How did attending SMU influence your career?
I don't know that SMU directly influenced my career,
but my sophomore year I did a study abroad in the
summer, in Boulouris, France, a little village on the
Côte d'Azur. I was just there for a summer, and then
two friends and I traveled Europe the rest of that
summer. The following spring break and the one
after that, I went to Paris and just loved it. Looking
back, we were kind of dorks. We went to museums.
Travel influenced my aesthetic and just broadened
my mind into, besides the culture, the art world and
becoming engaged in that.
What initially drew you towards working in the arts?
Just really and truly a love and passion for art. When I look back, everything evolved pretty organically into it. It would be like all these little scraps of paper, just disconnected pieces, and then, (sadly – to use an art analogy) it would be like these pieces came together with glue and became a beautiful collage. That's kind of the same with my background. Things, in hindsight, all converged into what I'm doing now.
A big influence was when I started buying art at auction. It really helped me in several ways: it honed my aesthetic; it helped me see the importance of art in the fiscal world and just in the market in general. The most important influence was when I began my research with artists.
So how did you become an art dealer?
I was thinking like a dealer before I set the intention to be one. To use these statues [from her dining room] as an example, I was researching artists - and one artist would lead to another artist. It became like a web that I was entangled in. When I got these statues, I didn't know it at the time, but this was my start at selling art. I was learning how to bring in large-scale pieces and was beginning to connect with emerging artists. People began asking me where I was getting my art, who the artists were, and then if I could help them find art for their house. This is how I began.
I remember approaching a gallery about the artist, Mavis McClure, who made them. I was so in love with them and I was encouraging the gallery to represent the artist. Her works were so amazing, and I thought it would be great for other people in Dallas to have exposure to her work. I just think she's a great artist and really interesting.
My real moment came during a dinner when people started asking, "Hey, where do you get your art?" I had a friend that said, "You should do this." From there, it was almost like I set the intention to do it. I did an artist studio visit and literally drove back with two huge canvases in the back of my car that were rolled, and I sold one within the first week, which is crazy. I sold a 74x86 canvas, which is pretty big. From there, it was a firmer intention.
How did your parents influence your career?
They have attributes that have influenced my career. My mom may literally be the friendliest person you would ever meet in your life. That probably helped me segue into talking with artists, because it's almost like a cold call. That was awkward, particularly before I had a website.
When I think of my dad, the word "integrity" comes to mind. He's extraordinarily thoughtful and authentic. I think that helped me with the artists, as far as ... there are artists that I could easily sell. Going back to the integrity, I only pursue and show artists I really believe in. I might be forgoing the home runs because I want to show who I believe in and whose art I find really fantastic.
What excites you the most about your work?
I have two things that excite me and they also kind
of converge together. I really do love learning about
the process with the artists. That's helpful to me. It
informs the work and it helps me to educate. That
really excites me.
That, and then what truly excites me, is when I find
art for someone and there's a connection with the
piece. That's bringing the process and finding a home
where it fits the vibe of the room. Not to sound
cheesy, but there are a lot of subliminal things in
what you wear and place in your home. Ideally,
someone really connects with a piece that they
buy and it looks great in their space. But beyond
that, even if they're not looking at it, they walk by
it and unconsciously it makes them feel something -
happy, they're enthused by the color, or they just
love it and it makes them feel good. Artwork will
likely be passed down to the next generation. It's
an heirloom of sorts and part of a family history. I love making that connection. These two things: learning about the process is really fun and when a piece goes to a home, and it's in the right home and it's loved - that's neat. It's really neat.
Who or what has been a strong influence of your personal style?
Comfort. That's my MO. I used to shop for enjoyment. Now, there's a goal in mind. I'm in and out. I'd rather do the art stuff, so I put on what's comfortable. I like the high/low mix. I think it's fun if you might have a $900 sweater and a Target shirt. I think there are fun people out there who I admire, but I like a classic mix.
I think there's a difference between ... some people think of comfort and they think of sweats. Yours is an elevated effort.
Thanks, yeah. I admire George Costanza when he's like, "I want to be ensconced in velvet." You remember that? I like comfort and yeah, I need to be able to feel like I can move, not be constricted.
Do you have a typical look for, for instance, a gallery opening?
I actually don't go to a ton of those types of events. When I do, I just amp it up. I transition day into night. The flats might become heels and the jewelry might be a little blingier, and I might amp up the lipstick, and I'm good to go. I really am kind of boyish in that regard, that it's not like I'm going to put on the cocktail dress or whatever. Especially with kids - my son is 7. I look fine, but I'm just not in that full out fashionista mode. I'm not trying to belittle myself either. I really am just 'what you see is what you get.' I don't really dress up too much. I'm kind of easy-breezy, sweaters, and comfortable.
Okay, so it's pants with loose tops or cute jackets.
Yeah, literally there's probably not a skirt in my closet. It's leggings.
That's the thing. Everybody has that wardrobe formula.
Literally, I remember years ago reading an article about Isabella Rossellini saying, "If I like a pair of pants, I buy one in every color." I love that. Now when I find something that fits great and I feel good in, I buy multiples of it too. I feel like guys have it easier with their suits. They change the top. I feel like women make it too complicated sometimes.
What are your favorite brands for clothes, shoes, and accessories?
I like Nordstrom a lot. I feel comfortable there. I like Neiman's, but sometimes the prices are nauseating. My mom eats, breathes, and dies Neiman's. I kind of have that in my background, but I like Nordstrom. I told you I like the high/low mix. For that reason, I absolutely love Target. I love Eileen Fisher - it's flowy and loose. Oh, I love the Gap. I freaking love the Gap, really. I mix it up with other stuff. I do love Neiman's for their shoes. Oh, Zara! Zara is awesome.
I also like shopping local. There's a cute little place that I just went to the other day - it's called WOLO. It's in Inwood Village. WOLO stands for West on Lover's.
When do you find the time to shop?
I don't. I shop when it's a must. I think this is a funny Murphy's Law thing: if I need a black dress - I will find everything but a black dress. Even though I say I don't enjoy shopping, when I shop for new clothes, I don't go with one thing in mind because I would never find it. At Zara, I got this really kick ass shaggy, white jacket. I never would have found this if I had been looking for this. It looks like a sheepskin.
Zara has the coolest pieces that just take the normal basic items and elevate them. It's a cool place. All right, what are your go to brands for accessories? Do you have certain favorite brands for accessories, bags and shoes and things like that?
Have you ever heard the Chinese saying, "buy right, cry once" or something to that effect? I have a Nancy Gonzalez crocodile bag. I've had that now for years. It's black, so I kind of don't need anything else.
It simply goes with everything?
Yes. Then I also like this kind of fun stuff [gesturing to bracelet]. I've had my pearls that I'm wearing now since 1987. If I went to a reader or something, they would really have my vibe on them. I literally have had this gold necklace from Neiman's since 7th grade.
What is on your wish list?
You know who I really love? You know Iris Apfel?
I love how she layers. Sometimes I kind of do that.
I don't want the Santa Fe look, but I would really
love something chunky, like turquoise. I think that
is a cool pop for clothing. That, and I'm still looking
for the perfect pair of gold hoops, which seems so
basic, but bigger ones. They are actually hard to
find. They're either kind of teeny and have a Tiffany's
element, or they look too ghetto. And boots. I'd like
to get some over the knee boots, but I don't want
them where they're fitted. Turquoise, boots, and
What is something you wear that instills more
confidence on days you need it most?
I think that confidence comes from within.
Lipstick or Lip Gloss?
Both. I just think it looks awesome. I think the
lipstick stays and is almost like your dye. Then I
think (I guess I'm going back to the art stuff) that
gloss is like your varnish. It highlights the color.
Ultimately, the gloss is what makes it look awesome,
but it's what goes away first and the quickest. So,
you're kind of left with the lipstick.
What are your go-to brands and shades?
Chanel, by all means, makes the best gloss. I really
like Lancôme lipsticks. I also buy random stuff at
Target. I like a really soft pink. I used to like red. I
read somewhere, "A man really doesn't want to kiss
red, even though red is sexy." I haven't worn red in
a zillion years. I wear pink. I like Chanel. There's a
Chanel gloss (Chanel Glossimer Lip Gloss in Nougat)
that's really good. Actually, what is nice about the
Chanel products - they last forever.
Definitely worth the spend then, if they last and
they're good. What is the most important part of
your beauty routine, that you feel helps complete
That is such an easy answer for me: flatiron and low humidity.
What is your “must-have” product for your great hair?
I love my flat iron - The Glyder from Heirstudios Salon. Recently I've been putting coconut oil in my hair, literally the same kind you could cook with.
What do you do with the coconut oil?
I put it in just to let it soak in and sleep in it, then wash my hair the next day. It's like a deep conditioning treatment almost. I'll put it on my lips. It doesn't last long, but it looks like an awesome gloss. I wash my hair, and I flatiron it. I don't put product in it.
What do you do prior to your working hours that helps you to prepare for the day ahead?
I have a little bit of a system, which is: I make my to-do list, I have to, the night before so that's all set up. The list is usually organized in the order that I want to get things done. Then in the morning, I try to wake up at 6:00am or at least 6:30am and have about half an hour to myself before the house starts rousing.
I do the coffee thing. I've also been transitioning to kombucha tea. I do that, and then I just review my to-do list. I post my social media right at 7:00am. That's my ritual along with a little bit of me time in the morning. Then the day just goes. If my to-do is set and/or I'm dressed, then I can just be off and running the rest of the day. I can't imagine doing my to-do list the day of.
I make all of the tools that I use for myself. I have this Excel sheet that has everything prioritized, and then it's sort of grouped by professional and house stuff. They are these running lists - I'm a very task driven person, so I like conquering them. It helps me keep up with things like maybe an artist was supposed to follow up with me about an exhibit, or my doctor's office was supposed to refund me $50. You know how they'll say, "You should get it by the 15th?" If I just went by that, there are so many things..... Because nine times out of ten people forget, so I keep a pending list in Excel. It suits me.
That's fascinating and I can't wait to circle back.
What is the make and model of your vehicle?
I think it's a GL450. It's a Mercedes. It's the SUV.
Why do you like it, is it just a good size for what
I've got that middle row. I bought it when my son
was born, wanting the whole SUV thing, but now
it's like I have to have it for the art. It's awesome.
While you're driving around running the errands
or while you're in here working, do you have a
favorite song or podcast that you listen to or playlist
that you've made yourself? What do you listen to?
I like WRR 101.1, the classical music station. I love
that. My son is very verbose, so it's that or silence.
What is your morning work routine?
I play in a tennis league, and so Mondays, Wednesdays,
and Thursdays is tennis. My mornings are fairly
tennis dictated because that's really most of the
week. It's funny. I work around tennis. Then I try to
have lunches with people on Fridays. I just think
Friday is a festive day and people are in a different
mode, so I've made that my lunch day. That's kind
Otherwise, I will let the situation or the client dictate.
I might go to a client's house; and it might be for
only 15 minutes, and it might be two hours, or I
may have to block a day just to do artist inventory,
or administrative stuff. I'm a little more loosy-goosy
other than the Fridays. I try to do more business-y
stuff earlier in the week. I work all the time too, like
later in the night.
Your schedule is just really nimble around tennis.
Yeah. I have priorities, damn it.
Is kombucha tea your usual morning beverage?
I love it and also coffee, but I'm trying to transition more to the kombucha tea. I think it is awesome for your body. If I didn't think it would be unhealthy, to be overkill, I could drink multiple of these a day. They're really different. Do you know about them? They're fermented.
What do you like the most about it? Is it the way it makes you feel or...
Yeah, the taste, I really like the effervescence, but it also just tastes so good and then also knowing the probiotics. You know how they say your skin is your biggest organ? I think people forget that. They come in different flavors. It has spirulina
in it and algae. The only bummer is it's caloric. If you drink this whole thing it's like 70 calories. So that's kind of a bummer, but they're filling too. It is almost like a snack.
What do you do in a typical workweek?
I'll go to someone's house and I'll look at their space. I wouldn't say that I'm "forming their collection." I'm a little more down to earth. I'll ask, "What art do you like?" or "Do you like sculpture?" It's like the Isabella Rossellini thing; if you like this artist, let's get five other paintings. Just get what you like.
I'll go to a client's house or office and measure. My artists are scattered, so that's mostly phone work. I do have studio visits. I will go to the framer.
What are the essentials that you have to have when
you go to your client meetings?
Phone to take pictures, tape measure, and pen
and paper for notes.
How do you handle job-related stress?
Tennis and/or martinis.
What has been your happiest career moment, so far?
I'm thrilled when someone just finds a piece and
I know they love it. That's just awesome. I did have
a cool moment where I was working with someone
on their fifth piece for their house. I brought
something over (usually we go through options),
and it was like love at first sight. I'd grown to know
them and that was just awesome.
You knew their taste, but that well.
I think the ultimate is just when there's a love connection with the piece. That's awesome. As an aside, I don't ever ask budget with people, which is kind of odd, I'll admit. I just think if someone connects with something, the price almost becomes irrelevant. My stuff isn't crazy expensive anyway, but when you love something, you find a way to get it.
How would you describe the space where you get
most of your work accomplished?
I'm pretty mobile, but I sit here [in her dining room]
a lot. Often I just lay everything out across my
dining room table. Inventories. New artworks I've
printed out. Elevations from a designer. It helps
me to have everything in front of me at once.
Then I can play! I have to see it, so I need a big
space. Generally, I like good light and I like my
art being around me. I like seeing my lady and
dude. I need space and light, and the art around
me is inspiring.
I just love that you know you need the big table
because you're going to use all that space.
Yeah, and this has another leaf; so I can even
spread that out. Later, we're eating in here.
How do you ensure that you're comfortable while you are working?
I have a placement ritual - how I place my computer, and my napkin and drink together, and my phone and my calendar, and then all my recycled paper with my pen. Then sometimes a calculator, which might be behind my computer where it doesn't seem cluttery. I don't see it, but I know it's there. Sometimes I move the chair and I go walk.
Do you pace while you're on the phone?
Just where I have all the papers laid out, so this is almost like a big desk.
What's on your wish list for your workspace or work stuff?
More art. There are some people I am obsessed with right now, and it's a little more installation-y. I'd like to have something that just dominates this whole dining room wall, I mean literally. I'd like something really big and dramatic here, and then I think something funky above the fireplace, more installation-y.
I just got a new computer. If I keep doing more
interior designer presentations, I'd almost like
something where I could do a projector kind of
thing, but I also hope that my business flourishes
enough that I don't have to do the presentations.
Right - so there is just a certain level of trust.
Yeah. The presentations are just to start working
with that interior designer, but my big goal would
be to just have them be coming to me and say,
"This is what I need." The art is the real big
What is your favorite office supply and why?
I'm obsessed with these Pilot Razor Point pens.
I like the way they feel and I buy them in red,
green, gray, purple. Sometimes I do black. I love
them. Let's talk about a little bit of bling. I'm
obsessed with gold paper clips. I love them.
Where do you get them?
I got mine on Amazon, but I do think they have them at Target and, maybe, Staples.
What’s a work tool (app, hardware or software) that is a must-have for you?
What I really like is the Windows Photo Viewer, because I'm working with pictures all day. I have to have Excel. I use some Word but really, Windows Photo Viewer, and I would die without Google Cloud.
What is your secret to achieving your daily objectives?
That goes back to the Excel sheet, which is really
more of like a general overview. My agenda is
written on recycled paper. Each night, I write
out four days of the week - so I can see what
should happen and when. I first list my must
to-dos and I place them on the appropriate
days. I try to put them in order to accomplish
them most efficiently, especially when I'm
traveling. I also include a fifth space (not
defined by a day of the week) on the paper for
things that are important but are kind of floating
wherever they can be fit in. That's also another
thing that I've learned: my to-do list needs to be
accomplish-able. I don't want to have 80 things
and can only do 10 of them. It's maybe
accomplish-able with a stretch but then the
floaters are there as well. Then I really do like my
Excel thing. I don't know if you want to know, or not know ...
Yes. You know I do.
I have a calendar that I make in Word and print every day. It is color-coded. Purple is usually professional, and pink is personal, and green is for my son. And I use pictures on it, just so I don't have to read everything. [Pointing to a cat graphic] - that's a cat and a dog flea medicine. I'll put it once a month and it makes it easy to see. I had to do a studio visit so I just did a picture of my artist's painting. I don't want it all emojis or pictorial-ed up..
...Just the things that need to stand out?
I can really see the whole month. So this is big
picture and then the daily is handwritten. I love
and totally appreciate everything electronic, but
there's something for me about writing it also.
It puts it with my brain. Also, there's that repetition
of writing everything out each day. I think that's
partially how I learned in school and I like that
So you write your to do list every night? Do you
start fresh with a to do list? So every night you
Yeah. My goal is to not to have to think. It would
almost be like I had an assistant and she's running
my agenda. It's very efficient and my to go. My dry
cleaner is next to my grocery store. Those would
be next to each other on the same line. One of the
things that affected that - remember when the gas
prices went way up? We used to just drive around,
and now I'm more thoughtful about planning things.
I was in professional coaching for a while and I learned sometimes if things stay on your list for a long time to just drop it. It's easy for me to notice when I'm writing the same thing over and over. I just drop it. Sometimes I'll add the dropped thing back into the Excel spreadsheet that I can look over. Excel is really the big, big picture. Pending clients, or when I'm owed a refund. A lot of times when that's on that list and it didn't happen - I follow up. It's loose and structured. It's kind of strange, but it really works for me.
Appointments, you do include them on your to-do
list or no?
Yeah, and that's the other thing too, it's nice
because I've written it. By Monday I've maybe
written it three times by now. It's really ingrained.
Here's what I really love about all of this, Jac, is
that you did not talk about your phone at all.
You're not the person who is tied to your phone
for this type of ...
There's gratification in scratching it out! I really
What about your notes? How do you organize them?
When you need to take a note down, you're writing
on just recycled paper? Will you take recycled paper
with you to a client meeting?
Yes, I think it's important. I mean, not to sound
cheesy, but this is a perfectly good sheet of paper
and the fact that I don't like lines makes it even
better. I guess also, I do print out a lot. Yeah, it's
somewhat intentional. The notes would be on here
too and free form.
Let's say you have a client meeting. They ask you for something, or you think of a certain something and then you write it down. When you come back, how do you keep your notes?
I'm very literal. I think some people would convince you into a piece of art. I really do go by the reaction. I would rather lose a sale or wait then not have you love your piece of art. I have a client that is looking for something in her bedroom, and maybe an artist just hasn't produced it yet. It's sort of like we get close, or we know the vibe. Literally, I'll take pictures. A lot of it is measurements and just kind of who they like. I know what you're asking about the notes. It just depends. If it's art stuff, that's hardcore going into an Excel spreadsheet. That's hardcore pure business.
Is email an issue for you?
Not really. I address them the order they come
in. I'm kind of the purist. I have a yahoo personal
address for friends and my work address for
How do you discover fresh new talent?
I have a bad answer. Part of it is, "I'm not telling."
But, I have to want their art. That's almost how
I choose who I represent.
What is your method for networking?
Someone a few months ago was at a party at
someone's house and saw the artwork and called
me. I have one friend that has referred maybe five
people. They all call me telling me how much
they love the art. So my ultimate networking is
the word of mouth, but I'm trying to build the
foundation to get to that. I love working with
interior designers, because I may fill a client's
house up with art, then they're done. The interior
designer is going to do one house, and then
another, and then another.
My networking is old-fashioned. I mean, I wouldn't say email is old-fashioned. Calling, meeting with people, but ultimately it's the word of mouth, which I'm still trying to get to.
What advice have you received in your professional life that has really stuck with you?
"Treat people how you want to be treated." I don't know how much you know about art, but in the art world typically, prices aren't out even in the most esteemed gallery. I might change this, but I've put prices on my website because I went to this gallery, even in Chelsea, I was in New York a few weeks ago and I literally felt like she was adjusting. It was just very strange.
Anyway, it just goes back to integrity. You know the art world isn't really monitored so to speak. It's like a garage sale. What if, in theory, I told you a certain piece was seven hundred dollars and then I told someone else it was fourteen? I guess to me - just have integrity.
In this world, going back to word of mouth, my reputation is everything. It is somewhat a service, but I'm not producing the art. That is what it is. I'm representing these people quite literally and I take it pretty seriously.
What do you do during your downtime to refresh and recharge yourself?
Tennis, which is a big part of my schedule, is awesome. It's my exercise, my therapy, and it's my girl time. That's a healthy escape, and I also notice, with tennis, I think this is symbolic to life and a little bit to me, I play a little bit of a scrappy tennis. I don't have the best form, but I win.
Also, I love how I just get in the zone. Everything else falls away, especially when I get a point. Sometimes I'm not even thinking about my form, it's just happening. I think people achieve that through meditation and yoga, but you don't normally hear about tennis in that way. I think you kind of need that forgetting, too, as part of your release. Your mind needs something like that other than sleep, too.
While you're awake, you need to be like that for a little bit. No, really, and truly because sleep doesn't count. Even when you're sleeping you're dreaming and processing. That's why I think I need to have the, also, the to do list, I'm not joking, the night before. It's running in my head otherwise. If it's just done, I can let go.
How important has traveling been for you personally?
I'm not really yearning right now to do too much
traveling. Believe me, there's a lot I haven't seen,
but I've done Antarctica, I've done Israel, I've
done a lot even quirkier places. Of course Africa
is on my bucket list, and I've never been, but that
to me is going to take at least a month. That's
not really about a vacation even, that's more of
an experience. Yeah. I think, right now, realistically
I need to go visit all of these artists. Some of
them I even have really close relationships with
and we haven't even met in person. I have work
travel that is a should and a want a little bit.
I feel so lucky. Working to me isn't work. It's a
passion. I don't feel like I need a vacation from it,
and I kind of recharge on the weekend. I think it's
sad when people are just in their cubicle and
they're looking forward to their vacation.
I feel this way in life, too, with clothes. If there's
something I really want, I just get it, and I guess
with vacation, I simply feel charged enough that
I don't need one.
You're so contented with where you are and what you're doing; it's not the escape for you. You just enjoy it?
Yeah, I am. I really am. I used to summer in North Carolina. I would love to go to North Carolina and hike, but Brock is not old enough to appreciate it and I think that's a fun family trip so I feel like that's down the line. Have you heard of Blackberry Farms? I love to go there, but I just think, I almost wonder if I would be too frugal to enjoy it. It's very expensive.
What charities or non-profit organizations are you involved in?
SPCA of Texas, World Wildlife Fund, and Dallas Public Library.
What are you watching on TV?
I am watching Black Mirror - it's awesome. The Crown and The Affair.
What currently fascinates you?
I like people and eccentricities, but the art too and the process.