Deskside With Leigh Brown, Editor of The Scout Guide Fort Worth
Photography by Reverie Photo Co. on location at William Campbell Fine Art.
A lifelong Texan, Leigh Brown was born and raised in Tyler, Texas, and attended The University of Texas at Austin. It was at UT Austin where she was first introduced to the unique charm and profound impact local businesses have on their communities via Austin’s exciting and eclectic small business scene. While post-graduation her marketing career took her from her beloved Texas to New York City, she eventually found her way back, and in time, having long planned to raise her family in Fort Worth, Leigh and her husband moved to the city in December 2014. A few years later, when the opportunity arose to become editor of The Scout Guide Fort Worth, she leaped. As editor, Leigh loves combining her professional background with her passion to celebrate the talented artists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who make Fort Worth so extraordinary. The enthusiastic editor, tennis player, and burgeoning Mahjong player is thrilled to be launching the 9th volume of The Scout Guide Fort Worth in late fall 2022.
Leigh’s office. Organization by The Organized Nest. Photography by Canon Sawyer.
The Scout Guide: Tell us about your background.
Leigh Brown: I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in corporate communications. My entire career, except for a brief stint at an advertising agency in Dallas, I have always represented a marketing platform. In New York, I worked to secure national advertising for local city business journals across the country with The Network of City Business Journals. When I moved back to Austin, I worked in marketing at CBS Television and then went on to work for The Longhorn Sports Network where I managed and recruited corporate sponsorships for UT Athletics. Once I made the move to Dallas, I landed at D Magazine Partnership where I focused on advertising and event sponsorships for the Home and Garden division.
Leigh with her family. Photography by Kate Swail.
TSG: How did you discover The Scout Guide?
LB: It first made an impact on me when I found The Scout Guide New Orleans in my hotel room when visiting The Big Easy with my husband in 2014. Every time I visited I’d frequent the same favorite restaurants and shops and I was clearly in a visitor’s rut. The Scout Guide introduced me to the best local spots that “tourists” may not know about and I loved having that inside edge. It gave me the confidence to explore NOLA in a way I hadn’t before, which led to such a wonderful, enriching experience each time I visited.
Two years later, when the existing TSG Fort Worth editor was selling the franchise, my dear friends interior designers Kelley Roberts and Rebecca Atkinson of Beckley Design Studio (TSG members since Volume 1) alerted me to the opportunity. I recognized that not only was this an incredible opportunity to own my own business for the first time, but it was a powerful marketing platform for the local businesses that give each and every city character and identity. That was something I could really get behind.
Ultimately, my husband—and biggest cheerleader—Wynn encouraged me to take the leap. I was comfortable in my role at D Home, but it was time to make a change that was best for me and my growing family. He gave me the encouragement I needed to invest in my future and I took over TSG Fort Worth in January 2017.
I’ve always been a self-starter, so the move to working from home was pretty smooth. Of course there were challenges that I didn’t foresee, especially during the first year, but it became more clear every day that this was an excellent move for me. Every professional experience I have ever had prepared me for The Scout Guide editor role, from the basics of being a professional learned in New York from my mentor/manager there, to the fundamentals of selling, to being selective about the product I represent.
My favorite part of being the editor of TSG Fort Worth is not only the chance to learn about each member’s respective business and industry, which I find so inspiring, but the opportunity to be a marketing partner for them, creating programs that help grow their businesses. It’s incredibly fulfilling to help small local businesses be successful, and ultimately, their success makes a big impact on our community. Doing all of that, while owning my own business, becoming entrenched in my community, developing friendships with my members, and enjoying a wonderful community of TSG editors across the country, is just the icing on the cake.
Leigh behind the scenes on a TSG Fort Worth shoot. Photography by Jason Kindig.
TSG: Tell us a little bit about your work/life balance.
LB: The struggle is real. I absolutely love my job and mostly it doesn’t feel like a job! But as any small business owner will tell you, the job is always there. So I have to force myself to take time outs and be present for my children, and for my sanity and well-being!
Leigh’s dog, Tank. Photography by Grace & Goose.
TSG: How do you enjoy downtime?
LB: I have a lifelong love of playing tennis, and I really enjoy cooking and walking my dog on the Trinity River. But I do relish a fun dinner out with my husband and friends.
TSG: What do you love most about your area?
LB: There’s so much happening in Fort Worth right now, from Artspace 111 opening Love Texas Art Gallery and William Campbell Gallery opening the new space Foch Street, to new hotels and restaurants popping up in the heart of our city. We’ve come a long way from our “Cowtown” nickname, but we still do love our annual Fort Worth Rodeo.
THE HIT LIST: LEIGH’S FAVORITES
Flower: I’m obsessed with hydrangea plants right now—they last much longer than the fresh cut stems!
Music genre: I am a sucker for music from the ’80s. But I do love country.
Favorite meal/cuisine: The homemade gumbo my father-in-law makes on Christmas Eve.
Favorite cocktail: Fresh-squeezed homemade margarita with a salty Tajín rim.
Favorite book: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting
Favorite TV series: Emily in Paris
Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere in Mexico
Favorite accessory: A beautiful scarf or wrap
Favorite piece of clothing: I love a good caftan
Favorite time of day: Happy hour!
Real life hero: My Dad! I appreciate his patience and outlook on life today more than ever.
Words to live by: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
To learn more about Leigh and The Scout Guide in her area, follow The Scout Guide Fort Worth on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Fort Worth website. Learn about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.