Fashion / Restaurants / Shopping

Houston’s Women Business Power: Female Food, Shopping and Home Entrepreneurs Create a New Scene

BY Annie Gallay // 11.03.17

Boutique businesses helmed by savvy women have been taking off in Space City. Female entrepreneurs brimming with inspiration and armed with acumen are certainly making their mark on the market.

Let’s look at the female masterminds behind Houston’s finest in cookies, clothing, and comforters.

The Sugar Fairy

If you want a crash course in Rebecca Masson, take The Couch Potato cookie. This extreme exercise in savory-meets-sweet combines Ruffles, corn flakes, pretzels, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Like its creator, it’s bold, inspired and a clear winner.

Masson, aka The Sugar Fairy, studied at Le Cordon Bleu, worked in New York, won accolades and cooking competitions, and ran a successful wholesale and direct-to-consumer bakery, always aspiring to run her own shop.

In May 2015, Masson’s long-time baking brainstorm became brick and mortar.

“Houston embraced me, especially the restaurant community, even though I’m not a hometown girl,” the Wyoming native says.

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Masson’s Kickstarter campaign raked in $53,000, and Fluff Bake Bar was born in Midtown. The bakery and bar serves her famous Fluffernutters alongside beer and wine.

Her advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs is short but sweet. “Don’t take any crap” from contractors, inspectors, or landowners. Hold your own, and put customers’ happiness above all else.

After all, “Life is too short for people to eat cookies they don’t like.”

Closet Sisters

Some sisters raid each other’s closets. Others carefully curate them — together. Trang and Chau Nguyen, the pair behind the e-boutique Myth & Symbol, have been tempting Houstonians with expertly crafted indie clothing, accessories, jewelry, and beauty products since 2012. While other siblings struggle to share, these two share vision and taste.

Alongside two business partners, the duo initially opened in Rice Village. This year, the sisters closed the store and became online-only, while remaining loyal to its Houston-based patrons and designers.

“We love our city and still want to showcase local talent,” featuring their fellow Houstonians’ “works of style and beauty” online, Tran Nguyen says.

The pair is passionate about their criteria. “We’re drawn to objects that have stories behind them,” Nguyen says. They aim to select only beautiful, ethically made, one-of-a-kind pieces that “assume a less ephemeral place in the closet.”

Home Girl

Houston native Bailey McCarthy wants to bring Southern comfort to your comforter. Inspired by “Southern taste and tradition,” McCarthy grew up browsing bespoke linen shops. After discovering a “lack in the market for classic textiles and printed linens,” the interior designer set out to find a solution, and set up Biscuit Home in 2012. 

Designer Bailey McCarthy and her family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t miss the Montrose location, with its iconic, paint-splattered Biscuit Paint Wall, and you won’t want to miss what’s inside. The heirloom quality bedding boasts an array of prints, ranging from soft florals, like “Dorothy,” to the eclectic, cacti-covered “Marfa.”

As part of her contemporary take on homemaking, McCarthy’s firmly committed to taking “an active role with both the sewing and printing” of their linens, all of which is done in the United States.

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