1. What drew you downtown as a place to open your business?
Questions like these make me feel so old. Remember the Quadrangle Festival? (If you do, you are definitely a Texarkana OG and were probably born at Wadley.) I remember walking the streets of downtown and being so fascinated by the beautiful buildings. The character. The beautiful details. The history.
After graduating from college and moving back to my hometown, I found myself just driving the streets and seeing so much potential in the vacant beautiful buildings. I wondered, “Why on Earth is no one using this building? It’s so beautiful!” The Sears building is my favorite. If I won the lottery, I would try to buy it and make it my studio and photo education space... and possibly a coffee shop (because this is my dream and in my dreams there is always coffee... and wine. But that building would be down the street. ;)
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
Oh, where do I begin. Can I talk about the illegal trespassing I did here? I will preface with this, don’t trespass. Aside from being illegal, some of the buildings are old and dangerous. However, when I was a teenager I snuck into the old train station. I will never forget it. Through the dust and dirt all I could see was the craftsmanship and beauty. It looked like a ballroom that had been forgotten.
That day I was hooked on downtown. I wanted to see them all. (And no, I did not trespass anymore. Instead I opened a business 10 years later. )
3. Tell us something interesting people may not know about your building.
My building was an old full-service gas station and garage. It amazes me the details of the building. Even though it has seen better days, the ceiling in the space I use for my office is beautiful! Why don’t we do tile ceilings anymore? Absolutely gorgeous!
The bathroom is also tiled and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people come out of there and say, “oh, my goodness! That bathroom reminds me of my great grandmother’s bathroom!” It’s green tile and it’s a huge hit (and easy to clean, I might add).
4. What do you want people to know about your business?
You know the large albums that have been passed down in your family? Or maybe you have a shoebox filled with old photos of loved ones? If I were to offer to buy them from you, would you sell them? How much? Of course you wouldn’t! They’re priceless. It’s your family legacy.
While I’m known for my photography, I’m here to help you preserve your family legacy in a digital world. I’ve heard the story many times and maybe you can relate- I lost my phone and with that I also lost all the baby pictures of my son. I lost 1 of my CDs with my wedding photos on them and they are gone forever (that’s my story, btw.) My computer crashed and the photos of my children’s childhood were on there. Gone. Forever. I’m here to help stop that from happening. To preserve your family legacy.
I offer my clients heirloom quality prints, wall art and albums that are built to stand the test of time and be passed down for generations. While, yes, we take photos for ourselves, we are also taking them for generations to come to enjoy. It’s your family history. Let’s preserve it together.
5. What would you like to see downtown in the future?
The beautiful thing about downtown is that it has such a wonderful past AND has potential for an amazing future. It’s no secret our world is changing thanks to technology (and I’m not complaining. I’ve been a proud Amazon Prime member for years!) But I think we can all agree that there is a certain comfort and entertainment that come with actually going to the store. I would love for the streets to be filled again with shoppers. Have a local baker who specializes in the art of the cookie on Wood Street. An amazing coffee shop off 3rd that I could walk to from my studio. A gift store on Main where they sell Le Creuset cookwear and have the best window display... especially at Christmas.
Ok, I’ve obviously thought about this a lot. But it’s far from impossible. I encourage business owners to take a look at our town’s historical stores with eyes on the future.
Thank you, Mrs. Brint! Kayla Brint owns Kayla Brint Photography and has a studio located at 523 E Third St in downtown Texarkana, AR. Follow Kayla Brinton Facebook and on Instagramto keep up with Kayla or check out her website and weekly blog at Kayla Brint Photography.