Art and Motherhood on the West Austin Studio Tour

Four WEST exhibitors reveal how their work is informed by being a mom

Mockingbird Domestics

Laura Daly

Mockingbird Domestics is an Austin family affair, led by the husband-and-wife team of Laura and Jeff Daly. It is a store that not only strives for familiar charm but also offers its customers a well-curated environment, an attribute for which Laura is largely responsible. She is the store's co-founder and also helps manage the team (which includes daughters Allison and Katie), hand-selects the inventory, and curates the art shown.

Austin Chronicle: Mockingbird Domestics sits right at the crosshairs of design, art, and home furnishings. How do you personally feel connected to the work?

Laura Daly: Our intent was to engage our love for making furniture and pair it with our passion for artisanal-made home goods. Our goal is to bring joy and richness to both the shopping experience and the home where these objects ultimately reside. Personally being able to design, collaborate with creative souls, and share the artists' collection [gives] me joy and fulfillment.

AC: Creativity is obviously at the heart of both MD and WEST. What do you hope to experience by participating in the tour?

LD: For WEST this year, Mockingbird is hosting Art From the Streets. We have two agendas for the event this year: to celebrate the extraordinary work created by Austin street artists and present our Mockingbird Made Furniture Workshop.

AC: How do you feel like your role as a mother has contributed to your role as a business owner and purveyor of art?

LD: Being a mother is a gift that I have always cherished; motherhood has taught me the value of perseverance, patience, and unconditional love. Probably the biggest crossover my maternal role has instilled in my business-owner role is to be the monitor of the store's emotional compass. I am genuinely interested in the well-being of our employees, our artisans, and our frequent customers, and hope to never grow insensitive to the emotional needs of those I serve.

AC: A love of the arts is an invaluable gift; do you feel like you've been able to instill that in your children?

LD: My daughters have been around art all their lives; thank goodness they embraced it! Our house has always been a continuum of projects, full of art and craft supplies and while often disordered, the activities provided many hours of joy while developing an appreciation for creative thinking.

Mockingbird Domestics, which is tour stop 252, 2151 S. Lamar, will feature the work of artists such as Cynthia Holland, Paul Meyer, and Liz Potter, as well as hosting Art From the Streets (253). It will also present the Mockingbird Made Furniture Workshop (105).

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