Month: November 2010

Events are Her Cup of Tea: Janet Holliday

Janet Holliday says her career began with a turkey — literally. “My grandmother was an awesome cook,” she says, “and one year, we were all gathered around the table at her house for Thanksgiving when the lady who worked for her came out with this big, beautiful turkey with all the trimmings. It was on a heavy silver platter, and the lady who was carrying it was very small.” Somehow, the server made a misstep, and the huge, golden-brown bird dropped and bounced before landing on the floor. “We were all silent for what must have been only a...

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The Other Front: Military families face different kinds of problems on the homefront

THE NEEDS OF THE ARMY COMES FIRST Tracy Dufresne’s peaceful neighborhood in north central San Antonio is worlds away from Iraq’s ravaged cityscapes, but Tracy and her 13-year-old son, Alex, have a strong emotional connection to Iraq right now. That’s because Tracy’s husband of 20 years and Alex’s father, Lt. Col. Gary Dufresne, has been deployed there since June. It’s his second tour of duty in Iraq, but his fourth overseas deployment. All that time apart has not been easy on the family. “The needs of the Army come first,” says Tracy, who spent four years as an Army...

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Material Girls: The women behind the details that define home design

It’s the little things that make the overall design scheme of a home work, bringing together elements to create a polished look and making the space more fun and functional. And what could be better than a woman’s touch when designing and dealing with the details? Savvy clients prefer working with experts who have seen their products define and transform the look of a space. So we turned to some of San Antonio’s best-loved businesses to ask the women behind the scenes — most of whom started their own companies — how their products can help enhance our homes...

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Life is Delicious: Veronica Esparza

The facts of Veronica Esparza’s early life didn’t seem to point toward a successful business career. She grew up in Potrero, Mexico, population 400 or so, 60 miles from Monterrey, the nearest city, and had to drop out of school at age 15 “because my mother couldn’t afford to send me any longer,” says Esparza. At that time, she had already been working since age 5, “mostly selling things on the street.” When a great-aunt who lived in San Antonio visited relatives in Potrero, Esparza says, “I asked her to take me with her. I had grown up hearing about her life here, and I thought I could have a better life in this country.” Without education or skills, Esparza did the only work she could find, cleaning houses and sometimes cooking for her clients. Working in their homes, grabbing at all the jobs and hours that came her way, “I was making pretty good money at a young age,” she says, “better than I would have if I had continued my education.” While she was still in her 20s, a car accident that left her with severe burns forced her to stop and consider her future. One of her clients for whom she had cooked visited her in the hospital and urged her to think about catering as a profession. “He had admired my presentation and told me,...

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Glamorous for the Holidays

How many designers do you know who are handed a house to totally renovate and redecorate? Aguie Medrano of the Home Accessory Company was given that opportunity in 2009 by a family that frequently travels abroad. The four-bedroom house they bought in Deerfield had good lines, but Aguie was tasked with improving its appearance. “We started the project with the exterior of the home,” he says. “The front doors were replaced to create a grander entrance. Natural stone wainscoting was added to the house to reflect the surroundings of the property.” DRAMATIC ENTRY The entry impresses with a soaring...

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