Houston has its fair share of spaces full of character and individuality. There are few places, though, where you literally feel the personality of the owners simply by stepping inside the way you can at Space Montrose.
Over the past five years Space Montrose, owned by husband and wife team Carlos and Leila Peraza, has developed a cult following in Houston among those who love to shop for pieces by independent artisans. I first fell in love with the Perazas' labor of love back in 2012.
My now-husband bought the first piece of jewelry he ever got for me at Space Montrose—a gorgeous pair of handmade blue crystal earrings, secretly packaged on the sly with Carlos's help while I was nearby shopping. With a deep focus on items made in the USA—particularly lines produced by Houston and Texas artisans—the Perazas take great pride in finding and cultivating a unique mix at Space Montrose, often giving artists their first retail opportunity.
The goods range across a broad spectrum from handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry to vegan cosmetics. The Perazas say they view Space Montrose as a canvas where makers meet to tell their stories, one piece at a time, fostering a sense of community between the store itself and the artists' work they sell.
When Leila tells the story of selling an entire ceramic plate set during a torrential Houston rain storm, you can see her eyes light up with the excitement of someone still deeply in love with what Space Montrose has become. Every fixture and display in the store is handmade by the couple. Venture into Space, and chances are one of them will greet you behind the counter. Leila (who could double for Uma Thurman in her Kill Bill days), and Carlos recently renovated the layout to be more streamlined, allowing the art on the walls and the shelves to be the visual focal point of the store, and the pair, parents to two young boys, have hopes to expand the baby section and bring on even more artists from across the country.
The Perazas' next hurdle is working on an online store to help bring Space Montrose makers to a wider audience. Other projects on the horizon include starting their own T-shirt line and taking Space Montrose on the road, working with festivals and pop-up shops to bring a little bit of Space to every space in town.
Space Montrose is located at 1706 Westheimer Rd., 832-649-5743, spacemontrose.com.