Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Other Half: Vincent Gray

Who: Vincent Gray
Wife: Avis Wampler, Avie Designs

When I met Avis...
Avis and I have been together for almost 10 years. We met freshmen year at the University of Tennessee at a small party and happened to find out that we lived in the same dorm. We just got married this year.

Five Random Things:

1. I love the movie American Psycho ("I went into a sheer panic when I realized Paul Allen's apartment overlooked the park, and was clearly more expensive than mine" - Patrick Bateman)

2. I have a twin brother who looks nothing like me.

3. My twin brother, older brother and I are all musicians, and we love to play and record together.

4. My nickname is "Mr. Beard" thanks to a Kindergartner making an unconscious but literal connection between object/person and label.

5. I just finished my Masters degree in education.

1. What would you say are the three most important things that you do to support Avis in her creative endeavors?

1. Let her overrun the office/studio with supplies and inventory while I stay in my corner.

2. Try to support her in terms of personal finances so that she can reinvest in her business and stay focused creatively. (Supporting her with love is part of it too).

3. Help her critique designs and make decisions about future business moves.

2. Supporting somebody in their passion can be both exciting, exhausting and time consuming? How do you squeeze everything in?

I have been either teaching or going to graduate school during the years Avis has started up doing her thing. This means that there has been a lot of flexible time for me to be around. At the same time, doing school work or lesson plans at home means that I am around but very busy. The way time is "squeezed" in is by making more time - that is, we both stay up late.

3. Living with someone who works long and irregular hours can be tough... from missed dinners to not being able to do simple things like relaxing and watching your favorite shows together as often as you'd like... How do you stop the craziness from impacting your relationship?

For one, it is not that crazy. Though Avis is incredibly busy during the end of the year, for example, she is able to spend time with me and do work at the same time. This is one of the benefits when working from home. There have been many nights when Avis was working (cutting, folding, printing) while hanging out in front of the TV with me having couple of cocktails.

4. Could you give us a sense of what it's like living with a stationery designer/entrepreneur? Please describe what typically happens once you come home from work [door opens]...

Avis works from home. Usually we are on the phone even before I get home to discuss dinner. We are both vegetarians, and good food is very important. When I get home, Avis is usually in her "studi"(studio and study) printing or packaging orders so I have to go find her to say hello. Then we make dinner happen! Also, going to the post office (Avis's second office) is part of living with a stationery designer/seller. Its a good thing there is a coffee shop next door so I can get tea and a cookie.

5. What was the strangest thing you've done to support Avis in what she does?

This is not that strange, but I had to screw and fasten small wooden boxes together in irregular shapes for her to put up in one of her expo booths. This is just one of the many little tasks that I do for Avis that she does not want to do or does not have time for.

6. What is the easiest and hardest thing about being Avis' other half?

Easiest: We generally have the same philosophical/religious/political/existential belief system (or lack thereof).

Hardest: When we are upset, angry or frustrated, we both get very quiet. Since communication is the best remedy, this can cause problems.

Thank you Vincent!!

Do you have an incredibly supportive partner that deserves a little attention??
If so, email me at hearthandmade@gmail.com.


Avie said...

it looks great!

Cat said...

That is seriously the cutest picture EVER! Lovely interview:)