Photo courtesy of Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott is already basically the mayor of Austin, but for a new collection the lifestyle brand is kicking its philanthropy up a notch. This will be the first time an entire collection will give back, and the focus is turned to an indisputably important cause: breast cancer research.

Kendra Scott — who loves a Texas connection — is joining native Houston fashion influencer Nasreen Shahi (@heynasreen), for a limited-edition jewelry collection. It will include two necklaces, two pairs of earrings, and a bracelet, all named after Shahi's mother.

Although Shahi's mother is the muse, it is her own experience with breast cancer that ties the collection to the cause. The fashion maven was diagnosed in 2021, and it's the outpouring of community support that the collection celebrates.

"This is a difficult month for most survivors because you reflect on so much of your own journey," wrote Shahi on Instagram on October 1, commemorating the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The pieces are gold (with some silver options) and very simple, setting stones in abstract patterns meant to be layered. The centerpiece is an emerald eye of protection, a classic Middle Eastern motif. A release states that avoiding pink was intentional, but does not share why. From a wearer's perspective, it may feel refreshing to wear a breast cancer collection that isn't so literal, and doesn't invite questions about the wearer's intent or connection.

Kendra Scott x Nasreen Shahi from @heynasreen collection necklacePhoto courtesy of Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott and Shahi have been "close partners" in previous years (the influencer has been featured on the Kendra Scott blog), but this is the first collaborative collection. All pieces will result in a 20 percent donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

The Kendra Scott x Nasreen Shahi from @heynasreen collection ($55-85) is available at kendrascott.com and in Kendra Scott retail stores.

Photo courtesy of Markets for Makers

National makers market adds Austin to its crafty network of hipster cities

booth scootin' boogie

There's no shortage of places to buy artisan goods in Austin, from craft stores to farmers markets and holiday bazaars. But one new market, debuting this December 2-3, has found success around eight other cities in the United States before opening in this crafty capital.

Markets for Makers — also in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, and Nashville — offers a broad scope of goods from makers all over. That's the draw; There will be some products by Austin makers, but the chain uses its many bases to its advantage, sharing products from independent artists local to other markets. The website estimates that 100 to 120 makers will be included in the upcoming sale.

“Our goal is to create curated shopping experiences that showcase one-of-a-kind products and build a community that supports, inspires, and encourages makers and small businesses," said founder of Markets for Makers Natalie Christensen in a release. "Austin, with its vibrant spirit, aligns perfectly with our vision, and we can't wait to embark on this exciting journey."

Shoppers will find home décor, fashion, art, and design items, among whatever else happens to show up. The markets have been building their maker base since 2015, attributing much of their success to community partners and social media — a grassroots strategy.

As Austinites know, these markets are often more of a social event than a place to pick up anything in particular, so this city's shopping culture is primed for the "experiential market" that will also serve food and beverages.

"We take great pride in showcasing the work of our talented and diverse collection of makers that represent a mix of local and national artists," said Christensen. “We want to spread the word about our upcoming market in order to attract the finest local talent and small businesses who will join us in this celebration of creativity.”

Austinites interested in selling their products ($400 per booth) can fill out an application at marketsformakers.com.

Like Austin's famous recurring mass markets Le Garage Sale and the City-Wide Vintage Sale, these new sales will be held at the Palmer Event Center and will require paid admission (currently set at $8 as an earlybird single-entry price, or $18 for unlimited weekend entry and a VIP preview).

Photo by Ashley Posthuma

Darling Austin handmade gift shop crafts first San Antonio location


For Son of a Sailor owners William and Jessica Knopp, it all started with a meet-cute. While Jessica was living in San Francisco, William came to visit, and soon they found themselves at a crafts thrift store on their first date. For the next 10 months of their long-distance courtship, they wooed each other with art packages and custom-designed mix tapes.

Then, life threw them for a loop.

Jessica moved back to Texas to continue the romance but hadn’t yet found a job. Meanwhile, William was forced into worker’s comp by an injury. With tons of free time, they made jewelry together, the seeds of an Etsy business.

“We did everything backwards,” jokes Jessica. “We bought a house, started a business, then got engaged and married.”

A year and a half after becoming darlings of the handmade site, they opened a brick-and-mortar in East Austin studio space, Canopy. A few years later, life took them to San Marcos, where they opened another store. Though the couple is still running the Austin shop, they have since settled in San Antonio — moving production and opening a storefront at 904 Nolan St. in Dignowity Hill.

The chic gift shop is stocked with collaborative home goods produced with other makers, like copper barware and a ceramic mezcal set. The gaps are filled in by objects and prints from local artists and small indie brands, curated by innate generosity.
“Billy is so good at giving gifts,” explains Jessica of the selection process.

Highlights of the selection include ceramic snakes from Portland, Oregon brand Carter & Rose, textile paintings from Austin’s Danielle Ivester, and continuous line drawings from local artist Alexa Wilson (aka Mazed). Plants and textiles line the space, along with rows of cheeky greeting cards.

And, of course, there are Son of a Sailor's handmade jewelry and leather goods, including hand-painted leather and metal keychains, delicate beaded bracelets, and elegant necklaces sporting fractured gemstones, bronze pendants, or pearl drops. Lately, the couple has been incorporating more color.

“Coming back to San Antonio, we’ve re-embraced the bold, colorful aspects of our designs life from our first years in business. It’s a retrun to our roots in a way,” says Jessica.

Soon to be added will be permanent jewelry, bracelets welded painlessly on the wearer. The line will debut at an in-store launch party on July 29, noon-3 pm featuring cocktails crafted by William, a Richter Goods pop-up, live chain stitching from Lunchroom Anxiety, and a photo booth.

The couple will also share their skills on August 10 from 5-7 pm during a free leather workshop. The Knopps envision Son of a Sailor as a community space.

“We’re really excited to see the neighborhood start to have engaged local businesses,” explains Jessica. “In a day when you can buy anything on Amazon, we hope to be the store where you can come and chat.”

Son of a Sailor San Antonio

Photo by Ashley Posthuma

Shoppers check out the goods at Son of a Sailor.

Courtesy of Kendra Scott

Austin icon Kendra Scott talks new memoir, shining career, and Texas roots

kendra's Next Chapter

Celebrated Texas jewelry star Kendra Scott’s ability to juggle a work-life balance is seriously impressive. The founder of her namesake billion-dollar brand is a newlywed, a returning guest shark on the upcoming season of Shark Tank, and she's about to drop her first memoir, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love.

Between a dizzying schedule of managing her brand, philanthropic efforts, a multi-state book tour, Shark Tank duties, and nurturing a new blended family of eight, we wonder when the Austin-based entrepreneur has time to breathe.

Apparently, queso, margaritas, and finding joy in the little things fuel the entrepreneur to keep going. Scott also credits her marriage to Thomas Evans (her wedding ring is the one piece of jewelry she never takes off) and the relationship with her family, including three sons — Kade, Beck, and Grey — as foundations of her success.

And while her jewelry has been a must-have accessory for over two decades, her first venture into the literary world has been one of vulnerability and determination.

After kicking off her book tour in Houston earlier this week, Scott will be at the company's South Congress Flagship in Austin this Saturday, September 17, from 11 am to 1 pm. Tickets for the event are still available on Eventbrite, and each ticket includes a copy of the book, a meet and greet with Kendra, an exclusive tote bag, and more.

Ahead of the Austin event, Scott sat down with CultureMap in Houston to get an exclusive on her next chapter.

CultureMap:How long did it take you to write Born to Shine?

Kendra Scott: It took a little over two years from when I decided to write the book, but really I have been writing this book for years. I never realized that my journal notes would someday turn into a book. It has been a long process, but after 20 years of our company being in business — it was honestly the perfect time to write this book.

CM: How did you juggle writing, managing the business and being a working mom?

KS: You know, it is always a challenge. If anyone tells you it is easy, and they have it figured out, I think they are lying. I wrote this during the pandemic, so I was home working with the support system of my closest people with me. All of our meetings were virtual, so it allowed me to have time for reflection.

I had also just stepped down as CEO and could just focus on being chairwoman, designer, and founder. I was able to focus more on our philanthropic efforts, like our school at the University of Texas (Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute), and concentrate on writing this book. It is something that I have always wanted to do.

CM: How personal do you get in the book?

KS: I get very vulnerable in the book and I feel that there is power in vulnerability. I hope that being vulnerable will allow other women or people to share their failures, successes, and ups and downs and be authentic.

I also hope that the stories of my childhood, marriage, divorce, starting a business and failing at a business — all of those things are part of what makes me who I am. In the book, I talk about the power of gemstones. Gems all have veins that are considered imperfections, but really it is what makes them beautiful.

CM: Was there anything that you wrote but then changed your mind about?

KS: I pulled out the entire first chapter, and I wasn’t going to put it in there. My publisher, who is also my editor, told me that the chapter was great and that she thought it should be chapter one.

It made me realize that I had to be honest because the book starts in a tough place but then takes readers on an unbelievable ride.

CM: Can fans look forward to more books in the future?

KS: You know, I thought about this. Now that this book is out there in the world, I don't think it will be the last one. It is a different way to be creative, and I think I have other stories to tell.

I would love to do a children’s book someday. My oldest son was one when I started this company; now, he is 20, so he has grown along with the business. Now I have a nine-year-old, and I’ve always read to him. I really hope that children’s books will be in my future.

KS: Why did you decide to start your book tour in Houston?

CM: Houston is part of who I am. This is where I became Texan. I moved here from Wisconsin when I was 16 and graduated from Klein High School. Moving at 16 years old and as a junior can be tough, but I was embraced at Klein — the community was so welcoming.

Houston made me the woman I am today. It made me realize there is more to the world than the little town in Wisconsin where I grew up. Houston is such a vibrant city full of culture and diversity – I felt like it was really important for me to start here because this was my first start in Texas.

CM: You are returning to Shark Tank for Season 14. How was the experience this time around?

KS: I absolutely love being on Shark Tank. I will be flying to Los Angeles for the premiere with all the other guest sharks on September 23, and it is exciting because there has never been a live premiere.

Nothing inspires me more than other entrepreneurs. There are long days on set, but they go by quickly because it gets me pumped to meet other entrepreneurs. Many of these people were thinking of ideas before the pandemic, and the downtime during the pandemic gave them the opportunity to put their ideas into action. I get to witness just a little of that in the tank – it is so fun.

CM: You have a lot going on, but is there anything else fans can look forward to before the end of the year?

KS: We just launched engagement rings and a whole bridal collection which is so exciting. We are expanding into other fine jewelry categories, including diamonds and gold and are adding more customization options than ever before.

Scott Brothers, the line I created with my boys during the pandemic, is also expanding. It is so fun that our male customers who were here to buy for the women in their lives can now buy something for themselves. We also just expanded into watches, so a lot is going on.

If you think about it, it took Ralph Lauren 25 years to expand into other categories. Our company has been around for 20 years, so I really like that the next phase of Kendra Scott will be so fun and exciting. From a philanthropic standpoint, we have given over $50 million since 2010 to women's and children's charities. We are, in many ways, a philanthropic organization within a brand. That is how we measure success, so I can not wait to announce our charitable efforts in the coming years.

We have a strong foundation and know what we represent and stand for — I feel like the best is yet to come.

Kendra Scott's first memoir drops on September 20th.

Kendra Scott_Born to Shine
Courtesy of Kendra Scott
Kendra Scott's first memoir drops on September 20th.
Courtesy of Kendra Scott

Austin jewelry star Kendra Scott shines with dazzling engagement ring collection

Great Scott

Already a go-to for wedding jewelry essentials, Austin-based Kendra Scott is expanding into a new category with the introduction of The Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott on Monday, May 23.

This launch is the second category expansion for the homegrown brand's landmark 20th anniversary — it waded into watches and watch bands in April. The Engagement Collection is available at 12 retail locations across the country, as well as via virtual appointments.

Inspired by Scott’s signature pieces, each engagement silhouette bears custom details unique to the brand’s "design DNA."

Featuring a traditional center stone (round, oval, and emerald), rings are available in solitaire, halo, and signature silhouettes with customizable options in 14 karat white, rose, or yellow gold. A singular yellow sapphire acts as the bridge of each solitaire setting and the base of each halo ring, signifying joy, optimism, and the promise of a bright future.

The bespoke customer experience includes a dedicated in-house diamond expert to guide the couple through their ring journey. The couple selects every facet of the ring, from carat weight to pavé additions to metal selections and personalized engraving. The custom rings are made to order and delivered in approximately three weeks.

In line with the brand’s continued emphasis on innovation, founder Kendra Scott decided to work with lab grown diamonds for the new collection. The debut 11-piece Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott features lab grown diamonds that are F in color (colorless), VS2 in clarity range, and available in carat weight from 0.5 to 2 carats. Price points range between $1,350–$8,150.

“For twenty years, our customers have invited us to be a part of their wedding journeys. The launch of the Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott will allow us to be the wedding destination from proposal to happily ever after,” says Kendra Scott, founder, designer, and executive chairwoman of the brand. “When creating this collection, we challenged ourselves to consider every detail. Fundamental to our design process, each ring can be customized and curated to match every couple's unique love story.”

Austin’s South Congress flagship store is one of three Texas retail stores to carry the new line, along with Dallas' Preston Center and Houston's Heights Mercantile. Customers can also make virtual appointments online.

The Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott is available in twelve retail stores across the country, including three in Texas.

kendra scott engagement rings
Courtesy of Kendra Scott
The Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott is available in twelve retail stores across the country, including three in Texas.
Worthy Books

Millionaire Austin jewelry maven Kendra Scott writes next chapter with dazzling memoir

Turning the page

She launched a jewelry company now valued at $1 billion. She received the national EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017. Two years later, she was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. And she’s been a guest “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank. And just last week, she released a bridal capsule collection in collaboration with a local blogger.

Kendra Scott, founder of the Austin-based jewelry company that bears her name, reigns as an Austin and American success story. Now, she’s telling her story in her first memoir, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love.

The memoir, published by the Worthy Books division of Hachette Book Group, is scheduled to be released September 20. Preorders of the book started March 8.

“With a voice that’s vulnerable, wise, funny, and poignant, Kendra takes us on a journey of personal stories and tough life lessons, from her humble beginnings as a bullied middle-schooler in small-town Wisconsin, to launching a business in her spare bedroom with $500, to the devastating accident that turned her world on its axis,” Worthy Books says in a news release promoting the book.

“Through the ups and downs, her struggles and triumphs, Kendra builds a life — and a career — grounded in joy, kindness, purpose, and doing good, a life she desires for every reader,” the release continues.

Scott began creating jewelry in a spare bedroom at her Austin home in 2002. Fourteen years later, the Kendra Scott brand operates more than 115 stores across the country, including three in Austin, and rings up annual sales in the neighborhood of $360 million.

In 2017, Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners invested an undisclosed amount in the Kendra Scott brand. The deal valued the company at $1 billion.

In February 2021, the company announced Scott would step down as CEO of the brand but stay aboard as executive chairwoman and chief creative officer. Forbes last year estimated Scott’s net worth at $800 million.

Today, Scott is a professor of practice at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas. She also serves on the boards of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“Kendra Scott is a generous philanthropist, an unwavering optimist, a devoted daughter, and a mother with a squad of strong female friendships. Her entrepreneurial spirit developed at an early age and her path to success is unique, intriguing, and certainly not an easy one,” the Worthy Books news release says. “In 20 years, she has catapulted her eponymous jewelry line, which started as a hobby in her home, into a mega-popular business that has garnered a loyal following of clientele across the globe.”

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Iconic Mexican restaurant hatches new West Austin spot for more grilled goodies

A Fresh New Fresa's

Beloved Austin restaurant Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, known for its fresh Mexican fare and poultry-forward, wood-grilled menu, is expanding its coop with a new location in West Austin. The latest location is at 3600 N. Capital of Texas Hwy. and is open to the public as of October 3.

Patrons can expect Fresca’s signature al fresco ambiance, interior design, and expansive menu of grilled dishes and more at this Loop 360 eatery. Familiar design, like the vibrant aesthetics crafted by Austin architect and designer LEVY DYKEMA, are paired with new features like its new 6,000-square-foot space and breathtaking views of the West Lake Hills. The restaurant includes indoor dining space for 160 guests, seating for 38 guests on the patio, and some additional bar seating.

“Having served fellow Austinites for over a decade, we’re grateful to bring our concept not only to a new neighborhood but to my neighborhood,” said Fresa’s co-owner Margaret Vera in a press release. “We can’t wait to share the new space with the community. We really tried to create a space that captures the spirit of Westlake and the Hill Country.”

As a resident of the West Lake Hills herself, Vera is excited to bring the Fresa’s experience and its well-known patio vibes to the neighborhood, which is full of loyal customers, who often had to venture to other locations.

“The Hill Country backdrop is an added bonus,” Vera tells CultureMap. “We actually built a new patio into the previous space to make eating wood-grilled meals and sipping margaritas over the sunset possible.”

Guests can enjoy regular live entertainment, drink specials, events, and music on the Fresa’s 360 patio, much like the programming at the South First Street location. Seasonal menu items such as wood-grilled wings and a ceviche tostada are available to order through October. Fresa’s 360 will also offer other typical items from the concept’s rotating holiday menu, like Thanksgiving dinners and tamales, throughout the year.

Since opening its first and most famous location on North Lamar Boulevard in 2012, Fresa’s has continued to elevate the dining experience for guests, solidifying itself among a list of must-eat places in Austin. Plans for more locations, including a fourth sit-down spot in Mueller, are on the horizon for 2024.

Fresa’s 360 is open seven days a week. Dine-in hours are 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 10 pm on Saturday and Sunday. To-go window hours are 8 am to 10 pm daily. The happy hour menu is available from 3 to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

Fresa's 360 interior

Photo by Jane Yun

Fresa's 360 location is open now at 3600 N. Capital of Texas Highway.

Beyoncé brings dazzling Renaissance Tour to big screens with new concert film

big-screen bey

“The goal for this tour was to create a place where everyone is free ...and no one is judged.”

So declares Queen Bey in a just-released trailer for RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ, a new documentary and concert film coming to major movie theaters on Friday, December 1 across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The new film chronicles Houston-born Beyoncé's journey from concept to performance as she treks across the globe in her worldwide, 56-performance, 39-city Renaissance tour.

Houstonians (and fans who made the drive) are still buzzing from the two-day H-Town homecoming (read our review here) that near-capacity crowds pack NRG Stadium for the often breathtaking, three-hour shows that featured a cameo by fellow Houston-born superstar Megan Thee Stallion.

Tickets for the concert film — a joint production between Parkwood Entertainment and AMC Entertainment — are on sale now at amctheatres.com and Fandango.com. Fans can also find tickets at Cinemark, Regal, Cinepolis and Cineplex, all of which will screen the movie. Tickets will also be available at numerous movie theatre circuits in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico later this week, according to an announcement. Admission for all standard showtimes will start at $22, plus tax.

RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ is a must for any Beyhive member — as well as those who want to reminisce attending the epic shows, or those who missed her tour stops. The big-screen treatment is fitting: short of seeing the shows live, there is no better way to take in the Renaissance tour's dazzling effects, lasers, and pyrotechnics, mind-bending visuals on huge screens, unforgettable costumes (A.I.!), Megan's surprise, and of course, Queen Bey riding through the air atop a glittering Reneigh, her trusty, mirrorball, shimmering steed.

Fans can look forward to multiple showtimes daily on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, for a minimum of four weeks, according to press materials. RENAISSANCE will also be available in IMAX (the ideal viewing) at AMC and Dolby Cinema at AMC, and other branded premium large format screens.

Kicking off atthe opening show in Stockholm, Sweden and documenting each stop to the grand finale in Kansas City, Missouri, the film captures rarely seen, behind-the-scenes moments of a Beyoncé tirelessly working and preparing and sharing tender moments with her children and family.

Meant to further articulate her “everyone is free/no one is judged” mantra, scenes will depict the more than 2.7 million fans from around the world who dressed in silver and shiny outfits, took part in her Joy Parade, and nailed the Mute Challenge at each show.


Find RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ tickets at at amctheatres.com and Fandango.com.

'Top Chef' contestant and Tiny Grocer hero open new restaurant in Hyde Park after long wait


Anyone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed today should consider hustling over to the new side of the renovated Hyde Park post office. Formerly just a government building, on October 3 it welcomes French bistro Bureau de Poste and the second location of the extremely popular Austin shop, Tiny Grocer.

Bureau de Poste was preceded by much excitement, thanks to the stellar reputations of Tiny Grocery founder Steph Steele and Top Chef contestant Jo Chan. The new location at 4300 Speedway combines the local favorite grocery store with a more robust menu and seating than the original deli — although it, too, will serve made-to-order sandwiches and pre-made items.

Bureau de Poste Austin dishes

Photo by Mackenzie Smith Kelley

Now grocery shopping comes with a side of delicious French food.

The grocery portion will sell more than 3,000 products curated by Steele, alongside a coffee bar, wine, and Swedish Hill and Gati gluen-free pastries. The floral, kids, pets, and nonalcoholic beverages (including mixers) will be larger than the original store. Notably, it is the first-ever outside retailer for Made In cookware.

The restaurant portion elevates the concept from a shopping destination to a place to sit and spend some time. Chef Jo Chan, best known for work at one of Austin's fanciest restaurants, Eberly, and her time on the cooking competition, now debuts some of her more international tastes that she recently developed while traveling. Some of the very French dishes on the menu include escargot, French onion soup, and beef tartare.

The sides come together over a desire to build a community gathering place and be deeply involved not just with the quality, but with the customers. Of course, Tiny Grocer already has its loyal fans, and a grocery store always lends itself to repeat visitors; the duo hopes that Bureau de Poste will also start accumulating some regulars.

Some more dishes to note: A release claims that Bureau de Poste will be the first restaurant in town that offers skate (a ray-like fish) regularly, and Chan's roast chicken partially recreates famous dishes from Zuni Café and Barbuto, where Chan used to run the kitchen.

The clafoutis — a baked custard with seasonal fruit and crème fraiche whip — is the chef's tribute to famous chef Julia Child, who was known for making French cooking approachable to Americans at home. (Austin only has one degree of separation from Child, whose book inspired Austin-born blogger Julie Foster to learn to cook in a personal triumph that later became a memoir and a feature film.)

Best of all, if guests were particularly charmed by an ingredient at the restaurant, they may sometimes find it on the grocery shelves.

Bureau de Poste will operate daily from 5-10 pm, with an additional brunch service on weekends from 10 am to 3 pm. Tiny Grocer operates 8 am to 10 pm daily. More information about Tiny Grocer is available at tinygrocer.com, and more information about Bureau de Poste is availalbe at bureaudeposteatx.com. Reserve on OpenTable.