I grew up in a very loving, hard-working, practical family. My father’s job took us back and forth between Dallas and Oklahoma City several times, so I really think of each place as home. In 1981 I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Accounting (practical!) and promptly moved back to Dallas to begin my career as a CPA.
As I performed my accounting functions I became known among my supervisors for the presentation of my work papers. Long before Excel spreadsheets, we worked with 10-column work papers, pencils, and erasers, which provided me the opportunity to turn ordinary columns of numbers into something a little less ordinary. I once had a supervisor tell me that my work always came “wrapped in such a pretty package!” I started to acknowledge some creative rumblings, despite my practical voice asking how I would make a living at “creative!” My journey of personal discovery was just beginning.
In 1985 I married my husband Brian and moved to Denver. I retired from accounting and stayed home to care for our children. As I became involved in various volunteer activities, I found myself declining the office of treasurer and instead exploring the more creative assignments such as the event planning and the hospitality committees. In 1988, as we were settling into our first real home, I read a book that greatly influenced the way I set up housekeeping. The book, Living a Beautiful Life, by Alexandra Stoddard, describes 500 ways to add elegance, order, beauty and joy to the little things that make up every day of your life. With an 18-month old and a new baby, I was in need of order. Elegance and beauty seemed an impossible dream!
I embraced the ideas and ideals presented by this book, and as I began the process of creating order and beauty in our home I discovered I was bursting with creative urges! Poring over decorating books and magazines became a passion. I happened upon a passage buried in an article in Country Living that gave new direction to my journey of personal discovery: “My entire life, I wished to be an artist with a traditional medium. Then one day I looked around my home and realized I am an artist. My home is my canvas.” What began as a collection of ideas about home decorating gained new energy, blossomed into a passion, and eventually grew into my first retail store.