Courageous, confident and kind women have been popping up in my life recently, and the first thing I think of is you, our fellow creatives, who crave inspiring yet real stories of women who are living purposeful lives. The next thing I think is…people need to hear.
I’m a firm believer in double meaning…meaning: you go into something for one reason and the outcome is maybe that, but also so much more. Today we’re talking with Paige Hull, who owns The Vintage Round Top with her husband, Smoot, in Round Top, Texas. She drove past Round Top simply to take in the scenic route and in return, jumped on a journey that would turn into her current business.
Read on to hear about how living with intention and putting action to her dreams continues to grow her brand with bumps along the way that only a woman with true valor could pursue.
Where do you live and what brought you there?
Our family home is in Houston, Texas. The Vintage Round Top (RVT), our vacation home rental, is located only an hour and fifteen minutes away in the magical town of Round Top, Texas. Fate brought us there a little over five years ago. We took the scenic route home from visiting Smoot’s (my husband) mom and stumbled upon an open house in Round Top. The open house realtor educated us on the need for rental property in the area. We thought buying a house in Round Top was out of the question until we learned they can be rented during the bi-annual world famous Antique Fair that attracts over 125,000 people per year to this tiny town of 90 permanent residents.
What inspired you to start The Vintage Round Top? Did you always know you wanted to open up a rental home?
No, quite honestly owning a vacation home rental had never crossed our minds. The original inspiration was just to find something creative Smoot and I could do together. The house rental definitely provided that, but also was the springboard in developing our lifestyle brand which includes antiques, artisan made home goods, workshops and retreats, and a hotel amenities line.
What were you doing before RVT?
I was the Vice President of a modeling agency for 22 years with offices in Houston, Dallas, and Miami. Smoot owned and operated nightclubs and restaurants in Houston, LA, and Rio. When we started our family in 2002, we opened a construction company which specializes in remodeling apartment complexes. We often joke the most creative decisions we make in the apartment world revolves around deciding if the paint will be light or dark beige! Getting back to our creative roots was a major motivation for us to start the The Vintage Round Top brand.
Personally and professionally, what obstacles have you had to overcome in creating RVT?
Developing and growing a business based an hour and half away from our home has its challenges. Most of the work is done from our home office in Houston, but it would certainly be easier and better if we were closer to the property. There is the juggle of being working parents and living in a “devices in our faces” world. Social media and the demands of a growing business can often be a slippery slope. Also, we still operate our construction company so are always trying to give each brand/ company the attention it deserves.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
Yes, “Live with Intention!” We were given this advice right before we stopped at the Open House we mentioned earlier. In fact, that’s why we stopped. We thought, let’s go inside and get the “mojo” going for when we’d be in a position to purchase a second home in the country. Had we not made that stop, we wouldn’t have been told about the rental property business and wouldn’t be answering your questions today. So, our advice is to take action oriented steps towards your goals and desires. Ours was simply to find something creative to do together. And boy, did we ever find that!
In keeping with our quarter’s theme of Valor, what does that word mean to you and how can it be used to spread good in our lives and community?
It means courage and bravery and immediately brings the men and women in the military to mind. However, it also makes us think of all of the new entrepreneurs putting themselves out there every day to make their dream a reality. We believe that not everything we do should be about “the money.” Valor extends beyond the money or fame, and really should focus on making an impact on people’s lives. We try to help as many new and upcoming creatives as we can without the thought of how we will personally benefit. It feels wonderful to lend a helping hand and provide opportunities, just like Smoot and I were given when we started our careers many years ago.
Last April, you faced a devastating blow when your home was flooded. What kept you afloat during that time?
Our faith in God and each other as well as the help of our family. We could not have done it without them. It’s been one of the hardest experiences we’ve gone through as it is a never ending process. In fact, we are still rebuilding the house from almost three months ago. We have also been reminded that material possessions come and go, but our faith and love for our family is a never ending commitment.
Tell us about your commitment to sustainability and how your company gives back…
We give objects a second life by repurposing them into updated home décor. We also use reclaimed materials whenever possible and provide antique furniture and vintage home décor options as an alternative to mass produced items. During renovations, we donated all of the usable materials not used from the original house to Habitat for Humanity and also donate a portion of our profits to this wonderful charity.
Who has been one of the most interesting visitors you’ve had at the home and why?
Well, we don’t kiss and tell! Our guest’s privacy is of the utmost importance. But, we can tell you we’ve hosted celebrities, artists, big box retailers, fashion and interior designers, government officials, magazine and book editors and more. Meeting and sharing our space with others is one of the most favorite aspects of this venture.
What have been a few of the most rewarding aspects of starting The Vintage Round Top?
Initially, it was designing the first house and all that followed from that experience. It’s been really great growing the brand in so many different directions. Even though we initially started the business as a creative outlet it’s been rewarding meeting people who have connected to our story and the adventure we are on. As the brand has grown and developed, more and more people would ask us how we did it. Through public speaking, workshops and events we have been blessed to share our story with others. We absolutely love being an inspiration and resource for other creatives. We discuss the realities of being a husband and wife team, how we built our brand from scratch, why “living with intention” is so important (it changed our life), and the strategies of turning your passions into profits and so much more!
What’s up next for The Vintage Round Top?
We are expanding our property with a new 2000 sq ft cottage that is attached to the original house through a common mud room. It’s large Great Room will be used for intimate events like corporate retreats, workshops, rehearsal dinners and more. We will use it to host our own creative and educational workshops as well as events like our recent TRIBE mixer with Jo Packham of Where Women Create magazine. We’re also in the process of designing/collaborating bespoke furniture and home décor pieces for the new space and home goods line.
Photos by Laura Morsman