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Publisher Letter July / August 2021

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Dear Kendall County Woman reader,

After a year like 2020, we felt like we wanted to tell a great story of perseverance, dedication, and frankly, a story that would just make you smile. I think that we delivered that with our cover story on Cara and Jeannette, owners of STUDIO Comfort. Housed in a beautiful building, the gallery and its dynamic partnership have not only survived perhaps the worst year for retail (and art) in decades, but have come out of it growing and even more dedicated to their mission of providing fine art to the masses.

While Comfort might not be the first place you think about for “fine art”, the studio is delivering exactly that. Along with their instructional classes, they are literally transforming the landscape for artists in our region. Additionally, their relationship together as dear friends and overcoming tragedies makes their story all the more fun, more inspiring, and I trust will bring that smile to your face.

In addition, this issue has a slew of other content that we really hope inspires you to learn more about your neighbors, their businesses, and to learn even more about our area.

As summer is in full swing, and we begin to already start looking toward the fall, we encourage you to take a look around at people you might know that would make an interesting story. Local business owner with a great story? Local woman doing some amazing things? A non-profit that is making a difference? We want to hear about it! Don’t be shy! Shoot any of us an email to the right of this letter and let’s have a conversation. This magazine exists only because of our dear clients and the many people like you that appreciate our local community enough to support it!

Welcome to the July / August 2021 issue. Let me know if we brought you a smile!

Sincerely,

Peggy Schooley

Living Through Art: Cara Hines & Jeannette MacDougal

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Cara Hines and Jeannette MacDougal, the owners of Studio Comfort, have lived their lives with ART as a central focus. Both from varied backgrounds, that shared love for art brought them together through a happenstance encounter, and the studio was born.

Since then, Comfort Studio has represented some of the most well known world class artists, grown their community of fellow artists, and taught countless new studios to grow a mutual love for art.

From their studio on a drizzly morning, they tell the story of their lives, of Comfort Studio, and the exciting things they have planned for the future.


by Ben Schooley

Photography by Paula VM Photography

Cara begins, “I am originally from Childress, Texas. I was artistic growing up. Drawing, painting, creativity – running around outside and building things out of sticks and mud. I was a very good student and went into architecture school at Texas Tech University and graduated with an interior design degree in ’98. I worked through school at an interior design studio so I graduated with clients that I could keep so I didn’t take studio art as a career option – but design principles and project management was a big thing for me. I was able to move to Houston and worked for an international design firm called Gensler.”


Jeanette’s story begins similarly. “I grew up in Michigan and graduated from school in ’71. I was definitely artistic early on as a kid. When I was 3 years old, there’s a photograph with me, cousins and siblings. Everyone is smiling and I have a dixie cup with a paintbrush leaning over a painting oblivious to the camera. I knew forever I was to be an artist. Mom wanted me to be a marine or a nurse, but that changed when I got a scholarship for the summer program to a Fine Arts Academy where people from all over the world go for an intensive 8 week program. My roommate was from Austin and she was playing live piano for the Austin ballet at aged 17. They were all so successful and I was just a farm kid, but it prompted me to come to Austin in the ‘70s. The women were wearing sandals and beautiful dresses in April and I was just leaving a snowstorm from Michigan. I transferred to Trinity University and got a BA in Fine Arts, then moved on to Parsons School of Design in NY where I received a degree in Fine Art and Art Education, with a MA in Art Education. My thesis was the Dual Role as Artists and Instructor. In Art History, I had learned about artists that had taught and I also knew that I wouldn’t just instantly make a career of selling art, so I began teaching in San Antonio at the San Antonio Art Institute, which is affiliated with the McNay. In 1980, I started teaching at the Southwest Craft Center (now the Southwest School of Art) and have been there for 40 years now. They now have a degreed program and I love being part of it.”


For Cara, who ultimately found herself mired in a corporate job, a move to Colorado to follow her brother and find employment with a carpet manufacturer allowed her to stretch her design skills somewhat, and she felt peaceful in the nature of Colorado.

However, in 2010, her brother passed away tragically. Obviously a life changing moment, Cara was left reeling. She continues, “I had shifted from working with a showroom for high end furniture so I was traveling a lot in Italy and New York, and after he passed, I knew that living my life selling $30k sofas to the wealthy wasn’t going to fulfill me. His death was a major eye opener for me. I’ve been an overachiever, perfectionist my whole life. I worked through college, and I decided I wanted to take a break. I needed to take a break. So I bought a ’66 travel trailer and hit the road for a year. In that year I started making art, and that was 2012. Art and nature go hand-in-hand for me, and it was such a special time for me to heal and grow and find my love of art again.”

As her travels slowed, Cara moved to Texas to be closer to aging parents. On a visit through Comfort in 2016 with her new husband, Jeanette met Cara. Cara explains, “I lived in Abilene for 6 years before coming here. My husband and I came here (Comfort) for a wedding in ’16 and we came in the building we’re in now, looking around and just fell in love with the town. I came in here and it was a shop before and Jeannette worked for the business before us and we hit it off. There was art here and it was mainly gifty stuff and she was hired to curate art and do some teaching. I met her and we had an instant connection, and then we stayed in touch, she came up to visit me in Abilene and I came down in November of ’18 to do a workshop in San Antonio and I stayed with her in Boerne. The weekend I came down for that, the previous owner was closing down and she had told Jeannette to take the space. I’m listening to her talk about this and I could see an opportunity to have an art event space with a teaching space in the back and be on the main drag in a small town – it was pretty much my dream.”


Jeanette jumps in, “– I was reluctant to step into this on my own because contrary to her practical choices in life, I had gone in different directions. I had never owned a business. I was an artist and a free spirit, but the more we discussed it, her vision became more and more clear.” Jeanette had experience with curating not only art, but in teaching. With the duo’s individual experiences, their shared passion for art, and their similar outlook on life in general, Studio Comfort opened its doors on January 16, 2019.

“I’m going to get emotional. It was magical. And intentional. I’m living a pre-destined celebration of life. And Cara agrees with me. The magnetic field of goodness was so powerful that I could just say “Wow,” Jeanette explains. Cara agrees. “Perfection. Synchronicity. There’s a visual I get about it – you go over a body of water and you don’t have to look down to see where the next rock is – you are just safe and you can run and your steps are always solid and safe. There’s never been a question about whether we should do this or not. Every step for us has been safe and solid, and that’s an amazing feeling.”


The community of Comfort also picked up on their efforts, and were hugely supportive. Jeanette continues, “The community was waiting for us as we have been so celebrated and supported and told how much we add to this community and district. We were needed and appreciated so much. The building and its presence on the street is an attraction, but we have high quality art in a small town and my passion is to educate and we make the knowledge about art and about making art accessible to anyone. One of the things when I teach is that we talk about all the myths about art and art creation and I just love doing that. I can teach anyone to draw and paint and the community has just celebrated us since day one.”

As their first year completed, they enjoyed a profitable year, surprising them both. They had invited guest artists for residencies at the studio, and they continued to leverage their relationships to grow the reach and strength of the studio.

COVID happened, and it obviously forced the duo to make some changes…fast. Cara continues, “We were still doing good through 2020, surprisingly. We had a show that was supposed to open in April of ‘20, and so we couldn’t do it. But we had done so much work toward it. I was sequestered with my grandmother in Abilene so I was up there for 2 months so we had to scramble during the 2 month shutdown – do we go ahead and do the exhibit? How do we do it? Online really wasn’t an option – so I had to revamp the website, get better images for online, and we moved it strictly through the site. We sold, not a lot, but enough and the artists were just blown away by the support during that time.” Jeanette adds, “That set us up to have really great quality relationships with our artists. The artists appreciated how we run this as a business, and some world renowned artists applaud us for our organization and support we provide. We put so much time into making sure our processes are solid and dialed in and organized. We want to spend more time focusing on their art, and not on disorganized situations.”


In our new world of remote learning, Jeannette has also had to adjust. “During COVID, I started teaching zoom and that was a huge thing for us. I resisted it as I didn’t figure I could do it as I always walk the room and it’s a tactile response and I didn’t see how I could do it. At first it was cumbersome, and something I’ve never done with over 40 years of teaching – I’ve never worked with a group of students for an entire year. Ongoing. I’ve been able to measure their progress for a year and they’ve blown my mind. We’ve been able to increase our production ability with multiple cameras for these classes and it’s been helpful for them and it’s just been so fun. We’re doing some classes in studio now, zoom, and simultaneously. That has been a success and can continue when I travel.”

As for the immediate future, the duo is poised to put the last year’s unique hurdles to COVID behind them and get back to the focus of art. Cara explains, “Teaching is going gangbusters. Exhibits are going to start ramping up again. We’re starting to invite new artists and getting larger pieces now. The teaching is exciting as we can now move beyond Comfort, moreso than the the gallery portion. We’re working to improve our ability to sell online, but what Jeannette is doing is amazing. One of our students is in her watercolor classes and is a marketing/adverting professional and she’s going to promote us internationally.”

Jeannette is, of course, on a similar wavelength. “I’m a little older than Cara and I can clearly see my near future options and that must include my ability to feed my gypsy soul and continue my quality of life which is important to me. Teaching groups, maintaining my motivation and passion for teaching, and we’ve outgrown our teaching space! The upcoming expansion is important for us and I’m so excited to see that happen.”
As the two clearly pour a lot of their energies into the studio, they both also recognize that as artists, they must maintain a balance. Mutually, they try to hold one another accountable for that balance in lives that rarely leave a lot of time for other activities. Cara explains, “For me a lot of my free time has been dealing with family stuff. I’m the executor of my grandmother’s estate after taking care of her for 3 years. All of my free time has been about self-care and making art because I’ve been taking care of everyone else. I haven’t had a lot of time or energy for for community involvement, so I’m focused on finding time in nature – and doing work on myself. This is paramount to both of us. And art is a huge part of that. Art is a salve for me. Healing. What brought me back to art was my brother’s death and working through those emotions that I couldn’t express through words but could only do it with color and line and texture. Creation of art healed me.”


Jeannette couldn’t agree more. “At an early age, the experience of loss wakes you up. I’ve lost 5 siblings. My art was redemptive, a saving grace, and in these historic events in my life, art is very spiritual and it took me to a place of trust and comfort that the retreat to that safety is where I go when I must. I don’t have to express anything, I just have to make art. It’s not qualitative – the moment your tool touches the surface and you’re off and running so it is nothing I question…it’s been in practice for so long that the self-care I focus on…I must also schedule that art making time. I just love how we both say “You should probably get into the studio and talk to me when you come out” because for us, it’s intuitive. And absolutely required. And it’s so fun that we both support one another in that pursuit because we both know that without it, we’re not the same people.”

As 2021 is in full swing, the duo is as well. Reaching a new audience, expanding their art offerings, and uncovering the next hidden gems, they have big goals. Jeannette concludes, “Make Art – Find Joy – that’s on our business cards. When I can work with people and help them find a creative outlet, it directly builds self- confidence, integrity, and empowers them. Regardless of age. There’s something in me that I can integrate, and that’s the wanderer, the nomad, and the gypsy….I feel comfortable in solitude and I love to take advantage of that each summer.

Cara is very similar. One of the things we shook on was that we’re going to hold each other accountable so that we retain our time to make art. We spend all of our days around art, and honestly, there’s nothing else that either of us was made to do. And we’re both so lucky to get to do this together.”

“Our gallery assistant, Coley Wohlgemut, worked for the previous tenant, Intermezzo. When we had the opportunity to assume the lease and create our business at 716 High Street,” laughed MacDougall, “it’s as if Coley came with the building.  We could not be where we are without her.”
“Absolutely!” Hines chimed in. “She’s integral to what we do, looking after many of the
critical details that help make us one of the most organized
art galleries around.”

WINE: The Culture of Low Intervention Wines

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by Ben Schooley

Kristin and Joey Boatright, partial owners of Dog and Pony, have a serious passion for wine. While it might not be the first place one thinks of for “really good wines”, but the Boatrights are working to change that perception. Featuring “clean” wines (without additives), the wines are high quality, affordable, and are a great introduction into the world of wine.


 

Joey begins, “It’s not really a kind of wine, it’s a culture of wine. Grapes and yeast and that’s it. So for the wine world, it’s not categorized specifically. We get excited with natural and low intervention wines, which is getting the flavors of the grape and the region and what the wine maker wants the expression to be.” Kristin adds, “There wasn’t a big wine offering to begin with at Dog and Pony and we’ve gotten into the low intervention wines – more natural, less human intervention, less additives, much healthier than the conventional wines.”


As the duo began to look at how to expand their offerings, they first had to find the wine they sought. Joey continues, “It’s been finding the right distributors to start. Some of the natural wine makers, they don’t want to work with the huge distributors, they want to work with people with similar passions. We knew we aren’t the average wine place, but we found distributors that helped us by knowing what we wanted and helped us source it. It’s allocated specifically, and we’ve been so excited with how it’s gone. What’s available was another question we had to ask? Some places only get a certain allotment of wines, and so we’ve had to find out what is available to us. Some white blends, some roses, some petnat, which is a natural champagne…those were our first additions. Kristin enjoys that the most. Some of them become sought after and people don’t realize that.”

As for the response? Kristin explains, “The response has involved a lot of education. We’re probably giving away more than we’re selling as we just educate people. The response has been great overall…this whole concept is sort of like craft beer was 25 years ago. People are reluctant to try new things, and we’ve enjoyed getting people out of their comfort zone. We’re trying to get people to try new things and learn about the full spectrum of wines. Wine makers that enjoy being sustainable and we appreciate that. The response has been overall positive, despite some unsure people. Even in Texas, they have a petnat now. There’s a winery out of Fredericksburg that is doing all natural wines, and sometimes we here in Texas can be a little behind on things. But right now, it’s a major thing and it’s exciting with the low intervention wines.”

Joey explains how they’re working to get the message out to customers. “The menu has been adjusted to include all of these newer wines, and events that introduce people to these new options. We have a yoga event that we’re doing with a special wine to follow. We have a paint and sip event that ends with a great wine tasting of our new wines. Just sharing things with people when they come in has been huge.”

Kristen adds to the reluctance of some people: “I’d like to see more people branching out and trying these wines. There’s a mentality that the low and natural wines must somehow not be “good” compared to the wines that they’re used to. I really want to teach people that there are things out there that are good, healthy, and honestly, even better for them. We know that people don’t think about Dog and Pony for wine, but we’d like to change that mentality so that they’ll come enjoy a bottle on the patio during a warm day while their kids are playing.”

The couple’s passion for the clean wines is evident in not only their offerings, but simply how they speak to it. Joey finishes, “We have one particular wine called 0/0 which means they literally added nothing to it – grapes and yeast. That’s it. Even the yeast is grown in labs for some of these wines so they can regulate the flavor. With natural wines, the flavor is going to be specific to where the yeast comes from. It’s like beer or whiskey or anything else where people focus on how it’s made. Are the ingredients local? Was it made local and clean? Or did someone just ship in the ingredients and then put TEXAS on the label for marketing. It’s cool to enjoy a wine that was made locally, with local yeast and ingredients, is clean, and you can taste that region throughout the flavor. It makes the entire experience that much more enjoyable. Come give us a shot – you might be surprised!”

COMMUNITY : Jessica Davila-Burnett

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There are seven BISD Trustee places (seats) that make up the school board. Each seat is an At-Large position, so it doesn’t represent a particular zone or targeted district. Collectively, the board serves the entire Boerne Independent School District. Each board member serves a three-year term and may seek re-election.


 

What’s your background and district
representation?
I’ve been involved in the Boerne community since I moved here from Corpus Christi in 2014. I started my volunteerism in BISD as a room parent for my youngest daughter (Brooklyn) at Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary and Van Raub Elementary School, including volunteering with the PTOs. I also served as the Choir Booster Club president at Champion High School for two years and served as a theatre parent volunteer with my oldest daughter (Skyler).

In 2018, I served as co-chair of the food allergies committee on the Student Health Advisory Council, also known as SHAC. Darcy Moore (co-chair), Brooke Ball (committee member), and BISD Nurse Carole Gish helped revise the District’s food allergy response policies and procedures. Darcy and I attended the BISD school board meeting, where we witnessed our committee’s hard work approved by the BISD Trustees. I also served as a director on the Boerne Education Foundation Board. I recently resigned from BEF before being sworn-in as a new Trustee on May 17th.

What motivated you to get involved with the School Board?
As an active BISD parent volunteer in the District, I am passionate about serving others and making a difference in the lives of our students. I love the Boerne community and share many of the same values and principles that make Boerne a beautiful city to contribute to my community service, and proudly, a place to call home.

Being involved with BISD as a parent volunteer on the campuses and serving on district committees prepared me for my next step in leadership. I am passionate about supporting our students, teachers, staff, and families. As a family, we prayed and discussed my opportunity to run for office, and if elected, serve as a Trustee. I am blessed to have my family’s unwavering support. I want to thank my friends, neighbors, and those who participated in the election for sharing their voices, concerns, and encouragement with me. And more importantly, everyone who voted in the May general election, thank you for getting involved and caring so deeply about our students and our community.

What issues do you feel were the most pressing this past school year?
For the coming year, I am concerned that, with Covid impacting our education so dramatically during the 2020-21 school year, our students need to recover from gaps in student learning. that they lost. Addressing these educational gaps will be a big step in the right direction for the 2021-2022 school year.

I am grateful that our schools opened successfully and that our students could participate in academic activities, sports, fine arts, clubs, and other events. One thing I missed was volunteering on the campuses. With the 2020-2021 COVID safety protocols, the District needed to scale back on the outside visitors on campus. Having our PTO’s and other booster club volunteers back on campus this coming school year will help bring normalcy back to our schools.

What do you feel you bring to the School Board?
I believe I will make a difference on the board through my background as a leader with a proven track record. I plan to demonstrate my transparent communication and conservative approach to solving problems and issues while standing up for what’s right. Serving the community is my lifeblood, and through my parents’ examples, I learned the importance of servant leadership. I’ve been involved in the District as a dedicated and committed BISD mom and parent volunteer for several years, serving on various committees and boards supporting students, teachers and parents. Whenever I see a need, I am moved to enhance my community, whether enacting Texas State legislation for students’ safety or raising funds for programs and campuses. I bring people together and take action to get things done for the good of the community. I am accessible and ready to serve.

What issues would you like to see the School Board address or change?
In 2011, I brought forth an issue to TX State Rep. Todd Hunter and championed a Texas Public Schools’ records bill for children with food allergies. My experience includes testifying at the Texas Capitol and garnering collaborative support from various organizations and associations, ultimately safeguarding children with food allergies in Texas public schools. My strengths are identifying problems and working to create solutions, and more importantly, taking the appropriate actions while encouraging input from others, intentionally and respectfully. Using my skill set as a communications and public affairs professional, I’ll provide clear and transparent communications.

Just recently, Dr. Price established a BISD communications committee and we met to discuss streamlining communications and develop a communications strategy. Our committee members include BISD staff, parents (representing various schools within BISD), Dr. Price, and myself.

When I’m asked about the ‘biggest issue facing Boerne ISD,’ the first one that exists is our area’s growth. The school board has done a great job of being proactive to manage the increasing student enrollment, however, with more and more development and subdivisions being created, the board’s attention to this issue is paramount.
As we look forward to the 2021-2022 year, what challenges do you see ahead?
I look forward to working with BISD leadership and the Board of Trustees to continue our work towards a master plan and strategic growth.

What opportunities do you see?
As I focus on opportunities for the coming years, I feel strongly that community involvement and engagement is an area where we can improve. On the campaign trail, I met many residents who felt they couldn’t or shouldn’t get involved or participate with BISD simply because they longer had children attending a BISD school. That’s a myth and a perception that is not reality. Some recently had their last child graduate, and others were empty nesters. I met several retired residents whose children never attended BISD school. As taxpayers, our residents are stakeholders. They are BISD customers, with or without a child in the District. I believe our school district and city leadership set the tone for our community, and every citizen counts.

Anything to say to the community in general about their support and involvement?
Every resident that pays taxes deserves an opportunity to be heard and informed of the great things happening within the District and knowing about any challenges that we may face. We need our community’s support, their input, and their engagement. If you are retired and want some great entertainment, come to a school play or a game! Our schools and students need your support!

Young Entrepreneur: Abigayle Fisher

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Young entrepreneur, Abigayle Fisher, age 15, has been in business making charcuterie boards.We asked her a few questions about her business.


What’s your name & business?
My name is Abigayle Fisher, I am the owner of Bread of Life Boards.

What grade are you and what school do you attend?
I am now a sophomore at Boerne Highschool.

What do you do?
Bread of Life boards makes custom charcuterie boards, which in short are fancy meat and cheese trays. The boards can feed as little as 2 people or a large party they are completely customizable based on your needs.

What got you into this?
I got into making charcuterie boards from Pinterest. The boards looked really interesting and fun. When I would go out to eat with my family, I always loved to order the Antipasto, which basically is an appetizer of olives, cheeses, and meats, what’s not to love about that!! So I decided to make one for a family event, it was a hit. I just fell in love with making them and seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they got to enjoy the boards.

How has it gone so far?
My business has been going well, I enjoy going shopping for all the supplies and I enjoy putting the boards together. I am incredibly grateful for the circle of friends my family has. I have enjoyed talking to other people about their passions, chesses, produce, meats, business practices and ways to take my boards to the next level. I have partnered with another woman owned business in Rockport (The Dish House) to help customize my boards with a personalized touch instead of using actual boards Ill be making some using her dishes that she sells.

What have you found to be the most challenging?
The most challenging part of my business is reaching people who are wanting to buy. I do not think people truly understand what an art the boards are and the cost that goes into making one. Trust me I have had to learn that the hard way. I have had a vision in my head and started shopping and ended up with $200 dollars in my cart. So just getting sales is the most challenging.


What has been the most rewarding part of this business?
The most rewarding part of my business is seeing the looks on people’s faces when they receive the board. I get to create beautiful works of food art that people can share with those they love. The feedback that people give me and the photos they share. It just makes this all worth it.

What are your college and onward plans?
In my free time I am on our Kendall County’s 4-h Shooting team and I am hoping to get a shooting scholarship for college, as for career plans, I either would like to study nursing or criminal law.

What’s next for your business?
The next steps for my business, would be partnering with more local business and just growing to have more orders. I would love to eventually host workshops where people can come to try their hands at making a charcuterie board. I am all about trying to keep things local to our community or Texas so I would love to try and find some locally sourced meats, cheeses, and other fun ingredients. Knowing you can get fresh ingredients and pair them with some yummy jams, crackers, fresh veggies, etc. will open people’s eyes to what is around their local communities.

Publisher Letter – May / June 2021

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Dear Kendall County Woman reader,

In my career, which spanned several decades, one of the things that I learned early on was very difficult was the management of my family vs. career. No working woman has ever said otherwise, I’m sure.

We have these pressures surrounding our careers, to perform, to achieve, to prosper…and at the same time we have this biological pull to our children and families. And especially when you have young children. Balancing boardroom meetings with ballet recitals is a miserable situation, and I dare say that many, many of you readers have found yourself in the exact same situations.

Hollie Sanchez, our cover story this month, is one such woman.

Pulled between her passion for architecture and her desire to grow and proper her career, she was caught in a situation of having to balance those wishes and desires and figuring out the best path for her young family. You’ll be pleased to read her story and know that…it all turns out just like you’d have hoped.

From there, we’ve got mountains of other information relevant to you! From fashion images from our friends at Fiancee Bridal to some interesting information on Pre-Nup arrangements, to Parks and Rec, to Music Calendars. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in this issue.

That said, we’re always on the lookout for more information. Know a great story? Work with an interesting group of people? Do you know a person with a great compelling adventure story? If so, we want to hear about them! Please don’t be shy – drop me a note via the email to the right and let’s start a conversation. Virtually everything in this magazine originates from YOU, the reader, and I love that about the magazine. So look around, think about your friends and their stories, and then let’s chat!

Welcome to summer! This time last summer was not exactly the best, so I hope that you absolutely cherish this wonderful season of summer and make the best of it!

Sincerely,

Peggy Schooley, Publisher
Kendall County Woman Magazine

The Balayage Makeover

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How we got this look
Let’s start with looking at her before color.

You can see that her ends are already fairly blonde, so to create this look we needed to add some depth. We start with applying some lowlights (weaving in darker pieces to break up and add dimension), then through the top sections we add blonde Babylights (very fine/soft weave) to bring up and blend with some of the existing blonde. Then we wait and let that process, wash and on to the next step.

Now, back at the chair, while the hair is still damp we applied first to the root area whats called a “Root Melt”. This blends out a color close to her natural (she was about a level 5), then melting that into a blonde toner towards her ends to tone out any yellow or unwanted warm tones in the hair to achieve the perfect neutral toned blonde as pictured. Let that process, Shampoo, Condition using Olaplex Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner and finishing with the Olaplex Bond Perfecter Mask to lock in her color, seal her hair cuticle and replenish the hair back to a normal PH level and leaving it in an overall healthy state.

This look is what some of us know as a “Balayaged” look. What is awesome about Balayage is that it creates a softer grow out of our natural hair, meaning you can go longer before needing your color touched up again. So if you have a busy schedule or don’t like to get you hair done as often, this could be the right technique for you. There are lots different techniques these days to go about creating a Balayaged look, which makes it all such fun for us Hairstylist because we can really get creative and customize the perfect color suited for our clients. This color was created using exclusively Kenra Professional hair color products.

 

 

Brooke Crist has been a licensed Cosmetologist for 6 years, 3 years of that being located in Boerne, TX at
Beyond Bliss Salon and Spa. She primarily works with women’s hair and specializes in Haircuts and Haircolor including Balayage. If you are looking for a new style you can contact Brooke at 830-331-2824.

Meet Lissette Jimenez

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Lissette is known for her dedication, loyalty and hands-on leadership that reaches a vast audience from a local to state level. Her passion for innovation and commitment to developing unique experiences has provided opportunities for the community to make life more enjoyable. She has been with the City of Boerne Parks and Recreation since 2014.

1. Name
Lissette Jimenez

2. Position
Recreation Superintendent

3. Years with the City?
Seven years

4. It’s been a wild 12 months for you! How would you summarize the past year?
Acceptance and adapting were key. So many factors were out of my control, that all I could do was accept the situation and learn how to adapt while still providing for our community. We learned a lot about how resilient and creative our department is, but hey, so is Boerne in general. You also have to remember that Parks and Recreation is a different breed; it is our nature to be strong, innovators, spontaneous and giving.

5. Take us through last summer – what kind of changes did you have to make?
Our main concern was keeping everyone safe which meant a lot of changes on how we operate on a daily level changed. Secondly, adapting our programs to best serve our community with the resources we had available and finding inventive ways to provide virtual programs.

Overall, we started to see indications of hope at the beginning of June. That’s when selected programs, such as community education and adult recreational athletics, started to slowly return. Programs may have been very restricted, but it was optimism in our eyes.

6. What were the “darkest” days for you and your team? How did you work through them?
My response is the same from an individual viewpoint and from the team’s viewpoint. We work best when we are together working off each other’s energy, brainstorming out load and solving problems as a group. That kind of collaboration was missed.
Several phone conferences got us through that time. Hearing each other’s voices goes a long way.

7. How did you plan Summer 2021 when you didn’t know what the mandates would look like?
We knew anything was possible. After experiencing 2020 we understood that being creative was vital and that we could offer some version of our programs if we stayed open-minded to changes.

8. How has your team worked together to stay cohesive and meet your objectives?
Lots of brainstorming sessions and finding ways to work outside the box. The 2020 EGGstreme Drive-By and Boerne Boo Drive-Thru were great example of that. Our objective never changed, we wanted to provide for our community. The parks and trails were utilized daily, and we did the best to offer virtual challenges and ideas to our community when in person was not an option.

9. As the mandates end and normalcy returns, what does that mean for your team?
It means we are planning and planning! I know I keep repeating myself, but we want to work, we want to provide a safe and welcoming place for families to make memories. We want to provide a clean and beautiful field where adults can let the stress of the day go while playing recreational sports, we want kids to learn how to swim, dance, golf or become gymnasts, and we want to provide fun community events where families can let loose.

10. What can families expect for Summer 2021 and onward from Parks/Rec?
Excitement! We are gearing up for the 2021 Summer Movie in the Parks, summer concerts, swim lessons, and camps.

Hollie Sanchez of Studio S Architekts

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Balancing
Life by
Deisign

Hollie Sanchez, licensed architect and owner of Studio S Architekts, wears several hats. Passionate about her industry and her work, Sanchez is also devoted to her role as wife, and guards her time with her children. This balancing act has not always been easy, yet, as you’ll read, Sanchez’s decisions have always been centered around her family, while quickly growing her architecture firm.

A Boerne native, Sanchez grew up just north of town near Sisterdale. Her father recently retired from the Army, and her mother working locally on Main Street, Sanchez and her twin sister were heavily involved with their education early on. “I was very devoted to my schooling and was #11 in our class and was into athletics also. My sister and I did a lot of science fair things that actually took us all over the country. It started this engineering mindset in me and I also found that I loved art as well.“

After graduation in 1998, Sanchez headed straight for Texas A&M. “I started at A&M as a Computer Science major. The last week of the semester I had to do an errand at the Architecture building – it changed my major that minute – I saw this combination of math and art and I was in love. Math is big in architecture, and my love for art was meshed perfectly with architecture. I changed my major quickly and am so happy I did so. You rarely find a creative person and a math person – they’re two different sides of the brain and that’s rare to find, but I had found my calling.”

After finishing her undergrad studies in 2003, and while working toward her Master’s in Architecture, Sanchez was teaching undergrad classes when her life changed yet again. She explains, “This guy Gary was a senior in the freshman level class. That makes me laugh now, but he was so cocky and such a frat boy, but looking back, he flirted with me the whole time. We had just finished a semester and he texted me. I happened to be working and with some liquid courage, he asked me out. He flipped the script and went from this cocky guy to this very genuine and nice person. Long story short – we eloped in 2006 and are married today.”

The new Sanchez family quickly moved to Dallas after graduating, where Hollie joined RTKL, a large architectural firm. She then moved to the BECK Group, where she worked alongside Gary, who was working as a contractor and project manager. “We absolutely loved that time. We were young, doing well, enjoying the nightlife and excitement of Dallas, and we were just working like crazy. Then our family grew, and things had to change.”

Noa was born in 2008, soon followed by Logan in 2011. “Balancing kids and work is not easy. Noa was in daycare so much and I didn’t want him to come home from school and have me at work, but money was tight. We realized that if we wanted to go out socially, we’d be leaving them again. So we didn’t. I hated my frustrations at trying to be everywhere at the same time.”

Seeking more support, Hollie and the kids came back to Boerne. Gary remained in Dallas for a period as he was quite successful and hadn’t lined up work locally quite yet. She continues, “I was able to work with Israel Pena at Authentic Custom Homes when we moved back. I brought the babies while Gary looked for work. It was beyond stressful and was a hard year. My health suffered from the stress, and I was hustling to find work. Marsh and Associates eventually took me on, and the work was welcomed. I worked hourly to free me up to be with the kids more. Architecture is a male dominated industry and I’d run into things like that occasionally. I was able to work hourly and that helped me so much but it was so hard to be a mom AND an architect. Going to doctor’s appointments was tough, the Christmas pageant, etc – it was very hard on me as I continued to try to be everything for everyone.”

With Gary finally moving home, Sanchez knew that she wanted more kids, but also knew how hard the balancing act would be. She explains, “I always knew that if I wanted more kids, I’d start my own company. Gary had always been very receptive to me about starting my own company. He had always told me I didn’t have to work and could focus on being Mom if I wanted, and I don’t think he really expected me to do it. But, sure enough, in 2013 I started Studio S Architekts.”

With 2 young children, a new business, and her twin sister living down the street so that they could help one another, the Sanchez family welcomed Bowen in 2014, and Charlotte in 2016. Around this time, Gary launched his own business which Hollie explains “He’s unbelievably successful with it and I am beyond proud of him.”

Operating her own business out of the home with what Hollie describes “simply a leap of faith”, work began to trickle in. “A lot of people found me from church. I’ve grown up here so I knew so many people that would help refer people to me and I leveraged those relationship the best I could. There was no big “break” – I’d occasionally hook into a good contractor that would send me work, but it’s been straight up hustle.

Early on, Sanchez took the work thankfully. “Those first couple of years I was doing everything from small kitchen remodels to smaller houses. I had maybe 10 projects a year. It was a grind.” However, as she began to establish her name, more work followed. She continues, “Now I’ve got a staff of 4 women that work with me. We are up to about 35-40 projects a year from the smaller projects to $1m+ residential homes to boutique commercial work. We earn the name of quality from our clients and I’m forever proud of that.”

However, while Sanchez worked tirelessly to build her reputation, she was reminded that setbacks can happen at any time. “We had a great commercial job in downtown San Antonio. It was a great opportunity for us to grow, and we were proud to have the job. The developer, however, undermined us again and again as just a bunch of housewives and that we were in over our head. He just was so negative about us to the owner, and refused to trust us. It was a major gut check for me because we didn’t do anything wrong, but they pulled the whole job from us. From there, I was not only angry, I was determined like never before. I decided that I wanted to show people what we have done and the quality of work that we produced and I knew that I had to step up my marketing and the picture that I paint for people in the public. I hated being undermined like that and knew that I wouldn’t let it happen again.”

Hollie ferociously attacked her entire corporate image, investing substantially into her website, digital presence, advertising and virtually all other forms of branding. The results have spoken for themselves. She explains “It’s been tremendous – we have several clients now that have found us that might not otherwise have done so. I’d say that we’ve doubled our interest and people are FINDING us rather than having to FIND us, if that makes sense. The size of our projects have gotten bigger as well and that’s a good indicator for what we’re doing. When COVID happened, we all worked from home. I even got more work done with Zoom calls…and we started the season with a lot of smaller things but finished 2020 with lots and lots of houses. Commercial work has picked up a lot now. We have 10 houses under construction right now, and 5 we’ve designed and an untold number we’re working on currently. We probably get 5 new ones a week”, Sanchez says with a proud smile.

While the quality of her work is vital to her, Hollie also explains that her passion for her designs is key. She continues, “With residential architecture, I’m not designing to just quickly get a house built. We get into the client’s patterns of life, their activities, and who they are. If they want an office, we will ask them ‘ is it because you have people visit you, or do you want one off the kitchen where you’re cooking and dealing with your kids?’ I love finding out about people and then creating this very practical piece that functions with their lives – it has to function, which is the mathematics side, but has to flow and be beautiful, which is my art side.”

As her business continues to grow, Sanchez remains grateful for her own family as well as her extended family, and for Kendall County’s support. “The majority of my first 3 years of clients were people who had known me since I was a little girl. That small town feel is crucial. When we got back to Boerne we joined First Baptist Church and that became our social circle. The word of mouth that spread from that has been crucial for us. We moved away for so long and you don’t realize how nice this area is, how unique it is, how much of a storybook place it is. I’m so lucky that my kids get to grow up in that, and enjoy the community, and are making those same relationships. The kids they’re playing with today are the ones they’ll be doing business with in the future. Same as their Mother did.”

Hollie and Gary continue to push their business endeavors to new heights, while remaining focused on their family and keeping the children prioritized amid a growing to-do list and demanding clients. However, they seem to be doing it right. She finishes, “I’m so blessed to be doing what I’m doing. My family is here, the support is here, we’re all so close, and it’s wonderful. My sister is a successful interior decorator and I’ve even been able to work with her on projects. It’s been wonderful to have everyone close by, and I love seeing my kids grow up with their cousins as she has 3 kids the same ages as mine. I literally wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Young Entrepreneur: Bristol Blankenship of Blankenship Soap Co.

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What’s your favorite part?
My favorite part is making the soap and being creative. I also love bartering at shows and collecting other people’s works of art.
What’s the worst part?
The worst part is waking up early and going to a booth but the reward is great at the end of the day!
How did you get started?
My mom helped get me started by ordering everything and showing me how to make business relationships.
Future goals?
My goal is to buy a synthesizer.
What do you want to do when you grow up?
When I am older I want to be a vet so I know how to take care of my animals, I plan to have a farm and grow my own food.