Get to Know Darrah Gooden


Name: Darrah Gooden

Hometown: Tyler, Texas

Current Town of Residence: Dallas, Texas


My favorite childhood memory is..

When I was five, my family took a road trip from Mississippi to North Carolina.  I have vivid memories of watching colorful salt water taffy being pulled in Gatlinburg, TN, walking through caves lined with sparkly gems, and driving through clouds in the Smoky Mountains.  We searched for ice cream in the gardens of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and fed orange tic tacs to a tame squirrel on the long drive home.

Do people tell you that you resemble anyone famous?

Rarely.  Although, I will always remember the waiter who told me I looked like the “double helix” in the movie, “Never Been Kissed” (aka: Leelee Sobieski).  I think I was wearing my glasses?

Is there a story behind your name (are you named after anyone)?

Mary is actually my first name, but I have always been called by my middle name, Darrah.  I was named after my mom’s sister, Darrah, but only recently learned its meaning to be “House of Wisdom and Compassion”, or “Nugget of Wisdom”.  Who knew?  I’ll take it!

How long can food be on the ground and still be fair game for eating?

My friend was just telling me she caught her toddler eating a goldfish cracker that had been hanging out on her front porch for three months.  This didn’t seem to phase me.  Should I admit that?

On the weekends, you can find me…

You can likely find me spending time with my husband, Michael, our three year old son, Oscar, and ten month old daughter, Nella.  Ideally it involves beautiful weather, Saturday brunch and good coffee, maybe a walk to the park and lots of relaxation time.  Simple and unplanned.


What was the coolest, most exciting thing that you ever bought?  

Probably our house.  It was nothing fancy when we bought it nearly six years ago, but I think that was the best part!  We purchased it with a small budget and big vision to renovate and decorate once we were able to call it ours.  Even though we have no intention of selling the house anytime soon, I often search for crumbling real estate just for the thrill of it.

What is your favorite restaurant?

 Favorites are so tricky for me, but because I included brunch in my previous answer about weekend activity, I can’t stop thinking about SMOKE restaurant in Dallas and their delicious blueberry and ricotta cheese pancakes (topped with vanilla poached apricots and cream!). Yum. 

Tell us about your Nod Institute of Art print, how you made it or your inspiration behind it.

My first memorable watercolor painting was of a delicate fawn.  I have long been intrigued by the animal’s graceful form and have attempted to recreate it over the years.  Prior to Edie, I had just completed a large scale acrylic painting of a deer and found myself inspired to create a minimal version of it that would hang in my toddler son’s room.  Thus Edie Fawn was born out of cut tissue paper and collaged onto canvas.  Edie-fawn