Martina (Sunnie) Gonzales: The FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEW

Sunnie is the proud owner of Twelve Star Massage and active member of the Chamber of Commerce.  She opened her own practice in the fall of 2017 in her hometown of Elgin, Texas. Healing is one of her passions and she loves to learn different modalities and to educate herself in holistic healing.  She dreams to travel to different countries like Thailand and Peru to learn new massage techniques and energy work.  In her spare time she likes to do yoga, hula hoop, snorkel, and explore the different state parks here in Texas and hike.

1. Why did you choose to live in Elgin?  

I think it would be easier to say I’m just from here! I chose Elgin because I already had a clientele built from working at Heavenly Hair from 2010-2013.

2. What compelled you to create a business in Elgin? 

I had been a licensed massage therapist since 2009. In 2017 I decided I wanted to have my own massage company, with Austin being saturated with massage it was an easy choice when picking a location for 12 Star Massage. 

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

  1. Everything really does happen for a reason.
  2. If they wanted to, they would.
  3. Be humble and grateful and believe in the process.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

I have a few embroidery projects on working on. Also I’m reading a book about scared smoke and smudging to prepare for my vision quest in April. 

5. Cake or Pie?

I love pie! Key lime is my favorite! Pecan, pumpkin and blueberry are a close second. 


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Janine Feminella : THE FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEW

Janine Feminella is creator and owner of Sreang. She creates hand crafted powerful jewelry with hammered brass, electro-formed copper, raw copper, natural gemstones, healing crystals, gold and sterling silver. She lives in Smithville, Texas with her husband Joseph. They own Sign and Banner Texas, a local print shop in nearby Bastrop, Texas.

1. Why did you choose to live in Bastrop County? 

My husband Joseph and I moved to Bastrop county from western Massachusetts back in 2008. we were looking for a change of scenery and decided it would be fun to try Austin, so we bought a house we found online in Elgin, packed our cat and car and headed south.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

Growing up, my mother was always making things… sewing, crafting, making baskets, wood burning, calligraphy, you name it. She really instilled in me this passion to always be creating and trying new things. Working with my hands and watching something transpire from beginning to end helps keep me grounded and out of my head so much.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

  1. How important it is to set boundaries.
  2. Love is so much more powerful than hate, nothing transcends love.
  3. To let go of the things in which I have no control.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Well, i’ve been a little consumed lately with researching my family history and building a family tree. I’ve been specifically interested in tracing my maternal lineage back as far as possible in Ireland. Nobody in my family knew the name of my mother’s great grandmother and I was able to find her searching through handwritten baptism records. It’s been an amazing way for me to connect with and honor my ancestors.

5. Cake or Pie?

Definitely cake, chocolate cake all day long.

Instagram @_sreang

Etsy Sreang


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Teri Williams: The Five Question Interview

Teri Williams is owner of The Melanated Apothecary in downtown Elgin. She is a modern day apothecary, esthetician, herbalist, yoga instructor, personal trainer, nutrition coach, and mother.

1. Why did you move to Taylor? 

I did live in Elgin a few years ago, but moved back to Taylor. Taylor has always been home for me. My family is here, my aunt and uncle are here. My family is pretty big, but my immediate family is small. So when I got pregnant in 2014 I knew I wanted to raise my son here close to family. Plus I love the feel of small towns. Everyone knowing everyone, the community organization, and the love and support when something happens. I watched the Taylor community, and the Elgin community, come together in a huge way! It made me love the reason why I chose to come back, and don’t have any plans on leaving.

2.  What compelled you to create a business in Elgin?

At the end of 2019 (or beginning of 2020) I had a phone conversation with a friend. I told her that if I completed both my esthetics training and herbalism training, which were both happening in 2020, that I would open up a business, somehow someway. In October of 2020 I saw a post for a room for rent in Elgin, which later turned into a partnership with 12 Star Massage! I have always admired how the Elgin business community comes together, and just wanted to be part of that type of energy! So, when the opportunity came available it was a no-brainer for me. I can’t wait to feel that business magic that Elgin possesses.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I don’t think we have space on here or time to share all of it!

The first thing is gratitude! There were a lot of things made possible for me because of family and friends, and I can’t thank them enough. I’m forever grateful for my family and my friends that have stepped up in a big way over the past 5 years. From helping me with my son who’s 5 to helping me with school, donating clothes, money, and time to help make our (I say our because Julius my son is a huge part of who I am why I work so hard to be successful.) dreams come true.  

Patience is second. I don’t have a lot of it, and often times I find myself getting short beacause I’m looking for instant results! So learning how to be patient is huge!

The last but sure not least is self-care & meditation. They both go hand in hand. I had a health scare in 2013 (which lead me on this path of health and wellness) because I wasn’t taking care of myself. So I make it a point to take time for myself, meditate, and move energy around when I’m feeling stuck. You can’t pour from an empty cup so taking care of myself first is important for me.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

EVERYTHING! I’m currently making The Melanated Apothecary a true to life business. I’m making teas, soaps, bath Bombs, labels, glitter cups, body oils, body butters, herbal tinctures, herbal vinegars. Everything!

I’m reading all things herbal and skin related. Watching a lot of Discovery+… you can’t tell me I can’t remodel a house! LOL!!!

I’m listening to Life after Death it’s a sequel to a book called The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Souljah. It was one of the first books that I read when I started reading books written by African-American authors. I wanted to expand my reading horizons. My first author love was Mary Higgins Clark. Now I have many loves for different authors!

5. Cake or Pie?

I went to culinary school for baking and pastry! I love them both!!

Instagram @the_melanated_apothecary
Book an appointment www.vagaro.com/twelvestarmassage


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