What is your favorite AK item and why?
The French Market Tote!!! I love the simplicity and it's a perfect bag to carry around for travel, for market and for vacations.
What are your latest obsessions and what can you not live without and why?
My daughters are always my obsession.
Carlos and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this November and that has me feeling a renewed obsession for him!!! I feel like we are newlyweds this year!
The Viceroy in The Riviera Maya
They are really chic because they have slits on the bottom so you have to wear them with heels. It's really easy for me to want to go with flats all the time since I'm on my feet all day, but these A.N.D. jeans MAKE me put some heels on and want to dress them up a little. I have to admit that I'm on a really casual kick right now.
Silk peels from Dr. Segal
Best advice you have ever received?
Sleep on it.
Rest makes you think clearer and it's a lot easier to put things into perspective the next day.
Tell us about Atrium Ready to Wear and Casa de Novia Bridal Couture and how they came to be.
I had just turned 25 when I got married and although there were beautiful dresses all over Houston there was nothing simple enough for me. My husband, Carlos, was so supportive of me opening up my own boutique.
Atrium came six years later when I saw that a lot of friends and clients were asking me to help them shop for their closets. My biggest blessings are the clients I have. They are always so supportive and excited to see what we are bringing in next!
Atrium is my true passion in life. When I go to market I think of each and every client I have. I want to find something for them that I know they will love and appreciate. I have some really well known designers in the boutique, but I love the challenge of finding new designers with an incredible amount of talent to show to the world. I think what my clients love the most is that I buy small amounts of units so that nobody has to "see themselves everywhere." I know that is important to everyone. I feel blessed to be able to work with so many amazing ladies and I love that they come to me because they trust me!
What is your background?
My parents moved from Central America in 1980 to Houston. I grew up in Houston and love everything about this city. The only time I left was for college! I graduated from TCU with a finance degree and I am so thankful my mom and dad really pushed for me to have a business background. I knew I was going to go into fashion at some point in my life, but never thought I would own a boutique. Its been really helpful to know a little something about finance while being in business.
What designers are you loving right now and why?
This Spring I am in love with Jason Wu. The collection is so airy, light, yet completely sophisticated. Adam Lippes is a new favorite of mine because it's effortlessly chic. Last, but not least, it's safe to say a lot of my closet is filled with Yigal Azrouël.
What inspires you?
My family, friends, clients and co-workers.
What is your favorite part about doing what you do?
I love working with women every day and helping them feel beautiful. One of my really good friends (and client) bought a fabulous dress a couple of weeks ago and she texted me the day after she wore it to tell me she felt absolutely beautiful. Clothes are my way of art.
You have two beautiful daughters - what are your secrets to being a successful working mother?
My daughters are the loves of my life. There are days where I feel so guilty about working and taking time away from them. I don't want to miss a moment!! Luckily, I have wonderful co-workers that let me sneak away to spend time with my girls. I do make it a point to pick them up from school every day. Those minutes right after school are golden. I know that when I come home I have to set everything from work aside and just focus on them.
I know that you like to cook - can you share your favorite recipe with us?
Freshly shaven parmesan
Italian panko bread crumbs
Marinara sauce (either homemade or in a jar is fine)!
Slice eggplant lengthwise. Soak eggplant in salted water for one hour and then drain. Season eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Soak eggplant in egg and then dip in panko crumbs.
What fashion items are on your Spring wish list this year?
Jason Wu sandals, flouncy short skirts, printed tee's and lots of white! Sally La Pointe has the most amazing washed leather short skirt...I must admit my heart beats a little faster every time I see it.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start their own retail store?
Yes!! Work retail before you commit to anything. It is a wonderful blessing, but you have to be prepared to be a slave to it!
What are two things that most people would never know about you?
Just one important one...I am a serial optimist. Life goes by so fast and there is no other way to live life but to be thankful for your blessings and to be optimistic about the days ahead.
What are your beauty essentials?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Pringles Sour Cream and Onion without a doubt. It is a true addiction!!!
What is your favorite undiscovered place?
A spray tan from Throwing Copper.
Are there any books you are currently reading?
Happier at Home, by Gretchen Rubin
Who is Luvi Wheelock and why do we love her?
Fashion retail in Houston is tough...and I will admit it...it is because I am a fashion snob. After working for Vogue and living in NYC for eight years I find it hard to get inspired by Houston retail. Luvi is not only inspiring but also stylish! She started off in bridal with Casa de Novia and filled a void she felt was in the market (sounds familiar...) and then opened Atrium to supply fashionable needs for beyond the bride. She carries great designers but more importantly she has great style and is a fabulous person to boot.