Sunday, January 30, 2011

Unify your Home...Decor Tips, Exploring Heritage for the"Ours" brand - Part 3

So far we have created some descriptions to develop inspiration for the “Ours” brand from our favorite memories and destinations (Part 1), along with cues from the items we already own (Part 2). Plus we have as a practical side effect a great list to tuck away for insurance purposes in case the unexpected…happens. This week for the last stage of our inspiration exploration we will look back into our personal heritages to discover one last facet to make “Yours” and “Theirs” into “Ours”.

Chances are someone in your family tree at some point has come from some place known as "there"…to where you now call "here".

I took a tourist trip to New York years and years ago. The most memorable of our destinations from that trip was Ellis Island. Ellis Island was the United States’ premier federal immigration station responsible for processing over 12 million immigrant steamship passengers. This trip to Ellis Island resonates within me to this day and spurred an interest in my family’s history.


I come from a mix of predominately German roots, with a bit of Black Irish and Polish to make things interesting. If ethnicity is important to you, you can certainly draw from that. Family crests are usually pretty easy to look up.

This is the one for Gallagher was found here…take a moment and look up yours.

But... I am here to encourage you to go just a bit more personal than that…especially if your heritage is a bit harder to uncover...

My husband knows very little about his ethnicity, we jokingly refer to him as the Man from the Land of Tall Pale Men (being that his is very thin, tall, fair and red-headed). Guessing about his ethnic heritage is an amusing conversation at times…your initial guess is Irish because of the red hair, but I suspect he has a bit of ancient Viking in him with his love for seafaring ships.

My husband’s immediate personal heritage begins when he was born in Washington DC. A few years later his parents moved to Virginia when the infamous race riots occurred in 1968. His father and mother’s charismatic nature were critical attributes toward their success as active socialites in the burgeoning Northern Virginia communities during the ‘70s. My husband’s parent’s rural West Virginia roots bespeak of hard work, his blue jean sensibilities, and always admirable patience.

Apparently his tall height, red hair, charismatic nature and musical abilities come from both sides of his family. I had the great personal fortune of meeting his six foot tall red-headed grandma shortly after I met him. Her sense of humor immediate acceptance and warmth was astounding for this very reserved and somewhat shy girl to experience. His relatives’ adventures in Motorcycle antics, radio broadcasting, moonshine running and bare knuckle boxing back in the day, bring a colorful and intriguing mix to the Our brand that we have created together.

As you can read... I am not talking about extensive research generations upon generations back, by all means if you have the time for this I encourage you to do so, but it isn’t really necessary. For me it was as simple as asking those closest to me about themselves.

My father for instance…started off as a set painter for the Muny Operahouse and painting aircraft for McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri. He went through the school of hard knocks to establish himself as a meeting planner and self made marketing communications guru. Now in his retirement we share the same artistic interests: gourmet food (our Sunday dinners together), interior design (his is kitchen design focused).

My father’s mother was an early feminist (although she may have never realized it) with her tenure as a “Rosie Riveter”.   My Grandfather proudly served our country in the Navy by fighting the war in the pacific in WWII.  My sister is the proud owner of his King Neptune Certificate from his line crossing ceremony.
This is close to what it looks like...more information about the ceremony can be found here


Way before that, my grandfather was a “Cookie” on the western range. His early teenage years was spent waking up early to cook breakfast for the cowboys and then driving a wagon ahead of the cowboys and cooking the beans for their arrival in the evening. My great-grandfather used to tell me stories working in a tavern that turned speakeasy in the 20s. He had to speak German to his grandfather and I remember one story he told when I was very young about his grandfather’s gunshot wound in his shoulder from the civil war.

So I encourage you over the next few weeks to make time for a few more nights out, or just make some phone calls. Because, this time I want you to really dig your hands into the roots of your family tree. Capture, while you can, your unique snapshot view of your family’s history and jot down some descriptions in your inspiration book, then take this inspiration to develop a room that reflects who you are as a couple…a room that reflects the “Our” brand.

If you have a business or know of a product that you would want highlighted on the Amusing Reflections blog, leave a comment or email me here and I will investigate it for a future story.

In the meantime…remember
Be Bold, be Brave, and be Uniquely You!

4 comments:

ourgirl said...

That's exactly how Grandpa's Neptune certificate looks! Don't forget your music room with his guitar...he was a drummer in a band, too.

Cheryl Gallagher said...

Your absolutely right about Grandpa's "Zoot Suit Riot" days! And yes, the guitar has been integrated into the decor.
Many other "historical" points were edited out, but I hope I left enough in to help everyone be inspired.

Home Decors said...

After reading this post I am pondering about my ancestry. You gave me the idea. Nice article.

Cheryl Gallagher said...

Thank you for the compliment. It's truly amazing the inspiration one can get just by digging into their history.
I am so enthused to hear that you enjoyed the article and were inspired.
Stay tuned, more articles are to come...the Interior Muse has been busy since the beginning of the year putting together a company that puts this advice (and much more) into practical use at a minimum amount of stress.
The big unveiling is coming soon. In the meantime...
Be bold, be brave, and be uniquely you!