the Sundance story

Told by Julia 

I, Julia Hay, and my fiance Nolan Bell are the founders and owners of Sundance & Co.

Our story began in 2009 when we met through friends in our small town. For a few years, we were simply best friends. With a strong foundation of frequent ice cream “dates,” weekends spent jackpotting show pigs, and spontaneous adventures, our relationship grew. Now, on July 27, 2019 we’ll be married!

You could say our journey to Sundance & Co. began in the fall of 2015 when we packed up our belongings and moved to Texas. That fall, I began my freshman year at Texas A&M University while Nolan continued his career as an auctioneer and added 'Texas Auction Academy Instructor' to his already impressive resume. During that first semester, I found myself 1,300 miles from home and homesick.

I decided to start a personal blog to help relieve my homesickness. I started blogging weekly about just about anything that came to mind. At that same time Nolan and I were also exploring our new “home” state every weekend with a camera in tow. Then, in the spring, I was sitting in Intro to Ag Comm when Dr. Tobin Redwine burst through the door and asked who wanted to go to Namibia.

I was immediately intrigued by his enthusiasm for storytelling and for this sub-Saharan African country he claimed would “change your life.” Of course I wanted to study photojournalism that summer in Namibia! Long story short, I applied, I went, my life was forever changed.

Just a week after returning from Namibia, the opportunity came about to become the official livestock photographer for the Somerset County Fair — at the time, my dream gig! Without even blinking, I jumped at the opportunity. In less than two weeks time, Nolan and I started Sundance & Co.

Now, photographing the livestock shows at the Somerset County Fair is still something I look forward to each year. But it is amazing to see how this dream has grown and evolved since then.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being here and for being a part of our Sundance story.




Some of my favorite photos of us from throughout the years.