesthesia? Almost all who can be seen in an office environment can have some form of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia and ideal treatment environment are best discussed with your surgeon at the time of a consultation visit, when your medical history can be discussed in detail.
What sets Austin Oral Surgery apart? Austin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has cared for Austinites for more than 45 years. We have 13 board-certified surgeons in 12 locations, so we can provide service in a safe, convenient, caring environment for most of Austin and the surrounding areas. Additionally, we always have someone available to see you, as thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flexibility in scheduling, with so many doctors and locations. The most important thing that sets us apart, however, is our people. Our surgeons, clinical assistants and front-office teams are all focused on caring for patients in a safe, pleasant and compassionate environment.
What procedures does an oral surgeon preform other than those on wisdom teeth? While we are indeed the wisdom-tooth experts, there are many other areas in which oral surgeons have expertise. Sophisticated implant placement and the various hard- and soft-tissue grafting procedures that are done to optimize implant results are routine for us. Orthognathic or jaw surgery for developmental bite problems and the treatment of traumatic facial injuries are in our areas of expertise as well. The primary surgical procedure that cures sleep apnea is one of our specially developed procedures. Some of our surgeons treat temporomandibular-joint disorders and we offer minimally invasive joint surgery for the most common temporomandibular-joint issues when surgery is necessary.
Before you consider oral surgery for your family, call 512.591.9557 or visit austinoralsurgery.com.
AGAINST POORLY APPLIED LASH EXTENSIONS
By Teresa Robertson of ATX Volume Lash & Brow
Have you ever seen some crazy lash extensions? You know the ones: spidery, plastic-looking, unfathomably thick and way too long! How is this still happening? Have you ever looked at those kinds of extensions (hopefully not too awkwardly long) and thought to yourself, “Nope, they’re not for me.” We don’t blame you. When you see crazy work like that, there are several elements at play: 1. You get what you pay for in lots of ways regarding eyelash extensions. The lash extensions themselves could be of a poor quality, giving them that plastic look. Sometimes cheaper extensions will also mean they may not hold their curl as well either. 2. The lash tech may be trying to cut corners with the brand of lashes, adhesives and so on. They don’t always pass that savings on to the client. Some do and if it’s too good of a price, the quality of product may be a reason why. Some stylists do like to start with a lower pricing if they are just building their clientele, but look at their work and see if you like what you see. 3. Another way some stylists cut cost is by doing the service too fast to get more clients in. A full set of lash extensions should take at least 90 minutes to apply if the stylist is experienced and as long as 120 minutes to apply if she is
still building speed or likes to take her time. This is with classic lashes. Allow for extra time for any volume, mega volume or hybrid lashes. When cutting time, lash techs can sometimes damage your natural lashes because they are working too fast for the adhesive to dry on one lash before they place another extension on. They aren’t taking time to isolate or separate. Refills after two weeks should take 30 minutes to an hour, and longer with more time in between appointments. 4. In the case of volume lashes with prices that are too good to be true, they may be using premade cluster lashes. These extensions have already been glued together at the base. When these are used, the added adhesive meant to adhere them to your natural lashes makes for a bulky base. Handmade fans are slower to apply but they have only been dipped in adhesive once, which makes the base of the fan slimmer and gives a cleaner lash-line look with no clumps.
There are better options, safe, more natural-looking options, even glam-bam options that don’t look too heavy or plastic-like.
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DISCOVER TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Take a shine to nearby Burnet County, which features some of summer’s best-kept secrets.
Photo by Niki Jones.
BY NIKI JONES
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Spending the summer at the lake is a time-honored American ritual, and in climates like Texas’, it’s practically a necessity. The Austin area has plenty of cool spots where locals can swim, but these days, they often come with crowds on top of crowds.
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Fall Creek Falls is just one of the many beautiful sights to behold on the Lower Colorado River.
MORE CENTRAL TEXAS STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS Lyndon B. Johnson State Park Stonewall, Texas tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Fredericksburg, Texas tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock
Colorado Bend State Park Bend, Texas tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/colorado-bend
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge Marble Falls, Texas fws.gov/refuge/balcones_canyonlands
Nighttime at Canyon of the Eagles brings numerous options for fun.
Top and middle photos by Niki Jones. Bottom photo courtesy of Canyon of the Eagles.
One area that is consistently overlooked is just a stone’s throw from Austin, Burnet County. An easy 60-minute drive on wideopen roads delivers Austinites to Canyon of the Eagles, a family-friendly resort on a 940-acre nature preserve set on the shoreline of bucolic Lake Buchanan. Densely wooded, Canyon of the Eagles evokes a feeling of a quintessential summer camp. The wooden buildings are rustic and fit in with the scenery seamlessly. A small pool surrounded by rock and a stone fire pit, complete with cut and stacked firewood, beckons visitors to sit a spell fireside and take it all in. The 62 guest rooms at the resort maximize views of the lake, each room graced with its own private balcony and pair of rocking chairs so lodgers can while away the day taking in spectacular courtyard or lake views. Reminiscent of classic lake cabins, the room décor is simple and clean, allowing the beautiful nature scenes outside to become the focus, even while indoors. Spacious and featuring high ceilings, the rooms at Canyon of the Eagles include no TVs to distract from the natural splendor. (Free Wi-Fi is included, though, and is particularly helpful when trying to identify the friendly songbirds that so hospitably welcome visitors to the resort.) Though it may be tempting to luxuriate in the guest room and listen to the sounds of birds chirping, activities abound at Canyon of the Eagles for all ages and abilities: Day or night hiking, yoga, kayaking and birdwatching are just some pursuits that bring guests closer to nature. There are also educational programs, including some focused on eagles, owls and reptiles. But the most extraordinary activity to partake in at Canyon of the Eagles involves the Eagle Eye Observatory, a rolling-roof observatory set in a dark-sky location staffed by astronomers and equipped with telescopes and other astronomical instruments that enable visitors to stargaze in an epic way. An observatory visit is complimentary for Canyon of the Eagles resort guests and the space is open to the general public for a small fee. While the land activities at Canyon of the Eagles are numerous, getting out on the water is highly recommended. Just minutes from Canyon of the Eagles, the Vanishing Texas River Cruise is an 18-mile excursion across Lake Buchanan and up the Lower Colorado River. The Texas Eagle II
Top photo by Niki Jones. Bottom photo by Salina McCullough.
is a 120-passenger double-decker boat with both indoor and outdoor decks, ample seating and lots of oversized picture windows for taking in the scenery during the lake adventure. For those who prefer a smaller, more intimate experience, visitors don’t have to stray far from the resort; the wilderness-centric Canyon Cruise takes as many as 10 passengers up the Lower Colorado River on a pontoon boat, getting up close to the splendor, like the mesmerizing Fall Creek Falls, lofty cliffs and heavenly riverscapes. Lucky visitors may even spot eagles soaring above or wild Spanish goats high on the cliffs. A thrilling adventure worth the 45-minute drive to the town of Marble Falls, Texas, is Hidden Falls Adventure Park, a 2,700-acre park featuring thousands of acres of off-road trails perfect for blazing on all-terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and Jeeps. On the two-hour UTV guided tour, adrenaline junkies can navigate hills, rocks and cliffs in top-of-the-line machines that really get the blood pumping. Inks Lake State Park is another nearby gem in Burnet County offering hiking, camping, geocaching and even nighttime star parties during the spring and summer months. Burnet County also offers underground exploration at Longhorn Cavern State Park, where a Wild Cave Tour serves up a primitive caving adventure involving wriggling, climbing and crawling through the undeveloped portion of the cave. Whether visiting the resort or the many neighboring nature experiences and excursion-focused ventures, Burnet County offers Austinites the perfect close locale to truly get away. As they say at Canyon of the Eagles, “Where the road ends, the adventure begins.”
One of the many tasty dishes at Canyon of the Eagles’ Overlook Restaurant
Each of the cabin rooms at Canyon of the Eagles features a great view.
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THE SILVER LINING
Meet five fabulous Austin women who’ve embraced their natural gray, all on their own terms. STORY AND PHOTOS BY KARA E. HENDERSON
Historically, gray hair has been the most conspicuous sign of aging. This association between silver tresses and lost youth has led many women to combat the effects of time with hair dye. Clairol, a pioneer of colorant in U.S. markets, ran an ad in the 1940s describing gray hair as a “heartless dictator.” This monstrous categorization stuck. According to Goldstein Research, more than 75 percent of American women use some kind of hair dye—an exponential increase from 7 percent in the 1950s. Yet new data suggests antiquated notions of beauty are evolving. In December 2018, Pinterest released its annual trend report, which showed an 879 percent increase in searches related to gray hair. Nicole Reeves, an Austinbased stylist with 15 years of experience, sees a silver lining in this uptick. “Many people are in it for the trend, but I feel that has influenced older generations to have the courage to embrace their gray,” Reeves says. “Gray hair has been underestimated and overlooked. More women and [societies] as well are embracing gray hair. People are all about their natural texture verses trying to fit into a specific hair fad. Their natural hair may not fit that mold.” At a time when personal image is a crucial aspect of both identity and branding, five women share their reasoning for rocking their natural hair and offer advice to those seeking to do the same. 72 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
YENIBEL RUIZ Age: 44 Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela Profession: Journalist and University of Texas cultural studies doctoral student studying Venezuelan migrancy in Latin America Her advice: As long as we accept who we are, we can be really empowered and happier without wasting money on something that won’t really change anything. Resist and try to be comfortable with you because no one is going to be happy for you.
“I love my gray hair and have had this since 20 years old. Most friends pushed me—because society pushes—to do something. But I’ve embraced my gray for a long time and decided to try some colors only seven years ago,” says Ruiz, who only dyes the front of her hair, preferring bright colors. “This was more for change and to have fun, not to hide my gray. I feel wonderful and comfortable with my gray.”
She emphasizes Venezuelan beauty standards often align with “all the stereotypes,” similar to those in the U.S. “Friends would say, 'You look like an old person,’ but,” she says, grabbing her hair and smiling, “this is my hair. You have this problem, not me, because every time I see myself in the mirror, I feel super good.”
TISH HINOJOSA ELLIOTT Age: 49 Hometown: Houston Profession: Legal recruiter Her advice: “When you do it, you have got to be confident. You’ve got to rock it and don’t hold back. Wear it like a badge. That’s what I’m working to do.”
After receiving a government degree from UT in 1991 and attending law school, Elliott secured an Austin job in litigation, soon realizing it wasn’t for her. The ease of this decision evaded her when it came to hair. “I’d been coloring my hair since I was 16,” she says, having learned this practice from her mother. “It was so much trouble maintaining it, and I got tired. That was the impetus.” Seeing other women her “vintage” with dyed hair reminds her of internal pressures. “I face my own pressure rather than society’s to stay looking good and young,” she says, admitting to a fear of facing professional discrimination. Though still not positive she loves the new look, she’s open to seeing where it goes.
ELLEN SWEETS Age: 78 Hometown: St. Louis Profession: Retired reputed journalist and author of Stirring It Up With Molly Ivins. Her advice: Be you. Know who you are.
Born in 1941, Sweets was brought up in the era of relaxers, “back when you’d straighten your hair half the time. You’d go to the beauty shop on Saturday because Sunday you were going to church and your hair had to look right. I hated it.” At 17, she went to the local barbershop and cut it all off. Since she was experimental from youth, gray in her 40s was no big deal. Having witnessed the evolution of hair care during the span of a few decades, she’s pleased with the current societal climate regarding gray hair. “I think we’re back to being sensible about making the best of the time we have,” she says. “I don’t plan on spending [mine] having my scalp bleached to maintain a color that’s not real. What’s the point?”
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CATHY ELLISON Age: 62 Hometown: Dale, Texas Profession: Retired from the Austin Police Department, she was the first local black policewoman, female assistant chief and black interim chief. Her advice: Eventually, your face is going to have to match your hair. It’s going to happen, but you’ll fall in love with it. It’s a different texture than your regular hair, so find a stylist who can help you manage.
She began turning gray in her late 20s and colored her hair not to hide the gray, but for fashion. By about age 32, she stopped. The biggest change was finding people constantly desired to know her age. “I would say I’m not as old as my hair,” she says. Though friends originally suggested she dye her hair, she’s often stopped by people who say they love the gray. “People ask if this is my natural color or who colors it,” she says, adding it happens so often that one friend offered to buy her a shirt that says, “This is my natural hair.”
CINDY KAZEN KOPEC Age: 53 Hometown: Laredo, Texas Profession: Retired elementary educator and startup-software licenser Her advice: “Ask yourself this: Is it the hair I have now that makes me confident or is it me, knowing I make the hair look good? It’s a balance between the two. That’s the reward. You get both sides of the confidence when you get to the point of, ‘Ah, I’m done. I’m free. I’m living my truth. No more Sharpie pens.’ ”
She grayed prematurely, in her 20s, and “was always dyeing.” Eventually, she tired of addressing the “skunk line”—a common new-growth problem her former stylist advised rectifying with a marker. But when she turned 50, she ignored laughter from friends and grew it out. “In hindsight, had I known this was under all that hair dye,” she says, “I would’ve left it alone.” Bonus: When she stopped dyeing, her hair stopped falling out.
74 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
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SEE HER WORK
ART IMITATING LIFE
Illustrator, art teacher and professional doodler Becca Borrelli finds inspiration in the iconic scenes of Austin. BY CHANTAL RICE
But her real superpower is creating. And since dedicating herself to growing her entrepreneurial business, Becca Borrelli Illustrations, she has gained the attention and affection of many an Austinite and local retailer. As Borrelli says, she is “inspired by the invisible connections between all things, and the spirit of Austin.” And that’s certainly revealed in her elaborate illustrations. Her work, which she says “aims to be a playful, bright and hopeful interpretation of the world’s whimsical and magical sides,” includes prints featuring iconic Austin scenes (Barton Creek, downtown, the Congress Avenue Bridge, Blues on the Green, Mount Bonnell), as well as other ingenious products like her coloring pages and coloring books, which seek to pay her creativity forward by enabling other locals to add their own colorful and artistic flair to images of Austin’s favorite landmarks.
Photo by Aline Forastieri. Artwork courtesy of Becca Borrelli.
There’s no denying Becca Borrelli is in love with her hometown of Austin. It’s fair to say the capital city is somewhat her muse. In fact, hallmark attributes of Austin are not only present, but often key characters in her fanciful—and entirely spot-on—illustrations. She is nothing less than a master doodler. Borrelli earned her master’s degree in art education from the University of Texas, and her imagination and creative skills have led her to a variety of artfocused posts, from working as an elementary-school art teacher and a gallery intern at the Blanton Museum of Art, to instructing art classes at The Contemporary School at Laguna Gloria, working as a sign artist at an area grocery chain and, yes, (as is often the case with savvy yet underappreciated creatives) even taking on a few waitress gigs when needed.
76 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
Photo by Aline Forastieri.
“I think people who love Austin agree that there is a unique, almost magical feeling to this city. I know I sense it when I return here from other places. I enjoy illustrating Austin because it’s an opportunity to experience that feeling over and over, and potentially share it with others in a visual way.” – Becca Borrelli
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A LOOK INSIDE
Interior designer Allison Crawford shares a glimpse inside the local cottage she transformed into a boutique hotel. BY ANDREA TINNING
Allison Crawford is not just an interior designer. As a world traveler, Crawford has set foot on all seven continents and developed a unique style, as well as an appreciation for hotels, travelers’ home away from home. Hotelette, a collection of vintage-style homes turned hotels, is Crawford’s way of sharing her love for travel with others. This unique business provides guests with a hotel experience unlike any other.
“I want people to come here and have the privacy of a home but feel like they’re staying in a boutique hotel,” Crawford says. Located in Austin, Dallas and Nashville, Tenn., each Hotelette is filled with Crawford’s personal selection of art and furniture, which she hopes inspires visitors when decorating their own homes. Many items that adorn each Hotelette are available for purchase online so visitors can take their experience home with them. As an expert in interior design and decorating commercial spaces, Crawford gives us a peek inside Hotelette Austin and shares her strategy for making these accommodations feel more like home. NO CLUTTER “When you have a lot of clutter, it really leads to a cluttered mind. I work in this space, and people come stay in this space. I want it to be relaxing and I want people to be inspired, and they can’t be inspired if there’s a bunch of stuff around.” WHITE BEDDING RULES “I use all white sheets because people don’t think about the logistics, but the turnaround—if you have someone checking out on Friday morning and then you have someone checking in on Friday afternoon, you have to wash all of the sheets and linens in that three- to four-hour window. So, [I] keep everything white.” TEXTILES: BEAUTIFUL NOISE REDUCERS “For commercial spaces, rugs and textiles are important to absorb some of the sound so that the sound doesn’t bounce. [Even with] a lot of people in this space, you don’t want it to be very loud. I’m sure you’ve gone to restaurants and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so loud in there.’ Well, they need soft texture to absorb some of the sound, so rugs and textiles are important.”
CURATED LOCAL GUIDEBOOKS “People want to stay like a local and eat where the locals eat and do what the locals do, even though they are tourists in the town. So, I’ve created our hotel…guide to each city, which I think is really useful for the guests. It’s a guide of all the places that I love and that I know they’ll love, and I’m constantly tweaking it and updating it. It’s important to have a list of places that you want to go so that the guests can experience the town like a local too.” 78 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
Photo by Nicole Mlakar.
LUXE PRIVACY VERSUS PERSONAL EMBELLISHMENTS “I don’t think that personal photos should be out and make sure that the fridge and the freezer [are] completely empty. I want people want to go stay in homes and they want the privacy of a home, but they don’t want to necessarily feel like they’re staying in someone else’s home.”
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Photos by Nicole Mlakar.
LIVING LIFE ON
Purpose Pamela Romo tapped into her imagination and enterprising mindset to beautify her world, overcome depression and create community, all while putting her family first and breaking some long-held entrepreneurial rules. Today, she runs three businesses— and she’s just getting started. BY HANNAH J. PHILLIPS PHOTOS BY ANNIE RAY HAIR AND MAKEUP BY GERTIE WILSON SHOT ON LOCATION AT PERSHING
80 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY FEBRUARY 2019 2019
On somewhat of a whim and with a fierce bootstrapping mentality, hospitality and specialevents queen Kim Hanks built her vast kingdom, coming to reign in the Wedding Capital of Texas. BY HANNAH J. PHILLIPS | PHOTOS BY ANNIE RAY HAIR AND MAKEUP BY GERTIE WILSON | STYLED BY ASHLEY HARGROVE
ATXWOMAN.COM |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; 81
are two kinds of serial entrepreneurs: those who can’t help but see the economic potential of everything they touch, and those who start new businesses simply to create. Pamela Romo is the rarer second breed, her three businesses borne from sheer passion to design and bring people together. As she reflects on her path from a childhood in Mexico to an Austinbased serial entrepreneur, there’s no aha moment or specific memory that sparked her journey, just a steady stream of creativity and community building that’s brought her to the success she is today. Romo’s personal website claims, “It all started with a blog, which later evolved into three separate businesses,” but a conversation with her quickly reveals a much earlier timeline for her creative trajectory. She’s tried—and succeeded at—a little bit of everything, including oil painting as a child, working in the magazine industry and being involved extensively in music, fashion and, most recently, design, both for homes and for her planning-products company, Querida Agenda. With each of her endeavors, she lives life on purpose, embodying her mantra to “lead, never follow,” and striving to help others do the same. Here are the rules guiding Romo’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Rule 1: Don’t be afraid to
break the rules
. Born in El Paso, Texas, Romo grew up in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which she still visits frequently and describes as a warm and welcoming community, if a little challenging for creatives. “Growing up in Mexico was colorful and fun,” she says, “but the culture can be difficult because it’s not easy to innovate. People have this mindset of school, then college, work, get married, have kids. Here, you have more options—the American dream—and I wanted that.” Romo recalls making collages and oil painting from an early age. Naturally outgoing, she hosted a morning TV show and modeled as well. As a teenager, she wanted to pursue journalism or fashion in college, but her father advised choosing a less specialized degree, so she studied marketing at the local Monterrey Tecnologico campus in Aguascalientes. Though her brothers both left home for college, her parents wanted to keep a closer eye on her. “I’ve been rebellious since I was young,” she says with a laugh. “I was the one who would arrive home at 3 a.m. And there’s a lot of machismo in Mexico, so, as a woman, I didn’t have the same opportunity to do what my brothers did in college.” That doesn’t seem to have caused any setbacks for Romo, who landed a job on the fashion team at Vogue Mexico shortly after finishing her studies. Romo was responsible for all the visuals, working with the editor-in-chief to plan outfits and photo shoots for each issue. She believes this demanding role helped her develop an already great eye for trends and aesthetics, which she still uses to source illustrators for Querida Agenda’s designs and to find the perfect colors and textures in her interior-design business.
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O N LO C AT I O N Pershing is still one of Austin’s bestkept secrets. A private club nestled on the East side, Pershing features an intimate and bohemian yet luxurious house and courtyard. A few short steps away lies the Gallery, a 3,400-squarefoot event space known to feature high-profile musical performances, film screenings, speaking engagements, privately catered dinners and much more. Members represent a unique and diverse community of Austin’s social leaders and influencers, from entrepreneurs to creatives. Dining and drinks at this swanky spot can’t be missed, but you have to be a member. To find out more about membership, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 2415 E. Fifth St., thepershing.com
Rule 2: Don’t be afraid to
make the first move.
The job at Vogue Mexico also brought Romo back in contact with an old family friend—now her husband, José—when they reconnected through the desire to start a band in Mexico City. (Oh yeah, she also sings. If you’re having trouble tracking all her creative pursuits, you are not alone.) Romo had grown up visiting José and his sister, a school friend, in Veracruz, Mexico, (“He says he always had a crush on me,” Romo admits.) but the pair hadn’t interacted for more than five years. They started a rock band called Papa Juliett, playing together for four months before Romo sent the crucial text during a night out with her friends. “I texted him that I loved him! He had a girlfriend at the time, so it was very wrong of me because I made the first move,” she says sheepishly. “But that first day, we saw each other again it was like, ‘Wow!’ ” Does she regret it? Not at all “because it led me to where I am today,” she notes. The two started dating shortly after, moving to Los Angeles just one year later. There, life had another curveball in store. The first month in their new home, their new country, Romo learned she was pregnant.
Page 80: Sabina Musayev Tyler dress, $411; cow necklace, $158, available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., estiloboutique.com; shoes, model’s own.
“I had never thought about having a family. I always just go with the flow,” she says, countering the cultural formula she grew up with in Mexico. During her pregnancy, Romo was steadily building followers through her own fashion blog. From her time at Vogue Mexico, she loved sourcing images, and the blog blended her love for creative writing with her eye for design. But somehow, the lifestyle just didn’t feel right. “I thought I would love it because I used to be a model,” Romo says, “but it didn’t feel like the right fit for me, posing and taking pictures every day.” In her personal style, Romo had always been inspired by vintage clothes, and Los Angeles offered the perfect locale for thrift shopping, browsing and collecting. Soon, she started selling her finds through an Etsy shop called Misplaced Vintage, but it still didn’t feel quite right. She wanted to get to know her clients personally, not just deliver products. About the same time, two years after her daughter’s birth, she realized she was suffering from postpartum depression. “I didn’t even know what that term meant,” she marvels. “But I called my daughter’s pediatrician and told him I was crying because the day was cloudy. One hour, you are perfect, and the next, you are just crying out of nowhere. And I felt tired all day.”
Pages 82 and 83: Birgitte Herskind Audry blazer, $488; McGuire Gainsbourg cropped pants, $238; Huma Blanco Elaine shoes, $260, available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., estiloboutique.com; Pharao Jewelry necklace, $298, available at pharaojewelry.com.
Page 84: Madeworn Beach Boys sweatshirt, $187; Birgitte Herskind Nessa skirt, $265, available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., estiloboutique.com.
Page 85: Bano eeMee Naz jacket, $464; Parker Alden shorts, $220; Cleobella Liliana top, $98; Lady Grey warp earrings, $180; available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., estiloboutique.com; boots, model’s own.
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PAMELA ROMO’S ADVICE FOR WOMEN SUFFERING FROM POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION r “ Do an introspection. What is your day by day? If you are in PJs all day, that’s not going to work. You have to feel right about yourself. Are you exercising? In general, just do more of what makes you happy and find more me time.” r “ Surround yourself with good people that lift you up. Going to Mommy and Me classes helped me because there’s no judgment, and you make friends by going through the same process. If you need someone to talk to, there are amazing parenting therapists in Austin. A wellness center also helped me. There are many options.” r “ Change your habits and lifestyle. Go to a nutritionist. Find out if you have any allergies and examine the way you eat. You have to know your body and know your mind.” r “ Structure your day. You just cannot do all of it. I wanted to be superwoman and do everything, but you have to learn that you just don’t have the same time as you did before kids. If my daughter is hungry and I have work to do, I first have to feed her. It’s your house first and then your work, not the other way around.”
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Rule 3: Don’t be afraid to
ask for help
. Living in a new country, raising her first child far from the support of family and friends—and at just 26 years old— Romo attributes the depression to the many major changes in her life during that time. So, when her doctor offered prescription help, Romo wanted to first explore lifestyle changes that could combat negative emotions and create a more positive environment. “We are in an era where everything is so fast. We need to slow down,” Romo says. On the surface, this may seem a conflicting message from the founder of a company that produces planners and agendas. But more than healthy eating and yoga, which she started practicing regularly, it was changing her habits that helped her heal. Adding structure to her day gave purpose to each moment. She also started a Facebook group called Dear Mom, posting flyers in Los Angeles, hoping to connect with other moms that shared entrepreneurial and creative passions. The group went viral, with more than 1,000 like-minded young moms joining within six months from throughout the world. In another seeming contradiction, Romo discovered during that time that her best defense against the overwhelming pressures of being a new mom was scheduling more time for herself, a practice she maintains today. Her Querida Agenda company aims to help other women find the same sense of purpose through her planners and other products. Romo was in the midst of yet another transition, moving from Los Angeles to Austin, when the vision for the business emerged. “I always had three or four planners with me because none of them had everything I wanted,” Romo shares, voicing a universal complaint of women everywhere. “And I’m not used to using apps and Google calendar, so I decided to create a planner for myself.” She enlisted the help of a graphic-design connection, Marisa Chambon, a fellow entrepreneur and friend from Mexico. Pooling their creative talents—Romo’s content and Chambon’s designs—the products include guidance for how to start each day, how many glasses of water to have, notes for when users have their period and so much more. The pair sold 1,500 planners in the first month of their business, quickly growing it from having one Instagram follower (“Marisa’s mom,” Romo says with a laugh.) to the nearly 30,000 it boasts today, just one year later. Inspired by the community Romo found through her Facebook group, Querida Agenda also hosts workshops for entrepreneurs, a big part of the mission for Romo and Chambon. “For now, the meetups and events are focusing on the Latin community,” Romo says, “because there are so many who move to a new country.” Romo and Chambon also recently launched their bimonthly Querida Radio podcast, which aims to inspire entrepreneurs, dreamers and creative women to “fulfill [their] goals and create a supportive community along the way.” She notes they plan to expand the product line in the near future, launching the English version of their planners. In the meantime, the meetups offer the opportunity to build community through an annual membership, providing spaces for events and opportunities to learn from other female up-and-comers. The plan is to build a global presence and open doors for women the world over.
Rule 4: Don’t be afraid to
try something new
. As for Romo’s next open door, she’s currently working on the one in her own home—literally—recently launching an interior-design business with her husband. The company is called Abro Home, a portmanteau of her maiden name, Abella, and Romo, and also the Spanish word for “open.” The project sprouted from a conversation with their landlord shortly after the couple moved to Austin. When he shared he had plans to sell their rental property, Romo offered to help renovate the home before resale, and Abro Home was born. “Between my husband’s numbers and my design talent,” she says, noting his expertise as an accountant, “we can improve any house in Austin!” Romo hopes not only to use her design eye to help clients turn their houses into homes, but also to change the industry of design as a Hispanic woman. As a young woman in the field, it can be difficult to negotiate, so Romo’s dual mission is to open the door for more female subcontractors and to work with more female clients. Renovating a house can be expensive, but she works to bring her clients peace of mind by sticking to a tight budget without compromising quality. “And I think speaking Spanish gives me an advantage on the design and construction side of the industry,” she adds. “Everything I do, I just want to be surrounded by incredible women.” She creates community, structure and beautiful spaces wherever she goes, hoping to one day own boutique hotels, soon opening a centrally located co-working space for women in Austin and aiming to turn Querida Agenda into a globally recognized brand. Meanwhile, she hopes to have more kids and to adopt “because how can you say no? If we had the resources, I would adopt 20. We will be like the next Angelina and Brad Pitt—except for the drama.” As for her personal goals, she still harbors a desire to further explore the arts. “I always most wanted to be an actress or a singer,” she says, smiling. “I never quit those dreams. I just put them on hold. Someday, I’ll do them, maybe as a hobby. But I want to do them all because life is short.”
“Everything I do, I just want to be surrounded by incredible .”
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MODEL MINORITY BY COURTNEY RUNN | PHOTOS BY TAYLOR PRINSEN
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Through digital storytelling and community events, the women of Collective Blue are challenging the narrative of what it means to be an Asian American female and entrepreneur in Austin.
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When news broke this spring
of celebrities paying bribes to get their kids into college, Regine Malibiran thought of her mom. She remembered a night in the Philippines when she was 6 or 7 years old. After dinner, she sat with her mom at the table in a common familial scene that transcends culture: struggling with math homework. Her mom, an accountant, worked through the simple addition with her until Malibiran became too frustrated. “The only reason I’m sitting down and helping you with this is so that you can get into a good college,” her mom told her. Those words stuck with her. When Malibiran was 8 years old, her parents moved their family to San Francisco to escape what they felt was an increasingly volatile, unsafe environment in which to raise children. When she was 14, her dad got a job in Houston, moving the family again. The message throughout Malibiran’s childhood felt clear: We sacrificed our lives for your future. Nina Ho experienced a similar childhood. She was born in Vietnam and moved to Houston at 5 years old. Ho sometimes forgets her parents endured so much for a better life; it’s hard to reconcile the woman playing “Candy Crush” on her iPad with the same woman who escaped a wartorn country. When Ho and Malibiran left their well-paying corporate jobs to become entrepreneurs, they knew the message they were sending back to their parents: We’re rejecting your sacrifice.
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Though both from Houston, Ho and Malibiran did not meet until a group project at the University of Texas brought them together then turned into an actual business idea (possibly a first in groupproject history). Along with three friends, they launched Collective Blue in the fall of 2016 as a brand committed to creating a “space for diverse entrepreneurs and creatives who value community and being unapologetically themselves to come together and support each other’s successes” through digital storytelling and event production. While the other three founders moved on, Ho and Malibiran remained committed. “The more we can have stories about people who are marginalized or not even thought about, the more impactful that will be on the greater consciousness,” Ho says. The decision to be entrepreneurs came at a high cost: Ho and Malibiran work multiple jobs to pay the bills since Collective Blue isn’t profitable yet. Ho is a freelance photographer, freelance marketer, leases her home and takes on event-production projects. She was NINA HO ON THE CHALLENGES OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR: “I REALLY HAD TO REFRAME [THE] TIMELINE TO MYSELF AND JUST UNDERSTAND THAT GREAT WORK TAKES YEARS AND DECADES, AND NOT WEEKS AND MONTHS LIKE I WAS READY FOR.”
also driving for Lyft for a while to make ends meet. Malibiran is still figuring out what her side hustle will look like. “It’s not glamorous,” Ho says. “It’s really hard emotionally. There’s been times my bank account hit zero for Collective Blue and I had to be like, ‘OK, this paycheck is coming from here. This is what’s happening.’ It takes a lot of resilience and humility...especially if you don’t come from intergenerational wealth and you’re really, really building this from the ground up and at a young age.” Ho graduated from UT with degrees in advertising and French with a minor in Portuguese. Malibiran graduated with degrees in English and public relations. Ho’s parents couldn’t understand why their daughter, who had so many opportunities growing up and excelled at school, ended up driving for Lyft. “Especially as an immigrant, I had to make peace with the fact that I was going to disappoint my parents temporarily to get to a certain point where they understood,” Ho says. Malibiran still hasn’t told her parents she’s an entrepreneur.
“I think part of the frustration for them and why I’m kind of avoiding that conversation is because of that powerlessness they must feel to have to watch me do what it is I’m doing and not be able to say, ‘Hey, here’s the right way to do XYZ,’ ” Malibiran says. They worry their parents won’t feel like parents anymore. Their parents worry their children can’t pay their bills and aren’t happy. In a twist of irony, Ho and Malibiran became entrepreneurs because of their parents. They watched them model entrepreneurship growing up, witnessed them fight for a place in this country and forge their own careers. They both inherited their parents’ hustle and drive; survival is intricately woven into their DNA. Their parents may think their daughters are veering from the paths set before them, but they are actually right on track. And they can take a step further than their parents. Ho and Malibiran don’t just want to create a business, but hope to impact the world. For many millennials, work can no longer be a seat at a desk separated from identity. “Millennials really were the first generation to be so immersed in the internet,” Malibiran says. “I could hear about a humanitarian crisis going on in Palestine and, you know, previous generations might not have had that access to that information and be…rightfully upset and want to do something about it as we can.” The chance to make an impact and pave a way for others makes the risk of entrepreneurship worth it for Ho and Malibiran. “Our generation, not all of us, but some of us have the luxury of thinking about self-actualization, of fulfillment, of social impact,” Ho says. “We have that luxury because previous generations made certain sacrifices.” On Collective Blue’s website, Ho writes, “Creative work is a privilege that should be accessible to all.” This is the rallying cry behind the company, to lift up Asian American entrepreneurs and artists, to explore what it means to be Asian American and to advance the narrative for what it can mean. Asian. American. Individually, these words hold multitudes of identities, experiences and cultures, yet together, they are laden with stereotype, forced to represent what two words alone could never summarize. Asian Americans represent myriad countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, India, China, the Philippines and the list goes on. Like most minorities in the U.S., Asian Americans have a history laced with pain. The transcontinental railroad was built on the backs of predominantly Chinese workers in the 1860s, and they did not receive equal compensation to their white counterparts. During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt infamously ordered the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans following the Pearl Harbor attacks, and many remained interned for the duration of the war. In 1982, the murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin sparked outrage when his killers received no jail time and led to demands for more stringent hate-crime legislation. While these instances are prominent examples, they simply skim the surface of the discrimination the Asian American community has faced. Today, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing minority in the U.S. In Texas, the trend holds, and in Austin, their numbers are doubling in growth every 12 years. Marina Ong Bhargava, CEO of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, leads the chamber’s efforts to provide resources for all Asian Americans in Austin. “If you ask me where I’m from, I’m never going to say I’m from Asia. That’s such an odd thing to say,” Bhargava says. “I’m going to say I’m from Malaysia. That’s the first identity. And then, when you come here, it’s like, ‘Oh, wait. Hang on a second. So, you’re actually lumping me in to Asian Americans. What does that mean?’ ” Bhargava sees firsthand the vast diversity of Asian Americans in Austin and the damaging “model minority” myth that leads to lower funds and services allocated to the community. When a wealthy, highly educated doctor and an illiterate refugee fill out paperwork, they are put
REGINE MALIBIRAN ON HER ROLE MODELS: “THIS SOUNDS REALLY CLICHÉ, BUT RIHANNA [IS MY ROLE MODEL.] ... SHE COMES FROM THE ISLANDS OF BARBADOS. ... BARBADOS IS NOT A COUNTRY YOU THINK OF WHERE THERE ARE A LOT OF WEALTHY PEOPLE THERE. I THINK FOR HER TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES AND MAKE A SPLASH IN THE MUSIC SCENE AND THEN LEVERAGE THAT INTO STARTING HER OWN EMPIRE IN FASHION AND BEAUTY WHILE ALSO…NEVER FORGETTING WHERE SHE CAME FROM AND WHO SHE WANTS TO SERVE IS SO INSPIRATIONAL. BEYONCÉ IS ANOTHER ONE. ... BOTH THOSE WOMEN [ARE] SO UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT WHO THEY ARE AND WHO THEY WANT TO STAND UP FOR. THEY DON’T QUESTION THEMSELVES WHEN IT COMES TO THE THINGS THEY BELIEVE IN. THAT ENERGY IS REALLY INSPIRING.”
The beginning is always difficult. The immigrant worked his knuckles to the bone only to die under the wheels of the railroad. One thousand years before him, his ancestor fell building yet another annex to the Great Wall— and was entombed within his work. And I, the beginning of an end, the end of a beginning, sit here, drink unfermented green tea, scrawl these paltry lines for you. – Excerpt from The End of a Beginning by Marilyn Chin
i stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can i do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther Legacy by Rupi Kaur
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into the same category, skewing the perceived needs of Asian dentistry but quickly realized she wanted to be in a more Americans. Only recently was the Asian American Quality creative role. While she says “it took a while to prove,” her of Life Commission organized in Austin, despite equivalent parents are supportive of her marketing role and freelancecommissions already existing for African Americans and photography career. It’s still been discouraging, though, to Hispanics. come from Houston, where there’s a large Asian American Bhargava also believes the stereotype that “Asians are doing population, to Austin. well” affects leadership positions for both men and women. “As an Asian American woman in the creative industry While Asian Americans might represent a large percentage in the greater Austin area, I definitely feel like a minority,” of the workforce, representation significantly drops in she says. leadership positions. Though a generalization, Bhargava notes After her Instagram post about Missfits, she says people many Asian cultures traditionally don’t encourage women to she didn’t even know commented and reached out to her. Phi pursue leadership roles, placing another—deeply ingrained ended up connecting with Malibiran and Ho, asking how she in some cases—obstacle in the path of female Asian American could get involved with future events. entrepreneurs. Ho says her South Asian friends felt so validated they were “The different needs of the different groups are so varied,” included in the event because they’re normally not who comes she says. “So, for me, a big challenge is to be relevant to to mind when people think “Asian American.” Malibiran also each group.” remembers one of the vendors, who is Ho and Malibiran operate Collective black and Vietnamese, crying after the “THE MORE WE CAN HAVE Blue with this same mission. They’re event because she’s so rarely invited to STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE WHO intentional to include anyone who identifies Asian spaces. as Asian American and provide space for “It was such a needed space that we ARE MARGINALIZED OR NOT EVEN intersectional conversations. At no time was were cultivating for ourselves first that THOUGHT ABOUT, THE MORE that more apparent than on a rainy Sunday we had no idea...so many people needed IMPACTFUL THAT WILL BE ON THE afternoon in February. to hear this or needed to be involved,” At 2:30 p.m. Feb. 10, millennial women Ho says. GREATER CONSCIOUSNESS.” started crowding together on benches for When picking the panels, they —NINA HO Missfits Fest, a “one-day festival celebrating thought about what the Asian self-identifying Asian American women American community doesn’t often in entrepreneurship and the arts, produced by Collective discuss and what the two personally wanted to hear. Blue and In Bold Company.” Huddled below a disco ball, “[Filipinos] have a tendency to not talk about things,” the audience waited for the first panel, FOB (Fresh off the Malibiran says. “There’s a lot of heavy focus on image and Breakdown): Mental Health in the Asian American and Pacific presentation, so even acknowledging negativity is frowned Islander Community. upon. It’s specifically discouraged. If something bad happens, Despite a late start and limited seating, the audience only we don’t talk about it.” grew in size and diversity throughout the afternoon. Men No one shied away from talking at Missfits. Malibiran, wandered in, nursing beers in the back and listening. Black who identifies as bisexual, was a panelist on the Memoirs of a women and white women were scattered throughout the Gaysian: Sexuality and Gender Identity panel and talked about crowd. By the last panel (How to Tell Your Parents You’re Not her own experience coming out to her parents. Ho’s mom took an Engineer, Doctor or Lawyer: Pursuing a Creative Career), the Megabus from Houston to attend her daughter’s event and the crowd spilled past the seating, filling the room and actively see her work in person for the first time. They haven’t talked engaging with the panelists, pushing back and debating about about the panels yet, but Ho overheard her mom telling their media representation, cultural identity and the perception of relatives everything seems to be going well. minorities. “They’re anxious,” Ho says of her parents. “But they’re After an afternoon of panels addressing mental health, supportive.” sexuality and gender identity, media representation and the Ho and Malibiran calculate more than 300 people attended creative industry, and a shopping break to explore the vendors Missfits, not an insignificant number for a first event of its lining the room, the festival transitioned to an evening of food, kind. That means 300-plus people did not just hear about live poetry, comedy, a Bollywood workshop and music. entrepreneurship and vulnerability, but also saw it modeled by Gabby Phi, a brand marketing manager at Snap Kitchen, Ho and Malibiran. heard about the festival through Instagram and decided to go “[Collective Blue] is a metaphor for the ocean, which is with a friend. like one drop of water is pretty insignificant on its own, but “It’s not often that I find myself in a room full of people who accumulated, it can be something really beautiful and vast,” look like me,” she wrote in an Instagram caption later that Ho says. “And I think that’s how we feel about community.” same day. “Pursuing a creative career as a self-identifying Ho and Malibiran believe deeply in community, enough so Asian American woman and seeing the look of disappointment to risk forsaking community to forge a new, better one, one on your parents’ faces when you have to explain to them that in which Asian American women can be photographers and you don’t want to be a doctor/lawyer/engineer, etc., is hard.” doctors, entrepreneurs and lawyers, and change the world. She started at UT pursuing a biology major and career in Their parents’ sacrifices were not wasted; they were catalysts.
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The owners of Blenders & Bowls share their recipe for the perfect healthy, seasonal—and scrumptious—treat.
You may not know how to spell it—or even how to say it—but if you’re like most locals, you crave acai and all the health benefits of this luscious berry. And Austin’s favorite acai café, Blenders & Bowls, offers five locations throughout town to get your feel-good fix. But it’s not just about the acai. The Blenders & Bowls menu features a variety of nutrition-packed smoothies and organic bowls of goodness, an edible artform Owners Kara Jordan and Erin Thompson have been handcrafting and perfecting since they first launched their business in 2011.
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Here, Jordan and Thompson share their recipe for their seasonal green summer smoothie bowl, which, as always, is packed with good and good-for-you ingredients. “I love this recipe because you are getting a few servings of leafy greens along with a serving of whole grains and fresh fruit,” Thompson says. “This recipe will bring out a tropical flavor and makes it easy to forget you are eating a lot of spinach! We love choosing fresh fruit for our specials based on what is in season. ... The key to all of our smoothie bowls is a thick blend, delicious granola, fresh seasonal fruit and local honey.” As they say at Blenders & Bowls, enjoy and be stoked!
Photo courtesy of Blenders & Bowls.
BY CHANTAL RICE
GREEN SUMMER SMOOTHIE BOWL Ingredients 2 ounces frozen mango 1 frozen banana 2 ounces frozen pineapple 2 handfuls fresh spinach 2 ounces almond milk 1/3 cup granola 2 ounces fresh mango 2 ounces fresh raspberries 1 kiwi Drizzle of local honey (Blenders & Bowls’ recommendation: Round Rock Honey)
Directions 1. Using a blender, combine the almond milk, banana, frozen mango, frozen pineapple and fresh spinach. Blend until the consistency is thick and bright green. (At-home tip for frozen fruit: Chop up fresh fruit into smaller pieces to freeze. It will blend easier.) 2. S poon the ingredients from the blender into a bowl. Top it with granola and fresh fruit. Finish it with a honey drizzle.
Top photo courtesy of Blenders & Bowls. Bottom photo courtesy of Granarly.
GRANARLY UP YOUR SMOOTHIE BOWL Instead of topping your Blenders & Bowls homemade green summer smoothie bowl with mass-produced granola, go against the grain and opt for a delicious granola created by another local woman-owned business, Granarly. Baked with all-American whiskey, The OG, or the original Granarly, is the first-ever whiskey granola blend and packs a flavor punch, with sun-dried seedless raisins and juicy red cranberries. “Each blend was handcrafted in my kitchen and created with fun, flavor and adventure in mind,” says Morgan Potts, owner and aptly titled Granarly guru. “The OG is your everyday Granarly with a little twist. Whether you are a fan of whiskey or not, it’s definitely worth a try. The honey-whiskey creation is baked to perfection and…tastes like adventure. It’s a tasty addition to a homemade acai bowl, traditional Greek yogurt or even thrown into a smoothie and blended up. This will provide you not only fuel for your body, but fuel for your wildest dreams.”
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IN THE SPIRIT
Two local women connect with a business partner and artisan mezcalero in Oaxaca, Mexico, to bring traditional-style Susto Mezcal to Austin. BY CHANTAL RICE Now, thanks to a local partnership that honors Oaxacan tradition and the craftsmanship of mezcaleros, Austinites can relish in the enchantment of this artisan spirit, a spirit that’s unlike any other. Susto Mezcal, launched in late 2018, is the vision of longtime locals and friends Ingrid Taylor and Liz Stewart, who partnered with esteemed Oaxacan businesswoman Beatriz “Titi” Rodriguez, to bring the extraordinary experience of mezcal to discerning Texans. “We found we loved Oaxaca and loved the culture of mezcal,” Taylor says. “The culture around mezcal in Oaxaca, there’s a mysticism about it. It’s fascinating to experience it there, and we felt like it would really resonate in Austin.” The business came together during the course of several years and involved many trips to Oaxaca, known as the cradle of mezcal artistry, as well as Taylor and Stewart getting educated about what it takes to become international entrepreneurs. And while Susto has become a family affair, with the women’s husbands and even adult children involved in the business, Taylor and Stewart are quick to note ownership of the company is split evenly between the two of them and Rodriguez. “It is 100 percent woman-owned,” Taylor says, adding that element was of particular importance when launching the company.
Photo by Julia Keim.
In Southwestern Mexico, just miles from the bluest ocean waters, amid colonial structures erected from green volcanic stone and displayed against a backdrop of lush mountains, imposing ruins, colorful local treasures and a wealth of culture lies the city of Oaxaca. It is here that tradition, folklore and mysticism meet, and the results are transcendental. A beloved component of Oaxaca’s history is mezcal, the distilled spirit painstakingly made from agave. Indeed, it is a mezcal ritual that curanderos, or Mexican faith healers, have long turned to when local villagers are struck with susto, the sensation of fright after a significant event or a moment of high emotion. A sip of the smoky spirit, they profess, wards off such fear, helping to bring the body and soul back into alignment.
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Also of particular importance, Stewart says, was the goal of lifting up the community of Oaxaca with their entrepreneurial endeavor. Susto is not a white-label brand; Taylor and Stewart knew if they wanted to make an impact with their product in the U.S., they needed to choose the more difficult path of becoming certified producers of mezcal and rely on a traditional mezcalero to craft their spirit. After a journey of discovery alongside Rodriguez that was aimed at identifying the best Oaxaca-made mezcal for their brand—which included keeping a meticulous reckoning of the countless mezcals they tasted from a variety of mezcaleros—they met Crispín Pérez and immediately fell in love with his mezcal and his story. Stewart refers to Pérez as a “maestro mezcalero,” and notes his devotion to his indigenous Oaxacan heritage, as well as his inherent entrepreneurial spirit, despite many economic limitations, and his remarkable palenque, the small distillery from which he laboriously creates his handmade mezcal, a palenque he was able to expand thanks to funds the Susto founders received from the Mexican federal government for the project. As part of their commitment to Pérez’s local community, the women also made it their priority from the outset to financially support that community, a small town called San Dionisio Ocotepec, in any way they could, and have already contributed $2,000 in the form of 10 scholarships to middleschool children there. With their dedication to Oaxaca secured, Taylor and Stewart have set their sights back on the Lone Star State, where they are currently working to help educate Austinites about the delights of mezcal, a lofty goal, considering many imbibers deem mezcal an overly smoky version of tequila that is always served up with a worm. This is far from the luscious, smooth, approachable and entirely sippable spirit that is Susto Mezcal. Susto is currently available at several Austin-area restaurants and bars, as well as select liquor stores. “What we’ve said from the beginning is we want to be really strong in Austin. It’s our home and where we want to make a mark. Our first goal is to do well here, then do well in Texas,” Taylor says. “Then beyond that, within the next few years, we’d like to grow outside Texas.” Stewart concurs, saying their loyalty to Austin, the town they’ve both called home since the 1980s, further drives them to make a lasting impact here with Susto. “We love being accountable to the Austin community,” Stewart says. “It hooks us into the pulse of Austin, and that’s really meaningful to us.”
“We love being accountable to the Austin community. It hooks us into the pulse of Austin, and that’s really meaningful to us.” —Liz Stewart
Photos by Julia Keim.
Left to right: Duff and Liz Stewart, Titi Rodriguez, Ingrid and James Taylor
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THE BUNION BATTLE
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brannan Smoot offers his advice for how to cope with bunion pain. BY SABRINA LEBOEUF
Since bunions can be inevitable for some people, there are various ways to I’ve seen the help cope with the pain. Some examples include spectrum. I’ve padding the bunion or operated on Dr. Brannan Smoot is an orthopedic surgeon, and one of his many areas of expertise changing the type of shoes involves foot care and bunions. He estimates that during the course of his 20-year you wear. This includes 60-year-olds. practice, he has performed more than 1,000 bunionectomies. While women do have widening the forefront of the I’ve operated their fair share of bunions, he has helped lots of patients, not just women. shoe, switching to a stretchy “Men get bunions too. More women than men get bunions, and that probably has on 17-year-olds material or lowering the to do with a shoewear issue,” Smoot says. “I think women have trouble with bunions heel. On the other hand, for bunions. because of the shoes they’re expected to wear. A man can get by with a blocky foot shoe there are bunion braces and nobody says anything about it.” There’s not on the market that Smoot When it comes to wearing high heels, Katie Duncan, a content marketing writer, advises against because they a strong only wears them when she’s going out with friends. Even then, she’s narrowed her shoe don’t fix the problem in the choices down to two pairs of wedges, all for the sake of avoiding foot pain. predilection long term. “I think a lot of women’s shoes [don’t] look comfortable. They aren’t,” Duncan says. In some cases, these for age. Although changing the shoes you wear can help avoid foot pain and bunions, there remedies are not enough. are other ways in which bunions can form. Other causes of bunions include genetic —Dr. Brannan Smoot At that point, Smoot predisposition and certain medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, recommends considering while the age range for getting bunions typically spans from 30 to 40, bunions can form surgery, particularly when the pain at any age. affects everyday life. “I’ve seen the spectrum. I’ve operated on 60-year-olds. I’ve operated on 17-year-olds for “With regards to surgery, I tell bunions,” Smoot says. “There’s not a strong predilection for age.” my patients that you should avoid bunionectomy surgery until you have symptoms that are altering your lifestyle,” Smoot says. “You can define that how you like, but for most people, it’s, ‘I can’t exercise,’ or, ‘I can’t stand on my feet all day without pain because of this bunion deformity.’ For some folks, it’s just, ‘I can’t wear highheeled shoes, and I need to be able to do that for work.’ ” When it comes to surgery, most insurance covers the cost of the procedure. Be that as it may, there are still other factors to consider when it comes to bunionectomies. Surgery risks include infection, nerve damage, poor healing of the bone and persistent swelling. More importantly, the postoperation regimen is critical to ensuring the deformity does not return. There are limited weight bearings and foot wrappings patients must observe to heal the foot properly. On the bright side, if all the doctor’s orders are heeded, you’ll be able to wear high heels again after about four months.
Hiding inside most every pair of high-heeled shoes is a woman’s aching feet. However, there’s a stark difference between the pain of beauty and the pain of a medical problem, such as a bunion. Knowing how to distinguish the two and knowing when to seek help from a doctor can be crucial to the future of your feet and your shoe collection.
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RULING THE COURT
Austin beach-volleyball pro and entrepreneur Andrea Nucete-Elliott aces her serve on the court and in business. BY GRETCHEN M. SANDERS
Photo by Mpu Dinani.
When Andrea Nucete-Elliott sweeps her mane into a ponytail, it stays put. After all, the professional beach-volleyball player can’t score points with her do falling down. She uses a hair tie even Hercules couldn’t break. And she should know; she designed the elastic band herself.
98 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY APRIL 2019 2019
Nucete-Elliott, 28, is the CEO of TIYLife, which stands for “tie it yourself,” a business that makes customizable ponytail holders. She founded the venture last year with her husband, University of Texas women’s volleyball coach Jerritt Elliott. “Jerritt got tired of his players redoing their hair every time it came loose or their ties broke,” Nucete-Elliott says. “He wanted a stronger product, and I developed it.” TIYLife ties come in long strands coiled like dental floss. Wearers unravel the length they want, snip and tie a loop. The hair ties’ durability especially appeals to athletes. Even Olympic beach-volleyball legends April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings wear them. And Nucete-Elliott never spikes a ball without one. The 5-foot-10-inch defender was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and grew up in Naples, Italy, where she played professional indoor volleyball until age 22. When she moved to Texas in 2013 to live with her father, she had never touched a beach volleyball. Friends suggested she learn the game, which, unlike indoor volleyball, has a professional women’s league in the United States. Nucete-Elliott tackled the sport quickly. Today, she travels the country playing pro tournaments with her partner, Juliann Faucette Johnson, a former UT volleyball player. The duo will compete in the Austin Open at Krieg Fields, which gets underway May 16. Here’s how this former Miss Universe Italy finalist digs deep and keeps serving up winning matches. THE A.M.:
“I wake up around 6 a.m., say good morning to my husband and visualize how the day will look. Then I make coffee and we drink it together. Coffee is the glue.” THE WORKOUT:
“Beach volleyball is played on a smaller court in teams of two and has different rules than indoor volleyball. It’s harder to run in sand, so the way you set the ball and move on the court is different. You may face wind, rain or other external elements. During the offseason, from late September to early February, I lift weights about five times a week at Train 4 the Game in West Lake. I work on technical skills six days a week on my home court and do SoulCycle a few times per month. During the season, I lift weights three times a week, practice and travel for tournaments. I’ll fly out on a Wednesday after weights and play all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tournaments are usually double elimination and happen every week from March through September. Many are played out of state, in Seattle; New York City; Hermosa Beach, Calif.; and Chicago, with one in Hawaii.” THE DIET:
“When I moved to the United States, I gained weight from eating processed foods. I noticed I felt especially bad after eating meat, so I eliminated it. Now I eat according to my blood type, which means I consume mostly fish, veggies and pasta, plus dairy twice a month. I cook everything I eat. I like to make risotto with mushrooms, truffle and saffron, buy imported Parmesan cheese from Italy and have wine twice a week. I love pastries, and I can eat a whole bag of Sour Patches. If I want to be bad, I’ll eat fried pickles and french fries. I play better when I’m lean and agile.” THE GEAR:
“I play in a swimsuit when it’s hot and in yoga or compression pants when it’s cold. I wear a small bikini that I don’t have to adjust when I dive for a ball. Tight bottoms keep the sand out! My bikinis are usually handmade. I play barefoot, but I’ll wear sand socks if the sand is too hot or cold. I always wear sunglasses, sunscreen and a visor, plus a TIY hair tie. The tournament host provides our balls, which vary in size and are different from indoor volleyballs.”
Simone experienced years of abuse at the hands of her husband. To escape, she became homeless and lost custody of her kids cus in the process – until she was reunited with them in SAFE housing.
“Volleyball provides an outlet for my competitive nature. I like the mental stimulation. Every point is different. I get tan, have fun and play among the best in the world.” THE MINDSET:
“It’s not over until it’s over.” THE P.M.:
“Bedtime is 10 p.m. I ask my husband about his day and tell him good night. He’ll ask if there’s anything he can do for me. We make sure we stay connected.”
You can help SAFE provide safety, stability, and healing for anyone who has experienced violence and abuse.
Learn more at safeaustin.org.
OINT OF VIEW
ON THE MONEY
HOW TO START A SIDE GIG
Become an entrepreneur in one month. BY JENNY HOFF
We are living in the age of the entrepreneur. No longer is your only path to income a good job at a decent company. Technology has enabled anyone to start a business with no upfront costs and no need for a brick-and-mortar business. The best way to test your entrepreneurial prowess is to start a side gig you can commit to outside your normal working hours, one that can help you boost your bank account or even pay off debt. Here are some steps to get you started. 1. GENERATE A LIST OF SIDE-GIG IDEAS AND THEN PICK ONLY ONE.
Make a list of all the things you are passionate about or just seem to always be doing for other people as a favor. Ask friends and family what you’re really good at, suggests Chris Guillebeau, founder of sidehustleschool.com and author of Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days. Once you’ve made a list of a few ideas, focus on only one. For example, if you’re a great amateur photographer, consider selling photo shoots at a cheaper rate than professional photographers. Many people can’t afford a $400 session for headshots or family photos, but they might be willing to pay $50 or $100 to an amateur who has a good eye. 2. CALCULATE POTENTIAL INVESTMENT.
5. LET GO OF YOUR EGO.
You might be jazzed up right now when thinking about how you’re going to get tons of clients and make great money, but Guillebeau cautions to stay realistic and pay attention to what the market is telling you. “What tends to happen more often is it works a little bit,” he says. If your side gig isn’t taking off the way you anticipated, look to where you can tweak your message or service. A side gig doesn’t require a fancy website or expensive equipment, just some creativity and courage to figure out what you can offer, how much people are willing to pay for it and the guts to tell the world you’re open for business. Good luck!
While it’s tempting to open up your services to the general public, it’s more effective to target a niche market.
Once you’ve settled on an idea, you’ll need to calculate potential costs and then rate their importance. Sticking with the photography example, maybe you need to buy a decent camera or build a website (which you can do on your own with an easy website-builder service). Keep your costs low and then make a plan to pay them off quickly through getting clients. 3. DEFINE YOUR CLIENT.
While it’s tempting to open up your services to the general public, it’s more effective to target a niche market. That way, you can speak directly to your clients because you know what they want and where to find them. If you’re a photographer, perhaps your target market is families. You would build your portfolio with that niche in mind, join Facebook groups in which they are active and direct your messaging specifically to their needs.
You don’t need a marketing specialist or a Facebook ad campaign to start getting customers. Simply update your LinkedIn profile and send out an email to five to 10 potential clients, like friends and family. Include a call to action, even if it’s just asking if they will forward the information to anyone who may be interested. If you’re active on social media, reach out to your network there. “Go where your people already are,” Guillebeau suggests. Don’t try to master a new social network before getting started. 100 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
Set a benchmark. Side-gig expert Chris Guillebeau suggests making a goal of earning at least $500 per month in the first month or two to set you on the course of operating a profitable side gig rather than just engaging in a fun hobby. For ideas about what to do, check out his Side Hustle School podcast to hear from people who have started successful side gigs.
Headshot by Kevin Garner.
4. TEST THE MARKET WITHIN YOUR NETWORK.
SIX WEEKEND GETAWAYS TO TAKE THIS SUMMER BY CHELSEA BANCROFT
As much as I love Austin, it’s nice to have a weekend away every now and then. So, pack up the car (I’d suggest a convertible like this Mazda Miata) and check out these six getaway spots just a short road trip away. 1 Fredericksburg
Known for its wineries, Fredericksburg, Texas, is a great weekend-getaway spot. With its 150-plus boutiques, great restaurants and rich history, this charming town has something for everyone. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a hike up Enchanted Rock.
Calling all barbecue lovers! Lockhart, Texas, is nicknamed the Barbecue Capital of Texas and is home to three of the best barbecue joints in the state: Black’s Barbecue, Smitty’s Market and Kreuz Market. The town is also a great place to spend time outdoors, with several different parks and many creeks running through.
1 Salado Salado, Texas, is a quaint little town located about an hour north of the city. Check out the old-school candy shop, browse through the boutiques on Main Street or enjoy a delicious meal at Ramble. Plus, the newly renovated Stagecoach Inn is a great place to stay.
1 Wimberley Forty minutes southwest of Austin, Wimberley, Texas, is the perfect weekend escape from the city. From numerous boutiques in the city square to a nature lover’s dream at Jacob’s Well, you can’t go wrong in Wimberley.
1 New Braunfels
Photo by Shelby Sorrel.
Continuing down a little more south, New Braunfels, Texas, is a great place to visit, with rich, historic German roots. Do you need a break from the Texas summer heat? Take a dip at Landa Park or float down the Comal and Guadalupe rivers (Roger Beasley Rewards members get 20 percent off at Rockin’ R River Rides). And no New Braunfels trip is complete without a visit to the Gruene Historic District.
Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at onechelofanadventure.com.
1 Canyon Lake One of my favorite places to get away is Canyon Lake, Texas. It has countless homes to rent with amazing views of the lake. Rent a boat from Canyon Lake Marina and spend a day relaxing on the water.
OINT OF VIEW
Huey P. wonders where he can wander, frolic and romp off leash in the Austin area. BY LUCY J. PHILLIPS
Dear Lucy, Hello from Huey P., a devilishly handsome yellowlab mix. I’m smart, fit, fast and adventurous. I’m humble too. You should see me swim. My mom grew up in Louisiana and named me after former Governor Huey P. Long, who was a rascal, like me. I break the law and charm people to get what I want. Just yesterday, I sprinted off leash through an area that requires them. I was so dashing, nobody said anything. Here’s my question: I visit Shoal Creek Trail, Red Bud Isle, Turkey Creek and Lady Bird Lake for fun. But I’m bored. I want to see new places. Can you suggest other trails near Austin where I can run and swim and maybe go off leash? I don’t mind riding in the car if it means my mom is driving me to fresh terrain. Please, Lucy, tell me where to go. I’ve included my photo so you can admire my physique. Best, Humble Huey P.
Dear Humble Huey P.,
The City of Austin lists two places in North Austin that I’ve personally never explored (but you can bet your paws I’ve just instructed my transcriber to add them to our weekend to-do list): Davis White Northeast District Park and the dog park off Great Northern Boulevard near Far West Boulevard. I spent much of my puppyhood at the West Austin Neighborhood Dog Park in Central Austin, especially when I had a tad too much energy on Saturday mornings. My human loved grabbing iced coffees at nearby Caffe Medici, reading in the park while I played and played and played. Similarly, Norwood Tract at Town Lake Metro Park is a bit bigger than its West Austin counterpart (and a lot busier too), but it’s a great place to meet if you have friends on the East side. As a rule, my mom doesn’t cross the river unless strictly necessary, but our research on South Austin may have given us two new reasons to make an exception. The Mary Moore Searight Park has a gorgeous 3.2-mile loop of trails in 300 acres of parkland, and the 170-acre Onion Creek District Park offers many shaded hiking trails—and the creek is perfect for a dip, especially in summer. Apart from city ordinances, it’s important to be honest about your limitations. Since you have so humbly confessed a penchant for pushing the limits, I will share a confession too. After five years, my human only recently started trusting that I will actually come back when called, but still, she knows I don’t make promises. I would thus encourage you and your human to have a heartfelt discussion: Just because an area permits off-leash play doesn’t mean you have to be off leash. If you struggle to control excitement or feel a very strong need to protect your human at all times, it’s much better to stay on leash until your human knows you’re ready. You have to walk before you can run, after all, and no amount of off-leash freedom makes up for unpleasant incidents between furry friends. That’s ultimately why these rules exist. That said, with these many area off-leash options, you should be able to have a doggone great time in the great outdoors! Love and slobbery kisses, Lucy P.S. I should also mention May is Austin Pet Month, when we celebrate the successful rescues and adoptions that make Austin a leader in compassion and animal welfare. Check out austinpetmonth.org for more information about all the incredible local partners that help champion the cause throughout the city.
102 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
If you have a dog-related question for Lucy, reach out and follow her on Instagram @asklucydog.
Huey P. photo by Nan Sanders. Lucy photo by Hannah J. Phillips.
Thank you so much for sharing this struggle of yours. You are not alone. As much as we do love our humans, we all get that itch to run wild and free when given a chance, especially if there is a squirrel, bird or just any suspicious rustling in the grass. Thankfully, there are plenty of options in Austin where you and your human can both enjoy exercise at your own pace. Besides the four you listed (five, really, since Lady Bird Lake includes both Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores), the City of Austin website lists eight other parks and trails in town where you can frolic at your leisure and meet new friends. The site is a great resource, but I’ll share a few of my favorites by region here.
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OINT OF VIEW
I AM AUSTIN WOMAN
Olive + M Founder Mariska Nicholson imparts what she’s learned as part of an elite group of entrepreneurs participating in the Target Takeoff Program and shares her ambitious plans for the future. face-oil category was growing, however, not at an accessible price point. I saw a need in the marketplace for a unique, effective formula at a price affordable to everyone. Fast-forward to after I launched the brand. During this stage, I watched as face oils became increasingly prominent in the market. However, I wasn’t discouraged because my olive-oilbased formula continued to fill a white space in the industry. The main ingredient in all our products is olive oil. While all the plant-based oils we use in our formulas are high in antioxidants, olive oil contains hydroxytyrosol. This phenolic compound is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants discovered to date. Olive + M being selected Even better, olive oil is also easily as one of 10 brands to parabsorbed into the skin because of ticipate in the Target Takeoff its similarities to skin’s natural oil, Program has definitely been allowing it to nourish the skin at a one highlight of 2019. Target’s deeper level. retail-accelerator program has Along with educating others allowed me to connect with the about oil-based skin care and its Target beauty team one on one benefits, it’s always our goal to and learn about the ins and outs protect and respect the bounty of mass retail. Target Takeoff that Mother Nature has provided was a tremendous opportunity for us. We’re always looking for and learning experience that ways to lessen our impact on the exposed me to other small, environment and make smart independent brands and choices regarding who, what and provided me with a resource where we source from. When to connect with other growing building my team, it’s important indie beauty brands that are to surround myself with likeplanning for the future. From minded individuals who possess an operational perspective, the strengths that I don’t. I’ve learned program helped me to underto prepare for the unexpected, stand the operational necessiroll with the punches and, most ties for scaling Olive + M and importantly, maintain the power When building my team, it’s important to setting the brand up for success of being flexible. in a large-scale retailer. Another What started as a product line surround myself with like-minded individuals takeaway was determining how to meet my needs developed into to ensure that our product and who possess strengths that I don’t. one that meets the needs of many. packaging speak to the conI see this not only as an opportusumer in the absence of a salesperson. nity, but a responsibility. And so, we want to infiltrate the household. OlLike any business, Olive + M has overcome its fair share of chalive + M’s future includes expanding into additional categories as a result lenges since we launched in 2015. Thankfully, I like a challenge and of listening to our customers’ needs and filling a white space that we’ve live by the saying, “Growth happens when you have the courage to identified in the market. I want Olive + M to be in every single bathroom walk through things, not around them.” Overcoming challenges is and on every countertop. And it will! essential for learning and growth. When I started my journey, the
104 | AUSTIN WOMAN | MAY 2019
Photo by Ashlyn Allison.
I come from a family of trailblazers and I’m a Texas girl. I moved to Austin when I was 4, and after high school, I left, first to New York City and then to Los Angeles. But even after 16 years, I found myself returning to Austin to put down roots and start my own family. I chose this city as my home base because it embodies growth and innovation while spurring creativity and positivity. Austin is a city that celebrates trailblazers, and that is what I am.
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“I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” —Oprah Winfrey