How I got here - This time last year, I hit my wall. I was officially going to walk away from the brand. It seems so crazy typing that now. One morning I gave my notice to the stores I was working with in Houston. The relief that hit me was real. But I have to admit I was sad too.
Everything happens for a reason, right? That same day - hours later - I got a text saying "how would you like to open your own store in Round Top?" I laughed. No way, I thought. My husband encouraged me to drive out and look at the location. When I saw the building at the corner of Mill and Live Oak, I knew I was doing this.
That text came from Southern Beasts. The building used to be a restaurant, Teague's Tavern. Sapana is in what used to be the kitchen. Mary Lou Marks the owner and artist of Southern Beasts is next door in the former dining room. No way I would be here if it wasn't for her.
I tell Mary Lou I owe her my first-born child quite often. Every time she politely declines - no clue why, CJ's a great kid. Mary Lou is a self-taught artist. She has an eye. She sources the most amazing antique fabrics - needlepoints, tapestries, beadwork - some dating back to 1800.
Her creativity and imagination give life to the animal forms she covers with fabric. Her hats are not to be missed either - vintage Stetsons embellished with trims and textiles that she loves.
She's an amazing soul. And a trip to Round Top is not complete without a visit to her store.
Oh, one of her most recent accomplishments - Mary Lou's textile art can be seen in the restored bungalow used in the film "Top Gun". Barstools, a faux cow head, and wooden logs in the fireplace were all crafted by Mary Lou herself. The "Top Gun House" was mentioned in Architectural Digest with a nod given to her artistry.
Sharing a building with Mary Lou and her daughter Kellye has been one of the best parts of this experience. Being next to another lover of textiles and someone who has seen Round Top evolve from the beginning - that's pretty special.
Shop Sapana and Southern Beasts on Henkel Square at 105 North Live Oak in Round Top.