I recently got to interview the very sweet & business savvy team behind the super cute EllieCole traveling boutique here in Austin, TX. The dynamic duo that is Melissa & Claudia are both mothers to three little girls and love building their boutique together and watching it grow! Both lovely ladies used to be teachers before becoming mother's and ultimately going into business together so that they could stay at home and raise their daughters while also setting a wonderful example of what it is to be strong and successful women. They are proving to women everywhere that we really can have and do it all! Check out their interview below and go show them some love on their social media! Be sure to stop by their website too so you can see all of the super cute apparel and accessories that they offer!
Tell us about your business and how you ladies became the successful business women you are today.
When we purchased the business, we did it because it was an exciting adventure that we thought was a great opportunity. Melissa and I are both previous teachers that became stay at home moms when our girls were born. We love the aspect of empowering women and making them feel confident about themselves. One of our favorite bible verses is, "She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future." We felt that taking this business on is exactly that. We have definitely spent many long days and nights working on getting each season ready, but the success of having women feel confident and loving how they look keeps us motivated to make ourselves better. One of our favorite aspects of running the business is having customers tell us that they get so many compliments when wearing our clothing and how fabulous it makes them feel.
Describe yourselves in three words:
Melissa and I are passionate, caring and supportive in all aspects of our lives. Whether it is being a mom or being a business woman, we try to put our hearts into every detail.
What do you both consider is your greatest professional achievement?
Our greatest professional achievement is making the decision to buy EllieCole and continuing to help it grow and be successful. Both Melissa and I have three girls each, and they are the light of our lives. We love that they see their moms being successful female entrepreneurs. We get to set an example showing it's ok to take a risk on something completely new. The way our little company continues to grow every day is exciting, and we cannot wait for what the future holds!
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
We hope to continue expanding our business and gain new customers. We are constantly trying to make ourselves and the company better. Our goal would be to continue empowering women by making them feel better about themselves. All of this has been a learning experience and we hope to continue growing ourselves personally and professionally to make us better moms and the best fashion mommas out there!
What profession other than your own would you gals like to attempt?
We would love to design our own personal line of tees. It would be so fun to incorporate the designing process to our boutique and sell our own things.
How do you ladies maintain a work/life balance?
What we do is so fun! My husband has joked in the past how my working is really just shopping. Our families are so close that it helps us have "work meetings" and our kids will just playing together. With our business, we are able for the most part to set our own hours, so we can schedule times to work that fit our families' schedules.
What websites do you both visit everyday?
We love to keep up with the trends and what's new in the fashion industry! We are especially interested in incorporating fashion in a mom's life. Here are some of our favorites:
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
Claudia loves south Congress street and eating at one of the many great restaurants, then walking to Big Top Candy Shop. Melissa loves grabbing a margarita and sitting outside on a nice sunny day at Shady Grove. We both agree Zilker Park is a must do for outdoor fun.
What are your goals for retirement?
Claudia's dream is to have her own beach house on the coast somewhere, enjoying the sun and sand with a drink in her hand. Melissa loves to travel, so her dream is to collect stamps in her passport.
Do you ladies have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
You can do anything you put your mind to. It's important to find a support system and rely on them. We have met some great people through the process and everyone is willing to help a fellow small business owner. If you don't know something, ask, ask, ask. The path will sometimes be difficult, but perseverance is key. Never give up!
Any final comments?
A journey that takes you out of your comfort zone can turn into an amazing adventure!
Hi lovely people! As we all know summer starts early here in our gorgeous city of Austin so I figured I would get out our Summer Camp Guide for 2017 early too so that ya'll can have some great suggestions of where to send the kids this summer! Austin offers a crazy amount of summer camps for kids of all ages but below are the select dozen (out of over 150) that I believe are really fun, affordable and will be beneficial to your children. All of these camps still have spaces available so feel free to contact them directly and sign up your little ones! These camps range from horse back riding to dance to science camps and everything in between so there is definitely something for every unique child to participate in and give you a little break during the summer! I can imagine that after an eventful day at camp, your children will come home ready to relax for the rest of the evening and head to bed early, that is worth every penny of these camps! Lol, I'm just kidding, but really summer camps are an amazing way for young people to connect, stay active over summer break and maybe even meet new, cool and interesting friends whom they wouldn't of otherwise met at school. Lastly, Moms stay tuned because I'll be coming out with a guide for you as well about where to go to relax and rejuvenate while your lovely kids are at these awesome summer camps!
Northwind Pony Pals
Northwind Stable is a unique horse boarding and lesson facility - specializing in boarding only miniature horses and ponies. Betty Will has owned and operated Northwind Stable since 1986. Betty’s passion is two fold:
Introducing children to the joy and fun that comes from being around miniature horses;
Introducing adults and children to carriage driving miniature horses.
Summer Camp is open to any child age 6-12. Maximum number of campers each week is 8 children.
Your child will develop confidence in working with a minia-ture horse in a safe and fun environment.
Each child is assigned a miniature horse and will start the day feeding their horse.
Learn about grooming, how to halter and lead a horse.
Your child will develop horsemanship skills by learning how to lead a horse through an obstacle course and showman-ship pattern.
2017 Camp Dates/Hours:
June 5 – 9, June 12 – 16, June 19 – 23, June 26 – 30
8:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.
Saturday Morning Club
Join the Saturday morning lesson group and have fun with a miniature horse. Enjoy hang-ing out in the barn, feeding, grooming, leading a mini through an obstacle course and the joy that comes from being around horses and friends.
10 a.m.—11:30 a.m.
Cost Per Saturday: $20
Location: 1355 CR 105, Hutto 78634
Whiz Biz Kids
This camp is one that will keep paying it forward for years to come!
WhizBizKids is an innovative program that gives kids real-life, real-money experience through starting and running a pop-up business for a week. The Campers create a real product, sell it for real money, and they keep the profits! They experience first-hand the challenges and victories of managing money and business.
At WhizBizKids, we believe that kids should have a place outside school and home to chase their dreams, explore their passions, and get to know themselves so they can have the courage to follow their own unique path. This passion is why we created our summer camps, a place Where Kids Come To Build Their Dreams.
5 day camps – Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm (Extended day available)This fun, interactive experience is available to kids ages of 8 – 13 and for teens ages 14 – 18.
Cost: $325 plus the cost of the restaurant lunch and a snack. Prices are below.
Children meals (ages 12 and under only): $40
Adult meals: $50
Adult meals High 5: $60
Our teen camp includes the same great pop-up business, financial literacy, and leadership experiences as the kids’ camp, but also includes a technology element to prepare for the college careers, startups, and jobs of tomorrow.
Science Mill STEM Camp
Join the STEM Squad at Concordia University and become a scientist, engineer and programmer of the future! Dive into the adventure of a different STEM career each day as you explore the world of microbes with a microscope you build and take home, investigate clues to solve a crime, program robots to complete crazy challenges, and discover the wonders of e-textiles! Let the engineering design process be your guide as you have a fun and exciting adventure while creating and designing solutions to real-world problems. This camp includes a one-day field trip to the Science Mill in Johnson City.
Location: Concordia University, 11400 Concordia University Dr, Austin, 78726
Dance Austin Studio
Get ready for summer fun at Dance Austin Studio! Dance Austin Studio is offering dance camps for all ages and genres. Learn fundamental technique, musicality and have a blast learning the latest choreographed dances! In our camps your child will explore various styles of today's most popular dance forms. Our professional level instructors will also teach them performance techniques, staging, formations, and audition tips/etiquette. The camp will also emphasize creativy through education as students will have creative arts classes in addition to dance classes. On Friday, camp will conclude with a performance for family & friends! These camps are not only exciting but are the perfect way to prepare your dancer for our upcoming Hip Hop Crew and Contemporary Jazz Company Auditions on August 5th, 2017.
RISING STAR CAMPS RATES:
One Week: $245
Daily Drop-In: $65/day (M, T, W only)
Sibling Discount and Multiple Week Discount: $15 Off
Early Drop Off/Late Pick Up: $25/week
Location: 9012 Research Blvd Suite C-5 Austin, 78758
Summer Spark offers weekly hands-on, creative problem solving camps from June 12th through August 25th for rising 1st – 6th graders. The regular camp day is from 9am – 3:30pm, with the option of extended hours from 8am – 6pm. In June and July, camps will be located in downtown Austin at Headwaters School, formerly Khabele, 801 Rio Grande St, 78701. In August, camps will be located in Westlake at Acton Academy West, near Emler swim school, 3423 Bee Cave Rd, 78746.
With packed schedules, powerful media everywhere, and performance pressure on schools, we believe that a fundamental component of a strong foundation is missing in the lives of many children today. The ability to tackle a problem with no set solution – to think creatively and flexibly, to struggle, fail, and try again, to test, revise, and reiterate. At Summer Spark, we strive to fill this gap. We are all about physical experiments, purposeful tinkering, messy construction.
Each week at Summer Spark features a different challenge which provides the opportunity to boost the 3Cs – creative problem solving, collaboration, and confidence. Whether designing a rollercoaster for a marble or building a car from recycled materials, campers apply creativity as they innovate, collaborate with peers in search of solutions, and gain confidence as they learn from set-backs. Summer Spark days are a careful balance between individual and group activity, and time for relaxation, reflection, and play.
Keep Austin Smart-Science Connection
Science Connection allow children to discover scientific Phenomena in an interactive and exciting way through a variety of hands-on activities. All classes are led by teachers with special 'hands-on science' training. Daily camp activities include building with science, scientific snack, outdoor science, and science stories and discovering science. All children receive fun take-home science activities, a free water bottle and a 'Keep Austin Smart' T-Shirt!
Ages: 4 years old as of September 1, 20117 to 5th grade graduates.
Lego and Robotic camps for children currently in kindergarten to 5th grade graduates.
Location: Peace Lutheran Church
Phoenix Arising-Camp Challenger
Camp Challenger is an energetic, interactive, and fun learning experience for kids aged 7-12! For 5 days, campers will work in teams to complete a range of daily STEM-based challenges! Teams will earn points for their achievements and recognition for competing with a positive attitude. Whether learning about our solar system in a game of cosmic dodgeball or unlocking secret messages through coding, your child will certainly feel inspired and successful after each day of camp. Your child will be guided by highly trained instructors who are enthusiastic about STEM and creating an environment where everyone feels included and supported.
June 12-16 - Challenger 1 - NYOS Charter Schoo, N. Lamar
June 19-23 - Challenger 2 - NYOS Charter School, N. Lamar
July 24-28 - Challnger 1 - Unity Church of the Hills, Anderson Mill Rd.
July 31-Aug 4 - Challenger 2 - Unity Church of the Hills, Anderson Mill Rd.
Cost: $395 per child or per session *discounts for registering for multiple children or sessions
Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy 11782 Jollyville, Rd. Suite 201 Austin, TX 78759
Rock About - Rock Climbing Camp
Rock-About believes climbing young can help groom kids into great adults. Our Austin summer camps are a great way to get your kids outside in a safe way. Rock climbing builds positive interactions with others as well as teaches to work together as a team. We offer many summer camps and a Christmas break camp as well. Only kids 9 and up are allowed for this camp.
Our Climbing Camps are day camps that include 5 great days of climbing at area locations. With Two days at the Austin Greenbelt, Two days at Reimer’s Ranch and One day at the great Enchanted Rock. The Enchanted Rock trip also includes going through the really neat cave and climbing.
Each day we meet at the first climbing location near 360 (Capitol of TX Hwy) and Hwy 1 (Mopac). We meet at 8:30 each day except Friday where we meet at 8am.
LocationsThis camp goes to all our main locations: Enchanted Rock, Reimer’s Ranch and the Austin Barton Creek Greenbelt.
Cost $399 per person
Calendar 2017 Camp Schedule:
Week 1: June 5th - 9th
Week 2: June 12th – 16th
Week 3: June 19th -23th
Week 4: June 26th – June 30th
Week 5: July 10th - July 14th
Week 6: July 17th - July 21st
Week 7: July 24th - July 28th
Week 8: July 31st - August 4th
Gear Included: Helmets, Climbing Shoes, Harnesses, Ropes
Cancellation Policy: Refunds are only possible 30 days prior to the scheduled camp. If you're able to replace your spot with another camper we will consider a refund after the 30 cut off. No exceptions to this policy.
kidsActing is Austin’s favorite and longest-running year-round performing arts school for teens to toddlers. We've offered fun and engaging summer camps for children aged 4-19 since 1980. This year we will pull out all the stops as we host award-winning camps with top-notch themes that culminate in performances to WOW friends and family. Most importantly, kidsActing ensures a summer filled with friends and fun!
Multi-week camps include a 3-week FULL-SCALE PLAY PRODUCTION camp in June and a 4-week FULL-SCALE MUSICAL PRODUCTION camp in July and August. Kids have a blast rehearsing a professionally produced show with lights, costumes, make-up, set, props, and live accompaniment, which they then perform for a public audience at Center Stage Theatre! Our popular one-week
Our one-week full day ADVENTURES IN ACTING camps are for ages 6-12 or 8-14. Adventure awaits as kids become a character, learn stage combat, and star in one of our amazing acting camps. The week culminates in a performance for family and friends, complete with costumes, lights, and props.
Our 1/2 day CREATIVE KIDS camps for Younger Children, ages 4-8, are great intros to musical theatre. Creative Kids is a special half-day Triple Threat Camp for younger kids. They sing, dance, act, and play fun theatre games, and perform a mini-musical revue at the end of the week.
kidsActing’s camps are hosted in over 15 locations throughout Central Texas, including several in Austin, plus Westlake, Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Oak Hill, and Dripping Springs.
It’s easy to find an awesome summer camp in your neighborhood.
Award-Winning kidsActing summer camps are where children of all ages will not only get the chance to learn valuable skills, but also let their STAR SHINE all summer long!
Mad Science camps are designed with exciting, fun and hands-on science activities for 4-12 year olds. Your child will become a junior scientist for the week, having the opportunity to experience a variety of science adventures. We use an inquiry-based technique that allows even the youngest camper to enjoy learning. Children will design, create, build and assemble a variety of interesting projects. 9 different camp themes are available including robots, rockets, spy academy, grossology, camp eureka and more! Mad Science has camp locations all over town. Register now: Pay Later!
Onion Creek Club
Onion Creek Club is Austin's most historic golf club. Founded in 1974 by three-time Masters Champion, Jimmy Demaret, and golf legend, Jimmie Connolly, Onion Creek Club has built a rich tradition of understated elegance based on quality and family values. The club is offering a few different camps this summer for your children to enjoy!
Location: 2510 Onion Creek Pkwy, Austin 78747
Earth Native Wilderness School
Join Earth Native Wilderness School Summer Camps for a summer of Nature and Fun! Our unique outdoor nature camps get kids outside exploring, connecting, and learning old school style (aka before the TV had 400 channels...). Earth Native taps into innate child's passions to inspire learning and outdoor play that leads to adventure and deep longterm connections to the outdoors. Your kids will have a blast, we promise!
Nature and Wilderness Survival Skills themed Day Camps at McKinney Falls State Park in Southeast Austin. Ages 3.5-12 - $285/wk
Overnight Wilderness Skills Camps at our beautiful wooded campus 25 minutes east of Austin in Bastrop, TX. Ages 9-16 - $595/wk
Location: 137 Woodview Lane, Bastrop 78602
Sherwood Forest Faire
How many of us wonder if we could have been really great at some type of craft or skill, given an earlier start? Sherwood Forest Summer Camp attendees have the opportunity to try their hands at many crafts and skills that are no longer widely taught. Maybe your child is a natural with a bow? Or perhaps they are made for the stage, but never had a chance to be in a play before. It is amazing what a child can learn without the distractions of the modern.
Campers may choose to sleep in Sherwood Castle (yes, it’s a real castle) or in one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions (with nightly bedtime stories).
We offer a healthy, kid friendly menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Our catering is performed by Brou HaHa, who has a solid history serving patrons at Sherwood Forest Faire since its inception.
All of our hands-on activities take place in our 23-acre medieval village. Campers will be transported back in time to a world of knights, ladies, and a simpler way of life. Campers will learn skills essential to daily living in the medieval era. No modern entertainment devices will be available.
Hi everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful first week of April, I definitely did as I was in Positano, Italy on a yoga retreat!
Before I headed to Europe, I had the wonderful pleasure of staying at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Houston and wanted to let ya’ll know how wonderful this place is! When my husband and I first arrived right in the heart of downtown, the valet was so helpful and so were the guys who took our bags. We were quickly greeted by Marty Oeser, the director of sales, who was super friendly! He gave me a tour of the property and a very helpful education on the Magnolia and the area surrounding it! The hotel is located right off of Texas Avenue which gives you easy access to the historic district, Theater district, a ton of museums, restaurants and places to shop!
After a lovely tour of the bar/restaurant area we headed up to the gorgeous roof top pool and hot tub. The views couldn’t of gotten any better and the pool was set to just the right temperature! We also went through their well equipped gym and spacious meeting/board room area before heading to our suite!
When I opened the door to our suite, I was pleasantly surprised with how large of a space we had! There was living room with an office area, basically a full size kitchen and then a small hallway that lead to our large master bedroom and bathroom. After a glass of the complimentary champagne and a chocolate covered strawberry, I enjoyed a nice long hot shower it the oversized tub/shower! I did a Facebook live video giving the full tour of the suite if you want to head over and check it out!
The Magnolia Houston Hotel is one of the oldest in the city and has been well maintained through out the years! Marty also informed me that there will be a full renovation in the Fall so I will look forward to going back and seeing what amazing things they’ve done! All of the staff we interacted with were so nice and very welcoming. My husband and I had a delicious breakfast delivered to our room right on time the next morning, the fruit plate with honey dip is a must!
If you’re looking to take a trip to Houston and want to stay in a very central and hip location, be sure to check out this wonderful hotel. You’ll have plenty of space in your room and be within walking distance of all of the fun things to do as well as many highly reviewed restaurants to eat at!
Hi all! My name is Kacey and I am a realtor, a wife and a dog mom of 3 dachshunds in the wonderful city of Austin! I'm also a yoga & food lover, pretty good cook, wanna be crafter, hot tea drinker, movie watcher and most importantly I am the gal behind Austin Housewives in the City! I hope to see you at one of our Girl's Night Out events soon!!