Meet Memorial Girl Bosses

Since I purchased the magazine a couple months ago, I have been rapidly trying to get everything set up – a new designer, a changing look , keeping books, new computer programs, print production, just to name a few. Trying to raise family, be a wife, continue my charity work and now run a business requires complete time management. I recently reached out to some other #girlbosses for advice and tips on what it means, how it works and what it takes to juggle all those elements together… here is what they said.

Melissa Gibbons

Owner of Skinscriptions and Mom to Graham & Stella

Tell me how you got your start in skin and beauty. Did you always know you wanted to work in the beauty business?
I seemed to have gotten an early start in the beauty business. I was a Promotional Assistant for Estée Lauder in college. After graduating, I worked for the medical division of L’Oréal where I sold skincare to dermatology and plastic surgery offices and was a trainer on how to do chemical peels. I was then recruited to work for BioForm Medical selling dermal fillers. I have sort of “grown up” in this business, it was a fluke but it is DEFINETLY my niche.

You have a little boy and little girl you are raising in SBISD- how do you juggle being a wife, mom and business owner?

Being a business owner and mother are both full time jobs, but BUSY IS BLESSED. I juggle my crazy life by planning ahead! I always say I can do ANYTHING with a PLAN! I also have an incredible support system. My staff, family and a nanny help make it all possible. It truly takes a village! When I am with my family I try to “be in the moment” and limit distractions. I try to focus on quality vs. quantity time with my family.

What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is keeping up with the trends on social media. I did not even have a Facebook account until I opened my practice! Trends are constantly changing and you cannot resist staying current with these outlets.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is having patients that are elated with their outcomes! Nothing makes me prouder than when patients tell me that they look and feel beautiful! When I make a patient feel better about themselves, it truly makes me happy. I love seeing their improved self-image.

Learn more at –

Juli McMahon Salvagio

Owner/Operator of Chick-fil-A at Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway
and Mom to Jake, Joel, and Julia

How did you become an operator of a Chick-Fil-A?
While I didn’t realize it at the time, it was actually divine intervention.  I had worked in the restaurant industry, and had been collecting bovine memorabilia for years, but the possibility of operating a restaurant was nothing I had considered before.  I was working as Executive Director of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association, and became inspired by the brand of Chick-fil-A through the operators I met.  I applied in 2004, went through several rounds of interviews and here I am. The process of becoming a Chick-fil-A Operator (franchisee) is not an easy one. It is typically long and arduous, but the timing was right, and it has been an amazing ride.

What do you like best about raising your family in Memorial?
I love living in Memorial. Our neighborhood and schools are very community and charity oriented. I am so happy to live in an area where families celebrate and mourn together, and support each other through the seasons of marriage and parenthood.  It truly does take a village to raise a family and I love that our schools, our church, and our neighborhood activities are all tied together.

This story is on #girlbosses – what do you think being an entrepreneur teaches your daughter?

In general, men used to be considered hunters and gatherers, and women were the nurturers. For a while, I battled the nurturing side of myself, and tried to “act like a man” in business, but, one of the best parts of being a female entrepreneur is that I have a huge opportunity to nurture, develop, and influence the lives of literally thousands of people, both guests, and team members. I love having autonomy to create, dream, and encourage my team as they achieve big goals. At times, my kids are frustrated with me for “working all the time”, but they see and hear the struggles and successes. My daughter is learning that she can do anything she wants in this life as long as she has God, and people she can lean on.  She is also learning that she can be strong and successful, but also feminine and graceful.  When I asked my kids what they think about when they see me as a boss, one of them answered, “Connected.”  “Mom, you are really connected to your people.  You walk through life with them.”

Patty Busmire

Owner of Full Blown Dry Bar and Mom to Drew and Becky

You have lived in Memorial for a while what makes you still call it home?

My children were born in Chicago and as a native Houstonian it was important to me that they too would be Texans. We placed a bag of hometown dirt under their delivery beds so that they would be born over Texas soil. After ten years away we finally moved back to this great city and were blessed to raise Drew and Becky here in Sandalwood. There is no place like Memorial with its towering pines and oaks banking the Buffalo Bayou. I think it is kismet that we now live on the very lake in which I swam when I was five years old that coincidentally bears my name. The sense of community here largely fueled by the fabulous schools and the extracurricular activities afforded all of us an opportunity to connect in ways much like we had experienced in our youth and far too uncommon in most neighborhoods today.

Last year you opened up the popular Full Blown Dry Bar in River Oaks-How did you get into that business?
I think I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. After many months vetting possible businesses to invest in and sharing my journey with my hairdresser and dear friend Robert Gavigan, he suggested looking into the relatively new concept of the blow dry bar. Having been in the industry for decades he saw great opportunity and thought I might as well. And indeed I did. There is so much untapped demand in this business as women today are stretched thin with so very many commitments to family, career, community and charity. We all seem to be seeking out ways to make our lives easier and Full Blown is just the ticket.

What is BEST thing about being your own boss?
The best thing about being my own boss is that I am able to chart my own course with unbridled enthusiasm and a healthy dose of risk taking. Robert and I are committed to an environment that benefits all of our stakeholders and nothing brings us more joy than seeing our clients feeling beautifully confident and our loyal staff loving what they do. Magic happens at Full Blown every day!

You are also very involved in the community –tell us some of the charities you support.
I have been an active volunteer since returning to Houston in 1997. I have been on the board of the Spring Branch Education Foundation and a part of the SBISD 2007 bond for over a decade. As my children grew, so did my volunteerism. Ask anyone…there are few causes that I can say no to!!! Full Blown is a member of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, which is dedicated to empowering and advancing women. I have also recently been involved with Boys and Girls Harbor, and The Great Age Movement. We are blessed to be able to partner with many charities in Houston through donations including on location hair and makeup for events. My pride in Houston stems from the incredible people here that have a deep commitment to giving back and leaving the world a better place. I aspire to live up to that amazing legacy. ~

Maria Moncada Alaoui

Operator General Manager BMW of West Houston

Maria, how did you get in the car business?
I got in the car business right out of high school, I was putting myself through college, and the car business was the best paying job at the time.

What is the most challenging and the BEST thing about being your own boss?
The toughest thing is the woman in the mirror, I am my toughest critic and I’m always looking for the next peak, my insatiable pursuit to reach my full potential means I’m always working. The best thing is having a platform where I can help others develop, grow, and challenge them to become the best version of themselves.

As the General Manager of BMW West – What is your favorite of the moment BMW- or is that like asking you to name you favorite child? It is like asking what is your favorite child, I love them all for different reasons, but the new 5 series is my new shining star, it introduced game changing technology to our industry and it is fabulous.

What would you tell young girls who say they want to grow up and go into the car business?
Go for it! The automotive industry is extremely fun, every day is different, and there are so many aspects of the business that you can grow and move up in. If you enjoy accounting, you can focus on that aspect of the business. If you enjoy people you can go in to the sales or service side of the business. If you are more technically inclined, you can pursuit a career in that sector as a Technician, or Shop Foreman. If you are process oriented you can strive towards a career as a parts Manager. For more information visit –

Amy Rincon

Former SBISD Art teacher, Rodan + Fields Consultant and Mom to Allie, Cole and Marissa

You grew up in Memorial- what do you love most about raising your own family here?

We love the true sense of community; we are close to family and childhood friends, and we are centrally located! We can get to any place in the Houston area within 30 minutes. And of course, the schools were very important to us. Having attended and taught in SBISD, I knew this was the perfect place to raise our family.

What made you decided to make a leap from an Art Teacher to an Executive Consultant for Rodan and Fields?
It’s kind of a crazy story. I was considering buying one of their products that I kept hearing about from an old friend and neighbor. My husband, being an entrepreneur and big fan of direct sales, encouraged me to become a consultant to get the products at a discount, and possibly share them with family and friends. I am not a “salesperson” at all! I started using the products and saw positive changes on my skin. So I became more familiar with the products and with the total support of my friend who introduced me, I hosted a “Wine and Skin” get together in our home. From those that attended, some decided to try the products and the rest is history. Now we are helping others change their skin and change their lives as well.

What’s the most challenging thing about being your own boss?
Really, there are no significant challenges. I literally do my Rodan and Fields business on my phone. Whether I am making a post on Facebook, messaging a customer or fellow consultant, or calling customer service on behalf of a customer, I do my business any place, any time. No schedule, no office to go to, and most importantly, no boss.

What is your “must have” product from Rodan and Fields?
Product? I can’t have just one! (Laughs). They are all fantastic products! Some of my personal favorites are the Micro-Dermabrasion Paste, the brand new Hydration Serum, the Night Renewing Serum and the Multi-Function Eye Cream. Oh wait, and Lash Boost is amazing! These lashes are real! (Points and laughs more).

Angela England

Partner at Tindall & England and Mom to Evan

Angela, How did you start in law and did you always know you wanted to be an attorney?
After graduating in accounting from the University of Texas, I was working in audit for a Texas trust company. After two years of doing that, I applied to law school. I didn’t really know any lawyers growing up but remember as early as high school thinking that being a lawyer would be an interesting career.

Why did you choose the type of law you practice?
After being in the banking world, I really thought I would do something in the financial area or become a trust and estates lawyer. But as a second year law student, I was hired by Harry Tindall, one of the pioneers of modern divorce law in Texas, as a law clerk, and I was hooked. As a family law attorney, I get to help real people going through difficult and emotional times and hopefully, we make the process better for them.

You have a little boy- how do you juggle being a wife, mom and busy attorney?
With a lot of help! At home, my husband, Tom, is a huge part of my being able to keep all the balls in the air! We were given a tip once from a friend about having weekly family calendar meetings and that is a huge help in making sure we all know what’s on the agenda for the week. At work, I am blessed with an amazing team, some of which of us have been together for over 20 years. I really see them as my work family—we have been through so many life events together. I also have some amazing women mentors in my life, starting with my own mom who was always a working mom and yet still managed to create a childhood for me and my sister that was filled with special memories and family traditions. Lastly, I have a wonderful network of other moms who are always there to encourage and lend a hand when needed.

What do you think is the secret to success in running law practice AND running a family?
Perspective and balance are the first two things that come to mind. There are plenty of days that I don’t feel that I’m successful at home or work but then something will happen that brings it all back to why I do what I do in the first place. A client will call and share some good news about how our help has led to a positive outcome, or Evan will come home from school filled with excitement over his latest accomplishment. The continued hope that I’m making a difference in both places is what keeps me going. Learn more at

Wendy Swantowski

Owner of Wendy Swantowski DDS

Wendy- you have a dental practice in Memorial- when did you know you were going to be a dentist? It was during my sophomore year of college at Texas A&M. I was a Biomedical Science major and my plan was to attend medical school. However, I woke up one day and realized that I was no longer certain of that path. My advisor encouraged me to meet with a family friend who was a dentist to explore various options and after spending several days shadowing her, I knew dentistry was a good fit.
I loved the idea of being able to combine health, science, taking care of people and doing so with a schedule that would be conducive to having a family and raising children.

What makes your practice different form others?
What I hear most often from our patients is how comfortable they feel with my team. While each team member is highly skilled and trained in their particular role, the thing that definitely sets them apart is their commitment to getting to know all of our patients and working to meet their individual needs. The feedback I have received over the years is that people actually enjoy coming to our office (as we know, the words enjoy and dentist appointment often don’t go hand in hand!) because they know they will be met by a competent team that are friendly, fun loving, caring and genuinely concerned and interested.

What is the most challenging and the BEST thing about being your own boss?
I would say the most challenging part of being my own boss is finding a good work/life balance. I always try to be present whether I am at work, home, or with my family and friends. Taking care of others and taking care of myself — well, that’s a challenge that I think most of us can relate to. The BEST part about being my own boss is also part of the challenge in that I am the one in the driver’s seat and it is up to me to create and provide an optimal environment for my team and my patients. I’ll take that challenge any day!

What would you tell your girls who say they want to grow up and be a dentist?

I would say go for it! Dentistry is a great profession for women! If you have the willingness to work hard and a strong desire to care for others, it is a great career. Not to mention job stability – teeth aren’t going anywhere!

Sharyn Short

Realtor with Heritage Texas Properties and Mom to Juliana and Lily

What made you want to get into real estate?
I’ve been interested in real estate since I purchased my first house in Dallas in 1993. I enjoy the process of searching for the right property in the right location and I enjoy uncovering the potential that every property has. I have always placed value into what I have by caring for and making improvements. That fixer upper in Dallas turned into a great investment and I’ve seen the potential that real estate offers ever since.
Also, I wanted to become a real estate agent because it is very dynamic and exciting. As a real estate agent, I can help people achieve their real estate goals. Housing needs change for people throughout stages of life; getting to know my clients and helping them to find what is right for them is important to me. In addition, our city is ever-evolving and improvements are constantly in the works: yesterday’s blighted areas can become today’s up and coming neighborhoods; I see the opportunities that are created through change. And, I enjoy following the trends in housing and design which adds the creative element to the industry and is beneficial to my clients.

What would you tell a family considering moving to Memorial to raise a family?
The Memorial area offers a great location within Houston and has the feel of a small town within this big city. At first glance, you will see the beautiful trees and well cared for homes. But as a resident, you will experience a wonderful lifestyle. We have so many options for shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. And, we have highly regarded public schools and stellar medical facilities right here. When you live in Memorial, you can take walks or ride bikes on the paths amongst the trees and see some of the most beautiful real estate in the country, up close. Kids can walk to school, go to the pool, fish in the bayou, climb trees, and play in the parks. When you live in Memorial you will meet friends and be enveloped in a wonderful community of friendly and caring people.

If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you have been? A farmer. I enjoy caring for things and watching them grow and develop. I see the value in holding onto something and nurturing it and being a good steward of what I have been given. them.”

Kristin Abello

Philanthropist and Mom to Jacob and Colin

Kristin- you are very involved with TIRR- how did you choose that charity?

After a car accident landed me in Memorial Herman ICU, I proceeded with the exceptional rehabilitation program at TIRR (The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research) for about a year. TIRR gave me my life back. Naturally, I wanted to find a way to repay them and do so with functions like “Connect the Docs”, an event for research doctors to gather and listen to keynote speakers as well as Two-Stepping with TIRR, an evening filled with country music artists and a live/silent auction.

I heard you have some sort of Art Foundation…
tell us about that.
Shortly before my grandmother’s passing, she grew very concerned asking my dad, “What will happen to my paintings once I am gone? Will I be forgotten?” My dad promised she would one day be as well known as Van Gogh. A few years after her passing, my dad and my grandmother’s three children opened Kristin Saleri Art Foundation in order to capture and memorialize my grandmother.

Kristin Saleri – is a prominent 20th century Turkish artist. She was recognized as a child prodigy and received her initial art training at Feyhaman Duran Studio in the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts and continued under the teaching of Andre Lhote in Paris, Pablo Picasso’s Art Contemporary. Kristin Saleri has produced over 3,000 pieces of art.

Her most notable recognitions:
• Silver Medal, Paris L’art Moderne,
Club International Feminine
Exhibition (1964)
• Gold Medal, Athens Club
International Feminine
Exhibition (1967)
• First Honorable Mention,
International Monaco
Exhibition (1967)
• Jury Prize- Vichy U.F.A.C.S.I
International Exhibition (1978)
• Recognition Plaque
The Republic of Turkey Ministry
of Culture and Tourism (1987)

She has held 40 private exhibitions and over 600 group exhibitions in places such as Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels, Athens, Frankfurt, and Washington D.C

You have children- what do to think being a community leader or #girlboss teaches them?
It teaches them about life and giving back. The old saying “When much is given much is expected” is a true statement in our home. I hope they grow up to be involved in the community and support charities that are dear to them.