Heritage Oak Cliff and Dwell with Dignity are just two Nonprofits Summer Garrett volunteers with - and she invites YOU to join her!
Summer Garrett works all year long.
And when she’s not working to get folks into their first home, she’s volunteering throughout the Dallas community.
Last month, when the Oak Cliff Women in Business group had a sponsor for their monthly meeting cancel, Summer flew into action and asked the manager in B Brewery LTD on the first floor of the new Novel Bishop Arts Apartment complex if she would host the event. Jenny Benningfield agreed to have the women meet there, and even with dire threats of softball sized hail, forty businesswomen attended along with some residents who stopped in—and stayed. A near disaster turned into a wonderful evening of networking and new friendships. It was a win-win for all.
Which is sort of Summer’s life-long motto.
Born in Beaumont, Texas, Summer grew up in Silsbee with three brothers: two older twins Neal and Jeremy and little brother Jerrett. Surrounded by boys, Summer wanted to become a racecar driver, the first female NFL referee and in her teenage years, a guitar rock star.
At Silsbee High School Summer played tennis, was on the honor roll and was president of the National Art Honor Society. She graduated from Lamar University with a BBA in Marketing, while working full time so that she could pay her tuition each semester, and graduate with no student loans – quite a feat. She’s thinking about earning an MBA but laughs, “Who has time?”
After finishing college, Summer worked for Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages in Houston selling Yellow Page ads. But now she has the job she was born to do: mortgage banking. “I love helping people!” Summer says emphatically. “Buying a home is the biggest financial purchase anyone will ever make. It’s scary and stressful. I like being a real person they can lean on, to ask questions, to voice concerns, the person they know is in their corner and can listen to them vent, talk them off a ledge, and grab a drink with.”
Summer says her clients become her family and being a mortgage professional is more than being some sort of banker or financial advisor in a sterile high-rise. She prefers to be genuine and approachable. Dog lovers love her, because she’s quick to say her dog Hunter is her world, and at 16, Hunter is also a two-year cancer survivor.
On the human side, Summer says she tends to like the big guys. “Meeting Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten has been one of my favorite moments! I’ve been lucky enough to have my photo taken with him twice at two different events at his Score Foundation fundraisers!” SCORE provides no-charge mentoring and education to more than 350,000 small business owners each year. Summer is proud to be one of hundreds of volunteers who help more entrepreneurs to thrive. Making a positive impact on her community, city and the world is key to Summer’s life.
She is also involved with Dwell with Dignity, an organization made up of volunteers that designs and installs complete home interiors for families who desperately need an environment that will support health and wellness. The members empower families to lead their best lives and to thrive in a safe, functional, and beautiful environment.
The Heritage Oak Cliff, formerly the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, is another of her passions. For over 40 years, Heritage OC produces the annual Oak Cliff Home Tour. The proceeds are used to grant awards to member neighborhoods for conservation, beautification and preservation projects that enhance the character and charm of the area.
And although she has the natural good looks of Mattel’s Blonde Barbie Doll, Summer has a love for something that conjures up a more gothic image. She loves all kinds of music, but especially heavy metal. “Being the only blonde chick at a concert in a sea of black hair and black fingernails is my jam!” She even dabbles a bit in playing guitar.
While Summer’s life looks like it could be all sunny, she says she’s had tough time too, like when her dad was in the hospital in ICU for 45 days after a massive quadruple bypass heart surgery. “Being five hours away from all of my family was so hard--when someone you love is sick and you can’t be there for them.” Finally, After many prayers, her dad woke up and has spent the last six years recovering.
When Summer first moved to the metroplex, she lived in a townhouse in Addison for eight years, “Where I think everyone starts when they first move to Dallas!” Then she moved to a high rise in Downtown, and was on the 17th floor, “The greatest apartment ever with the best views.” Missing a neighborhood feel, she moved to Uptown in West Village and lived there for the next five years.
Finally she decided to take a stab at buying a home, went to Oak Cliff in Wynnewood North. She purchased “An amazing midcentury home, remodeled it, stayed for a year and a half and had some neighbors who fell in love with my home and my fabulous mountain of a backyard, so I sold it to them!”
Loving the Oak Cliff community so much, she chose to stay. She moved into the new Novel Apartments in Bishop Arts and couldn’t be happier. She’s made it her home, and plans to stay there and keep helping homeowners refinance and maintain their financial goals, while helping new buyers purchase the home of their dreams. She can also help a home buyer who wants to renovate their existing home or one they are purchasing with a special loan that allows funds for updating and repairs to a house. Summer used this type of loan when she purchased her Wynnewood North house and immediately updated both bathrooms.
Over the next decades, as her business booms, Summer hopes to hire an amazing assistant who allows her to spend more time with her clients and realtors who take care of her and sends her referrals. She also would love to stay in the Oak Cliff Community, be married to “an amazing husband who holds my heart,” and have her sweet dog Hunter by her side.
And maybe she can indulge in her love of Rock ‘N Roll at a local Karaoke night – possibly right there below her home, at B Brewed LTD. She can invite her Oak Cliff Women in Business friends to join her – after all, they’ve already been there, thanks to her. It’ll be a musical win-win for all.
For more information on the nonprofit group Oak Cliff Women in Business, see the group's Facebook page or contact Summer directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Porter, MBA, write stories about local heroes, nonprofits and small businesses in the Dallas Metroplex. Contact her at email@example.com or Porter People PR on Facebook.