Although he didn't start playing the piano until age 19, Casey Thomas let his hard work and natural talent carry him to a career as a professional musician. His wife Samantha followed a more traditional path, playing as a child before earning valuable experience as a singer/songwriter and music instructor in cities throughout Texas. Now the leaders of the Creative Soul School of Music, the two bring their own experiences together in support of a shared mission: providing a nurturing environment where young musicians can hone their innate skills and discover their confidence. “We’re trying to get to those kids who are trying to figure out their identity, where they fit in, where they can find a home,” Casey says. To that end, the school tailors private lessons and classes to suit each student’s passion, be it songwriting, orchestral layering, or technical proficiency in headbanging. Year-round, the school dots the local sonic landscape with trimesters of student band classes for children and adults, as well as one-week and shorter summer rock camps that pair up learners of the same age and experience level. Welcoming all proficiencies, instructors tout an ability to nurture struggling learners, who ultimately build the confidence to perform live shows at venues around the region.
Brenden "Stubby" Stubblefield, a Texas Tech University scholar studying animal science, bent his head intently over his latest lab project: home-brewed beer. After an exercise with yeast sparked Stubblefield's interest, he taught himself to brew beer to suit his own tastes. As he learned, he noticed the lack of a home-brewing supply store in the area and resolved to start his own with the help of his family. Stubblefield says that he loves his career because, "I get to talk about beer all day. It's like a dream job to me." Other staff members are just as passionate about home brewing, talking with customers and answering questions about introductory home-brewing kits and high-end brewing equipment, some of which the store manufactures.
In addition to equipment, the store carries brewing ingredients such as hops, grains, and a selection of 85 different malts in its own room. Stubblefield also leads home-brewing classes complete with a brief history of beer and a brewing demonstration for students who wish to buy their own supplies and continue the beer-creation process at home. Along with bolstering beer-brewing hobbies, Stubby's Texas Brewing carries hundreds of wine kits and high-end wine making equipment for those who prefer to grapes over grains.
Professional athletes. Stay-at-home moms. Corporate executives. CrossFit Forth Worth caters to all kinds of people, and sometimes the only common bond between students is their desire to achieve functional fitness. Daily workouts combine elements of weight lifting, gymnastics, and endurance training to keep bodies guessing at all times and thus maximize results. Rather than perform isolated lifts or stretches, students use several muscles at once to pull weights, throw tires, and form human quadrangles. CrossFit Fort Worth's certified and experienced instructors lead group classes at locations in Haltom City and Bedford.