Thank you so much to the Back Road Mamas blog for taking the time to interview me for their site! Check out our full conversation below.
An Austinite at heart with an early exposure in fashion styling (as your mother was a stylist), in what ways have you seen the Austin fashion scene change over the years?
I went to UT for fashion design in the mid 2000s and a lot of the opportunities in Austin at the time were DIY focused. For instance, I designed a mini collection from thrifted clothes for a runway show at Treasure City Thrift. It was really fun, a lot of people showed up and about 15 designers with a variety of backgrounds made collections. Events like that were the Austin fashion scene. Since then, there is now an Austin Fashion Week and many more opportunities in general in Austin. Fashion is no longer an underground part of the city. Overall Austin is getting more organized and I definitely feel it in the styling world as well. More and more professional jobs are coming to Austin. It makes me excited for the future of the city!
Where are your personal favorite spots in Austin to shop for yourself and clients?
I always start at Beehive Boutique in Westlake. I tell people it is the best hidden shopping spot in Austin! The store is full of on trend and ahead of trend pieces and everything is so affordable. Trust me, stop in and you will see why I call it a hidden gem! If I am shopping for something truly unique, I always look to vintage and go to either Feathers or Garment. Having a one of a kind element to your outfit is really what style is about.
What to date has been your favorite shoot that you’ve styled?
One of my favorite shoots I have styled was in February and it was an editorial for Tribeza Magazine with photographer Steven Visneau out of Dallas. Steven has been on my list of great photographers I’ve wanted to work with. The theme of the shoot was “A Love Affair with Austin” so we hopped around to all of our favorite spots in town and every one on set had a lot of fun. The editorial was my first time being published in an Austin magazine plus it made the cover, so it definitely holds a special spot in my heart!
Where do you draw your inspiration when styling? Culturally or geographically influenced? Decade specific? Or just a melting pot of all that glitters is gold? ;)
Definitely all that glitters is gold! I do a fair amount of research online but I am always inspired by what I see around me. I usually draw inspiration from real people. Fashion is one thing in a photograph, but I like to see how people are actually putting things together in real life. I saw the Black Lips play at SXSW a couple years ago and the guitar player had a bandana tied around his neck, and I thought, “Ooh, I like that”. Then about six months later I started noticing the trend pop up in street style photographs and so on. I think everyone is always on the hunt for something fresh and different and you never know where it is going to come from - so I try to keep my eyes peeled for that inspiration. It is everywhere!
What have been your biggest challenges or obstacles in choosing this creative career path?
Maintaining a personal balance even though the creative freelance world is much more of a roller coaster. When things get hard or feel uncertain, I just remind myself that there is no other path I would rather be on. Being creative takes a lot - you put yourself out there a ton, work extra hard and sometimes the pay off does not come for awhile but having faith that doing your best work and staying with it will take you to where you need to go.
What is your dream photo shoot and who would you love to collaborate with, past or present?
I would love to work with photographer Michal Pudelka. He is known for shooting these perfectly crafted images of groups of girls including a famous editorial campaign for Valentino and more recently for Mansur Gavriel. I enjoy collaborating with people who have a specific vision and work really hard to execute it. His images are so iconic, I would love to style a shoot with him.
Was there any noteworthy advice you received from your mother or in general that helped you, that you feel is the most important for others seeking a similarly creative career choice?
Definitely the encouragement to just keep going! My parents were both self employed, so working for yourself was just a normal part of my upbringing. It definitely is not always easy, but the tradeoffs of being your own boss and making time for the important things in life is what it is all about.