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Renecia Smith


I had come to another crossroads. My heart reached a point of clarity where I wanted so much for my life to reflect the caliber of success that I was born to achieve. I had become a mother a year before. At the time I was surrounded with friends who didn’t mean well. The calamity I had found myself in was not making any sense. I began to look inside and acknowledge my season of change.

I wanted to become a more serious Designer. In the eye of my storm, I kept the vision alive by doing positive things and seeking guidance in critical areas of life such as my career.

One place I purposely began to frequent is Southside on Lamar. The Lofts have always been a dreamy place for me. I made it my business to visit the Art Gallery and get to know the building more.

One day I was walking the same path I always walked, but this time with more intention and attention to detail. At the end of the path I saw to my right the words “Dallas Designing Dreams”. Something clicked in me. I said, “Hmmm. I wonder what they do there”.

Literally, the next day I was in the Grocery store pushing my son and I miraculously crossed paths with Mr. Arthur Porter. I immediately recognized the logo he was wearing on his shirt from the day before.

“Hi. I just saw your logo yesterday at Southside.”

“Really? What do you do?” He said.

I explained that I am a jewelry designer. In return he shared with me the mission of his organization that he is co-founder of. Mr. Porter invited me to come to the shop with a business card in hand and so I came at my earliest convenience. I think it was the next day!

I was thinking, “Wow. You’re fast God.”

When I came in we had a clear and precise discussion on where I am with my designing. Next, I was invited to have some sewing lessons in leather. These lessons were beyond inspirational for me because they had manifest on the primase of God working miracles in my life. Working with Mr. Porter on the sewing machine has levels that are good for the Mind, Body, and Spirit. The way he teaches is through life lessons and mastery of the mind. Your thinking or the absence thereof will reflect in your stitches. These principles grow ones’ ability to focus. They can be applied to everyday life. The atmosphere is an awesome place to create and be supported by professional people with desire to help others achieve their designing dreams.

Renecia Smith

Designer, Entrepreneur, Singer

Jalil Peraza


Arthur Porter, has used Dallas Designing Dreams as an educational vehicle, to impart many vital lessons, to young individuals.

I am currently living abroad, in pursuit of becoming the best architect I can be. I am very proud of the work that, I have done as an apprentice of Claudio Silvestrin and Giuliana Salmaso’s design atelier.

Dallas Designing Dreams, made my transition to London so seamless, by teaching me the importance of quality craftsmanship, sustainability in design, integrity and commitment. The Young Entrepreneur program has given me several skills, that can be leveraged within my architectural career.

I recall Mr. Porter, telling me to think deeply about any and all accessories that I would design in his studio. I was required to contemplate the pieces importance and place in our material world. I can remember him telling his students to never waste any of the valuable leather and hides that were employed, in creating our ideas.

Arthur set a great example, through recycling and repurposing

leather goods as well as other waste material. I learned that sustainability was important and it is something so relevant, to the architectural world and our use of building materials.

Arthur encouraged each of his students, to act with honesty and integrity. We were taught to foster healthy relationships, with other students and to collaborate effectively.

Quality craftsmanship is something that I look for, when interviewing con- tractors to bid on construction projects. Mr. Porter’s design studio, was the first time I can remember being exposed to a craftsman who was diligent, skilled an focused on manipulating materials with light weight machinery, human sweat and bare hands.

I will forever appreciate Dallas Designing Dreams, for cultivating me to become the person I am today.

Jalil Peraza 

Chrystal Haynes



Affordable luxury handbags that every woman can afford. That is the tagline for my business and it all started with my experience with Dallas Designing Dreams.

I had the pleasure of discovering Dallas Designing Dreams through Mr. Arthur Porter’s videos on YouTube where he shows the in depth process of handbag and accessory construction. I was struggling on how to work with vinyl to make handbags, so seeing his videos was very helpful and exactly what I needed. I realized that his studio was in Dallas where I lived so I called him one day to ask if I could volunteer so that I could be around other bag makers and learn techniques on bag making. There were no volunteer opportunities available but he told me to come in anyway.

During our first meeting Mr. Porter sat down with me and we discussed my business and what I was hoping for in the future. We then made a small coin purse together so that I could see the process of working with leather first hand. He then invited me back and I made a small handbag out of vinyl which was my medium of choice. I then started going to Dallas Designing Dreams every Tuesday and Thursday so that I could use the industrial sewing machine with Mr. Porters help and grow my skills.

I have learned quite a bit since meeting and working with Mr. Porter, Ms. Robertson and Dallas Designing Dreams. My skills, confidence and willingness to give have grown tremendously since I have begun my work with Dallas Designing Dreams. I have been able to help out with projects that the studio works on and have met some amazing people.

Through the generosity of Dallas Designing Dreams, I have learned how to operate an industrial sewing machine, use a heat press machine, cut heat transfer vinyl, edit and publish videos, and operate YouTube among other things. I would not be where I am in my business and skill level without their help. I am grateful and thankful for the dedication and commitment that I have seen and experienced through Dallas Designing Dreams and I look forward to more experiences with them.

Chrystal Haynes


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