PaperCity Magazine

May 2015 - Dallas

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BY REBECCA SHERMAN. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS PLAVIDAL. ARCHITECTURAL REMODEL PAUL FIELD AND BRAXTON WERNER, WERNERFIELD ARCHITECTURE. FOR BRANDING ENTREPRENEUR MICHAEL CORY, A GOOD TALE STARTS AT HOME. G rowing up in a small farming town in northern Iowa, Michael Cory was the creative kid who never quite fit in. While other boys played ball after school, Cory was at home with a "pad and pencil, drawing for hours," he recalls. "Mom said I'd literally design whole communities and how they'd function and how they'd live." He laughs. "I wasn't a total loser, but anyone who is different in how they look or see things stands apart. Storytelling is a great way to fit in. It was obvious that even back then, I had the concept of creating a brand." Since then, Cory's focus has been telling compelling visual narratives. A communications major at the University of Iowa, he moved to Dallas in 1995 to work for TracyLocke, where he "ran all the creative for Pepsi," he says. Within a year, he was recruited to work for Starbucks, where he supervised a team of 70 interior and graphic designers, "developing what the Starbucks experience became — the look, the logo, the music, down to what the barista says." Cory took it all to heart. "Starbucks is very prescribed, very Disney-like," he says. "What I learned was that most products and brands are missing that single point of message." Back in Dallas five years later, Cory launched his own boutique firm, BrandCory, helping such clients as Ylang 23, Corner Bakery, Snapple, Borden, Nike, Dr Pepper and Sunkist create consistent messages. Now a 52-year-old divorced father of two (20-year- old Hope is a freshman at the University of Texas, and 17-year- old Walt is a sophomore at Highland Park High School), Cory's personal style might be described as Ralph Lauren meets Tom Ford. Ginger haired with a golden stubble at the chin, he often sports nubby tweeds, polished and worn leathers and denim. His home — no surprise here — is both rustic and refined, the perfect expression of his sartorial self. But it took some time and elbow grease to get there. The 1980s house on the edge of University Park, which Cory purchased in 2010, "was a very dated, French-mansard-roof mess," he recalls. "It was the ugly house on the street. But when you walked through, it is essentially the floor plan we have now — high ceilings and nice, big windows that look onto a courtyard and pool." To make it work, he'd need less Louis and more Something's Gotta Give. "One of my greatest inspirations for the house was Diane Keaton, who collects and rehabs Monterrey-style houses," Cory says. "And Ellen DeGeneres was doing her kind of Monterrey house, too, with Portia de Rossi. That was my inspiration when we met with the architects, [Paul Field and Braxton Werner of Wernerfield Architecture]." The mood board he gave them included images from a trip to Napa, where he'd A NATURAL TALENT Michael Cory's University Park home has an enviable back pool area with 12 Southern magnolias, wisteria and fig ivy. Landscaping Hocker Design. Pool built by Bonick Landscaping. The roof 's clay tiles were reclaimed from a school in Kansas.

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