Member Spotlight: Billy Zeb Smith

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Billy Zeb Smith

“Experience and relationships trump all.”

WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I’m a producer and a designer. After working in the TV and doco worlds, I just wrapped my first narrative feature, a story about a father and daughter reconnecting on the back of an old Harley as they camp their way across the Northern Rockies. In the design world, I’ve done menswear for Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs back in New York, but just recently launched TheClothespInn with my wife, my first foray into womenswear. 

WHAT IS THE NAME AND AGE OF YOUR CHILD?

My daughter Posy is 3, and my son’s set to arrive at the start of September.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF BEING A FATHER?

If I gotta pick one, watching her make good decisions when she doesn’t know I’m watching, or seeing her do something I taught her. Gets me every time.

AND WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING?

In the beginning there’s no sleep for anyone. For us, that lasted a while. What proved to me to be most challenging was the thing I forgot to think about. Plainly, remembering to give my wife and marriage some attention, too. I just figured it would keep up on its own. No matter how tired you are, mama’s got it ten times worse. Get flowers, rub feet, repeat.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CAREER ACHIEVEMENT THUS FAR?

Being named Performer of the Year at the AVN Awards.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEW TO YOUR INDUSTRY?

Get out there and get in it as much as you can. Find mentors and masters, and listen and learn. Experience and relationships trump all. For Design, watch the world and trust your instincts. They’re all that separate you from the shitheads.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR A NEW DAD?

Put your fucking phone down. The call can wait. So can the post. Childhood won’t.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE ACTIVITY WITH YOUR KIDS?

We try to get out and into nature as much as possible. So whether that’s camping or sailing or safari, being outside and being a kid with your kid is one hundred percent the best way to spend a day.

ANY EXCITING PROJECTS COMING UP?

Yup! Next big thing in the works.