Designer for Hire

Our Story

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What do you get when you take a passion for design, style, architecture and the arts, a love of Tucson, and some of the most knowledgeable and talented contributors in town?

The answer is this online magazine, one that celebrates Tucson’s culture and arts, its people, places and spaces, like no other publication has done.

What do we love?

* Burrowing deep for a better, smarter story.

* People, places and spaces that are making waves.

* Hectic city life and quiet desert calm, in equal measure.

* A clean, modern aesthetic, a bit of funk, some mid century modernism, the 1950s.

Put it all in one big pot, give it our own stir, and what do you have? A mag that’s attracting a big, devoted following, getting noticed, and has won awards for its reporting. We also put out video and radio stories. Listen to those here.

Tucson, it seems to us, offers a wealth of stories, ideas, cool buildings, burgeoning small businesses and tucked-away spaces and places. It has outstanding talent among its architects, designers and artists – many of them drawn to the place for the very same reasons we were. And there’s a community spirit unlike anything we have witnessed elsewhere. It is, despite its triple digit temperatures in the summer, way cool.

Talking of triples, we also love things that come in threes – hence the title of the mag. You’ll find three main stories plus other additional features. (Got a story of your own to share? Then email us: [email protected])

In September 2013 we celebrated our first birthday with this video and (gasp!) custom song by Tucson blues man and harmonica fiend Tom Walbank. Thanks to Tom, filmmaker Bret Primack, Hotel Congress, and all who participated.

Who we are gillian

Gillian Drummond (Editor) came to Tucson in 1998 with the aim of having a two-year adventure then moving on. Like many transplants to the Wild West, she never quite managed to leave. Originally from Scotland, she moved here from London, where she had written for a slew of business and consumer magazines, and newspapers. She continued her freelance work in Tucson, carving out a niche in homes and interiors writing. She is also a communications consultant. When not being a workaholic and mother of two, she enjoys the cinema, walking her dog, cycling around Reid Park, and Friday night cocktails with her pals.

Her credentials: MA (Hons) in Linguistics, Edinburgh University; more than 20 years as a journalist, including assistant editor, Family Circle (U.K.); writing credits include The Guardian, The Scotsman, Sunday Times Scotland, Marketing magazine, Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden, Inside Tucson Business, The Arizona Daily Star. (Visit for more.) She has also been a contributor to Arizona Spotlight on NPR 89.1 FM. Email her: [email protected]


Joan Calcagno (Writer and Copy Editor) has been paying attention to what goes on in Tucson since she arrived in the mid-’70s, with a Bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising and already a vintage clothing maven. So she has been shopping in Tucson since Buffalo Exchange was on Warren Street, there were just a handful of thrift shops, and only two cappuccino machines in town – one being at the Blue Willow, where she waited tables for a couple years starting the day it opened. Joan has always had an eye for vintage interiors, most recently what she calls ‘mid century modest’, which keeps her on the hunt for affordable treasures. She eventually landed in law school and spent a few decades lawyering and mediating, but now has left that all behind to explore what comes next. She writes about that transition and transformation, and other adventures, in her blog Frontage Road to Zen. When not writing, she can be found playing, outside or in – or not found, because she is off on some adventure, foreign or domestic. Email her : [email protected]

Her credentials: Bachelor’s Degree in Textiles and Clothing/Fashion Merchandising from Northern Illinois University; Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona School of Law; past co-host of a local call-in radio program What’s Your Problem?: Creative Conflict Resolution. Joan is learning to horseback ride and has recently added chicken wrangling to her resume. colleenloomis

Colleen Loomis (Creative Director) is a native of Chicago who headed west at the age of 20 to explore a different part of the country. She’s since returned to Chicago and has lived in Brooklyn, New York but is always drawn back to low-key, artistic and progressive Tucson. Colleen does freelance work as a graphic designer from her home south of downtown Tucson, where she lives with her husband and two sons. You can find more of her work at

Her credentials: Studied Visual Arts at Columbia College, Chicago and has a bachelor’s in Communication and Media Arts from the University of Arizona; worked for six years at the University of Arizona until her second child was born.

kirstinmartinbw Kirstin Martin (Advertising Manager) has been in sales for 15 years, working primarily in the TV industry. A graduate of the University of Arizona and a native of Connecticut, she has been active in the broadcasting and advertising industries for many years, as well as a volunteer for her children’s school and a board member of the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence. When she’s not running her own ad agency, AdVentures, Kirstin loves walking, sports and Tucson tacos.

Her credentials: BSc from the University of Arizona with a major in family and consumer resources and a minor in communications.

Ricardo Bracamonte (Videographer) was born and raised in Tucson, where his interest in filmmaking began. As a teenager, music videos by Jonathan Glazer, Spike Jonze and Michael Gondry sparked his fascination with editing, sound and image. His main interests are scoring original music, working in post-production, and directing documentary-based content. His family history with the border inspires him to produce documentary films about social movements. His latest documentary, Bombing Arizona, features Arizona street artists with clashing perspectives. It has been screened at numerous film festivals, including San Francisco Latino Film Festival, Chicago Latino Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival and Thin Line Film Festival. Read more about it here. Find out more about Ricardo here.

ricardo bracamonte headshot

His credentials: BFA in Film & Television Production from the University of Arizona


Darbi Davis. Photo by Jen Long Photography

Darbi Davis. Photo by Jen Long Photography

Darbi Davis (Contributor, Ground Floor columnist) is a landscape designer and holds a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture. She has worked on residential, commercial and planning projects for the local public and private sectors, and has her own design firm, Red Bark Design. She is a native of Sarasota, Florida, but since moving to Tucson in 1997 has developed an endless love for the desert. She is convinced that the marked similarities between underwater plant life and desert plant life explain her desert addiction. She loves to travel, the Gulf of Mexico, creosote, devil’s claw, scotch, music, music, music, mid century modern, collecting art, living in small cities, cooking, reading, watching seeds sprout, inappropriate humor, and the design work of James Rose. She was recently chosen as a finalist for the Gardenista Considered Design Awards, which set an abundance of Sonoran Desert native plants on center stage. Find out more about her here.

Her credentials: BA in Art History and Anthropology from the University of Arizona; Masters in Landscape Architecture (UA); Member of the American Society of Landscape Architecture; Owner of Red Bark Design, LLC


Rachel Miller (Contributor, Square Feet) is a blogger, writer, social media whiz and host of the site Love Letters to Tucson, which invites people to share their stories and thoughts on the city. She came to Tucson from the wilds of northern England more than two decades ago, to attend the University of Arizona. Rachel thought she’d stay a couple of years and then return to England. But she slowly fell in love with Tucson – the starry skies, the mountains, the history, the people, the crazy cheap but fabulous music scene, and then an astronomer. She hasn’t been able to shake the Tucson love bug since. 3 Story loved LLTT so much, we wanted to make it a regular feature in the magazine. You’ll find it here every month, as well as Rachel’s monthly property column, Square Feet. When not hosting LLTT, Rachel uses her science and health education background as a social media consultant and writer for TMC for Children and TMC for Women. 

Her credentials: BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; BA in Anthropology; MA in Teaching and Teacher Education.

And let’s not forget… co-founders Madeleine Boos and Patty Warrenboth Tucson architects, who helped launch this madcap 3 Story thang. A huge big thanks to them for their initial support and to Madeleine in particular, who as a rocking interior designer was instrumental in helping establish our vision and aesthetic.