Ladies To The Front: Stacy Scarsella

This past September, Trove hosted our second Women in Business Portrait Day. We invited a few of our lady-crushes to spend a couple of hours with us, taking over Tania Quintanilla’s Austin photo studio to get glam and drop some knowledge.

When Stacy Scarsella (Executive Producer, Plaid Pony Productions) moved to Austin she instantly saw its potential as a destination for film and still photography production. This inspired her to launch her own production company after a decade in the fashion industry working coast to coast.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how it led to starting your own company?

My entire career has been centered around production. I started with fashion shows, and soon fell into the catalog world, fashion lifestyle, and most recently tech. After 11 years of working as an agency producer, I decided to open Plaid Pony Productions. It has been a life long dream to own my own company, and it is so rewarding to wake up and realize I’m finally making that goal a reality.

Who are some women who have inspired or mentored you?

I have had two incredible women who have stood out in my life as mentors: my mom, Diane George, and my best friend, Katherine McQuade Toig. My mom is a very successful project manager and engineer. She worked full time while having 3 children, each 2 years apart. She was always there for us, even though she had a very demanding career. And she did it with grace. She is the hardest working woman I know; strong, smart and beautiful. With her as an inspiration my entire life, I knew being a successful working mom was definitely possible. My mom always believed in me and supported me as I pursued my dreams.

Katherine, “Katie” was a different type of mentor for me. She was my daily rock. Every single morning driving to work, we would talk about life, goals, and what our daily attitudes would be. She shaped me into the woman I am now. I met her when I was 20 years old… before I had a husband, kids or a career. She believed I would be great. Katie would keep me on track, and add ideas to my already growing “life goals” list. At times when I was so unsure about my career, or current life situation, she gave me strength to push forward and stay true to myself and to maintain my integrity, and values.

Sadly, she passed away on September 19, 2014. This tragedy changed me. It gave me a new found strength I never knew I had. Her voice is in my head everyday, begging me to live life to the fullest, stay strong, be an amazing mother, wife, daughter, and business owner. Never take one moment for granted. This is truly what finally gave me the courage to become an entrepreneur and reshape how I was spending my time. I found a way to have better balance in my life in order to be happier. I thank her for this fortitude. Through the many people who she touched, her spirit lives on.

What advice do you have for women in your industry?

Be yourself and never give up. There will be times in life where it virtually feels impossible. When I have moments like this, I shut down, regroup and start the next day with a fresh attitude. I have to constantly remind myself what my life goals are and how I want to be remembered. The legacy I leave behind should be shaped by the person I am everyday. Remember to be honest about who you want the world to see you as. Everyone has a brand, so make it a good one, and don’t give up on your dreams!

Don’t forget to network and be nice to the “little guys.” You never know where those interns or assistants will be in 10 years. This industry is very small, so your reputation is all you have for career longevity.

What do you love about Austin?

Austin is a true gem. There is magic here and so much potential for beautiful locations for photography. Especially fashion and lifestyle shoots. After 12 years of shooting in Los Angeles, Austin is a breath of fresh air. The locations are undiscovered, raw and diverse. There is definitely a film and music presence in Austin, but there is room for more. One of my goals is to continuously work with photographers and clients globally to pitch Austin. Not only is there a cost savings, but the variety of each location amazes me. In one day you can shoot urban city streets, waterfalls, trains, wineries and horses. The possibilities are endless in the Hill Country.

What great books are you reading or what podcasts are you listening to lately?

At the moment I read only children’s books to my beautiful boys. They are 2 and 4 years old and the center of my world. Any free time I have, I spend with them… reading, playing and going on adventures. 

See all of our Ladies To The Front features here.

Portrait by Tania Quintanilla, Hair by Bianca Castillo, Makeup by Amber Griffin

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