Studio Magnolia is more than just a dream come true — and far more than just a creative space — for Bree Perez; it is also a business focused on helping others and giving back to those in need.
Celebrating its grand opening Nov. 10 at its Near Southside location, swinging the photo studio’s doors open to the public was a bittersweet moment for Bree.
Originally planning a grand opening during the spring of 2018, Larry Locke, a professional woodworker, handyman and father to Bree, was preparing to finish floor installations at the space when he suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer.
The opening was put on hold as Bree put all her time and efforts into being there for her father, who passed away on July 4.
Bree returned to working on making her photo studio dream a reality, and the new creative space had a soft opening in September.
It’s no coincidence the store celebrated its grand opening in the middle of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, as the opening also featured a fundraiser benefiting Cancer Care Services of North Texas, an organization that focuses on providing medical care to low-income cancer patients.
“In memory of my father and because he wasn’t able to see the studio come to fruition, I wanted to do something personally meaningful to dedicate Studio Magnolia,” Bree said in a statement. “Something that would be special to me, that would be special to others in similar circumstances and that would give back to the fight against this terrible disease.”
To support Cancer Care Services of North Texas, patrons can book a 20-minute photo session for $150 — $100 of which will go directly to the organization. During these sessions, Bree encourages people to bring a photo or memento of someone close to them whose life was cut short by cancer, and Bree will create a photographic memory.
Spots for the benefit shoot are limited, but at press time, sessions were still available online at studio-magnolia.com.
“My wish for the space is that it would be a place that can help small businesses grow and be a place that can give back to the community,” Bree says.
By Adaline Haynes