We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn Akomah-Mordi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, how do you think about risk?
My husband and I have this saying: “You gotta risk it to get the biscuit!”. It has become our constant motto and reminder that the things worth having don’t come without effort and often times risk. Whether you are talking about relationships, financial decisions, work, family, etc, there is always going to be some level of risk. Often times, the bigger the risk seems, the bigger the result if that risk proves successful. As I’ve grown my business from amateur portraiture to seasoned high-class weddings I have seen this manifest time and time again. When I put my neck on the line and take a risk, the successful endeavors have such a greater reward. Not all my attempts pan out, and sometimes the burn feels really personal. I just try to remind myself that I learned how NOT to run a business (or at least something that didn’t work for me personally). But even when the risk doesn’t prove beneficial, I have learned more than if I had taken NO RISK at all. There is literally no growth without risk. And I most certainly don’t want to remain stagnant – life and my business is too fascinating. I want to move forward, explore new avenues, try new things and take risks.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I first opened my business and started photographing portraiture and weddings, I had very little vision. I knew I loved photography and felt such a drive to tell peoples stories and showcase their personalities with a visual medium. But beyond that, there was no clarity. It took about 4 years for me to really hone in on the vision and end goals that would provide direction to what I create and how I run my business. During that time, I took a lot of detours and learned a lot of things I didn’t want to do again. But now, those things only strengthen the direction I am taking now. My art is really catered to classic couples with contemporary style. It is sophisticated, emotive and modern. I like to think of myself and my brand as the Dallas extension of NYC. I love a little city sparkle and I truly believe that simplicity provides the most iconic impression. With regard to my business, I have learned the importance of loving and lavishing those with whom I work. Whether it is my couples, or the vendors who work along side me, I treat them as gold. They are literally the foundation of the legacy I am creating and I wouldn’t have anything without them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love a good travel itinerary and a great city to explore! And food is seriously my way of experiencing a new place. Dallas has so many incredible views and restaurants that it is hard to pick just a few. If I packed everything into a condensed trip, this would probably be my ideal itinerary: The rooftop at CANVAS hotel would probably be my first stop, just as the sun peeks over the horizon, because the glistening city skyline is so clear and remarkable from there! I think the next spot would have to be breakfast at Mercat Bistro in the Harwood District – I love French style food and the setting is so reminiscent of a Parisian sidewalk cafe. Marie Gabrielle would also be a fantastic pick! Hitting the spa at The Crescent, or just hanging out in uptown Dallas is never a bad idea! And I love the Nasher Sculpture center because of its strikingly clean and simple art. Hopping back to the Harwood District, I’d choose lunch at Saint Ann’s. It is a lovely historic building with a garden patio for outdoor seating – but indoors is equally eye catching because of its historic/modern blend of details. The menu is fantastic as well! Shopping at North Park mall or Highland Park Village is something I love. Highland Park Village is especially attractive because of its gorgeous Mediterranean/Spanish style architecture. I also love to dress up and attend a ballet or performance at The Meyerson Symphony Center – the velvet seats, glorious auditorium and excited chatter in the audience before the lights dim is a thrill of its own, but still unparalleled by the performers on stage. Baccus Kitchen + Bar inside Hotel Vin might be the ideal dinner spot. It has all the sophisticated dining vibes you could hope for, with show-stopping lights, windows and patio with cafe lights and a glass vineyard. It can boast a captivating menu as well. Almost any Dallas rooftop is the perfect way to end the evening – it is magical to watch the last rays of light glitter on the buildings and entirely change the colors of the city. The Omni Hotel and the Statler (Waterproof) both provide great views for this urban version of star-gazing.
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?
There are so many factors that play into my success and continued growth. I have many friends in the industry who have mentored and educated me. But at the end of the day it is really my husband Limi, who sees all the raw and genuine ups and downs I experience as a business owner. He constantly encourages me and reminds me of all the progress I have made. He handles all my brain dumps and crazy ideas, and acts as a fantastic sounding board with all objectivity and logic. I don’t think I could have come so far without his support.