We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisol Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisol, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I try to take calculated risks as much as possible, but sometimes I do take a leap of faith. When I was first featured in Voyage Houston July of 2019, my focus was on my children decor textile designs. We recently changed the Name of the company from The Paper Carousel to Baxter Graham Kids. This was a calculated re-branding to have it coincide with the introduction of our new hand bag line Baxter Graham. It was also a leap of faith as we have established a customer base from the last 4 years under the brand of The Paper Carousel. Changing over all of our branding to reflect the new name and re-establishing a new website. We are moving slow with everything to allow for adjustment. Sometimes, this can be the best path when taking a risk, to take time and leave room to pivot any bumps that may come along. I found in my life that if I jumped too quickly it would sometimes lead to a crash and I would have to pick up pieces as I kept moving forward. But always keep moving forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There were many challenges when we decided to design hand bags. It started with wanting to place our artwork onto a hand bag. There really are not many choices out there. So, my husband looked at me and said the simple phrase, “Just, make your own.” My reaction was, “Ok, yeah, I can do that.” That was a lot easier said than done. So much research! I found a company to print my artwork to high end vegan leather. Then came the task of finding some one to make the bag. Many companies required a minimum of 100 pcs. I did find one manufacturer here in the USA that would create single samples. Next, I discovered through them that not only did I provide the outside and inside material but I had to provide all the pieces that went into the construction of the bag. I had to literally design the bag, size dimensions, pockets, handle, rings, feet, etc. It was very eye opening to me, because I thought I would draw the bag and then they would tell me how it would be made. I then pulled out a tape measure and began figuring it all out. Writing down all the dimensions, looking at different hardware, writing it all down. When the first bag came to me, I had tears in my eyes. It was truly my design and now that I knew what to do the next one was going to be even better. I also started to challenge myself with the art of the bag. The teapot bag we have, the brass bunny and brass leaf handles are my art as well. They were 3D printed and manufactured using the “lost wax” technique. It has been the best experience and it will only get better.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The thing I love most about Houston is it’s diversity. My suggestions would have to be pre-pandemic. We haven’t been getting out much since the pandemic happened. I would have them visit the Museum of Natural Science. You can spend an entire day in there and still not see everything. The butterfly exhibit for me is beautiful, the cabinet of curiosities, the egyptian exhibit, the planetarium. There is just so much to see. I would have them go across the way to the Botanical Gardens. Of course, I would send them to the Museum of Fine Arts or the Menil. I would have them eat at least once at the Downtown Aquarium. They would have to see the Waterfall at Post Oak Blvd. If the Houston Roller Derby was having any matches, we would go see one. We would go for Thai food and of course some tacos. Then see if there were any concerts going on at the Miller Outdoor theater.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Friends and family have been a huge place of support and encouragement with this endeavor. It is good to believe in yourself and your cause, but it helps to have a good circle of support. Someone who you can trust when you ask the question, does this sound crazy?
Taylor M Hayden- Photographer