The shelves at Arlene's Apparels & More; A 1st & 2nd Hand Store teem with an ever-changing array of jewelry, handbags, housewares, and clothing for babies, children, women, and men. The small, but well stocked consignment shop's inventory changes constantly as items arrive; recent new arrivals have included turquoise bracelets, brown straw sun hats, and pink leather jackets, as well as items from brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, and Martha Stewart.
Founded in 1964, Houston Antiques Dealers Association is just shy of antique status itself. The organization tirelessly promotes the exchange of beautiful, storied goods through its biannual shows, which gather many international antiques dealers and designers together and provide a portion of proceeds to many local charities.
Because the vendors sell thousands of wares?everything from vintage jewelry to heirloom china to antique robot vacuum cleaners?the show can be somewhat overwhelming. That's why the association encourages visitors to attend shows held throughout the year to learn more about antiques and gain the confidence to make informed purchases. Of course, HADA also makes sure its vendors possess a suitable level of expertise, display plenty of enthusiasm, and regularly don a thick coat of dust.
$10,000. That's what creativity and innovation can get you at Texas Contemporary Art Fair. Each year, judges award that sum?and the Texas Contemporary Award?to one of the exhibited artists.
It's no easy decision, since the fair showcases more than 70 art galleries and the artists all look at the judges with such big, hopeful eyes. A trip across the convention floor or into the history of fairs past reveals works of sculpture, paintings, and other media from both established and emerging contemporary artists. Some come from Texas, while others arrive from New York, San Francisco, and other cities.
Most popular offering: Unusual beads and unique handmade jewelry
Good for Kids: Yes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We create jewelry and clothing right there in the shop. Our inventory is unique and often one-of-a-kind.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
I have been making clothes and jewelry for over 25 years, as well as collecting unusual objects. I wanted to put all my passions and interests into one place.
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
My customers often become friends.
What?s your favorite part about your job?
Interacting with all kinds of people.
Art can foster a sense of community and inspire social change. It is this belief that drives artists Reginald and Rhonda Adams, who founded Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston in 1999 when they noticed a lack of community participation in the arts. Using their vibrant center as a springboard, the couple and their staff have brought art programs to more than 30 public schools and 15,000 underserved youth, helping the youngsters unleash their innate creativity and heighten their social awareness. Within the museum, rotating exhibits, such as May’s Queens of Creativity Mother Earth Exhibition, carry pertinent social messages such as the importance of calling Earth’s core on Mother’s Day. Community projects such as a recent mural painting for a school and collaborations with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society help carry out the museum’s mission as a vehicle for expression.