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This is the third post in our new regular series, Five Finds, in which Texas Monthly editors and contributors share favorite discoveries from our coverage of the state’s style, design, travel scenes, and more. From off-the-radar boutiques to design trends that inspire us—and everything in between—we’ll share these gems with you every other week.
1. A father/daughter duo
Painting side by side in their Houston studio on Maple Valley, Greer Ross Dexter and her dad, Robert “Robear” Newton Ross, Jr., create everything from abstract oils using a soft palette to figurative portraits of Native Americans. Dexter studied art history, spending time in Florence, Italy, to work on her craft, while Ross is a retired attorney. Of getting to create with his daughter every day, he says: “It’s the single most prized accomplishment of my life to date.” Visit Greer Robear to see more of their work.
2. East Austin style
Native Texan Alta Alexander spent two decades working in corporate marketing while dreaming of having a store of her own. That fantasy became a reality on Valentine’s Day last year when her husband, a real estate developer, surprised her with a 600-square-foot building in East Austin that she could turn into the boutique she had long imagined having. She opened Altatudes in September of 2017 and stocks the shop with lines like Black Halo, Rebecca Taylor, and Tracey Reese. Visit Altatudes at 1717 E. 12th Street.
3. Trendy slip-ons
The slip-on mule shoe trend that reemerged last year is still going full-force, and two Dallas friends (both mothers of three), Blair Isom and Suzi Fuller, have created their own take on the comfy yet styling trend with their line, Modern + Soul. The pair works with makers in Morocco to create the leather shoes, and finishing touches are added in Dallas before they are sold to a growing fan base online and at pop-up shops. Price points range from $98 to $150 for styles in neutral basics to python and black-and-white splatter paint. Visit Modern + Soul for more information.
4. You’ve got flowers
Helen Hamilton’s new platform, Amapola Flora (think Blue Apron for blooms), will offer subscription services across Texas offering a box of fresh cut florals paired with an illustrated booklet of how to create a variety of arrangements. Until the online shop launches this fall, she will host pop-ups in her hometown of San Antonio. Visit Amapola Flora for more information.
5. Get healthy at SXSW
You won’t need a platinum badge to experience the debut of the SXSW Wellness Expo over the first weekend of the festival (March 10-11) at the Palmer Events Center. Attendees can listen in on thirty-minute talks and panels with innovators in the wellness community, participate in hands-on demos and workshops, or head outside to the Fitness Stage at Butler Park for a variety of activities. Former Longhorn football players Vince Young and Jeremy Hills will be in attendance, along with yoga stars, Lauren Ash of Black Girl in Om and Austin’s Adriene Mishler of Yoga With Adriene (one of Texas Monthly’s 15 Innovators in the February issue). The Wellness Expos is free to public with a guest pass. Register here.