2015 - WOW.

TALLstudio - Mark and Madison Talley

WOW. I realize we said this already, and as a general rule of writing, the body of your article should not restate your title verbatim, however "WOW" (did it again!) is the best word we have as we reflect on  this past year...12 months, 365 days, 8,760 hours, you get the gist. We set out a bit over a year ago, 18 months to be exact, on the wild and slightly insane journey of quitting our corporate jobs and heading out on our own. We haven't looked back since, as least not in a regretful manner, but we thought we would share a little recap about what we have learned, where we have been, and what we hope to accomplish in 2016. 

What did we learn this year? More than we ever thought possible. We learned, and are still learning, that communication makes the world go round, of course you already know this, and we did too, but it was never as apparent until we were the sole communicators of, and for EVERYTHING. We communicate with each other, we communicate with our clients, we communicate with our dog (or we try), and most importantly we communicate our design ideas.  COMMUNICATION IS KEY. IT'S EVERYTHING. IT'S THE BEES KNEES. IT'S HARD. Sometimes we communicated even if we didn't want to (nerves, fear, etc.), and sometimes we failed to communicate and it totally came back to bite us. Another astounding thing we learned this year is to just GO FOR IT. Get up right now, and do something that scares the living daylights out of you. We are scared all the time. Scared that we will fail, that we won't deliver a product the client loves, scared that we won't be able to pay ourselves. You name it. We've lost sleep over it. Even though we are afraid of doing something every single day, we do it anyway. We don't have an option now. We have no PLAN B, heck, sometimes our PLAN A seems more ethereal than set in stone, but failure is not an option, and we say this because we don't want to fail (who does, eh?), so we just don't even let it cross our minds. We WILL do this, and we WILL succeed. You could say this is our mantra of sorts. Lastly, we could go on for days (but we won't), would be the power of CONNECTIVITY. Say it with us, "CONNECT yoself" (you can even sing it to the tune of the great Staple Singers song "Respect Yourself...go ahead, you know you want to). Connectivity makes the world go round, and it's actually a joy to be connected. We have had to get out, meet people, shake hands, kiss babies, to get in front of people we wanted to meet, make new friends, and cultivate a strong(er) support group. 

TALLstudio - Airstream

We moved into a tiny Airstream...

TALLstudio - Airtsream

...and renovated the interior to look like this. 

TALLstudio - Marseille - Drawing - Ocean Springs, MS

We began an exciting custom residential project on the water in Ocean Springs, MS...

TALLstudio - Marseille - Ocean Springs, MS

...and that same project broke ground.

TALLstudio MHT

We curated an exhibition of 100 historic buildings in Jackson, MS.

TALLstudio - Studio - 822 Porter Ave Ocean Springs

We hung out our shingle...

TALLstudio - Open House

...and celebrated with an open house! 

Where have we been? Man, oh man, did we do some traveling this year. While we didn't take any "big" trips we did travel around the southeast-traversing, getting lost, seeing great friends, and learning new things along the way. We saw one of our sisters get married in Florida, visited with friends in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson, Memphis, Conway, Panama City, and we spent a week with family on St. George Island, jumped off a HUGE rock on Smith Lake in Alabama, visited clients in Baton Rouge, Louisville, and Arley, Alabama, and had a great time to boot. We kept it fairly local this year, as we sink the majority of our funds into our business, but for us traveling is a huge part of our creative process, be it large, global travel, or intimate, local travel. Next year we will be off again, working from the road, plane, train, blimp, and we already have a few exciting adventures in the works. 

TALLstudio - Smith Lake Alabama

We jumped off rocks...

TALLstudio - sawmill

...visited old saw mills...

TALLstudio - Presentation

...gave presentations...

TALLstudio - family

...went to St. George Island with our family...

TALLstudio - Beach Wedding

...watched one of our sisters get married...

TALLstudio - Frida Kahlo

...and dressed up like Frida Kahlo.

Last but definitely not least, GOALS. Setting goals is what makes the world go round and this year we have some pretty lofty ones, and a few that will simply make our day to day lives more fulfilling. We want to travel more (see above paragraph), and hopefully this will include a trip overseas (eek!), a cross country excursion, and exploring the state of Mississippi, specifically the parts unknown! Another big one is that Madison is aiming to finish testing for licensure within the next 12 months. She has one test under her belt, 6 to go, and lots of study hours to put in. As far as a direct business goal, we have set into motion to move a bit more into the commercial architecture realm in 2016. While we thoroughly enjoy residential design we are always looking to expand our horizons, learn something new, and connect on a larger scale.  The little things make it all come together and this year we vow to make time for ourselves to read, bike, relax, eat tasty food, see more friends (both near and far), and spend a bit more time on our extracurricular arts (piano and oil painting for Mark, weaving and woodworking for Madison).  

If you made it to the end of this lengthy blog post you deserve a pat on the back and a glass of champagne, or scotch, to toast the New Year. Auld lang syne, friends!

TALLstudio - New Year, new hat
TALLstudio - Mark and Madison Talley