A year in review: Here are the 11 South Austin businesses we featured in 2017

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South Austin’s part rural, part urban landscape is home to diverse businesses offering services related to health and wellness, home improvement, recreation, retail and more. In 2017, the Southwest Austin edition of Community Impact Newspaper profiled 11 businesses making an impression on nearby residents and the local economy.

Funky gift shop Black Sheep Ranch offers vintage, new home goods and more

In February 2016, a far-flung corner of South Austin became home to the eclectic gift shop Black Sheep Ranch. Home decor, art, and vintage furniture found in the store reflects the personalties of co-owners and spouses Donny and Casi Houseman, who said the boutique’s name is an homage to their shared outsider identities.

Longtime Austin pool hall Warehouse Billiard Bar gets a face-lift

Half-a-million dollars in renovations turned Warehouse Saloon and Billiards into Warehouse Billiard Bar in 2016. Today, the bar and gaming hall, complete with 16 recovered pool tables, features 25 televisions, 33 draft beer taps, a variety of games, an expansive cocktail list and more.

South Austin business caters to ‘close-knit’ motorcycle community

Owner Jesse Loesch of South Austin’s Cycle Refinery had spent seven years in federal aviation before he decided to turn his childhood passion for motorcycles into a career. Since 2015, the retail, repair and restoration business has offered motorcycle-related services to what Loesch describes as Austin’s “close-knit’ biker community.

Local company Granite Recyclers Austin repurposes stone products

Hoping to be a catalyst for change in an industry that produces over 35 million pounds of waste per year, Nolan Kilby opened Granite Recyclers Austin in the Yard at St. Elmo in July 2014. Today, the business collects granite and marble scrap from countertop fabricators and turns it into fire pits, sidewalk pavers, and split-stone veneer siding.

South Austin prosthetist aims to improve the lives of people with disabilities

At Capital Prosthetics & Orthotics, Chase Brown custom makes lower-extremity prosthetics, pediatric braces and foot orthotics. The business’ mission, Brown said, it to use the best technology available to develop solutions to optimize the lives of people with disabilities. In his personal life, Brown has put that commitment to work through the creation of orthotics for his children Elias and Tessa.

Family business Kinser Ranch offers organic materials for landscaping needs

Turning brush into mulch is the business of Kinser Ranch in South Austin, where owner Al Kinser swears by organic landscaping materials as the key to healthier plants. The business receives brush deliveries daily, Kinser said, which kicks off the yearlong meticulous process of creating mulch, performed onsite.

Healing happens on a physical, emotional level at Sage Blossom Massage

Using massage to transcend physical pain and heal on an emotional level is the goal of Sage Blossom Massage, according to owner Juliann Gorman. Two South Austin locations offer deep-tissue, Swedish and prenatal massage, as well as relaxation wraps and cupping therapy. The business’ Manchaca Road studio also houses an infrared sauna.

Childhood sweethearts turn love for disc golf into a career with ownership of Disc Nation in South Austin

A shared love for disc golf began in high school for spouses Shannon and Sean Mullan, owners of Disc Nation in South Austin. The shop sells a range of disc golf accessories, including discs, bags and targets, and includes the only on-site 600-foot outdoor driving range in Austin where customers can test out their discs before purchase.

Mind-body link the focus of local ‘functional restoration’ program Restore fx

Rather than relying on prescription drugs, South Austin functional restoration program Restore fx looks to physical and mental health therapy, yoga, mindfulness practices and nutrition counseling as a long-term solution to treating chronic pain in injured workers. Dr. Krista D. Jordan, founder and program director, teaches that pain is a secondary issue that can be mostly resolved through movement and improved physical function.

Area clinic KidSensations seeks to improve child cognitive and physical function

At two Southwest Austin locations, KidSensations owner Christine Garahan helps children achieve independence in all areas of their lives through the use of occupational therapy. KidSensations also works in tandem with speech therapy clinic Speak Freely, run by Garahan’s longtime friend Heidi Armendariz.

South Austin gift boutique Sitric House & Home a long-time family affair

In a black-and-white awninged cottage on Slaughter Road, passersby will find Sitric House & Home, a gift boutique and home remodeling business run by the McGettrick family. Items sold in the shop include home décor, kitchenwares, jewelry and body products. The family’s patriarch, Malachy McGettrick, also offers remodeling services such as custom painting, wood flooring, cabinet finishing and more.

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Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 and covers Austin ISD for the publication's three Austin markets. She is also the editor of the Southwest Austin edition.
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