It is hard to know even where to begin when thinking about this journey. What started as a dream many, many months ago quickly led to the vintage purchase of our dreams and before we knew it we were knee deep in the South, desperately trying to have our drawl sound authentic. (Spoiler alert: Still trying to say ya'll. Still sounding undeniably Midwestern.)
After more preparation, emails, and organizing than we could've ever imagined, we were on the open road cleaning off the smudges on our rose-colored glasses. (Any proverbial smudge being something along the lines of unforseen weather conditions, a la the tornado we out drove in Arkansas.)
Our little whip hung in there, and even caught the eye of several whom we passed on the road, as we received various messages and emails from individuals who passed us and began to follow the hashtag that adorned the back! (Thanks to your creation, Athena Pelton!)
Our first stop was in Little Rock, where at long last, we were able to finally meet and hug the talented Whitney Bower, whom we had been talking and collaborating with from afar for over a year. Whitney's spirit is not only as infectious as her beautiful imagery, but we fell even more in love with her humor and grounded self in person. Having made such a name for herself and established a very reputable business in her neck of the woods (and beyond) we felt so grateful to collaborate with she and a handful of other wickedly talented women on an editorial shoot.
After our brief but worthwhile time in Arkansas, we were itching to finally cross the Texas border and both see it in the flesh for the first time. Austin, you did not disappoint.
In fact, from the moment we entered the heart of the city, we were floored by how clean and beautiful everything appeared. You also must remember that we were there during SXSW festival, a time in which the city grows exponentially in traffic, so perhaps there was a palpable charm that filtered the air. We also had the privilege of being a part of a week long trunk show in conduction with the festival, held at Unbridaled Wedding Boutique. The staff could not have been more welcoming and it was so valuable receiving feedback and seeing our pieces on the incomparable Southern Belle. Having spent a bit of time and getting to know locals, we're confident that Austin is always as fascinating as it first impressed us to be.
Once our duties were up in the city, were then off to Round Top, Texas : aka the shiniest hidden gem in the great North America. This is not a written fact, but we stand behind it being one.
It has long since been our dream to visit The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell. A creative idol and all around visionary influence in both of our lives, we knew that it was at the top of our priority list. We somehow were fortunate to connect with the (amazing) staff ahead of time and organize the styled shoot that has been marinating in our minds for quite some time. We were able to rally a dream team of other vendors to collaborate on this shoot, including : Michelle Boyd Photography, Fail Jewelry, Mindy Orsak Hair and Makeup, and Bloom and Bud Florals.
The aesthetic of the Prairie not only lent itself perfectly to our new product as well as Fail Jewerly's designs that we shooting, but the women we had on board all brought something so unique and brilliant to make it one complete package. We will be sharing more on this shoot in the near future, but in the mean time, here is a sneak peek.
And then there was Marfa. Sweet, quaint, whacky, middle-of-nowhere-beauty Marfa.
As much of our jam as the ma-and-pa-shop town of Round Top and vintage plantation landscape was, Marfa was on the completely opposite end of the scale; aesthetically and then some. We adore lush, rolling green hills but also give us the vast promise of a desert and you have our brazen hearts.
Our first stop in this town was to the renowned El Cosmico, which is as colorful and eclectic as you'd hope. One of the interesting things about Marfa is that many of the businesses, namely food, are only open for a few days a week. So while we got to get a taste of what it has to offer, we weren't able to full devour as much as we had hoped. (Literally and figuratively) Which is probably a blessing, because we may now have taken up residency there otherwise.
Rest assure, we will be back and for longer than the town likely wants us.
Shortly thereafter, we were quick to hit the brief 20 mile trek to Prada Marfa-- an art installation that was created back in in 2005, receiving plenty of hype from every social media pocket. We went early in the day thinking we would be able to have the desert to ourselves to shoot, but we were (pleasantly) mistaken. While we were able to continue our shoot anyway, we were not without a dull moment in between, as there were not less than 5 cars pulled over on the highway to visit it at a time. A tourist attraction beyond what you can imagine, especially considering it is a non-functioning store in an area without cell phone reception, we quickly began to realize that THIS was the place to be. There is something unmistakably magical about it. So, as two breezy spirits do, we simply parked our Scotty right then and there and began chatting with anyone who came by. We met a woman from New York City, a videographer from China, and many Austin-ites who were escaping the mayhem of the city that SXSW brought.
We could really go on all day. But what we can tell you is that we have never drank so much delicious juice (thank you, Juice So Good!) laughed , drove, and hustled more in such a concentrated amount of time. We covered over 4,200 miles in 7 days and while we dealt with a wonky tail light, we managed to never run out of gas or get a flat tire. (We'd like to thank our ever-present fathers for teaching us to overanalyze every sound and check every nook and cranny whenever possible.) We outran a tornado (so significant we had to mention it twice), nearly went off the road in a white out blizzard an hour away from being home after driving 24 hours straight, and may or may not have duct taped part of our camper somewhere in Oklahoma.
Suffice to say, it was a successful journey all in all and really just the beginning. Never has anything made more sense than loading up a vintage trailer and sharing what you love with the world.
So off we will continue to go.