For Valentine's day, we checked in with one of our favorite couples, Samantha Garrett & Lauren Dickens, at their charming East Austin home. Equal parts modern and nostalgic, the space they have created to live in is as inviting and personal as it is comforting and surprising.

We asked them a few questions while basking in the late afternoon light, with records playing on their stereo and the couple's dogs, Barb & Larry, close by. One of their chickens, Blanche (after Ms.Devereaux) also dropped in. Read on to learn more about the pair and what makes their love endure.


-- MB



what's your name, where you are from & what you do for work and fun?


Lauren (left): My name is Lauren Dickens, and I was born & raised in North Texas, but have lived here in Austin for about 15 years now(!!!). I'm a Designer and Creative Director of my own practice specializing mostly in brand identity development. At heart I consider myself a creative—meaning that the methods, labels, and distinctions within my practice are secondary to whatever I'm trying to communicate. As a professional problem solver, I embrace every project with fresh eyes and really try to open myself up to new processes and modalities. My personal work is often informed by the very things that inspire me (go figure), which are also the things I have a lot of fun doing—running (often the first step in my creative process), cooking, playing records, driving my truck through the hill country, mulling over art books, pondering human nature and the philosophies that try to make sense of it, getting buckets, building fires with close friends.


Samantha (right): My name is Samantha Garrett. I was born in San Antonio and raised in Houston, and now I have lived in Austin for 19 years! I work as an accountant at ACL Live. When I am not working in Microsoft Excel, I am addicted to playing golf. It's got a bad rep, but I think as more and more younger people from diverse backgrounds take up the game, its image is slowly changing for the better. I'm proud to be a part of that change. Other than that, I love nerding out on history books, just one after the other.



what would you pick to gift your person from the collection right now and why?


Lauren:  I would gift Sam the Silk Charmeuse Robe in Bundle Dyed Myrobalan. She's a known fan of kaftans and this has a very soft, ethereal flow that I know she would love as a raging Aquarian. The unique patterning of the natural dye method and the warm gold palette is absolutely gorgeous. Plus, as good as it would look on her, it would look just as good on the floor :P  


Sam: I'd pick the Kusama pants for Lauren. Everything looks so good on her, especially drapey pants like that. Plus, I know she appreciates a good pocket!




the secret to keeping your love strong?


"You must love yourself first before you can truly love your partner." - samantha


Samantha: You must love yourself first before you can truly love your partner. I think that in some of the more difficult times in our past, problems have arisen because one of us wasn't feeling confident. When you're not caring for and loving yourself, you start to rely upon your partner for that reinforcement, which can just end up dragging them down and putting too much pressure on them. So make sure you're giving love to your inner being before you can love your better half! That, and of course, always being able to laugh. We spend a lot of time cracking each other up and being dorks around each other.


"If someone can't truly see you, how can they love you?" - lauren


Lauren: It doesn't feel like a secret, so much as a formula—a lot of active listening, self-reflection, communication (even when it's difficult), and trying (key word!) to improve. You can call that work if you want, but if you're able to keep things light with a GENEROUS amount of humor and humility, it doesn't feel so hard. I'm Sagitarrius, so I definitely value some spontaneity sprinkled into our routines. I also believe that showing vulnerability is the most courageous act you can take in a relationship. Removing the masks and crumbling the walls you've built up is the only way to forge an honest and lasting connection. If someone can't truly see you, how can they love you?  



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