When Juan Jose "JJ" Carrion and Ericka Zuleta decided to launch their gourmet mobile coffee cart Brightside Coffee at the beginning of the year, they had no idea how tricky things were about to get. Carrior is in finance for a major chemical company, and Zuleta's getting an MBA at UH while juggling her own day job in oil and gas project management, so the idea of opening their own biz may taste a little, well, bitter. But despite setbacks, the couple has found bold success, through pop-ups at weekend farmers markets, and through an innovative new big-batch cold-brew delivery service.

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Food

Landmark Decision

As coworking spaces and tech incubators become mainstream in H-Town, an iconic Midtown building is reimagined with the help of a team at Rice.

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When it opened in 1939, Houston’s flagship Sears store was among the first air-conditioned buildings in the city, and the first department store in the world with escalators. Every modern convenience and shopping need was brought together under one roof in the art-deco masterpiece, a showstopper of its time. But as the decades passed, the building and its Midtown surroundings fell on bleaker times, and their significance faded as wrecking balls loomed. 

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Business+Innovation

Perfect Setting

Jeweler Richard van der Dys brings a polished pedigree and personal touch to his newly expanded Woodlands showroom.

Jack Thompson
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Richard van der Dys fulfilled a lifelong dream when he opened his independent jewelry boutique in The Woodlands Waterway Square back in 2018. The sparkly shop quickly drew attention, both from new visitors and from longtime customers who knew Vander Dys — a 30-year industry veteran — during his days as manager of the area’s now-shuttered Donoho’s Jewellery. After a year in biz, Vander Dys Fine Jewelers doubled its footprint, taking over the art gallery downstairs. And with new designer acquisitions and one-of-a-kind custom pieces in the works, 2020 is shaping up to be an equally dazzling year.

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Style+Culture