They laughed they smiled and they shined. It was Sammy's Angels that stole our hearts this week and every week to come.
I remember selling advertisement when I first started working in the magazine world and the marketing manager at Brundage Mountain had recently gotten married and Samuel Marvin had done her wedding pictures. The photos were spectacular and I eagerly awaited to talk to him about marketing. Upon speaking to him he said, "we don't do weddings anymore at present our primary focus is senior photos." Since, that time I've wrangled him in to agreeing to 10 weddings a year and every single one is spectacular. We began marketing Samuel Marvin Photography in our Summer/Fall issue of IDoWED 2016. He books up so quickly so if you want one of those coveted spots for weddings you must act fast. Upon beginning our relationship with SMP we fell in love with his studio. We fell head over heels with his presentation. Then he owns a canvas company and so your take home products are amazing to say the least. Nothing however prepared me for what I witnessed on Tuesday night.
Sam for the last few years has put on Fashion For A Cause, a fundraising fashion show to raise money for Epilepsy Foundation of Idaho. This year when he asked IDoWED to participate I was very excited. Honestly I did not know quite what to expect and whatever expectations I did have Sammy's Angels shot those clear out of the park.
I spent the day with Sam and began to watch what I call the "Sam Marvin effect" unfold. He had gotten Snapchat filters for nearly every high school in the Treasure Valley. He had allowed the girls to market their own event and sell their own tickets. Every element of the night catering to self empowering teenagers. Giving them something that is uniquely theirs.
Teenagers are funny creatures. They spent their days being dogs and licking a phone screen (hopefully not literally). They send altered images to their friends and have an entire world of conversations without ever actually saying a word. These young ladies within the next 10 years will be celebrating the greatest milestones of their lives. Not one graduation, but two when they slay their college careers. They will be getting married and many of them having children. Yes, these young ladies are at the doorway to their milestone moments. Life changes here.
I got to roam around back stage and witness the makeup transformations, the getting ready glam time and the pre-show jitters. I also got to witness the behind the scenes conversations. Parents getting divorced, choosing a college, financial struggles, boyfriend breakups and so much more. Their struggles with bullying, drugs and alcohol and last each of their own struggles with self esteem.
I am a huge advocate for hair and makeup artists because I feel that they are esteem builders and dream makers. They do something with their magic wands, they call them makeup brushes but I am pretty sure they purchase them at the Hogwarts Gift Store. The magic I witnessed though on this day was not the artists behind the chair.
The magic I witnessed was the "Sam Marvin Effect." I would hear a young lady struggling with the fit of something, and Sam would walk by and say "looking good" and the girl's whole attitude would change. One girl was wanting her makeup darker and had spent 20 minutes trying to convince herself and the makeup artist it needed to be darker. Sam says you look great and she immediately stopped the darker conversation and just immediately realized her makeup was perfect. It was like a wave of confidence and calmness followed him as he made his way around backstage. How does he do this?
Stores like Buckle, Victoria Secret, Blue Fringe, Ace's Arrow Boutique and so many others providing apparel but no matter how beautiful the apparel the beauty was shining within. Each of these girls shining with a sense of pride and self worth. Rocking every company they represented like they owned it.
Sam and his wife have invested in to these young teenagers. They have invested time, love, and everything they have to make these girls better people. It shows in people like Gabriella Simpson, Miss Teen Idaho USA. Gabby's relationship with Sam is like a father and daughter. They laugh together, they cry together, and they even poke fun at each other.
I thought this bond was unique, but then I saw Sam had this close connection to EVERY single one of his girls. They bond with him like a youth pastor, a mentor, a school counselor, every positive role model you can think of roll them in to one and that is Sam Marvin.
He creates this environment where young people feel safe. They can express themselves and include him when they typically may shut other adults out. Snapchat is the perfect example. Very few of the girls have a Facebook page, but they ALL have snapchat. Snapchat is a social media that you share content that is not carefully curated. You share everything.
Sam snapchats! He has streaks with most of the girls and some of his guys. Streaks are where snapchats monitors the days in a row that you send each other a Snap. One kid was bragging that him and Sam have a 28 day Snap and if Sam breaks the streak he has to buy him dinner at Barabacoa. 28 days. That means every single day for the last month Sam has invested in this kid. Sam knows more about most of this teens than their own parents. They look up to him. They respect him and above all they LOVE HIM.
The transformation of these girls is way more than taking average high school girls, throwing some makeup on them and putting them on a runway. Sam and his wife invest in their lives. They truly become his angels. I also think for many of these girls he also becomes their angel.
Each of these girls was beautiful in their own way, but Sam had a special way of making each of them realize their full potential. Sam and his wife personal invest in each of these girls giving them self esteem and confidence and encouraging them to have a stronger life ethic than even what previously has been laid out for them. He jokes and does crazy challenges like eating spicey foods, eating gross food and other crazy things that truly require an element of insanity, but the big teddy bear does it.
Sammy's Angels are all pretty amazing, but we certainly learned that the angel is actually Sam Marvin himself. He is impacting the lives of these young ladies beyond measure. My life is inspired by Sam and I hope that others will be as well.
BE THE DIFFERENCE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.