Veronica Ortuño, Founder and Director of Las Cruxes & Interior Designer

Veronica Ortuño, Founder and Director of Las Cruxes & Interior Designer

Founder and director of the Austin-based boutique Las Cruxes, Veronica Ortuno stays busy. Beyond the Las Cruxes storefront, which showcases Veronica’s remarkable eye for the unexpectedly beautiful when it comes to home goods, independent designer apparel, vintage, and vinyl, the space also serves as both gallery and community space, hosting everything from chess clubs to women’s groups. In addition to this, Veronica manages her own interior design firm, Casa Veronica, which is primarily based in Detroit. Her graciousness with herself as both a business owner and creative person shine brightly, particularly with her response to what her “big dream” is:  “I suppose just intuitively feeling and knowing wholeheartedly where I need to be. No regrets, even in past experiences and choices that at the time maybe weren’t the best for me. Life is so complex and you can learn so much if you open yourself up to it. I try to just enjoy the journey, take the good with the bad, think big and keep manifesting.”

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Alex Cohen, Musician & Producer

Alex Cohen, Musician & Producer

Since the release of her debut album, This Is Not a Bedroom in 2014, Alex Cohen of Alex Napping and Pema, hasn’t stopped working. Signed to both Father/Daughter Records and Topshelf Records, with 4 albums and an EP under her belt, as well as an array of music videos, Alex's incredible drive and work ethic have proved the maxim, “the harder I work, the luckier I get” truer than ever. However, it's her words on process that display both the effort and resilience required to truly enjoy making things: "enjoying the journey, enjoying the process, for me it’s been a long and hard-won thing, to realize I really do enjoy the process. It obviously is important to me to finish things...but I really do just love to work."

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Murphy Anne Carter, Writer & Director at Freehand Arts Project

Murphy Anne Carter, Writer & Director at Freehand Arts Project

Austin-based writer and activist Murphy Anne Carter truly practices what she preaches. The director of the Freehand Arts Project, a non-profit organization that brings art, writing and literature classes to individuals incarcerated in Texas, Murphy balances a rigorous teaching schedule at the prison, in addition to studying Public Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. Beyond Murphy's unwavering belief in the power of art and language in the lives of some of America's most underserved individuals, her wonderful motto,  "Discipline is remembering what you want," serves as a reminder for all of us to courageously pursue whatever it is that we love.

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Emi Zehr-Do, Hairstylist, Business Owner, & Social Media & Digital Strategist

Emi Zehr-Do, Hairstylist, Business Owner, & Social Media & Digital Strategist

Austin’s queen of effortlessly chic “cool girl hair,” Emi Zehr-Do was born in Tajikistan, and has a career in hair that’s spanned stints in Paris, Montreal and New York City. Currently traveling nationally and internationally styling and coloring hair, Emi is fluent in four languages, and has hands in projects ranging from translation and product development, to social media and digital strategy. Additionally, her work been featured by brands such as Verb and Sephora. Beyond her sheer talent and artistry within the beauty industry, Emi's courage in the face of obstacles and graceful outlook are inspiring:  “You just have to find a way to continue to be humble, continue to value yourself, and just be okay with yourself in general. As long as I’m behaving in a way that is matching my intentions, then I don’t stress.”

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