LAUNCH is not only a nod to Houston’s reputation as "Space City,” the name also references the "launch" of emerging designers from Houston's growing creative community.
The mission of LAUNCH is to showcase the best local designers and artisans based in Houston. Designers and artisans are selected on the criteria of quality and design. The pop-up boutique aims to promote and educate visitors and Houstonians alike of the high-level of goods designed and/or produced in the Bayou City. The vendors themselves will be representative of the diverse communities that make up the Houston landscape.
“Houston’s arts community is as diverse as its residents,” said Dawn Ullrich, President and CEO of Houston First Corporation. “As the most ethnically diverse city in the nation, it is our aim to show guests why Houston is known as ‘The Culinary and Cultural Capital of the South’. LAUNCH does just that, by bringing together local designers and artisans in a unique pop-up experience that highlights Houston’s welcoming spirit and vibrant culture.”
September - October
The inception of Jamel Hawk derived from a key element missing in the fashion world - versatile luxury fashion for the athletic-built male. Everything is bigger in Texas, and that holds true with Texas men. With such variables, Houstonian Jamel Hawk designed simple, yet distinct, high-quality shirts with an impeccable fit that accentuates the male physique, bringing athleisure and luxury wear. The fashion brand is owned by childhood friends Jamel Hawk and John Anthony Roy. They are committed to helping people achieve a stylish and fit lifestyle by providing complimentary consulting tips on social media.
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Steps of Columbia (StepCol) is a company owned by two Columbian enterprising sisters who admire their roots, culture and tradition. Sandra had a 13-year career in foreign trade and Angela, 10 years in public relations and marketing before starting StepCol. Designed in Houston and made in Columbia, StepCol apparel is 100% pure, handmade, and meets high standards of international quality. Colombian leather apparel is recognized worldwide for excellent workmanship, proper handling, novelty and luxury.
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London Berry is not a mass, wanna-be-everything-for-everyone style of company. The brand started as a simple T-shirt company that focused on amazing, trendy graphics. Since then, London Berry has evolved into a niche graphic designer label that pushes the social presence of fashion through the mean of graphic apparel. They pride themselves in being eco-friendly and place a greater value on quality and style because it's just the right thing to do. Collections are never mass-produced, which gives the consumers more ownership, value and uniqueness in what they are purchasing. London Berry makes clothes with real style and individuality.
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Kat Onyirioha is a first generation Nigerian-American and a lover of all things funny, creative and good in taste. She began making her own earrings over nine years ago while almost everyone she knew was wearing and doing the same thing. Her desire for individuality, unique expression and self love is her motivation. The designs she creates are inspired by various cultures, art, music and her Nigerian heritage. Her earrings help express whatever it is she is feeling on any given day, most importantly, they compliment her style. She hopes Juste Etre can do the same for you.
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Tiffany Recio is the founder of Recio Designs. As a contemporary designer and metalsmith, Tiffany is entirely engaged in the creative process from the initial sketch to the finished product. Her humble beginnings as a dental lab technician, working on an assembly line manufacturing crowns and dental prosthetics, stams the start of her passion for the process. Tiffany was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and earned a Bachelors Degree in the Arts from the University of Houston. She is a member of the Houston Metal Arts Guild, Society of North American Goldsmiths, Fashion Group International, and now has 21 years of experience under her belt. Recio Designs maintains the highest regard for the integrity of each piece, considering its authenticity, quality and marketable traits. Recio Designs' mission is to create quality jewelry for men and women who appreciate unique American craftsmanship.
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The Paisley Robin
With wanderlust in her heart and roaming on her mind, Amara Dawson made her first big step into traveling by moving to Kansas with her partner Joshua. In the time that they spent there, they adopted two dogs and traveled all over, which is what pushed her to start her own business. She has never wanted to stay in one place, and realized working a 9-5 job was not what she saw for herself. Towards the end of their time in Kansas, Amara started making candles and The Paisley Robin was born.
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A self-taught designer from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Maria Unamuno has a background in marketing and commerce. The temptation to express herself in something that she could use every day, led to designing women's accessories nine years ago. After trying different items, Maria focused on handbags and created a brand back in Ecuador. She started Ceibo after a move to Houston with her husband. Maria's main inspiration is the color and she likes to express it through different textures, shapes, and a variety of materials. All of her items are handmade in her Houston home.
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Artist Tim Pellerin honed his artistic abilities by experimenting with many mediums; including paints, acrylics, sculpting, stained glass, metalwork, lost wax casting, welding and airbrushing. It was in L.A. where he rediscovered leather. Starting with small projects for Hollywood, he began playing with costume work. Designing fashions was just a natural progression of exploring this creative venture. Drawing inspiration from his varied interests and experiences, mixed with a child-like sense of wonder (and sense of humor), the artist hopes you enjoy his work. Now proudly based in Houston, each piece is handcrafted by the artist, variations in materials and methods ensure each one is truly one of a kind.
Learn more about Danger Longhorn
From a young age, Brittany Moore learned the value of taking care of her skin, thanks to her mom, who is an aesthetician. She studied holistic nutrition in 2007, and expanded her knowledge even further during a trip to India, where she learned about traditional Hindu medicine. Brittany started making soaps and other skincare products with pure, organic rosehip seed oil, which makes a noticeable difference on scars, evening out skin tones, helping with eczema and reducing wrinkles. Blending this with beautiful essential oils, potent extracts and powerful French clay, Brittany created Rosehip Essentials, a spa-quality line of skincare. Rosehip Essentials is not only natural and effective, but a joy to use.
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Simple Nut Organics
Two years ago, Arunkon Vass was searching for a soap that would ease the skin condition of her two sons who have eczema. Not finding anything to her satisfaction, Arunkon began the process of creating her own formula of soap bars. She adopted techniques learned from her mom, who is a shampoo-making in Thailand, and through experimentation, she perfected Simple Nut Organics.
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Balushka Paper Floral Artistry
Khrystyna Balushka, owner of Balushka Paper Artistry, has been around paper her whole life. Her parents have a printing business in Ukraine, and Khrystyna would help them with it. After obtaining a Master's degree at the Institute of Math, Economy and Technology in Odessa, Ukraine, she moved to America to study fashion. While in School, a professer asked her to create paper flowers, for a photo shoot. After teaching herself how to make them, Balushka Paper Floral Artistry was born. Khrystyna's inspiration comes from nature, geometry, travel and life itself. All of her work is handmade in Houston with the finest paper and embellished with crystals, pearls and lace.
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