The Reality of It

June 01, 2012

The spring has been a whirlwind. Just after the first of the year, a mutual friend turned me on to the work of local photographer, Debora Smail (photos above). My first experience with her photography was like finding something you lost. And a friendship began. The next thing I knew, I got a call from Houston magazine. Debora had been hired to shoot a new style of feature for the magazine - Stash would be the premiere.

I hardly had time to digest it all. We were in the midst of growing pains and long daily production hours for special orders and stocking Urban Market when Debora and her team arrived. For one of the scheduled shoots, the team showed up and I couldn't hear their knocks for the roar of the vacuum. I'd been prepping the space for the shoot. It looked rather immaculate given the chaos but I was a sweaty, rumpled, wilted mess. We went with it because that is the best reflection of my days at the factory. There are no makeup artists or hair stylists waiting in the wings to puff and fluff. No amount of hairspray or lipstick can change what it is. But this is what Debora had to say to Houston magazine on her experience with Stash.

The story and photos turned out beautiful. There are about 800 you didn't get to see. And writer, Sarah Tressler turned out at least two stories out of the experience. Never having been interviewed on what I do for a living left my palms a little sweaty. It is way more comfortable behind the seams. But Sarah, incredibly professional and dedicated, assured us that this was not an FBI profile piece and the results were lovely. 

I think I'm in the process of re-defining success. Although it feels really cool to have a magazine feature, I think a greater achievement is meeting other committed, creative collaborators who jump whole-heartedly into a project and are always seeking out what more they could do. In that sense, this process has netted a good success.

I need to thank some folks who offered tremendous additional support through this process. Jody Schmal, Maurice Connolly, Will Johnson, Courtney Smith Barton, Tina Berger, J. Raphael Klein, Evan Voyles, Larry Schulke, Marlene Leiber, Treasure Hance, and last but certainly never least, Paul Forde. Love you all.