We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Moody and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I started my first business, a portrait studio, when I had a 2 children under 3, a house payment and 2 car payments and I was just finishing my senior year in college. I knew the requirements of starting a business and gave 110% to making it succeed. But I had to burn the candle at both ends in being a full time dad. It wasn’t easy! But, I had been taught – ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’. And I loved creating portraits of people……my passion for portraiture continues today. It is such an amazing feeling to paint a portrait of someone that will be passed down from one generation to the next……and, the stories that will be told about that individual. I worked a lot as a young father, but my children learned how to work at a young age by assisting me in my work. They became very proficient and were more reliable than other assistants I would hire to help me out. Business requires your every movement – the customer has high expectations and if you want to succeed you need to under promise and over deliver to keep your customers happy with your service. As my children have left the coop all I do is work. I love it. I enjoy what I do so for me it is not work but a joy to paint and design my wearable art clothing line.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In 2007 I had an art exhibit in Old Town Scottsdale. One of the account executives from Stuart Weitzman came to my show. He told me how much he loved the colors and the flow of the artwork. He told me they were working with another artist and said ‘You know had we known about you we would be working with you right now. You need to put your work on silk.” The next next few weeks I spent researching silk companies in Italy looking for a company who could reproduce my artwork onto fabric. I was successful and 45 days later my first line of Italian Silk Ties was in production. Since then my wearable art line has evolved into dresses, lingerie, bomber jackets for men and women, scarves and yes shoes. I have been successful with ‘Beginner’s Luck’. Meaning: you have success out of the gate but then there is a battle that determines just how much you want to succeed. Nothing good comes easily. You have to work for it and work hard. Currently I am making my clothing line in London, England. Everything is hand made and made to order. My mother taught me about quality at a young age – that is was better to pay more for something of a higher quality than to buy something cheap that would not stand the test of time. I stand behind my products – the craftsmanship rivals any designer but at a reasonable price. The best part is people are wearing my art. My paintings adorn the fabrics of their dresses, jackets, swimsuits and loungewear.
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?
I would take my best friend up to Monument Valley for the week. I would hire a Native guide with horses to take us to all of the beautiful places in this sacred place. We would spend time hiking, taking amazing photos (to paint later) and getting in touch with the land by meditating in this amazing space. Our nights would be spent under the stars next to the amazing red rock monuments. The sunrises and the sunsets would be the best part of the day. I would want to hear the native folklore from our guide around the campfire learning about their traditions and beliefs including that of the Star People.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many people who have mentored me and inspired me over the years that it would be unfair to name a few that will fit in this space. I have been very fortunate from a young age to have had people in my life who have cared about me to guide me while letting me retain my individuality……to follow my own path. It seems like fate, but every time I have come to a crossroad, there seems to be someone who has appeared in my life to assist me with my next phase of education. Even today, as a grandfather, I’m still learning…..and many who have been instrumental in my life are younger than me. I am grateful to you all.