Creating a street of dreams in Cy-Fair
An unpaved lane known as McSwain Road is on the path to becoming the Street of Dreams."
If Debra Reese, owner of The Purple Elephant Gallery and co-owner of The Iron Butterfly Studio, and several other business owners have their say, the road off Kluge Road in Cypress will transform into an eclectic shopping area.
This is the beginning of the perfect Old Town Cypress,' " Reese said.
Six months ago, work started on transforming an old home and studio into, respectively, the Purple Elephant and Iron Butterfly.
The concept was born when Reese and Jodi Thompson's friendship began.
Thompson, Reese's friend and neighboring business owner, had opened Decorative Prescriptions," a home dcor and decorating company, in a small and quaint home at the opposite end of McSwain Road in 2007.
The two talked about the street's unlimited possibilities, and Reese, who had wanted to open her own gallery and resale shop for some time, started looking for a property to buy on McSwain.
I like unique, one-of-a-kind things and I like to garage sale and resale," said Reese, who lives in the Cypress community. I wanted to combine that with my love of art."
I thought, This is the place to open my business,'" she said. I love being out here it is so peaceful."
Reese noticed a For Sale" sign pop up in front of 12802 McSwain. She stopped in to see the owner and was immediately drawn to the home.
Every room was painted a different color, and it had a studio in back," Reese said. I thought, This is it!' "
Reese had imagined the name The White Elephant" for her business. She noticed the homeowner had an elephant collection.
I drove up in my purple car one day to bring her (the homeowner) a gift an antique pink glass elephant and she told me I had to name my shop The Purple Elephant,' " Reese said. After that, everything fell into place."
Reese painted the house purple, and called upon a local welder to create a purple gate in the shape of a butterfly.
The studio, which she runs in partnership with Jeff Bernal, who co-owns Creative Framing & Mirrors Art Gallery and the budding Merlot 2 Masterpiece, was reworked to accommodate art classes and Merlot 2 Masterpiece parties.
About 500 people turned out for the Purple Elephant Gallery/Iron Butterfly Studio opening at the beginning of May.
A massive, purple elephant inflatable was created specifically for the opening, and now lounges in back of the shop waiting for its next chance to make an appearance.
It has all been more than I ever expected," Reese said. It truly is like a dream."
She also purchased the building that Thompson owned and decided to sell in 2009 after the economy took a dive. Thompson now leases the building that sits at the corner of Kluge and McSwain next to the Street of Dreams" sign.
Thompson said business is good. She said her services are focused on people with champagne taste and a beer budget."
All of this has been a godsend," Thompson said. I believe that everything is possible and am so happy and blessed to be surrounded by strong, powerful, forward-thinking women who support women in business."
Next door to Thompson's shop is an open-air palapa" that Reese had created for community gatherings, picnics and nonprofit events.
Eventually this will be our Street of Dreams park," Reese said.
Kristi Graves's Unique Spirit business is open at 12810 McSwain, and she will hold a grand opening event in June.
She offers screenprinting, embroidery and monogramming services; as well as customized apparel and banner and signs.
Across the street, Bill Glaves runs the Kluge Tennis Ranch on four acres.
Glaves started with one tennis court in 1995 and has grown to five courts.
He said he welcomes all players, from beginners to those hoping to play at Wimbledon.
Rees said there are many possibilities and plans for the budding Old Town Cypress" Street of Dreams.
She said she eventually wants to buy a home on McSwain in which to live, and she would like to build a row of artist studios with a common area.
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