A core part of our mission at VoyageHouston is to change the way people spend their money. We think our communities would be stronger if we spent more of our money with local makers, mom-and-pops, freelancers, and local organizations.
These are often the people, brands, and organizations that create and reflect our culture. They also often do a better job of representing our diversity and values. Supporting the upstarts and the new kids on the block are how societies move forward, how we better serve the underserved and how we address problems that are otherwise left unaddressed. It’s also usually the best way to get high-quality, unique products and services, because once you get past the marketing bluster the products and services offered by large corporations are often one-size-fits-all solutions that inevitably leave much to be desired.
Supporting local makers isn’t hard! Below, we’ve highlighted some lovely offerings from local makers we’ve featured in the past. Check them out and support these makers – buy from them if you like the products, follow them on social media or help spread the word if you love their work.
Joy-Inducing Bowls and Cups
Abby Rose Mandel makes stunning porcelain ceramics using slip-casting and hand-building techniques. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday – but what if every time we ate we had something just a little more beautiful or meaningful to look at? Life is as much about the simple pleasures as it is about the major milestones and Abby’s beautiful pieces are among our favorite simple pleasures.
- Website: www.abbyrosemandel.com
- Instagram: @abbyrosemandel_fineart
- Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AbbyRoseMandel
- Interview: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/meet-abby-rose-mandel/
Conversation-starting Greeting Cards and Stickers
Rhianna Chan makes illustrated and hand-lettered paper goods (prints, greeting cards, stickers, etc.) and has recently started making screen printed totes and t-shirts with her artwork on them as well. Her paper goods, totes and t-shirts are an easy, affordable and fun way to make a statement.
- Etsy: www.rhiannamariechan.etsy.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rhiannamariechan
- Interview: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/check-rhianna-chans-artwork/
Cookie Couture: cookies that look as great as they taste
Lupita Chavez learned how to decorate cookies when preparing for her daughter’s First Communion. This was pre-Instagram, pre-Pinterest, so she had to learn the hard way. That was the start of a beautiful journey that led to her starting Cookie Couture. She designs beautiful cookies, her most popular collections include: Alice in Wonderland, The mini Advent cookie set, The Nutcracker Ballet, and Casino cookies. Why bring in boring cookies to the next office meeting or event when you can walk in with edible art!
- Website: www.thecookiecouture.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lupisthecookiecouture
- Interview: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/meet-lupita-balderas-de-chavez-cookie-couture-woodlands/
Stunning Women’s Facinators & More
Suzanne Najem is the founder of Pippa And Pearl, a houston-based online boutique offering stunning dresses, wedding hats, fascinators and more. Facinators are like a cross between a hair accessory and a cocktail hat and is usually worn by royalty, heads of state, etc at fancy affairs. Her brand challenges that norm and encourages women to embrace their mood and dress up or down as they please.
- Website: www.pippaandpearl.com
- Instagram: @pippaandpearl
- Interveiw: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/life-work-suzanne-najem/
Decorated Cookies: spread the good word
It’s holiday season and we just can’t stop thinking about cookies! Sydni Calais and her brand Sweets by Syd offer deliciously decorated shortbread cookies. She also makes chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, cake pops, chocolate covered Oreos/pretzels, cupcakes, and some simple buttercream cakes. When we interviewed her she shared a quote we loved: “Be the CEO that your parents wanted you to marry.” This girlboss is doing that and more while spread love and laughter with her beautifully decorated baked goods!
- Instagram: Instagram.com/sweetsbysyd
- Interview: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/life-work-sydni-calais/