I want to be a woman who overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tiptoeing around them in fear. - Renee Swope
My family is super close and they're by far my biggest cheerleaders. My sister, Morgan, is my best friend. She's also my unofficial business consultant. Basically our conversation on most days entails me calling with a "hey, what do you think about this" or ideas around a new design (thanks for always listening, MJ). Does everyone have someone like this or are we crazy?
If you asked her what we went back and forth about the most in the beginning, it'd definitely be the Oaks + Gray Paper business name.
How did I decide on Oaks + Gray Paper?
I grew up in the City of Oaks and couldn't imagine life anywhere else. Even after 10 weeks living abroad in Florence, Italy (one of my favorite of all places), I still missed the oak trees and memories of "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine show. If you haven't heard it, you need to. Raleigh, NC is home. It's the city I grew up in, where my family is, where I met my husband, and where we built our life together.
Not only did this describe the down-to-earth and simple feel I wanted for my designs, it's also a name that is near to my heart.
Gray was my husband's late grandmother's maiden name. I met her when I was 16 and had the joy of getting to know this woman's heart, especially the heart she had for her grandson. The love that she had for her family was so impressive and when Vance suggested Gray when we were deciding on baby names, we never looked back. Hayes Gray was the result and she's so much of the reason for why I do what I do. I want to show her that you can do anything if you have faith and put your heart into it.
Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.
Paper is such a wonderful medium. It's tangible, [semi-]permanent, wonderfully and lovingly made specifically to share stories. And that's why I'm here, to tell stories-- Christ's story, your story, my story. More on why I love paper later, even if I could go on forever about it.
With lots of love,