South Texas small business trend: Here's a round-up of what's new.

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

There's a group of small businesses that have recently opened in Alice. The small business venture is a growing trend as family-owned businesses have popped up in the area despite a not-so-great economy as South Texas realigns after the hardships of a challenging post-year after the pandemic. 

The 611 Venue has space for large events and will specialize in special occasion events.

The 611 Venue on Commerce Street held its first wedding Saturday, April 17 and has softly opened its doors while owner Jaime Flores and partner Henry Perez finish the last details to what they call a South Texas Premiere Event Center. 

The elaborate space will cater to weddings and quinceañeras with enough room to occupy much larger events than the average venue. The 611 Venue, is just one of many endeavors the South Texas entrepreneurs have added to their list as area home health agency owners, a property building company, a limousine business and a car wash.

The 611 Venue is an elaborate space that will cater to weddings, quinceañera's, with enough space to occupy much larger events than the average venue setting.

"I wanted something special for the community, somewhere people could host events that was already decorated and special," Flores said. "Although we will be booking large-scale events I am also looking to host space for local kids to try to give back to the community. My ultimate intention with all of the business ventures is to offer jobs, help create a middle class, diversify the economy and bring the City of Alice into the 21st century."  

South Texas Entrepreneur Jamie Flores spoke about his intention to help provide opportunities to build a middle class in Alice and diversify the economy.

Looking to dress up for a special event. Head downtown to Lola's Boutique.

Lola's Boutique held its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 17 on Main Street. Owner Melissa Alfaro opened her doors after expanding a home business selling jewelry and vinyl print t-shirts. Lola's will specialize in boutique clothing at affordable prices. 

"The downtown boutique will have multiple vendors under one business," Alfaro said. "My sister will focus on the vinyl designs and logo t-shirts and we will offer boutique clothing, candles and jewelry. I love being downtown the business owners have been very welcoming and I think this is a great time and place to start the business as the area revitalizes."   

Lola's Boutique and grand opening ribbon-cutting in downtown Alice on Saturday, April, 17.
Lola's Boutique Owner Melissa Alfaro and supporting vendor and graphic designer Debra Medina.

The owner of the Willow House of Texas Special Occasions Venue, located at 3451 Falfurrias Highway, is finishing up on the final touches as owners wrap up the loose ends to open the venue for special occasion events in full capacity in May. Owner Taylor Vickers has created a space with the help of family members to provide memorable events with some class, she says.

The venue has an outside fireplace, bridal suite, serving area for catering, and outside space to accommodate the larger crowds. The new business will also host special occasions expos and events providing support to area local businesses in the business. 

Owner Taylor Vicker's outside at the fireplace at the Willow House of Texas Special Occasions Venue. The event venue is not completely finished as last-minute details are still being worked on.

"My mom and I love to decorate and host parties. We literally had a blast planning my wedding and that's when we decided to give those services to the community. During the planning of my wedding, the main choice to host the event was in Corpus Christi, so that's when the idea emerged that it would be a great business plan to create an upscale venue and nice space for this area of South Texas," Vickers said.

Willow Tree of Texas Special Occasions Venue
Willow House of Texas bridal suite.

New businesses in Alice

611 Venue 

Where: 611 Commerce Street 

Information: https://www.facebook.com/florespropertyholdings

Lola's Boutique 

Where: 410 East Main Street 

Contact Information:(361) 453-5480 

Willow House of Texas Special Occasions 

Where: 3451 Falfurrias Highway 

Information: https://www.facebook.com/WillowHouseofTexas

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