Five Boerne women with unique talents share their passion for business and the place they call home
This issue of Hill Country Woman highlights five women, all from Boerne, all business owners, but all unique in the service they provide. Each of them are at various stages in their ownership endeavor – whether a year in or long-standing career, but one thing they have in common is passion for their business and the people they serve.
Megan Baird & Aimee Zrzavy
When Megan Baird was pregnant with her daughter four years ago she ran into a problem finding maternity clothes in Boerne. Baird was frustrated because she couldn’t find that perfect outfit or the “look” she was seeking, and there were no stores available in her hometown that carried what she needed. This realization struck her as surprising for two reasons. The first, not being able to find anything to fit these needs along the well-known Main Street of the downtown area; and the second, which presented a more personal desire, Megan felt that pregnant moms-to-be should have a place to feel pampered and special during this time in their lives. Keeping these two reasons as a business model, when a building became available for a potential store, her husband encouraged her and her sister, Aimee Zrzavy, to create a solution for these two specific requirements to offer expectant moms. Thus, Mommy 2B was borne.
As the youngest of four siblings only 14 months apart, the sisters grew up doing everything together. So for these two women, becoming business owners seemed a natural venture to tackle. One obstacle was that neither one comes from a retail background, but this has proven to be a rewarding experience. Both women shared how opening the store was something fun they wanted to do for themselves after experiencing the loss of their mother, and then again, when their father became ill which resulted in Aimee caring for him full-time.
Mommy 2B, of course, carries various lines in maternity wear, however, this is a specialty shop where a client can also find books, stuffed animals, small toys, and even specially-designed diaper bags created just for their store. The shop also carries purses, handmade jewelry and small gifts to accommodate the clientele they often see accompanying expectant mothers that drop in – mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and even husbands and brothers.
This September marks Mommy 2B’s first anniversary. Their shop not only met Megan’s two specific reasons for wanting to open a shop, but it has exceeded their dreams. Both Megan and Aimee not only assist customers with their maternity clothing needs, but get to meet new people at an exciting and precious time in their lives, and more importantly, to help women feel pampered and beautiful during their pregnancy.
When running a business, success is often dependent on the right moves you make, and the timing in which you make those decisions. For Catrina Kendrick, she has definitely made all the right moves in running her business, Catrina’s Interiors. Those decisions not only apply to the way she has built her long-running business in Boerne for the past 20 years but in the way she has stayed on-top of evolving trends to provide customers with unique pieces and designs they’ll be proud to feature in their homes for years to come.
Catrina has more than 40 years of experience in the industry with highlights of honors in the San Antonio Parade of Homes and opportunities to not only design homes, but museums and hotels as well. She prides herself with the ability to offer an abundance of styles in furniture from custom pieces to select lines, along with providing a full design center where customers can choose from a variety of fabrics, paint colors, wood samples and flooring options.
Over the years Kendrick has moved the store to different locations throughout Boerne, and this past spring she found just the right space. Her new location sits right at the start of Hill Country Mile – otherwise known as Main Street. She has had her eye on the building for some time and wanted to utilize some of its best features – high ceilings, rock walls and antique flooring – to highlight how a space can be transformed with her transitional and contemporary Hill Country interiors and custom western furniture. When walking through the store you get the feel of walking through a home, observing how furniture, décor and style can come together. She achieves this by accenting her Texas leather and rustic furniture with fine art, light fixtures, rugs and other unique accessories she finds. The new location is indicative of an experience she strives to give her customers – to provide them with a vision of what she can do for them within their own home. Staying abreast of changing trends over time while offering full design capacity allows her to offer it all to a customer, and one thing is for certain – with the abundance of styles and tastes she creates, she will be there with the customer every step of the way.
South TX Contracting, LLC
For some people family is everything, and for Shelly, the Stansbury family played a big part in her endeavor to become a business owner in the construction industry. Shelly Stansbury is the founder and owner of South TX Contracting, LLC in Boerne. Fortunate enough to work alongside her father, Shelly realized she not only enjoyed the design side but also the building process.
Armed with what she learned from helping her father in his business, becoming self-taught with the drawing program, Revit, and gaining hands-on experience with three other commercial construction companies, Stansbury felt ready to branch out on her own. South TX Contracting began operating in September 2018, and again, family – specifically her children – were the biggest motivators in her decision to run her own business. She shared how she always wanted to open her own company and in doing so has demonstrated firsthand to her kids how hard work and dedication pay off. The role comes with the responsibility of making the big decisions, and it’s something she enjoys because her number-one priority for clients is to give them a product they are proud of.
Her motto of “building relationships” not only includes clients but also extends to the subcontractors she works with. Recently, with the growth in home building Boerne has seen, these good relationships have been leading to more work and projects, with the bulk of her current projects concentrating in home remodels. She has created a niche in bathroom and kitchen remodeling and has clients throughout the Hill Country and San Antonio. Some of her goals include gaining commercial projects through the San Antonio Housing Authority, and moving into construction of apartment complexes.
For some, the idea of taking on larger projects can be daunting, but not for Stansbury. It helps that her father, with his experience and good-eye for construction is still in her corner – now works as her superintendent. She credits him with keeping her calm and reminding her that everything can be fixed because at the end of the day she is doing it for family.
Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch
Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. For Kate Vasquez, she did exactly that when she decided in 2012 to open her Boerne-based, therapeutic horsemanship facility, Open T.R.A.I.L Ranch. Complete with a barn, stable and arena, Vasquez wasted no time in setting-out to help others with developmental and physical needs through equestrian therapy. Even her diagnosis of Autism as a young adult did not delay her on her path. The non-profit located in Boerne is unique in how it supports those with conditions and disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism, and speech or hearing impairments – all through the riding, training, and interaction with horses.
Vasquez’s compassion for those with special needs and her passion for horses occurred in her youth when she developed a connection with special needs classmates by relating to their difficulties in making friends. Her love for horses started at a bible study camp she attended in her teen years. Not having grown up around horses she was immediately struck by their ability to support and connect with humans. Vasquez recalls that the horses changed her life and she wanted to share that with others. She explains how horses are “partners” and have been proven to help with emotional trauma, speech and physical impairments. Horses offer unique partnerships for people with conditions that prohibit physical activity or even a foster child needing help through a trauma.
Long hours of working got her where she is today – Vasquez operates Open T.R.A.I.L. with two full-time instructors, numerous volunteers and the heart of it all – 14 horses. The facility’s largest program, Therapeutic Horsemanship, teaches riding skills such as haltering and safe tying, as well as grooming and tacking with the overall goal of riding independently. Hippo Therapy is the second-largest program, facilitated by an occupational and speech language pathologist who uses the horse’s movement to aid in occupational, speech, and physical therapy for the rider.
Knowing that she can get up every day and continue to carry out her goal is special to Vasquez. She finds it rewarding help others who may be going through some of the same struggles that she has been through, and is excited to encourage them that anything is possible.
By Jennifer O’Neill
Photography by David Teran