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.
For 10 years, Triple Scent Candles has been churning out hand-blended and hand-poured candles in small batches to suffuse homes in fragrant and aromatic aromas and fragrances. Shelves are stocked with more than 150 waftable fragrances of candles, oils, and scented wax. Sniff signature scents such as apple vanilla or crème brûlée, clean scents including Maui Rain or Spring Clean, floral scents such as rose or magnolia blossom, or unusual ones like eucalyptus spearmint or eternity. Prices range from $2.25 for a 2-ounce votive candle to $26 for a 32-ounce decorative square candle, and fragrant oils cost $6. Because Triple Scent Candles' staff is as warm as its wares, they'll be able to guide you to the most superb stack of scent for fragrancing an entire house, office, or Zeppelin cabin.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 1 person
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Custom fitted sized designer toe rings.
What makes your business stand out?
Sweetfoot Toe Rings has a great selection of sterling silver, 14k gold and even diamond toe rings. We strive to bring a perfectly fitted sassy sparkle to the toes of each woman we meet. We have ringed toes [that belong to people] as old as 82!
What inspired you to start or run this business?
I am a woman of 50 with rheumatoid arthritis in my fingers, so wearing rings on my fingers can be quite uncomfortable. When I slipped on my first custom fitted sized toe ring, I was hooked. I could once again wear quality rings of silver, gold, and diamonds. I wear them year-round in regular shoes and boots, as well as sandals in the summer. There is something special about slipping off your boots by the fire on a cold day to reveal sexy, sparkly toe rings on soft pedicured piggies.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
When a skeptical lady says "Oh my god! I can barely feel it!" when I get her fitted in the right sized ring.
Most popular offering: Men's boots
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Good for Kids: No
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Enjoy the Red Wing service, experience and understand the craftsmanship invested in the products.
Red Wing Shoe Store has enjoyed a reputation for making quality footwear for a long time, one which the owner of Red Wing Shoe Store says holds true for his customers. He's seen men and women reduced to "tears of joy for finding the proper fitting boot." The staff members specialize in exactly that, though, measuring every foot that comes through the door thoroughly to track down the perfectly cut shoe. They carry footwear in virtually every size, from AA to EEEE and 6 to 16.