Local Love: Maria and Taylor West

Welcome to our new Series #LocalLove where we will be featuring High Point families and what they love about living in High Point.

Today we will be turning the camera around and focusing on our very own Photographer Extraordinaire, Maria West.

Maria has been a photographer for over 15 years capturing portrait and lifestyle images in the HP community and beyond. You can check out her work here : ZoZo Photography. Taylor is a freelance furniture designer who works in a creative office environment with 11 other artists and engineers here in High Point.  He enjoys creating both unique  designs and complete lifestyle whole-home collections and loves working with a variety of different people across the industry and internationally.  He enjoys time with his family and fly fishing in the mountains for leisure.

Gratefully, we had the opportunity to sit down with Maria and Taylor to learn more about their backgrounds and what they love about High Point.

Q. How did you and Taylor land in High Point?

A. Taylor grew up in High Point, in Davidson County and attended Ledford High.  Coming from a family in furniture design, Taylor knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a designer.  Regardless of where life took him, Taylor always knew he would be back in the furniture capital of High Point.

We met in Michigan attending Kendall College of Art & Design, where we both felt enriched by the culture of creativity within the school and the city of Grand Rapids.  After graduating in 2005, we made High Point our home and began our careers in the arts.

Photography by A. McGrath Photography

Q. Why do you love High Point?

A. We love High Point for many reasons.  High Point is a creative hub and a unique city in the aspect of design and the arts, but it also has so much untapped potential to develop even further into a place where community can thrive.  We are continuously inspired by this.  Taylor plays an active part of the development of the city through various board seats such as the City Project and Forward High Point, and we feel encouraged by the momentum that is happening.  We love seeing new energy within the city and are most definite cheerleaders for new businesses and development that bring us all together.

Photography by A. McGrath Photography

Q. What is special about the area?

A. We love that High Point has a small town feel.  As exciting as it is to live in an “international city”, HP is also the type of place where everyone knows everyone!  This makes it a great place to raise a family.  High Point is a friendly city but yet one with rich history.  We love the walkability of neighborhoods such as Emerywood, and while we lived in the Historic District of Johnson Street for over 7 years, we loved the energy that was beginning to take place with restaurants and businesses in Uptowne.

Photography by A. McGrath Photography

Q. What are your local tips on the best ways to experience the city?

A. Experiencing High Point includes enjoying what our city has to offer as well as enjoying the hustle & bustle of furniture market.  If you are not in the industry, we recommend getting a visitors pass, hopping on a free Market shuttle, and soaking up that excitement downtown offers twice a year.  (Don’t forget to eat at one of the yummy food trucks downtown!)  The Greenway in High Point is also a great way to get outdoors and also see some of the amazing campus at HPU, followed up by a visit to a hometown staple such as Biscuit Factory!

Q. What makes the area great?

A. What makes the area so amazing is raising a family here and continuing to be inspired creatively.  As a young and growing family, we have truly been grateful for the creativity and the versatility the city offers to us.  We love the close proximity to other great areas in North Carolina as well.  High Point is in such a central location; it is an easy place to take a weekend trip to both the mountains and the beaches – (which we highly recommend!)

Photography by A. McGrath Photography

Q. Favorite Restaurant?

A. Southern weekend breakfasts are best at Biscuit Factory / Evenings at 98 Asian Bistro.

Q. Place to grab a drink?

A. Bluewater Grille

Q. Hidden Secret?

A. Northwoods trails and hiking

Q. Best Shop?

A. We have been loving our local bookstore, Sunrise Books!

On a personal note, I have to share my gratitude for Maria.  She has a generous heart and has been such an instrumental part in the launch of High Point Discovered.   Her passion for this city, combined with her creative lens, has been a killer combo in. helping us to create beautiful image rich content.  The majority of the images on this blog have been taken by Maria – to learn more check out ZoZo Photography!

Keep discovering our High Points,

Christi Barbour and the HPD Team