How did a girl from Idaho end up as a stylist for catalogs and national magazines? The answer is simple - I got lucky!
When I was a kid, absolutely nothing made me happier than the plop of a big, fat catalog (then, Sears or Montgomery Wards), through the mail slot and onto the living room floor. I'd anticipate their twice-yearly arrival and spend hours pouring over their exotic offerings. When the monthly magazines would land - Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful or Sunset - let's just say homework (and chores), would most likely give way to organizing a closet, cupboard or drawer.
I'd pour over them all, read, re-read and save each and every one. I'd dream about how I'd decorate my own house (or room), with the furniture from the catalogs and I'd attempt decorating ideas featured in the magazines. Thank God my mother was patient because she let me re-arrange furniture again and again and again!
I'd lay awake nights and wonder how those rooms came together, how those homes ended up in the pages of the magazines and most importantly, exactly who made those stories come to life? But, it wasn't until years later when I had my first apartment and I received a Crate and Barrel catalog in the mail, that I was completely smitten. The products were beautiful, the creativity, the simple but beautiful layouts, the stunning photography and the styling on each and every page, that made me want to know how that catalog actually came together. I yearned to know how even the most basic of home products - glassware, cookware, table linens, bedding - especially bedding - could look so incredibly beautiful.
I just ached to to be a part of that world. But to do so I knew I needed to move from Idaho. The career I had in mind did not exist in the Gem State. I needed to live in a bigger city, where there were ad agencies, design firms and catalog companies. I wasn't a stylist then (no one had even coined the term), I was a graphic designer.
Looking back, I completely fell into my styling career. Right time, right place. My first styling project for Eddie Bauer Home came from a photographer I'd worked with on a fashion catalog. Eventually, styling for catalogs landed me into my first magazine story - again, because of a photographer I worked with.
Honestly, being lucky is a small part of the story. My dreams came true because of others. Others who believed in me. Others who thought I had something to offer - even if I felt my dream seemed incredibly far flung and out of reach.
Over the years, I've gotten to work in the most amazing homes, meet amazing people, work with incredible photographers and writers and editors and make connections and life-long friends, with people I'd never thought possible for this girl from Idaho.
One venture led to the next. A catalog project, a magazine story or the idea for a US made textile company. Each came along due to the faith others had in me.
A few years ago, one of those who had faith in me was (and still is), an idol of mine. A woman I really wanted to know, Farm Chicks creator, Serena Thompson. She invited me to join her circle of curators and agreed to rent me a space at her annual Farm Chicks show. Serena had faith that I could pull off a booth at her carefully-curated show. I'd never designed a booth and I wasn't selling antiques, I was schlepping American-made kitchen textile goods, made by my new venture, Raw Materials Design.
I've often said, "The people that want to see you succeed, will help you to get there." Serena is truly one of those people. We've formed a special friendship - one I'm terribly grateful for.
Over the years, we've chatted and dreamed about doing a project together. This year Serena had faith that I could contribute to her special show but in a completely different way - as a stylist. I approached her with the idea and she made it come to life.
After much brain-storming, stops, starts and some serious hand-holding (on her part), Shop Like A Stylist was created. It's a series of shopping sessions I'll lead and a lunch I'll host, throughout the weekend of this years show, (June 3-4). I'm ever so grateful for Serena and her faith in this idea. Once again, it was another person who made this dream a reality.
If you're interested, you can find out more about Shop Like a Stylist by clicking the Farm Chicks button at the top of the page.
And while I'm on the subject of dreams, faith and gratefulness, I can't thank you enough for stopping by. I hope you'll continue to visit me here.
In the meantime, while the phrase 'Never give up on your dreams', seems a cliche - it's not. I'm proof. And that other cliche - 'Dreams really do come true' is also true. Thanks in large measure to the faith and kindness of others.