We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily McNeal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emily, why did you pursue a creative career?
Since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with artists and the act of creating. At age 7, I was doing a project on Van Gogh and came out of my room one night in tears – when my mom asked what was wrong, I replied that I was worried I would go crazy like Van Gogh since I too was an artist!

I went on to get a BFA in fine art (painting and printmaking) from TCU and from there landed a job in a high end textile and wallcovering showroom, Donghia. It was there that I fell in love with the tactile nature of interior design and the creativity surrounding the industry. From the people to the products, I had found a world in which I was surrounded by beauty and creativity all day long – and still able to make a great living.

Through that job, I met Pholio Co founder, Jessica Pinzon. We hit it off big time and we have been a team ever since.

I am now married to a musician and entrepreneur (Matthew McNeal of Matte Black Sound Co) and working as a creative in the world of interior design and marketing for Pholio Co – I LOVE IT.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Working at Pholio Co has been nothing short of inspiring. It is currently a two-woman show, Jessica Pinzon Founder and myself as Studio Director. I have watched it grow from an idea on paper to a physical Studio space and now, a mobile showroom Pholio Go as well.

We set out to change the dynamic of the traditional showroom experience – to make it more accessible, casual, and fun while providing top notch service and prioritizing our customers.

My biggest takeaway from being part of a new and growing business, is that you have to be flexible and able to embrace change. Things never go as expected, but if you can have fun and pivot during tough times, things will likely work out ok.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a bit biased because I got married here – but one of my favorite places in Dallas is the Joule Hotel. From the artwork to the Weekend Coffee shop to the Midnight Rambler basement bar, it oozes cool. Easily my favorite spot. Plus the giant eyeball across the street is a VERY instagramable moment.

And when things open back up and concerts return, Three Links in Deep Ellum is a total vibe. My personal favorite venue for live shows. Man i cant wait for those to come back!!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout is dedicated to my mentor and colleague Jessica Pinzon, and my husband/partner in crime Matthew McNeal. Both of these people have relentlessly encouraged me to not only be a creative, but to surround myself with creativity in all aspects of my life.

Jessica introduced me to a world of making connections and valuing the unique (and sometimes WILD) stories we all have to tell as well as curating the life you want. From the people you surround yourself with to the space you live in. This is our life to live and we should not hesitate to make it what we want.

Matthew has shown me the power of determination and a dream. He knew from a young age he wanted to be a musician (not the easiest dream to achieve) — he now owns and operates his own record label, Matte Black Sound, and is in the process of releasing his fourth studio album with a grammy winning team. He achieved these things by never giving up, even when a global pandemic wipes out your entire industry in one week. He is constantly persevering and doing so with a smile and a kind heart. That kind of work ethic and positive outlook is contagious.

Website: pholioco.com

Instagram: @PholioCo , @emilynn

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.