Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Gray.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a wife to Luc and mama to Channing (currently nine years old)
I am an only child, from Palisade Colorado. My love of interior design grew from trips my parents and I went on each summer. My dad would always drive around the older historic neighborhoods and look at the beautiful homes in those areas. I wrote a career day report on interior design in middle school and attended a summer camp at the Art Institute of Colorado, focused on interior design, my junior hear of high school. One month after high school graduation, I headed off to the city and enrolled in the Interior Design Program at the Art Institute of Colorado with the intention of focusing on Historical Preservation. While in the program, I was introduced to Hospitality Design…restaurants, hotels and spas, and shifted my focus in that direction. After graduating with a BA in Interior Design, I worked on commercial and hospitality projects for years until I switched directions. I began teaching and became the Department Chair of the Interior Design Program at our local college while continuing to work on small residential projects on the side.
Luc and I were married on Maui in 2007 and fell in love with the islands. We had the dream to someday retire there. But, in 2014, both of our careers were at a crossroads and we decided there was no better time than to make our Hawaii Life dreams a reality. Our daughter was only three at the time. Our journeys took us to the Big Island for three years then onto Maui for an additional three. After six years on the islands, Luc’s company (he is a custom luxury home builder) offered to transfer us to Florida for a large project. We felt the timing was right and made the move in January 2020. We now live in Tequesta.
During our time on Maui, I worked as a designer in the luxury residential market as well as developed my business with Millie, my 1978 VW bus. I style and rent her for events and photoshoots. It is the perfect photo prop for weddings, birthdays, showers and corporate events as well as photography and video for product marketing. I offer photography packages as well as rent her to photographers for their clients. I am excited to announce the arrival of an additional bus to my Modern Maven business in January 2021. Her name is Maude and she will have a beautiful romantic, boho, tropical feel.
My design aesthetic is heavily influenced by our time spent on the Hawaiian islands. I love beautiful, juicy color palettes balanced with white backdrops. I am inspired by florals, rainbows, natural textures, vintage pieces and work created by local artisans. I love to balance modern and vintage pieces with the softness of boho accents. Some have described my style as Tropical Vintage Beach House.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Throughout my career in Interior Design as well as my current business with Modern Maven, there have always been ebs and flows. And it has changed as I got married, had a child and have aged. My business goals in my 20’s are definitely different than they are now.
The move from Colorado to Hawaii was quite huge for us and a lot of adapting happened to us as a family in both lifestyle and business. Once again, coming back to the mainland this past year and arriving in a new state and town also brings its own set of challenges. Thankfully, everyone here has been kind and welcoming and helped my business to grow, even during COVID. Which is something I am truly thankful for as I know that definitely hasn’t been the case for so many.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Modern Maven story. Tell us more about the business.
Not only do I provide a vintage VW bus as a backdrop to photoshoots and events, I provide a uniquely styled experience for my clients. I am extremely hands on when it comes to making sure every last detail is right. My goal is always to exceed a client’s expectations.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I do believe a bit in luck but I mostly believe in hard work. Just because you are passionate about something doesn’t necessarily mean you should turn it into a business. It takes research and planning and determination for a business to thrive and have longevity.
- Website: www.modernmaven.net
- Phone: 808.866.4650
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ModernMaven