We met Hayley Shelton a couple years ago at our spring show. Her infectious smile and love for local creatives made her stand out from the crowd.
Over the years, we’ve continued to connect with the photographer and graphic artist at our events and this fall we tapped the talented shutterbug to shoot our September Summit and Dallas show and even hand letter some of our show banners.
As we’ve gotten to know Hayley better we wanted to share her own inspiring small business story and skills.
Tell us a bit about yourself! I grew up outside of Corsicana, Texas in a town called Mildred. I had a mentor throughout elementary school that taught me about art and art history that greatly aided in developing my sense of style and art appreciation. My mom always encouraged my sister and me to become as cultured as we could within the limits of small town and to keep an open mind and think bigger. After outgrowing my hometown of just over 25,000 people, my now husband and I moved to Dallas in 2006. Two years later, we moved to northeastern Pennsylvania and then to Ithaca, New York before returning to Texas in 2012. After living out of state and missing home so dearly, I am now full-on Texas everything. I even have a Texas themed tattoo!
What do you do for a living? My current 9-5 is with Whole Foods Market as a graphic artist. My day-to-day includes everything from small and large scale digital design in Adobe Creative Suite to hand lettering and chalk paint illustration. I’m also a freelance photographer, calligrapher and have recently starting collecting vintage items and creating custom pieces — painted lettering, wood burning, seasonally decorated pumpkins — for pop up markets.
Tell us about your daily routine: My days usually begin with a slow start, strong coffee, good podcast, and some playtime with my Pomeranian mix, Grace. After work, I’ll usually come home to more puppy playtime, photo editing and crafting. I love to cook and mostly make vegan and vegetarian dishes at home. I try desperately to catch up on Netflix originals and true crime documentaries in the evening.
What inspires you? Most of my creative passions come from the things that I love to make. My husband is my biggest fan for my photography and handmade crafts. He is a constant source of encouragement and empowers me to keep going and growing. We take mini adventures whenever we can – a camping trip or a weekend in Austin — for inspiration. He always humors my sense of wander. I never want to stop learning and evolving, so my sources of creativity are constantly changing. My inspiration sometimes comes in a stroke of genius and sometimes stems from something I see while perusing online.
Describe your style: My style is as eclectic as my craft. Fashion-wise you’ll see me sporting vintage pearl snaps to vintage Neiman’s. If I’m not comfortable, I’m not wearing it; my outfit has to fit my mood. My house is more rustic with a touch of modern industrial and boho. I love to display art from friends and flea markets. I always have a story to go along with the piece.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next five years? In the next few years I hope to expand my photography business and start a family of my own. I get so much joy out of capturing these special moments for other families, I can only imagine that photographing my own would be even more rewarding. I have so much fun getting back to my retail roots with pop-up markets that I hope to expand on that as well and eventually maintain a local mercantile booth.
Any advice for people with a full time job that want to explore their creative passions? For those who want to start their own business, I would recommend to take it slow and take your time with big decisions. Start somewhere, but start small. Also, coffee — lots of coffee. Late nights are a very real situation when you’re straddling both worlds.
How did you get started in the photography world? I enjoyed photography at a young age and took photography classes in high school. I was lucky enough to have a great teacher through my journalism program, which was where my heart was leading me at that time. Then I met my husband and my heart lead me in a different direction! I picked up a DSLR camera two years ago to begin to document my rapidly expanding extended family, and my husband encouraged me to pursue and hone my craft. It’s been a whirlwind of family photos and event photography ever since then! I reach out to people — such as Flea Style — to collaborate and continue to grow my portfolio. It never hurts to reach out to people you respect and want to work with!
How did you discover Flea Style? I found Flea Style via Instagram and attended the spring show two years ago. I snagged a pic with Brittany, gave her my thanks for curating the show and spent all day trying to comprehend how a small group of go-getters could create such an incredible event. I’ve been a fan of the flea ever since and always will be!
We heart you, too! Where can people find you? You can find me at local markets throughout the DFW area; my updates and details are always on my Instagram feed @suddenlyshelton. Info about my photography sessions is available on my website suddenlyshelton.com.