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

Hi Kristin, why did you pursue a creative career?
I tried avoiding a creative career for a long time until eventually it got to a point where I had no choice. Growing up I felt the social pressures to go college and get a “real job” and that’s exactly what I did. I always put my art and creative endeavors on the side and didn’t mind doing them as a hobby. Eventually my small business was not so small and I was faced with a choice: quit my day job and pursue this full time, or close it down. The pandemic really pushed me into the self-employment direction when I was craving more control over my schedule and more fulfilment in my daily work.

What should our readers know about your business?
Lone Star Darkroom is a community-centered darkroom. I became a member of the darkroom shortly after graduating from college when I was looking for a community space in Dallas where I could continue to process my own film like I did in school. There were only 3 members back then. A couple years ago I took over the business. I was terrified to buy a business so shortly after graduating college, but I was even more terrified to see the darkroom close down. After taking over, I began to get my peers involved and eventually we outgrew our space and moved into a warehouse. We now have 20 members in our darkroom and a waitlist of 25 more. We have also grown the volume of film processing that we do for customers. I think what sets us apart is our small business customer service. You can text us in the middle of the night and ask how your film is going, or write a whole page of special requests and I will take care of it. The hardest part about owning a business is making mistakes. I want everything I do to be perfect and high quality, but sometimes there are inevitable things to go wrong with film processing. I try my hardest to be fair and honest with customers and to keep film accessible in our community.

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.
As an artist and a Dallas native, my idea of fun might be different than your average tourist. We’d start by hitting up my favorite coffee shop- Peaberry in Oak cliff. After a bit of caffeine it’s time to go to Bishop Arts to shop at Wild Detectives and Go Easy. When we’re hungry we’ll go on over to Tyler Station and eat at the food truck and drink beer at Oak Cliff Brewery. While at Tyler Station, of course we will go visit Trade and take a ceramics class! After our ceramics class, it’ll be time to unwind with some food at Kirin Court in Richardson and maybe a late night at the DMA.

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?
I have always been a hard worker, it’s something my parents instilled in me very early on. They both own small businesses and naturally encouraged me to take over Lone Star Darkroom when I was given the chance. The biggest inspiration has been from my closest friends, though. I never thought that I would be able to live and work as a full time artist and seeing many of my peers making it work encouraged me to take the jump to quit my day job and pursue a creative career.

Website: lonestardarkroom.com

Instagram: @lonestardarkroom

Image Credits
Gabriel Becerra Matthew Freed Jasmine Munoz

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