LOCAL Houston | The City Guide JULY 2016 - Page 57

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE LOCAL: When did you make your first bag and why? Stash: I was at the point of pursuing my lifelong dream as a photographer. Then someone gave me a leather hide as a trade for photos. I created a bag out of the hide to carry my photography equipment. People were stopping me to ask about it, so I sold it off of my back and made another and another. LOCAL: Where do you find inspiration? Stash: My inspiration is generated from particular characteristics of each material and answering the challenge to create something lovely and lasting. Early on, my personal slogan for collecting and creating was new ideas for old things. As an artist, I have an interest in the concept of Wabi Sabi but I’ve naturally adapted the idea to my own style. Perhaps the best example of this is a white cowhide chair that anchors a corner of our bedroom. I found that chair in a ditch on the side of a country road. She was tattered dupioni silk with a seat that someone had tried to set on fire but she had such good bones. I held on to that chair for 12 years until I found the perfect snow-white hides to cover. I’m confident this is not what the Japanese had in mind in regard to their practice of Wabi Sabi but for me, it is the application in my life. LOCAL: As a working mother who also happens to work with my husband, can you share how you balance it all? Stash: Paul and I will be married 24 years this summer. We are both dreamers and doers. If we have an idea, we execute it. We’ve always found ways to work together to build things: software, websites, furniture and leather goods. Our greatest similarity is that we are always learning and researching the best ways to execute ideas. However we bring unique skill sets to the partnership so there is a balance. Ultimately we view our lives together with the kids as the ultimate partnership. Early on, he realized marrying a creative, he wasn’t getting someone who was going to be ironing his shirts and doing dishes alone. We’ve always divided the task and when one is busier with work, we fill in for each other. LOCAL: How do you find/create peace among all the chaos? Stash: Since we each own our own businesses, work on special projects and juggle two girls (ages 15 and 2), chaos is common. Humor helps us maintain harmony. We remind each other often when we find ourselves getting overwhelmed that no matter how impossible a task seems, really all we can do is take the next step. july 16 | L O C A L 57