Marilyn and Scot Miller’s friends thought they’d lost it when the couple purchased two dilapidated buildings along Levee Street in 2007. But the Millers, who own Sun to Moon Gallery, saw untapped potential.
When they first opened Sun to Moon in Carrollton in 2001, the duo spent a significant amount of time commuting to and from the gallery, despite their living only 3 miles away. This was a disadvantage for the small-business owners. Scot spent long stretches in the beautiful yet isolated destinations showcased in his photography. While he was away, Marilyn often found herself caught between the daily demands of home and the gallery. They needed a change.
Driving around one afternoon, Scot was attracted to the idea of a location in front of the levee overlooking the Trinity River. But a move to the Design District wasn’t an instantaneous transition for the couple. It took two years to find an ideal space, and the renovation took 18 months, as loading dock doors became long, vertical windows, and concrete platforms evolved into sleek, polished floors. But the most attractive quality was, and is, proximity. The gallery occupies one warehouse, and their home in an adjacent warehouse is accessible through a discreet door.
“You can’t beat the commute,” Scot jokes.
Six years after moving in, the Millers have become staples of the growing community. Real estate agents send prospective buyers their way, and the couple hosts frequent gatherings for their neighbors—business owners, residents, or a hybrid of the two. They also fostered a collective among residents, raising money to create and install distinctive signage for the district in 2012.
The Millers have seen a welcome influx of new faces over the past two years, with more galleries, restaurants, entrepreneurs, and artists moving to the neighborhood. And the friends who thought they were crazy eight years ago love the panoramic view from their roof.
“We can’t wait to see what it becomes,” Marilyn says.