The epitome of the girl next door practically lives next door to me. This month’s PaperCity Bomb Girl is the effervescent Margot Ruebel. Margot’s life has had many layers: glamorous model, wife and mother, volunteer, and now “tweaker” (more on that later). For many years, she jetted around the globe working for agencies such as Ford Models in New York, Karin Models in Paris, and of course, Dallas’ Kim Dawson Agency. While living in Los Angeles, she was also Mike Ovitz’s assistant at his powerhouse talent firm, Creative Artists Agency.
“I had a magical time meeting so many celebrities,” she recalls of her modeling days. One night at a bar in Tokyo, “I played backgammon with Daryl Hall and John Oates. Years later, when I was living in Aspen, I bumped into Oates and reminded him, in a non-stalker way, that we had once gamed together.”
Margot’s mother encouraged her to enter beauty pageants while she was in high school as a way to launch a modeling career. Naturally, Margot won her first competition: Miss Dallas Teenager. But just weeks after winning that sash, the family suffered a terrible tragedy: Margot’s father and older brother were killed when their small plane crashed in Mexico.
Barely a month later, Margot had to travel to Miami for the national Miss Teen All American Pageant, even though it was the last thing she wanted to do. She won that title, too. And, as her mother predicted, Margot’s modeling career took off.
Few couples are as stop-traffic good looking as Margot and her husband, Darin. They’ve known each other for most of their lives, since he also grew up in Dallas and attended Highland Park High School. But the sparks didn’t fly until years after graduation, when they were both modeling and booked for the same photo shoot. Now, married almost 30 years, they have two children, Ian and Haley. Both are in L.A. and since fashion seems to be in the Ruebel DNA, Haley has the distinction of being Tom Ford’s personal assistant.
What has Margot been doing professionally for the past couple of years? Well, she’s a tweaker. No, not some ne’er do well from Breaking Bad. That’s what she calls her style of interior design. She and Darin are those rolling stones that gather no moss — they’ve settled in Dallas, Los Angeles, Telluride, Aspen, Santa Fe, and finally back home to Dallas. She’s learned to be resourceful. Margot established her business, aptly named Tweak, to help clients stage their homes to sell, get a new home move-in ready, prepare for a soirée, or seasonally update. Tweak’s motto is quite simple: “Sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest difference.”
Margot is also dedicated to many community charities. However, Children’s Medical Center — where she was president of the Women’s Auxiliary and has had many board roles — is her priority.
“I was born with a hole in my heart, and I spent the first six years of my life constantly at Children’s Medical Center,” she says. “Their mission is to make life better for children.”
All I can say is that the hole somehow made her heart a little bigger.
Approximate date of the photo.
The Miss Teen All American Pageant.
What you were wearing?
A homemade Dallas Cowboys cheerleader uniform. Those were my Lacoste tennis shorts from Camp Waldemar and were clearly not as short as they should have been. Too bad!
What makes this photo special to you?
The girl in this picture is actually really sad. Her dad and brother had just passed away, and she was alone in Miami (my mother had to stay in Dallas to care for my younger brother and sister). I think this is a testament to my strength and character. I was obligated to do this, so I followed through and was still able to smile during such a difficult time.