#HomeGrownStories – L. Ruby Randall
L. Ruby Randall, or Ruby for short, has wanted to live in Miami County since she was a girl living on a farm in Preble County. Now Ruby works as a model, makeup artist, and a folkloric and historic wardrobe stylist. Ruby has modeled and styled various historical looks, from Mary Queen of Scots and Rosie the Riveter to folkloric characters like elves and fairies. She has also posed as many fictional characters like Belle of Beauty and the Beast, the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella and Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Wicked Witch, Glinda the Good Witch, the Wizard, the Lion and the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. Through her work, Ruby captures the magical feeling of our small town communities that charmed her when she was young. Ruby was recently interviewed for our #HomeGrownStories campaign. Ruby’s photos were taken by Sharon Elaine Photography in Tipp City.
On living in Miami County:
I grew up on a farm in Preble County but always knew that I wanted to live in Miami County when I got older. I used to antique as a young girl with my mom and sister here and it was always so magical to me. I’ve lived here for most of my adult life and can honestly say I was right to hope I’d eventually live here… I never plan to leave as long as I am in Ohio.
On her historical modeling and wardrobe styling business, The Fabled Fox:
The Fabled Fox is the name of my historic clothing collection and my wardrobe styling work. It is named for the stories I feel antique pieces are telling me when I immortalize them by giving them life again through photos. I am inspired not only by historical clothing but by my heritage, nature, fairy tales, folklore and by all parts of history. The fox is a creature that is sentimental to me, as well as depicting cleverness, attractiveness, and fantasy. I’ve been putting vintage clothing together and “modeling” those looks in my yard with my sister and her camera since before I could drive! I used to stay in from recess and draw fashion illustrations with coordinating makeup looks. This was always me! I started collecting clothing as a preteen and went on to do makeup, followed by modeling. I put all of my passions together to create a business and a name for myself. I not only model these looks for myself but offer these services to my clients.
On the community response to The Fabled Fox and Ruby Randall:
The community has been an amazing support and inspiration to me. I’ve been so blessed to network with everyone from the city council and newspapers to shop owners and shop goers. When Main Street in Tipp City was under construction they asked me and Sharon Elaine Photography to do a shoot with the “mess” of construction behind us to help build the morale of the town. We decided to do a Rosie the Riveter-inspired session right in the middle of the construction site and the town received it so wonderfully! Postcards were printed and passed around; photos of “Rosie” posted everywhere. It was so great to be able to inspire others through a difficult situation the way Tipp City has always inspired me!
On working in Miami County:
I love to work in Miami County! I love networking with locals and joining forces with all the creative geniuses in this area. My favorite locations here that I’ve modeled in would have to be first of all, Indian Creek Distillery and Staley Mill Farm. I grew up visiting their farm: the owners are my parent’s best friends. Their farm was the reason I was initially drawn to the area. I also love shooting at Charleston Falls when the seasons are right. And in downtown Tipp City! The little shops, amazing hidden corners of the town and the street lights make for such a quaint and nostalgic photo set location. I always enjoy running into a friend. A day of work can feel like a social event. I can walk through town and always share a moment with someone, a hug or a few minutes of catching up. I love that when I accomplish something, the community rallies behind it promotes it and supports it. I love walking the streets and remembering such special moments… like riding through the streets in a parade dressed like I’m straight out of the 1800’s and waving to the sweet faces on the street. No one ever questions why I dress up. I can literally walk the streets with a full blown costume on for a shoot and everyone waves like it’s just another day!
Why she loves Miami County:
Miami County is really nothing like anywhere I’ve lived. I lived in Chicago for a short while and at first coming home and to Miami County was a shock. Everyone seemed to move so slowly and time stood still. But once I fell back into the groove of country life and the magic of a small town, I certainly remembered that there is indeed no place like home. I love the fact that it’s seemingly frozen in time in some ways, just like I am. I love that Miami County is a farm community as well as an artist’s community. I feel connected to the memories here, the beautiful people I mingle with daily, the annual events, the small town feel, the Midwestern farms… just all of it.
Her favorite Miami County spots and events:
I love dining with friends at Coldwater Café or Harrison’s or getting coffee at Grounds for Pleasure. The Caroline is a favorite evening place. I absolutely love attending the Troy Strawberry Festival and A Winter’s Gathering every year.
Ruby Randall: Vintage Art + Historical Fantasy Model
The Fabled Fox: Vintage, Folkloric and Historic Wardrobe Styling
Follow our storyteller and interviewer, Courtney Denning, at ThisOhioLife.com.