T H E X O C R A W L
Sunday, February 17th | East Austin | Pop-Up x Bar Crawl | Benefitting Creative Action
Local love is in the air. Grab your friends, wear red and fall for East Austin all over again. Join us on The XO Crawl for artisan vendors, live music, drinks, day-of specials and more across hand-selected East 6th/7th businesses and bars, ending with an exclusive after party for VIP ticket holders.
A portion of ticket sales were donated to Creative Action, an ATX non-profit that uses the arts to empower and educate youth through the transformative power of creative expression, social and emotional learning, and social justice education.
Meet a few of the Austinites
behind the local businesses on The XO Crawl
Photo credit: Kelsey Butler Harrison
Founder of REVELRY, The XO Crawl Registration Lounge + VIP After Party Location
1. In two sentences, who is Amberly?
I am first and foremost a mother to the dopest 14 year old ever, Peyton. I am also a very curious and passionate person who does not like to be labeled or to be told that I cannot achieve something.
2. When it comes to #boss levels, you're at the top-- founder of REVELRY, founder of The Swoon Event, owner of Yeah Party Co., partner at The Getaway Motor Club. Tell us about your journey to becoming an owner of multiple businesses.
When people asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", I always had a different answer. I've always been a bit of a walking contradiction, so although I once had a passion for the corporate real estate life, I also knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I decided about four years ago to stand in my truth and ignore the norms. If I have a passion for something, I am going to pursue it...sometimes thoughtfully and sometimes on a whim. I've been fortunate that my businesses/ideas are somewhat related, so the transition made sense to me.
3. What's your mission OR what motivates you?
I'm motivated by other small businesses and creatives with a true community-first focus and truly see the good in others. When I am able to create a successful event that leads to new collaborations or sales, it gives me even more motivation to keep going while looking for more creative ways to build on that.
4. What challenges have you faced being a mompreneur and how have you tackled them?
There's never enough time in the day! It's something I still struggle with. My hope is that I am building something for her, while also showing her what hard work looks like. Fortunately, she's is older now. She has taken an interest in some of my work, so we can bond over shopping my markets or by seeking her input.
5. What's the best advice you've ever received? What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
My mentor Marion told me to let go of other people's perceptions and expectations of me and just trust in myself and the ideas that I have. I must admit, I did not listen to her for YEARS and I wish I had. I'm living by this now, and would offer the same advice to others.
6. Anything else you'd like to share with us?
It may sound cheesy, but I usually come out on top when I trust my instincts. Personally, professionally, it is all in sync.
Photo Credit: Jay Ybarra
Founder of Hen House, Crawl Stop on The XO Crawl
Who is Gabrielle?
My Mother was a nurse in the peace corps stationed in my fathers village in Honduras they fell in love, came to the US and started a family. Gabrielle is the Third and middle child out of the five kids. Was very rebellious growing up and independent. Left San Antonio 6 years ago desperate for something new, and found everything she was hoping for in Austin.
How did you become a bar owner? And why did you choose the East side?
The east side is the best side! Also was the first side i ever bartended on. Worked/ Ran the rhino room for a few years left to Dallas to run another bar. When the previous owner approached me to buy the bar, I definitely was not ready but felt if i didn't jump on it then i would regret it forever.
What does the "Hen House" mean to you?
The idea of hen house came to me when a few of my Scottish friends would say "its like a hen house in there with all you women" I loved the idea. I want the HenHouse to be a place for the women empowerment, unity, and artistry of all kinds. Being a young business owner, i want to encourage all women that we are capable of all things great no matter how old.
What is your mission and vision for Hen House?
I want Hen house to be a place for art. Visually, musically, and creativity. I want Hen house to be where artist of all kinds feel empowered and have a great cocktail while doing so (;
Who are the women the drinks are named after? Which is your favorite drink?
The women on the menu are all named after my sisters, mother, and best girl friends. Women who have inspired me and been there for me through thick and thin. My big brother Adrian is also on the menu 'Adriana' i just had to add the a in order for him to make the cut (;
My favorite drink would definitely have to be the Solana. Mezcal is my absolute favorite, and its named after my most favorite artist SZA.
Chris + the High Dive Sparkling Water team
Founder of High Dive Sparkling Water, the hydration sponsor for The XO Crawl
What's the mission and vision of High Dive? How have your life experiences helped shape this mission/vision?
High Dive would like to bring a local refreshing beverage that everyone can enjoy while benefiting local public schools with better options for fresh fruits and vegetables. While we think sparkling water is great, helping children have options for more nutritious lunches makes High Dive far more than a local business; we hope to be a supportive community to the students in Austin Public Schools and better their everyday health. I grew up in the same public schools I’m hoping to support. I’m hoping to make their lunch experience more enjoyable and healthier than the options they have now. We believe that good nutrition at a young age could impact their wellness all around.
Tell us more about your partnership with Austin Public Schools. How does having a quality lunch impact students?
We reached out to multiple schools within AISD (as well as the district’s food service department) throughout the city. Our focus is to improve fresh vegetables and fruits in elementary school cafeterias. Our goals with food improvement aligns well with the AISD’s current focus on modernizing various schools with updated kitchen layouts, food trucks and dispersed dining.
I think sometimes meals in America are rushed and born out of convenience. Especially school lunches, you go through a line and pick out what looks the most appetizing and your meal is prepared in under a minute. When there aren’t any options or any appetizing options for fresh fruits and vegetables students are obviously going to pick out the most appetizing thing that they see which is usually not the healthiest. When given the option, kids will choose the fresh fruits and vegetables. A quality meal furthers them throughout their day, or maybe it could provide them with the fruits and vegetables they’re not getting at home. When I think of sparkling water I think of how refreshing it is, and when I think of fruits and vegetables that goes hand in hand to me. We’re hoping to provide them with sustenance that feels more enriching.
Tell us the story of how you got into the sparkling water business. Why sparkling water?
I honestly just love sparkling water and to make it healthier, we chose not to add any sodium or preservatives, to filter it thorough and align it with our local mission.
What's surprised you the most about starting a business in Austin?
We love our hometown and its people. It’s a great place to start a business and share ideas. We enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit of Austin. We even got advice from competing businesses.
What sets High Dive apart from other sparkling water options?
We’re local and we’re here to be apart of the community. High Dive is not just a business. It’s healthy sparkling water with absolutely no sodium. It’s about transforming a generation through healthy and whole eating in our schools, in our city and our community.