We had the good fortune of connecting with Autumn Bockart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Autumn, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After 27 years of teaching sixth graders, I figured working with 11 and 12 year olds who were predisposed to having hormonal surges, I could handle any challenge. Then, Covid hit. I was eligible to leave the profession and start anew, so I did. My retirement and Covid just so happened to coincide with my husband and I becoming empty nesters. I have always loved and collected art, but teaching full time, raising two kids, and doing life with my husband, never really allowed me the time to devote to creating my own pieces. So, I used the newly acquired extra time that retirement afforded me, along with a worldwide lock down and an empty nest, and redirected my creative energy into painting. I found painting to be a great escape from the Covid 19 world and with all of the extra time on my hands, I was able to paint for days and days at a time, uninhibited by a long to-do list , family obligations, or work deadlines. Teaching was always a creative outlet for me. I loved spending hours preparing unorthodox lessons that would engage students in authentic and meaningful ways. When I retired from teaching, there was a creative energy void and painting allowed me to fill that chasm.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m Autumn and I have a daughter named Summer. I live in Texas, and Summer lives in New York. We both have a heart for art, a desire to design, and a flare for fashion.. In 2015, we started a lifestyle blog, autumnsummerluv.com. At the time, I was a 6th grade ELA teacher, and Summer was in high school. The blog was a fun creative outlet, a therapeutic way for the two of us to be creative together and spotlight some of the things we loved. Much has changed in 7 years. I have since retired from teaching and Summer has graduated from college with a degree in Graphic Design. I now spend my days painting artwork for customers, embarking on new home projects, dabbling in home decor and design for friends, and teaching myself photography skills. Summer spends her days managing projects for a content creator, exploring New York in her latest pair of sneaks, sipping ice coffee, and meeting up with friends at the park. We are currently in the process of redesigning our blog and web page and hope to offer original artwork, edecorating consultations, personal shopping and styling assistance, and graphic design services – kind of a one-stop-shop if you will. We are just a mom and daughter team striving to use the power of creativity to share ideas, spark imagination, and inspire beauty that nurtures the human spirit. We believe the best way to catch dreams is to chase them!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since Summer and I live in two separate cities now, we make the most of every moment when we are together to make up for lost time. When Summer comes to Houston, there are a few fan favorites that we always make time to visit. For starter, Tiny’s No. 5 is definitely a crowd pleaser for breakfast. The pastries, the pancakes, the avocado toast – there are no bad choices. Everything is fresh and delicious. And we never leave without a few of their famous chocolate chip cookies to take home for later. After that, a little vintage clothing shopping at The Leopard Lounge and Pavement on Westheimer Road never disappoints. We then often head to Khul-Linscomb where they have a myriad of treasures – handmade jewelry, local art, candles galore, make-up, and so much more. It is a shop that you can get lost in for hours. After all that exhausting shopping, it is always time to recharge and eat again. Qin Dynasty is our favorite Asian restaurant – we both love their Kung Pao Chicken. Next, we typically then love to make sure we shop small and support a few local businesses like Pomp and Circumstance Boutique near the Westmoreland Historic District of Houston or Eclectic Home in the Heights. Both are continuously bringing in new and unique gems that you won’t find everywhere else. Lastly, a stop at Weights and Measures for an iced latte on the way home is the perfect way to end a fun day of food, fashion, and fun in the city.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Both of my parents were lifelong educators, so there was never a shortage of books in our home or scholarly conversations around the dinner table about worldly topics. At a young age, they taught me the importance of all kinds of art forms-painting, photography, sculpture, literature, and the performing arts. I learned art can create a stir and potentially spark healthy conversations that lead to improvements across society. My Dad loved music with lyrics that were focused on bringing about social change, and he bought art pieces that donated proceeds to causes he supported. My mother especially loves plays, musicals, and literature that reveals truths about society. They both loved Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and taught my brother and me that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from [their] point of view – until you climb into [their} skin and walk around in it.” They were benevolent humanitarians that appreciated that there was always a story behind each person. They took time to listen to and learn the story of those who crossed their paths. My parents were champions for kindness, empathy, and grace. Slow to judge, and quick to forgive. Their love of the arts and commitment to authentic conversations with people from all walks of life instilled in me the desire to freely use my creativity in unorthodox ways. For years, teaching was my creative outlet. I reveled in the challenge of taking an ordinary lesson and making it extraordinary, always looking for opportunities to teach life lessons along the way in hopes that my students would take those life lessons and make their corners of the world better. Now, that I am retired, I have redirected my creative energy into my artwork. Creating art allows me to process feelings and see the world through a different lens, walk in another person’s skin if you will. I find inspiration in the simple things. The patterns in a rug, a walk in the park, visiting a museum, the fabric used in a fashion collection. I’m thankful my parents taught me that art has the power to help society find common ground, to look at the world with fresh eyes, and to give life to stories that matter, because ALL stories matter.