Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
A true Carolina girl, I was born and lived in North Carolina until 2013 when my husband’s job at Wells Fargo relocated us to Houston. It was hard to leave the people and places that were so special to us, but we’ve come to really love Houston—so much so that now we wouldn’t move back even if given the choice! Given the heat here, that’s saying a lot!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Libby – 4 ½
John – 2 ½
Henry – about 10 years old; beloved rescue dog Henry that I’ve had since law school
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
For most of my life, I was as unathletic as they come (book worm and more interested in hanging out with friends than playing sports) but then started running as an adult and have run 7 marathons, one ultra marathon (31 miles) and various shorter races. It’s a great escape for me mentally, and I’ve met some of my best friends through running.
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
One of my personal favorites is running around Rice University and through West U early in the morning with fellow mom friends. As a family, we love walking/scootering to and playing in the West U parks, swimming and goofing off outside at The Briar Club, and frequenting the local museums that we’re so fortunate to have in Houston.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
We’d take eating in with the kids any day over a restaurant (ha!), so we usually opt for having friends over for a casual dinner (favorite to go food is Fajitas A Go-Go or Zoe’s) and let the kiddos play loudly and energetically!
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
Given how busy the days can get with kid activities, work, and managing the house, my favorite way to unwind is to crash on a friend’s couch with wine after kids go down to bed. It’s perfect for this phase of life because no getting ready is required, and it can accommodate spouses travel/meeting schedules—we just take turns going to one another’s houses depending on schedules. When my girlfriends and I head out, proximity and ambiance are key, so Tiny’s No. 5, Boxwoods, and Relish are my most frequented. I’m also a big fan of catching up over lunch or a run while the kids are in school.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Indeed! I LOVE being an active part of my community. I own my own small law firm, Kelly Beth Hapgood Law, PLLC. I practiced at a regional law firm in NC and then a large, international law firm upon moving to Houston, and eventually left the latter on account of wanting more flexibility for my family, creativity, and ability to focus on philanthropic interests as well.
Starting my own firm (KBH Law) has been such a joy. I work with small to medium-sized business owners and pride myself on offering high quality, a la carte business legal services for a fraction of the cost of hiring a big firm. I get to help people launch their own businesses by counseling them regarding entity selection and formation, as well as helping clients mitigate business risks by drafting and/or negotiating various contracts and documents (i.e., company agreements, non-disclosure agreements, lease agreements, and employment law matters such as compensation plans, onboarding documents, employee policies, non-competes, and severance documents, just to name a few). It has been so much fun to get a behind the scenes peek at my friends’ and neighbors’ entrepreneurial efforts. There are so many sharp minds and creative people around us! I’m selective with who I work with and only take on projects for people and businesses that are a good personal fit (read: I want this to be fun for all of us!). I really love the opportunity to take some of the intimidating legalese off clients’ plates. It’s my pleasure to be a small part of helping them launch and maintain their businesses.
On a philanthropic note, I’m a member of a few community organizations that have a special place in my heart. I’m on the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Children’s Council where as I serve as co-chair of the newly formed Parenting Center. Parenting is HARD, and we strive to bring Christian-based parenting speakers to the church for our members and community at large. My husband and I are also on the St. Luke’s Advancement Committee and involved with the church’s annual generosity campaign. I also serve on the Board of the Prelude Music Foundation, which brings research-based music curriculum to over 1,600 children a year in underserved parts of Houston. Our children take classes at Prelude, and it’s so important to me that as many underserved children as possible have the opportunity to benefit from the social-emotional connection and pre-literacy skills that are gained from Prelude music classes. And, last but not least, I’m on the Board of the Friends of West University Place Parks Fund, Inc. We raise funds for the beautiful parks and green spaces in West U. This year, I’m serving as a décor co-chair for the 2020 Park Lovers’ Ball, and I help with Friends’ social media. West U has wonderful parks that are enjoyed by West U citizens and people throughout Houston, and I’m grateful for an opportunity to help support them.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
When we moved here in 2013, we knew no one other than my sister and brother-in-law who happened to move to Houston a few years before us! In other words, we had zero Houston friends outside of our family. We had to build our life here from the ground up—as many Houston transplants do! The city is so welcoming given that it’s so transient. Our four year old daughter can belt out the lyrics to “Deep in the Heart of Texas”, our two year old loves saying “Go Astros!”, and we have started seeing Houston as a small big city because of all the friendly, familiar faces we see around town. KBH Law wouldn’t be possible without the network of engaging, kind, interesting friends we’ve met here in Houston.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Think about what your priorities are as a mom/businesswoman/community member, and then be intentional about committing to opportunities that are in line with your priorities. As moms, there are no shortage of worthwhile demands on our time, but we lose our joy if we start filling out time with things that don’t inspire us. It’s a work in progress, but I’m constantly reminding
myself to be cognizant of my priorities and then to preserve my time for as much of those
activities as possible.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Go out to long, leisurely brunches…all the time…like every single weekend. Brunch becomes a thing of the past once you have young kids!
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Teach your kids to feed the dog, turn off lights when they leave a room, and water the orchids, so you’re less likely to forget to do those things! Kids remember everything, so if you want to remember something you mean to do regularly, tell/teach your kids…they’ll delight in reminding you!