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

Hi Victoria, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Habit, interesting word. I tend to think of habits as something you do over and over as part of a routine. I think you are asking for something much bigger, more holistic than that. Let’s call it a way of life. My guess is if this “habit” has helped you succeed, one has done it enough that it has transitioned from a habit to a way of life.

Here is one habit that has turned into a way of life for me. I surrounded myself with people who are more knowledgeable, more talented and are willing to teach. Now granted, early in my career I didn’t realize I was doing this or how it would affect my overall success.

Here’s the thing, school, college, wherever one ends up, can only do so much. When I landed my first design job, I quickly realized that design school didn’t teach it all, not even close. It was the tip of the iceberg, I was drinking from a firehouse. But, I quickly observed all the people I worked with that had way more knowledge, more talent than I did. I learned from them. I became a sponge.

Christa, Director of Production, let me tag along on press checks and was happy to explain every detail of how my design project was getting produced. Harry, Senior Designer, showed me tips and tricks on the computer but more importantly showed me visually what great design looked like, design that felt like it was born to be on that screen. My boss, LA, gave me a peak into corporate strategy, department budgets and what it looked like to be a leader. I sat at the table with top executives to present design concepts but I hung onto every word they said. I didn’t tune out when the conversation went outside of my world of design, instead I took it all in.

This habit back then has become a way of life for me. My thought is you will always be in the room with someone with more knowledge and talent than you have, you might as well soak it all in.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Let’s talk about deciding to start a business 2 months before a worldwide pandemic hits. You ask if it was easy, no. It was nothing short of life changing. I know that sounds cliché, dramatic and over the top, but it’s true.

This brand, Own Your Vintage, is about owning and loving who you are. Experiences as people are powerful, they are your Vintage. Own. Your. Vintage. And in essence that is what happened to me personally.

I have always been a fairly successful designer. But there has always been a voice in my head, what if I find out I’m actually not as talented as the world thinks. What if the designs aren’t good enough? When you start designing a business that is 100% your thoughts, your designs, it becomes very exposing. No one gave me a creative brief, a project, or parameters to design around. It was open air and it was all me. If people don’t like the designs my fear will come true. Well, it didn’t. People love my style of designs and I am more inspired than ever!

Building this brand I inevitably went through my own “Own It. Love Love It.” transformation. And this is the core of the Own Your Vintage brand. We are not a TShirt company, we are a movement. A movement of acceptance and loving yourself for who you are, and celebrating it with others. LynnAnn, my business partner, and I truly believe in this way of thinking and we hope that through our products we inspire others to believe it as well.

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?
Day 1 Catch the DART at Downtown Plano Station.
Check out Dallas Museum of Art and then pop over to Nasher Sculpture Center.
Ride the DART back to Downtown to Plano and have drinks and dinner on the patio at Urban Rio. I would specifically recommend the Crab Corn Enchiladas.
After dinner and drinks we would walk across the square to Vickery Park, hopefully catching a live show on the way.
Here I would make sure to point out all the fabulous art on the wall from our very own local artists..
Then it’s beer and a couple of games of shuffleboard.

Day 2
Walk around and shop in Bishop Arts District.
Then dinner at ENOS’ Pizza Tavern, ordering the Pig Smiley.
After dinner, walk around and catch more great live music.

Day 3
Walk around Dallas Arboretum and enjoy a picnic lunch on one of their great grassy areas.
Head back to Plano to Katy Trail for beers and sports watching while hanging outside.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh, this one is easy. LynnAnn Martin.

Let’s imagine a gal, about 24 years old, walking into a big Las Vegas corporate office for the largest gaming and hospitality brand in the world. She has her black portfolio in hand. No, at this time designers were old school, no computers. She has already been told by the VP, LynnAnn, they don’t hire without experience.

I was close to a year out of design school. I finished college, packed up my car and drove to Las Vegas for a break, a change of scenery. I didn’t have any experience. All I had was my portfolio and hoped that she would give me a chance.

I don’t remember a lot from that interview. But I do remember the next 12 years of my amazing career after she hired me, from Production Artist, to Senior Designer to Creative Director. I remember the chance she took on this gal, but more importantly all the hard talks, the positive encouragement, the “seats at the table”, and the knowledge she shared of the business of design and leadership. I will forever be grateful for that interview and those 12 years.

That day with LynnAnn was the catalyst for an amazing career, but now is a flourishing business partnership! Yes, I am proud to say that that VP that interviewed me is now one of my dearest friends and the Co-Founder of Own Your Vintage.

Website: ownyourvintage.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ownyourvintage/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OwnYourVintage

Image Credits
Joseph Smith Photography

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