Crow 31 Days: I Have a Few Rubies in My Closet
by Amy Lewis Hofland, Executive Director, Crow Collection of Asian Art
(For those of you who don’t know Amy, she is the smiling face at the Crow Collection museum in the Dallas Arts District, a hidden gem. They have several extraordinary pieces in their permanent collection, including a red sandstone wall from a fort in Rajasthan, India! They host several visiting artists from all over Asia several times a year, and have programs like wellness and yoga classes. The location can also be rented for exclusive events. We have been fortunate to work with them over the years, and Amy and her team have always been gracious and accommodating.
This surprise, unedited, blog post floored us…we love you, Amy!)
Her name is Ruby Bhandari. She is part lightning bug, part butterfly, part unicorn: you’ve never met anyone like her. Mysteriously she never sleeps, and miraculously she can draw something in Dallas, Texas and within hours, a sewing machine in New Delhi, India is bring it to form. Ruby is magic.
I met Ruby and her amazing husband Raj for the second time though their magnanimous offer to create a fashion show for our members at the museum over 15 years ago. We are convinced we met years earlier on the campus of the University of Texas as we both served on the Cabinet of College Councils. It is the kind of friendship where–when we met “officially” we all felt like we’d known each other forever.
Ruby works two shifts for two time zones: telecommuting with India has it’s challenges. She fills her day meeting with clients in Dallas, working on her many distribution projects, designing the next season and building the business.
Walking into the showroom is better than Alice in Wonderland. Ruby has a team of devoted employees–and she pops in and out between calls and clients to offer a style or a color: she knows how to create something ravishing.
Her confidence is magnetic: I’ve walked in planning just to stop by and say hello. I’ve walked out with mid-riff bearing sarees, jewelry, salwar kameez, gowns fit for royalty and two tunics commissioned for the opening of our sculpture garden.
She is a marketing genius, a talented businesswoman and simply impossible to say “no” to. Once you see the Ruby, you are part of a marvelous elixir: an intoxicating concoction of joy, glamour and fun. Ruby dressed me for an engagement party, several local galas, a fashion show and several evenings with the Asia Society at the Tiger Ball in Houston. She even dressed me for the opening of an exhibition we supported in New Delhi-sending her cousin to our hotel for a last-minute fitting. Ruby was thousands of miles away on the phone: designing by satellite.
Ruby’s success has been earned: over 25 years of grit and courage. She is recognized as one of the first designers to bring Indian fashion to the region. Raj has been a guiding light in their partnership and in their business. This is one of my favorite Power Couples in Dallas.
A visit to the Silk Threads showroom will not disappoint. Plan to spend a few hours sifting through the gowns, and do not be afraid to try something bold. Be like Alice in this wonderland and drink it all up. I promise you’ll walk out smiling. And you just might find a few Rubies in your closet, too.