Tell us about the inspiration behind Loot Vintage Rentals.
When I was planning my wedding in 2010, I saw a need in Austin for a different kind of rental company. All that was available at that time was your standard party rentals – basic tables, china, linens, flatware etc. My dream was to have a old timey jazz wedding – my husband and I love the speakeasy vibe of the 20’s era, so that is what inspired the design. We collected vintage china, linens, oil lamps, amber snuff jars and old liquor crates. I enlisted the help of my entire family to search high and low for the quantities we needed. Rhoda (my SIL) was a huge help as she lived in Ft. Worth at the time which allowed for a broader search area. During that time, we discovered a serious passion for curating a cohesive collection and designing events. Luckily, we were both at a point in our lives that we could put our focus on turning that passion into a business.
How does working with family benefit your business and lifestyle?
First of all, I would never want to run this business with anyone else. Having family by my side has been so beneficial especially through life trials and motherhood. We love eachother like sisters and support eachother through life’s hardships and changes. Having that underlying family bond is beneficial to the business as well since it fosters deep trust, which is a must in any business partnership.
Name one piece of furniture you found on a scouting trip for Loot that you couldn’t resist taking home for yourself.
Most of the time, my guilt of not adding a new unique piece to the Loot collection to share with others outweighs my desire to take things home with me. However, antique rugs are my weakness – if I ever come across an amazing rug at an amazing deal, I can’t not take it home! It is a rarity to find these gems so when I do, I swallow my guilt and take out my wallet.
People hire you to style their biggest life moments. How did you approach decorating your children’s nurseries?
With my children’s nurseries, I just incorporate my current obsessions as much as possible! And a lot of times I will find an amazing piece for the room and the design takes on a totally different feel. With Otto’s room, I was obsessed with Native American designs and patterns so I started collecting things of the sort. Then, my friend Kyle, who had a vintage menswear shop at the time, gifted Otto this awesome tattered American flag which gave the room a whole new feel – think all-boy, hippie American – old college pennants, vintage crate shelving, antlers, rocks and feathers. Totally kooky, but it all works together!
When designing Edie’s room, I was (and still am) obsessed with the modern graphics found in African mudcloth. It’s modern but also has an earthy, organic feel which is exactly the vibe I wanted for her room. I also love anything macrame, so a vintage macrame wall hanging that I found in a thrift shop had to be incorporated! This gave the room a little bohemian flair, which I love. The end result is a bright and airy, organic but still modern, peaceful retreat. Her room also has the best light in the house, so naturally it’s filled with lots of plants adding to the earthy feel.
Both rooms are a reflection of what I like and are ever evolving – there’s not one word to describe them. As my kids grow, I look forward to seeing how their rooms change to encompass the things they love as well!
What did you find to be the most surprising thing about motherhood?
I knew I would love my kids, but I don’t think I knew just how much love was possible. As cheesy and cliche as it sounds, the love I feel for them is something I never knew existed.
You are pregnant with baby number 2! Has your approach to motherhood changed this time around?
What they say is true – moms are more laid back with the second! With Otto, I read tons of books and blogs trying to prepare for motherhood – most of which just flew out the window and motherly instinct took over. Each child is different. You can prepare as much as you can but what worked for one mom may not work for you. And what worked for one child may not work for the next. I’m also leading more of a minimalist approach to raising my next – I’ve learned that you really don’t need a bunch of “stuff” to get through the baby years. There are so many gadgets and toys on the market but you really just need the basics (a place to sleep, a place to play, and a place to eat) – no need to clutter your home with lots of plastic battery operated things when entertainment can be found in all places. For example, a ray of sunlight on the wall can be more entertaining to a baby than a crazy light-up toy.
Give us one piece of advice for balancing motherhood and running your own business.
Balance is bullshit. I’m sorry but it’s true! My advice is to accept that! There will be seasons where you might need to focus more on work and there will be seasons where you need more time focus on family and relationships. I think the more you can compartmentalize the two, the better. Focus on family when you’re with family and focus on work when you’re at work. I try not to take for granted the precious time I have with my family – weekends with them are sacred!
How would you describe your maternity style?
I take the non-maternity approach and just size up! That way, I still feel like myself when I’m preggers. I still shop at the same stores and don’t limit myself to just the maternity section. With this pregnancy, oversized shift dresses are my jam. I also live in jeggings and long drapey tops.
What does your wellness routine look like?
Ha! It’s pretty non-existent beyond showers and basic hygiene. However, every once in a while I will treat myself to a spa pedicure or Chinese acupressure massage. For fitness, keeping up with my 3 year old is like a workout in itself!
Photography by Katie Jameson