MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT featuring rebecca gallop
ISSUE No. 1
Masters of Their Craft Rebecca Gallop // A Daily Something
is His gift to you “ Creativity and the ‘raw materials’ to
be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well. - Edith Schaeffer
Rebecca Gallop Written by Karen McGrady A production of Char Co
We leave our childhood homes a lot sooner than they leave us. And when your childhood home included a 300-year-old farmhouse, six lively siblings who served not as only playmates but classmates, and a set of parents who believed in the supremacy of the family supper, that home might never leave you. Rebecca Gallop, creator of the blog A Daily Something, grew up in such a place and today lives in her own farmhouse with two little girls she eagerly awaits to homeschool. Quite fittingly, she has not forgotten the power of a meal around the dinner
table which pervades much of her life. Rebecca, a prop stylist and event planner, began A Daily Something for a rather practical reason: she craved a creative outlet during her college days as a political science major. Little did she know that one small ad to the founding of her own business and collaborations with Kinfolk, Beth Kirby, and Anthropologie, to name a few. Most recently, she launched A Daily Gathering, a series of seasonal dinners, retreats and workshops intended to celebrate slow living, spark friendships, and make the
creative process less complicated. Rebecca has a refreshing humility regarding her ability to make lovely the world around her. She acknowledges that being fashioned in the image of the Creator of the world, she too has the ability to create. She had two tutors enter her life to teach her that truth. Her younger sister challenged her to intentionally foster personal creativity, and Edith Schaeffer, the author of The Hidden Art of Homemaking, wrote the book that serves as the bedrock of Rebecca’s life work. For where would Rebecca be today had she not come to understand the words Edith wrote,
“Creativity is His gift to you and the ‘raw materials’ to be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well.” From her earthy tabletops to her seasonal suppers to her honeysuckle soda, all that Rebecca touches reflects a sense of ease, calm, and genuineness. Her hands may do the physical labor but it’s her soul that guides those hands in they way they should move. And I dare say, Rebecca’s inventiveness is not merely the Creator’s gift to Rebecca Gallop, but to all of us who have the privilege of experiencing her artistry, and thus, His.
You are a prop stylist and event planner. Can you explain more in depth what exactly you do?
Sure! On the prop styling front, I work for brands and companies and help them make their product look beautiful and attainable. It might be for a salsa company or for a gelato company or a linen company. Or, I might be teaching a workshop on styling. As an event designer, I help brides (and grooms) achieve their vision for their wedding day! That might be making an elaborate escort card display, weaving large installations, writing out 200 place cards, styling all the wedding décor, and coordinating the wedding the day-of .
How has your childhood and early life impacted your work?
My parents placed such a strong emphasis on family life, learning how to communicate, and time spent around the table together. At times, we were all frustrated that we all had to be home for dinner every single night, but in retrospect, I’m so thankful for those times we had around the table and the memories we made together as a family!
Where do you find your amazing props?
I’m always on the hunt for props! I collect a combination of super unique vintage and antique props (usually from thrift shops or auctions) and classic, basic props from retail stores. I like to use a mixture of old and new props so that readers are able to purchase some of them, if they’re inspired. I love Crate & Barrel, William Sonoma, Facture Goods, Herriott Grace, and Fog Linen!
You have worked with Kinfolk, Beth Kirby, Anthropologie and a myriad of other partners. How do these partnerships occur and do you have any particularly special projects? These partnerships happen all sorts of ways! Some of my most exciting projects have occurred because I pitched an idea to a brand. But others happened because I was in the right place at the right time and met the right people. I happened to meet the Kinfolk Team in Brooklyn in 2012, and that lead to my working with them on their community events. After reading Beth Kirby’s “about me” section several years ago, I sent her an email,
which led to an email friendship, which led to hosting a workshop & retreat together! You never know when sending an email or attending a dinner or handing someone your business card will lead to a future collaboration! It’s been such a fun journey!
How have you seen your business grow and to what can you attribute its growth? I’ve seen incredible growth in my business in the past 6 months to a year! Mostly, my Instagram has been growing, and in turn, I’ve been able to work on some pretty fun projects. It’s basically a constantly updated portfolio, so brands/brides/makers see my work and then contact me about working together. And the most rewarding thing is when someone wants to work with you because they want their photo shoot/ event/wedding infused with your style!
How would you describe your personal aesthetic and how has it evolved over the years? I’ve always been a collector-verging-onhoarder. My style has definitely evolved and been refined over time. I would describe it as vintage, modern, and some farmhouse. I’m always rearranging and styling almost every surface in my home, and the surfaces are always packed full. I like to think of myself as a curator with constantly rotating collections. ;)
most rewarding “...the thing is when someone
wants to work with you because they want their photo [event]infused with your style!
“I’ll take a walk, try to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Where do you find inspiration for your life and work? I find inspiration in nature and in history. When I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll flip through magazines, rip out pages, make a real-life pinterest board. Or I’ll take a walk, try to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. Or maybe take a trip to a few thrift shops to see what old [new to me] props I can find. Sometimes I’ll walk through a hardware store for inspiration. I love looking at hardware, plumbing supplies, and other random aisles and thinking how I can use things in a new way!
What does an average day look like for you? Life for me has changed drastically the past two years. My days usually revolve around my two little girls; they are almost 2 and 5 months! We wake up around 7, I nurse the baby, and then we make our beds and get dressed. Once Joe’s off to work for the day, we eat hot oatmeal for breakfast. I usually try to check my email and respond to anything pressing while Zoe eats. Weather permitting, we’ll go on a walk and stop in at our two favorite shops: thrift shop and coffee shop! 10:30 or 11, the girls are ready for their 2-hour morning nap! I try to devote nap time to computer work: I send emails, make appointments, edit photos, plan photo shoots and events, prepare blog posts, use social media, etc. Every day is different! Sometimes I’m able to schedule photo shoots at my home and a photographer will come by during nap time and we’ll work together on the front porch or back yard or kitchen.
I try to spend the early afternoon with the girls: eating lunch, teaching, reading, being present with them. Then, they take another nap (usually for another 2 hours) and I’ll straighten up the house and prep for dinner. Maybe take a look at emails again, pin a few things on pinterest, or sometimes take a nap of my own. Most of my photo shoots, workshops/dinners, weddings, etc. take place on weekends, and I’m blessed with an extremely supportive husband who either comes along or stays home with the girls.
By the time the girls wake up from their afternoon nap, it’s just about dinner time, so we set up shop in the kitchen: Zoe rummages through her toy basket or the toddler-friendly kitchen cabinets, Naomi gurgles in her Johnny jump-up, and I make dinner and entertain them as best I can.
When Joe comes home from work, we sit down as a family of three to eat supper and share about our day. We usually end up in the living room, snuggling on the couch with a book or playing with blocks before the girls take a bath and go to bed around 8 or 9. Then Joe and I just sit down with each other, just to be together. Some nights we’ll catch up on tv shows (confession: we religiously watch a few). I might look at email/social media once more before heading to bed around 10 or 11 to get some rest before the new day!
Food is a huge part of what you do. Do you have a certain philosophy regarding food? And how did you learn your amazing culinary skills!? Food is a huge part of what I do, but I never imagined it would be so! My food philosophy… keep it simple! Most of my recipes involve basic ingredients you’d most likely already have on hand. And I don’t always have time to make time-consuming and involved meals, so my philosophy is keep it quick and simple, I guess. And always use garlic and olive oil.
I don’t really have amazing culinary skills, but any skills I have can be contributed to my mom and grandma! Growing up, we ate pretty much every meal together as a family, and the kids (from a young age) helped in the kitchen with everything. Food prep, setting the table, eating, and clean up! And my grandma always made the best meals for huge crowds and was never, ever overwhelmed or frustrated in the kitchen. She’s wonder woman!
Share a few of the favorite workshops you helped to conduct. I can’t help but feel as if every new workshop is my new favorite. They’re all so different and always bring a diverse group of people together! My current favorite is one that I hosted a few weekends ago: The Art of Cooking with Flowers and Spring Supper. I worked with a stellar team to help produce the workshop, and the location – a historical Virginia farmhouse – was so simple and charming! And the conversations had around the shared dinner table were some of my favorite!!
You recently launched A Daily Gathering, a series of seasonal dinners, workshops, and retreats. Tell us your heart behind this. I can’t stop bringing people together to share a meal and to learn new skills! I just love the planning side, and it’s safe to say I’m obsessed with designing table tops. My biggest motivation is watching the friendships that form and collaborations that result from these dinner & workshops. It’s so rewarding and oh-so-very-inspiring!
Tell us about your home. How does it reflect you? My home is usually a mess! We live in an early twentieth farmhouse and it’s only 1,100 square feet. I’ve already admitted to verging-on-hoarder status. Just add to that boxes and baskets of either props/items packed for an event or a shoot, dirty dishes from an event, or props that weren’t used and need to be returned to a store, and you have an absolute mess! I try to have this “open door” policy where anyone is welcome to stop by at any time, but in reality, I have a slight panic attack if someone tells me they’re on their way over and I wasn’t expecting them. Into the guest room goes all of the things. I’m kidding, sort of. My home is a very eclectic mix of found treasures and quality pieces in which we’ve invested. I try to make our home feel welcoming with little things here and there to let my family or guests know I was thinking about them and want them to feel at home…candles lit, little vases of flowers, clean towels laid out, a small display of cheese and fruit, etc.
For those on tight budgets, do you have any tips on making home life beautiful without spending an excessive amount of money? Yes! Try to develop your style, and then thrift! Visit thrift stores once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to see if they have anything you need to help make your home unique or welcoming! Thrift stores are fun because they’re constantly rotating their inventory, and you never know what might be in stock! A house doesn’t have to be overflowing with things to make it a home – just think about what you like to see in others’ homes, what makes you feel at ease, and then recreate that in your own home. Did your grandmother always have a bowl of caramels to greet you as you walked through the front door? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, to go ahead and imitate those you are inspiration by!
What are some of your strengths and weaknesses? Strengths – multitasking (or at least feeling like I’m multitasking), bringing people together, collecting things and setting tables
Weaknesses – replying to email in a timely fashion, running a small business (the business side), wanting to control every aspect of a growing business and not knowing how/what to let go of
want my readers/ “ Istudents/consumers
to feel an authentic, unadulterated beauty, knowing that I thought about their experience
You put your heart and soul into everything your hand touches. In what way(s) do you find lasting value in your styling and event planning? Knowing that I was made in the image of a Creator has helped me in placing and finding value in what I do. I want to reflect the Creatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beauty in all that I do, and for others to feel a sense of home, comfort, and security through my work. This might be through a styled photo shoot for a brand or the table top at one of my dinners. I want my readers/students/consumers to feel an authentic, unadulterated beauty, knowing that I thought about their experience.
Do you feel your impeccable eye for style is learned or is innate? I think having an eye for style can be both learned and innate! Any bit of style that I have now was learned! It did not come very naturally to me; I used to compare myself to my younger sister who is incredibly artistic and has such an eye for creating beauty. She used to tell me that I was doing nothing to be inspired or encourage my creativity. So, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d look at books and magazines together, and she taught me how to find beauty and translate that into making my surroundings beautiful and enjoyable for myself. She was my thrifting buddy until we both moved to different states!
How do you one on hand use social media to further your work and on the other hand ensure that your life is not lived for the camera? It is certainly a struggle! To be authentic, I feel as though my social media needs to be a reflection of who I am right now, and right now, being a wife and mom come first! So in addition to Instagrams/Tweets/etc. about my work, I want to always include bits about my personal life. I am always snapping quick pictures with my iPhone...pictures of our meals, playtime, gardening, etc. I’m not only taking photos for social media, though, I’m taking them to remember years down the road, and for my children to have. I try to keep my phone away – for the most part – when my husband is home. That way, those early morning and evening hours, we’re together & present as a family. I’m definitely not perfect, though, and learning how to balance this is something I’m still working on!
“I want to reflect the Creator’s beauty in all that I do”
You have two young daughters very close in age. What are your favorite ways to spend time with them? I love spending time in the kitchen together. Some of my best childhood memories are being together as a family in the kitchen, either preparing or cleaning up after a meal, and sitting together at the family, listening to my mom and dad talk, or having a side conversation with one of my siblings. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to create an environment where we communicate, learn, and simply spend time together.
How do you balance your work and your family? Being able to work from home about 80% of the time enables me to work but yet be home with my family! Having an incredibly supportive husband helps, too! And
I’m trying to incorporate my kids into my work as much as possible – bring them to shoots, use them as models, teach them how to sit and entertain themselves while I meet with clients. Still working on that one, but it’s a learning process for us all!
What would you like the future to look like for you and your family? I’d love to continue to grow my business and family! At least four kids would be wonderful, and if I’m able to continue what I’m doing – hosting dinners and teaching workshop, helping people have beautiful weddings, and telling a story through props – with my family close by, I will be happy! And who knows, something new might be thrown into the mix, like writing a book, or more travel!