We had the good fortune of connecting with Gala B. Hemphill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gala B., what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2013, our beautiful son was diagnosed with cancer at 3 years old. His extensive treatments would often require us to stay at the hospital for a week or more without going home. I stopped working to take care of our two boys, one of which was undergoing cancer treatments every week. My husband, Jamail, was not able to stay with us at the hospital because he had to continue to work and support our family. Unfortunately, we lost our son in 2016 and it really opened our eyes to just how precious, yet fragile life is. It really is true that time waits on no one. At this point, we made the decision to live our lives in a way that allows us to spend more time together as a family, and owning our own business would allow us to do so.
We have always loved photographing our lives to have images as memories; ever so often I yearn for nostalgia. It was only natural to cultivate that love for photography and create a way to serve others with a luxe experience that is truly unforgettable, hence the start of GALA BETHANY STUDIO.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Anyone can own a camera, click the shutter and create an image. At GALA BETHANY STUDIO, our mission is to give clients a one-of-a-kind experience that opens their minds to realize how empowered and proud of themselves they can be. Anyone who starts a business knows that there are hurdles and even failures that will arise; it is inevitable. It was not easy to shift my mindset from full-time employee to business owner, and there are still mental blocks that I am in the process of addressing. I think it is important to surround yourself with people who are genuine in every way. Search for a mentor that will give it to you straight. So many times we seek out the individuals who will praise us and shy away from constructive criticism, and that is not conducive to mastering your craft. Is it uncomfortable? Absolutely. On the other hand, it makes me stronger to work with a mentor who has failed only to succeed on a grand scale. Lessons I have learned:
I cannot make everyone happy because there will be people whose perception of me is not how I perceive myself. This is ok. It is not ok to walk away from challenges withinyour journey. Getting through rough patches builds pride and confidence which will radiate to those around me.
My brand represents empowerment and confidence in oneself no matter what stage they may be in life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh wow! This is probably my favorite topic. Anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession with brunch and petite plaisirs (little pleasures); coffee being one of them. My best friend and I get together every quarter just to spoil ourselves with brunch, mani-pedis, massages and coffee. Our favorite brunch spot is Tiny Boxwoods in River Oaks where we order scratch made biscuits, famous chocolate chip cookies and fancy libations. The Museum District has some amazing galleries to take in on any given beautiful day here in Houston. The Houston Center for Photography is one of my top places to spend alone time. Photography has taught me the beauty of slowing down and listening to what a photograph is saying to me. Overall, I love to entertain friends in the city at these places and so many more. Houston is an awesome city!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Jamail Hemphill is my number one fan and wishes nothing more than to see me happy and thriving in life. Without him, I do not think I would have founded GALA BETHANY STUDIO. Thank you for being my person; the man who sees me as the woman who can conquer whatever is placed before me. Roman would be so proud of us for not giving up on life, but would be pushing us to be better each and every day because he was not one to give up on anything he wished to achieve.
Images are all credit of GALA BETHANY STUDIO