In a light-filled studio behind a small house in Houston’s historic Montrose district, Stephen Marchione and his team of artisan woodworkers craft some of the finest guitars in the world. You wouldn’t know it, driving down the tree-lined residential street where he makes his music magic. You wouldn’t know it if you ran into Marchione walking his dogs around the block—he’s affable and down-to-earth, never mind that he’s received special orders from musical icons like Paul Simon and Mark Knopfler.
Meeting Brock Wagner at Saint Arnold Brewing Company feels like meeting a kid in a candy store. Never mind that Wagner founded the company 24 years ago and can be found working long hours most days—you get the sense that he’s just as excited to be there as the legions of fans that show up for twice-daily (thrice on Saturday) guided tours. Wagner’s enthusiasm, his belief in what he’s doing, is what allowed Saint Arnold to survive as the first microbrewery in Texas, long before craft beer was even a gleam in the average consumer’s eye. You can taste it in the beers that he and his team create, from the Amber Ale that started it all to more recent efforts, like a collaboration with local James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega.
Odds are, you haven’t met Elaine Turner, the Houston designer and philanthropist who’s reshaping the retail landscape with her fashion and lifestyle brand. But step into one of her eight eponymous storefronts, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what she’s about—gorgeous, glam, and community-oriented, each Elaine Turner space sparkles with the personality and passion of their founder.