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F U T U R E 5 0 C R E AT I V E

FAIR FASHIONISTA

MARISSA HEYL Founder and Creative-in-Chief

Symbology Clothing

The anthropologist-turned-fashion maven aims to “make fair trade sexy.” Working with artisans crafting fabrics, primarily in India, she uses fashion to empower women with fair wages and sustained employment. Turned off by the exploitive, superficial tendencies in the fashion industry, she had an “aha moment” while watching a woman create a block-printed tablecloth in a village in India. Heyl envisioned that tablecloth as a beautiful dress. A self-described “hippie, nerdy type with a fashion obsession,” she aims to create designs that look good on everyone. A recent Symbology photoshoot celebrated trans, non-binary, and plus-size models with a central message that “diversity is truly beautiful,” she says. Representation in fashion is about “being seen but also changing minds about what’s considered fashionable.” Heyl also runs Etico, a sustainable women’s collective on Fort Worth’s Magnolia Avenue, where she recruits BIPOC-owned brands.

GAMER-IN-CHIEF

STARTUP STORYTELLER

TONY GOODMAN

JONATHAN MORRIS

CEO and President

Entrepreneur and Host

PeopleFun

“Self Employed,” Magnolia Network

Goodman, a gaming legend behind Age of Empires, anticipated the rise of casual mobile games. Launching Richardson-based PeopleFun in 2012, he’s enjoyed “massive growth” building creative games like Wordscape for millions of players on iOS and Android. In 2020, the company nearly doubled its staff over seven months, says Goodman, who wants to make Dallas a destination for the gaming industry. With a data-driven approach to testing ideas, the studio’s “blueprint” for bringing games to market “sets the bar higher for other developers.”

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A soon-to-launch docuseries pilot features Morris visiting entrepreneurs across the country sharing their small business stories. As owner of the Fort Worth Barber Shop and co-developer of a boutique hotel under construction, Morris has a few tales of his own. On his goal of representing Black and Brown entrepreneurs, he says, “When we see ourselves reflected, whether that be a small business down the street or whether that be on a TV screen on Magnolia Network… it’s a really powerful opportunity.”

D A L L A S I N N O VAT E S | 2 0 2 1 E D I T I O N

AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER

Writer-DirectorProducer

CHYNA ROBINSON THE FORT WORTH-BASED FILMMAKER’S DEBUT FEATURE,

“No Ordinary Love,” has managed to garner major success since its international festival run began late last year. Robinson’s micro-budget independent film—created, produced, and shot in North Texas— has racked up accolades including two Best Feature Awards and several Audience Choice Awards. “No Ordinary Love” also ranked No. 21 on the Domestic Box Office list for its official box office premiere in October, as it secures wider distribution. “No Ordinary Love,” a suspenseful tale of two women struggling with abusive relationships as their marriages take a toxic turn, shines a light on the issue. Abuse is an “ugly part of our culture that affects one in three women in their lifetime,” Robinson says. “[I] pulled it out of the shadows for all to see on the big screen.” Following the success of her feature, she wrote and produced a short film, “Lola/Lisa,” which is on the festival circuit. Now the multi-talented Robinson is looking to stretch her creative horizons by writing in different genres, from comedy to religion to sci-fi.