Carrie Ermence, CEO and founder of Lone Star Roots, says giving back to the community where she and her family live and work is a big part of their business. This lifestyle brand, which encompasses all-things “Texas-proud” — from apparel and drinkware to ornaments — is the winner of the Best of Business Giving Back Award.
Ermence and her family are present in everything they do. For example, the small heart featured in their business’ logo is a special nod to her father, who passed away from heart disease in 2019, as well as to her love of Frisco. “We’ve always wanted to use this platform as not just a way to sell Texas-themed retail merchandise to our customers, but also as a platform to give back,” she says.
Lone Star Roots supports the American Heart Association and other national and local community organizations. Ermence is also an active member of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce as an ambassador and supporter of small businesses in Frisco.
Ermence likes to say that although she wasn’t born in Texas, she got here as fast as she could. When she and her family moved to Frisco in 2006, she was a kindergarten and first-grade teacher with Frisco ISD.
She and her husband, Mark, along with their children, Jack and Taylor, started Lone Star Roots at Frisco Mercantile and it quickly grew to reach an online customer base. “Our items appeal to a wide audience, and we believe Texas never leaves your heart. Our motto is love where you come from, root where you are.”
Ermence works with local Frisco organizations dedicated to giving back to the community. She and her team often help local schools with volunteer and fundraising efforts. They support Refresh Frisco and Refresh Little Elm, organizations that donate personal hygiene items to children. Lone Star Roots also supports Frisco Threads Closet, a nonprofit that gives Frisco ISD students access to free clothing; and the Treasured Vessels Foundation, which supports women rescued from sex trafficking in North Texas.
When she’s not managing her in-person and online locations or hosting a pop-up store at a local event, Ermence uses her popular presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to help raise awareness for community projects like the St. Arbor Community Garden in Frisco.
“We love to help organizations in any way we can,” she says. “From donating gift baskets to teachers or helping spread the word about fundraising efforts online, we are committed to helping give back to our community. We’re grateful to be able to help so many.”
Ermence says she’s also grateful for her customers and online followers and says they’ve helped the business grow. “The people that follow us are not only our boutique customers, but also want to help spread awareness about issues in our communities.
By Lisa Dawson and Katherine Ponder
Introduction by Mike Barber