Before Read Between the Lines, there was the blog, Super Much Love.
The blog was something I created several years ago, at the suggestion of my good friend, Jean. I had an idea for a column in a magazine, and she recommended I start a blog, instead, as it the world was in a recession, and great magazines were folding left and right. I took her advice, and, as always, she was spot-on.
The blog afforded me the opportunity to easily, rapidly share things I was figuring out about life with perfect strangers from around the world. (I believe your friends and family will almost always root for you, because they love you – this was my first time to receive comments from people I didn’t know, and who could say anything they wanted, in their pajamas, at 2 a.m., from a thousand miles away.)
The feedback I received from those readers surprised me, and was a huge blessing. It moved me to courage and a belief in that my voice could possibly make people laugh, or cause the world feel a little more relatable, loving and less haphazard. I learned that it was ok to share my inner thoughts with the public—that its response would give me not epic vulnerability or reasons to binge eat chocolate cake, but rather incredible warmth and fuel for life.
The blog isn’t currently active, as it served its purpose while I sorted out what 40 was about, and it came to a natural end. I put it in ‘hidden’ mode, as I found the guys I go out with would sometimes read it before our first date, and could reference the most important moments of my life over our first cocktail. That. Was. Awkward!
How did you first get into paper goods? Do you come with a background in writing copy or design?
I’ve been blessed to explore a number of professions and work environments, and what I’ve loved most about any of them was when I was asked to write. For instance, I was the nerd in the real estate office that wanted to sit at my desk and write property descriptions, rather than be out showing houses to clients. I loved turning house duds into damsels with words. Giving less-than-perfect homes a second chance at selling by creatively, lovingly describing them.
And I’ve always been passionate about paper. The feel, the smell, the tactile nature of it. How words on paper move people, often to the best, most courageous little moments of their soon-to-be-big lives.
Writing for my blog was the genesis of having my own line of paper goods, Read Between The Lines. The exercise of writing often, and for myself, perhaps, did it. The expressions that I write for our products started coming one day following the end of the blog, and haven’t stopped. I am grateful to my toes. I get teary about it. The idea of people purchasing and sharing and putting things on their walls that I’ve written is the greatest honor. And the businesses we support as part of running this business (printers, paper companies, designers, attorneys, you name it!) are so wonderful —working with and learning from them is amazing!
What’s the best hostess gift you could receive? Give?
I love having things in my home that remind me of people I care about. If the host gift is from a good friend, it’s fun when the item reflects their interests, sense of humor, or their kind appreciation of my quirks. My friend, Jana, knows I love eclectic old porcelain dishes, travel, and hotels. She found a vintage British hotel saucer, spray painted her son’s small dinosaur toy gold, and glued it so that it stands upright on the dish, as if it’s about to make an announcement. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed when I received her creation, or how much I love it. Talk about a treasure!
The best host gift I can give is something I’m mad-wild-happy about that’s hopefully also useful to the recipient. Something they might not have encountered on their own, that gives them pleasure.
What does your ideal holiday party or season look like?
The best parties have great (even simple!) food, a bit of good booze, family, and close friends—particularly folks from different areas of your life. I love throwing a party and seeing wonderful people meet and hit it off, and begin to hang out. That is such a kick! Life may be busy, but we all have room for more people that are genuine blessings and really add something.
Where are you and Read Between the Lines From? How did you get there?
Our studio and flagship store are near downtown Dallas, in Victory Park.
I’ve lived in the Dallas Metroplex since college. It has changed completely in the last 20 years, largely due to the continual influx of amazing people moving here from all over the world. Shaking it up, making it delicious and diverse and rich in the most important ways —bringing historical neighborhoods back to life, adding stunning parks and outdoor trails, opening shops and restaurants that matter and foster community. I wish I could kiss each transplant that has worked hand-in-hand with locals to make Dallas what it is today. I would buy ALLLL the lip balm and mints necessary. This city is transformed, and I’m so glad I stayed!
Where is your favorite place to go to be inspired?
I know folks who go to specific places —the beach, the mountains—and I think that’s beautiful. Maybe it’s because we moved so much when I was a kid, but I like the randomness of life experiences and how they cause ideas to bubble and brew. Sometimes ideas come when I travel, but it’s never planned or intentional in that regard.
From what other sources do you receive inspiration?
I find inspiration in a stranger’s face (I always wish I could look longer!) or in a bit of a conversation I overhear that gets stuck in my head, a song, or in the response I feel to a situation, good or bad.
If I had to pick one place where ideas typically flow (and where I have NO paper to write them down!), it’s the shower. In Oprah’s interview with Pharrell Williams in her Master Class series, they talk about how revelations come to each of them in the shower. Pharrell explains that it’s because of the sensory deprivation that occurs there. It made sense to me. You can only hear the water, your phone is somewhere else, you’re in your birthday suit, and a waterfall at the perfect temperature is pounding against your skin. Hello, good ideas!