Dan and Marsha Phillips: People on a Mission

Tonight, Ray and I had the pleasure of meeting Dan and Marsha Phillips who are in Sherman, Texas for the Earth Day celebration tomorrow.  The Phillips own a construction business in Huntsville, Texas named Phoenix Commotion, which is “a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable.” In other words, Dan and Marsha not only reduce building materials going into landfills, but also help underprivileged people built their own homes while teaching unskilled workers marketable building skills. Wow.  Now that’s impressive.

We sat at dinner with Dan and Marsha and felt as if we were talking to people with whom we were strangely connected on several levels.  First, they too are antique dealers; second, they love using salvaged materials in their building projects; third, they are on a mission to beautify the world, one building project at a time; and fourth, they embrace the small home concept, making each house unique.  And then, of course, we share the tendency to have a lot of stuff in our lives, which must be kept around because it will surely be perfect for that next project.

Both Dan and Marsha were cordial, kind and full of life. They spoke of their building projects with love in their voices. They were both modest about their efforts. It wasn’t until I returned home and started researching their organization that I learned that Dan has been featured in the New Yorker magazine, has his own TED talk and a Wikipedia page.  Dan will be the featured speaker at the Earth Day celebration here in Sherman tomorrow.  We are looking forward to hearing his talk.

Here is more information on the Phoenix Commotion: http://www.phoenixcommotion.com/

Here is the link to Dan’s Ted Talk:

Here is the link to his Wikipedia entry:


It is often said that you don’t always remember exactly what another person does, but you do remember how he/she made you feel. Dan and Marsha made Ray and me feel connected to a bigger world where people share our same values.  What a lovely discovery here in Sherman, Texas.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s