La Maison Midtown in Houston is bed and breakfast redefined

At La Maison Midtown in Houston, they’re cooking up more than breakfast: Luxury accommodations that rival any hotel...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

While you can probably locate a bed and breakfast near any major city, only a handful of them are black-owned — reportedly just 1 percent.

Unlike hotels, the breakfast part of the ‘B&B’ is included. But at La Maison Midtown in Houston, they’re cooking up more than breakfast: Luxury accommodations that rival any hotel and a down home country breakfast cooked up from a local chef.

The founders of La Maison Midtown are the epitome of #BlackGirlMagic. Houston attorney Genora Boykins and her business partner, Sharon Owens, opened up the property after trying to figure out what they really wanted in the next phase of their lives and careers.

And with Houston being a hotspot, everything seemed to align perfectly. After a few years of hard work and dedication, they turned their visions into a luxurious reality: Five-star accommodations in the heart of Houston.

Get to know more about La Maison Midtown through its founders, Genora Boykins and Sharon Owens. (And with the Super Bowl right around the corner, now’s your time to plot and plan your stay at La Maison Midtown.)

What year were you founded?

We formed a partnership in 1999 to purchase the land where we ultimately built our bed and breakfast. La Maison in Midtown, an urban bed and breakfast, was founded in 2008 when we finalized the plans for construction of the facility. We opened the doors of hospitality to our first guest in 2010.

What inspired you to launch your business?

Three things motivated us to launch our business. We saw the constant downsizing and rightsizing of corporate America and retirement looming on the horizon. We could see the transformation planned for the Midtown area and wanted to be a part the exciting future in the area. And we didn’t see many African-American female entrepreneurs and developers and wanted to do something different that would allow us to use our time, talent and treasure on something we controlled and could enjoy.   

What makes your bed and breakfast unique?

We have a classically elegant yet comfortable setting, and our location is conveniently located in the heart of the city. Plus, we know how to make people feel welcome and right at home.

Why should everyone #buyblack or #supportblack this holiday season?

We both remember a time in America’s history when buying black wasn’t optional; it was the only choice. We have to be willing to invest in our businesses to ensure our future. Our businesses won’t grow and thrive if we don’t #buyblack this holiday season and beyond.   

How do you pay it forward within your community?

We both continue to serve and volunteer on boards near and dear to our hearts. We provide a stay-cation gift certificate at our facility as an auction item to those organizations and others that have been supportive of our business. We speak to high school and college students as well as other organizations about our journey and try to provide them with the ups and downs of owning a business and encourage them to pursue their dream of entrepreneurship.

What is your business mantra?

“Escape to the city!” We provide guests from near and far the experience of a wonderful getaway and the chance to explore the diverse cultures and interesting places and events Houston has to offer.  

Kimberly Wilson is a writer and social media director at theGrio. Follow her on Twitter.