One of the things I love most about lifestyle photography is capturing relationships. Connections. And over the years, I’ve found that the connection that exists between a person and their passion is singularly fascinating, especially when they are able to grow that passion and create a sustainable career from it. I love seeing people live their passions. Live their dreams. It’s like a grown-up fairy tale. I’m so proud of you. All of you. So much about the world tells you: “No. You can’t. It’s out of your reach. It’s not reasonable.” YES YOU CAN. Owning a business is hard, hard, hard work, but you’re doing it, and you’re doing awesome at it!
That’s the spirit that eventually led to the idea that has become my new blog series. Southeast Texas Small Business Stories. Documenting people living their passion. Introducing these crazy, passionate people to the public. Every two weeks (or maybe every week, depending on how fast I can crank these out!), I’ll feature a different small business, athlete, artist, or entrepreneur on the blog, and tell their stories through photographs. I can’t wait to introduce all of you to all of the amazing talent in our area.
The very first name on my list was Amy Burris-Smith, Owner and Boss Lady at Junkin Gypsies. Junkin Gypsies is a paint boutique and project workshop, and is honestly one of the most creative businesses in our community. I’ve seen Amy describe the idea behind her business as hosting “Pinterest parties” and I have to say – it’s so accurate! I’ve been a customer of hers for years. If you come over, I have probably way too many pallet signs of various size hanging throughout my house. Some of them are an admitted hot mess, but I love all of them because they were created by my own two hands over an evening with some of my best friends, and the memories that are wrapped up in these hot mess pallets are priceless.
When you register for a workshop at Junkin Gypsies, you send Amy a description of the type of project you would like to do. The offer a range of projects from pallet signs of various size, tin flags, five-board signs, cut-out wall art, stocking hangers, serving trays, door hangers and signs, and jewelry hangers, and I’m sure if you contacted her wanting to create something not on this list, she would definitely figure out a way to accommodate you! And when you arrive at her warehouse, you’re given all the supplies you need to create your project. As in, you’re handed raw planks of wood, nails, and a hammer and told to get started ha! I was a little surprised the first time I went as I had no idea I would be constructing my pallet also, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and a great stress reliever ha!
It’s stressed during registration that this is a workshop and not a class. Amy has helpers available that walk around and help you. They provide all the materials and any guidance you need, but step-by-step instructions are not given and everyone gets to work at their own pace. I really love this, because it puts the emphasis on fellowship!
“Leave your worries at home! Just come have a good time… everyone can do this!
You don’t have to be creative, crafty or artistic. You just have to be willing!!
As you can see, Amy works hard right alongside everyone else who visits her workshops! This is such an amazing gem for Southeast Texas. If you haven’t had a chance to plan a Girls Night Out at Junkin Gypsies, make room on your calendar!
Junkin Gypsies is located at 704 N Memorial Freeway, Nederland, Tx 77627, directly across from the airport.
I have a working list based on suggestions from friends and family, but I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you know someone who is crazy passionate and made their dream a reality? Nominate your favorite local small business in the comments! Or, if you are a small business owner and you would be interested in a documentary session, shoot me an email and let’s chat!
Tell me: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Jo Truncali is a Southeast Texas Lifestyle photographer specializing in documentary family imagery. Serving all of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, including but not limited to The Woodlands, Conroe, Beaumont, Lake Charles and surrounding areas. Available for travel worldwide.