Bold. Daring. Influential.

From fashion designers to restaurateurs, musical ensembles to entrepreneurs, Shaping:Houston tells the stories of those who are influencing the cultural landscape of Houston.

Estela Cockrell

Estela Cockrell is a lawyer turned entrepreneur, and at the heart of everything – a mom on a mission to make clean living easier. See how she is making it easier for others to buy clean products and purify their lives with Switch2Pure.

Estela Cockrell is on a mission to make it easier for others to buy clean products and purify their lives.

Morgan and Andy Sommer

Morgan and Andy Sommer left their traditional careers behind to pursue their shared dream of bringing an “artisan outpost” to Houston. See how these partners in life and business are lifting up the maker community at Forth and Nomad in the Heights.

Grant Pinkerton

Grant Pinkerton knew early on he had a passion for making first-class barbecue for his friends and family. See how this Texas-born and bred Pitmaster is serving up mouthwatering brisket, sausage and sides at Pinkerton’s Barbecue.

Rachael Volz

Through hard work and dedication, Rachael Volz worked her way up from the reception desk at A Fare Extraordinaire to become Owner and CEO. See how this fourth-generation Houstonian is using her fire and passion to reimagine the luxury event planning industry and make moments that last a lifetime.

Robert Jucker

The son of Polish immigrants, Robert Jucker has kneaded his historical family establishment, Three Brothers Bakery, into the folds of an ever-changing food world. See how this fifth-generation baker is remaining true to his roots while serving up some of Houston's finest baked goods.

Zack Ruhl

Zack Ruhl has never let anything hold him back – not even a birth defect that left him without the use of his legs. See how this adaptive CrossFitter is shattering both expectations and bench-press records at the same time.

Libby Koch

Libby Koch started performing music while in law school, but she never imagined it would become more than just a hobby. See how this lawyer-turned-musician is treading her own path in the Americana music scene using her classic country voice.

Ryan Baird

Their signature product may be Outlaw Bourbon, but there’s nothing criminal about Yellow Rose Distilling. See how co-founder Ryan Baird brought Houston’s first legal whiskey distillery to life.

Gilbert Perez

Where many people see a teardown, designer Gilbert Perez sees opportunity. See how the founder of Bungalow Revival is restoring the roots of the Historic Heights neighborhood one home at a time.

Veronica Rademacher

Houston Chef Veronica Rademacher couldn’t just lie around as the Harvey floodwaters began to rise in Southeast Texas. Even though her prepared meal company Vital Kitchen had shut down due to the weather, she mobilized volunteers to gather supplies, cook, and serve over 20,000 meals to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Gaurav Khandelwal

Immigrating from India to the US in 1997, Gaurav Khandelwal did everything from sell kitchen knives to deliver pizza to pay for his undergraduate degree in computer science. See how his hard work lead him to create one of Houston’s fastest growing tech companies, ChaiOne.

Travis Weaver

Work Hard, Live Well – that’s the mantra Travis Weaver has lived by since he set out to create Manready Mercantile. See how this Texas native is bringing locally crafted, high quality goods and apparel to Houston’s historic Heights neighborhood.

Jennifer Welker

What started off as a creative outlet to decompress from her daily life as a NICU nurse, turned into an treasured career designing hand-made, custom jewelry for women of all ages. Now, see how Jennifer Welker is weaving her way into Houston’s fashion scene with Golden Thread.

Charlie Hardwick

After an illness left him legally blind, Charlie Hardwick’s career as a graphic designer not only continued, it flourished. See how this innovative artist took adversity head on to create remarkable designs, posters and more at Uncle Charlie Art.

Judy Camarena

When Judy Camarena took over the family business in 2004, she set out to breathe new life into a renowned Houston franchise. See how she is putting her unique spin on traditional Mexican cuisine at Taquerias Arandas.

Rassul Zarinfar

Rassul Zarinfar is shaking up the way people experience beer at Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. See how this poet-turned-entrepreneur is putting his own creative spin on the craft beer scene in Houston

Manabu Horiuchi

Following his profound passion for cooking, Chef Manabu Horiuchi (Chef Hori) came to the United States without knowing a word of English. See how this renowned Chef is shaking up traditional Japanese cuisine in Houston at Kata Robata Sushi + Grill.

Denise Hamilton

After spending years in corporate America, Denise Hamilton sought a place where women could give advice and find helpful resources to be successful in the workplace. See how she’s building a community and helping women thrive through

Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram

At 18, Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram made the life-altering decision to cure her hyperglycemia by committing to a fully raw vegan lifestyle. Ten years later, see how she's spreading the FullyRaw message one bushel of organic produce at a time.

Danielle Johnston

At age 19, Danielle Johnston's world was shaken when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and soon after lost her mother to cancer. Now a 10-year cancer survivor, see how she's helping others in their fights against cancer at Texas Children's Cancer Center.

Onyii Brown

With only a dream and a wrap skirt, Onyii Brown created a unique and exciting fashion movement while keeping with her traditional African roots. See how this designer is spicing up the fashion world with vibrant colors in a modern style.

Anat Ronen

Embarking on a daring career in a new country, Anat Ronen took a leap of faith to find safety and security for her family. See how this muralist is painting a bright and vibrant future for the City of Houston.

Zeljko Pavlovic

A profound love for music and family drove Zeljko Pavlovic to succeed when the world was crumbling around him. See how this incredible instrumentalist created a place for musicians of all ages to develop and thrive in the Vivaldi Music Academy.

David Buehrer

David Buehrer is bringing warmth, service and hospitality to the City of Houston with every cup of coffee and tea brewed at Blacksmith. See how this entrepreneur is dedicating his work to quality service while revitalizing Houston's creative class.

The Suffers

The music of The Suffers has been described as a rich gumbo of sound and culture. See how this 10-piece ensemble is bringing Gulf Coast Soul to Houston in a way that's never been heard before.

Alba Huerta

A dedication to quality and service has helped Alba Huerta transform Julep into one of the finest cocktail bars in the country. Learn how this entrepreneurial mixologist is bringing the spirit of the south alive with each delicious crafted cocktail she makes.

Don Vaughn

By bringing together his passion for music and love for neuroscience, Houstonian Don Vaughn created a career that had never been seen nor experienced before. See how this drumming, DJing neuroscientist is stimulating the culture of Houston one beat at a time.

Amir Taghi

From a young age, Amir Taghi knew he was destined to design his way into the fabric of Houston. See what this 18-year-old fashion designer has to say about his journey and where he's going.