When paths are meant to cross...
When paths are meant to cross, they do.
I’m always on the look out for uniqueness to bring to our family, and when I found Deb late one night scrolling while I couldn’t sleep……. I knew I needed to reach out.“To the Ocean I go, to lose my mind and find my Soul” is one of my favorite sayings and I desired a piece of artwork in my house with it. So I reached out.
She was amazing to work with through the commission process, but honestly I wanted one saying, waves and a turtle and let her creative vibes flow. And just like y’all, I wasn’t disappointed.
Her and her husband Mike delivered my piece to the shop, and felt like I ran into an old friend when I first met her. Upbeat and full of energy.
Fast forward to going on 2 years this summer and I look forward to our talks in the kid drop off lines in the morning; chatting about new ideas and sharing the excitement and energy of her journey. Watching her ideas flow onto paper and become a reality right out of her home that she is slowly turning into her own personal workshop. As each beauty is created it opens up a new opportunity for growth. I’m so elated to have Deb apart of my exclusive family of artist and as a friend. Watching her grow and allowing our partnership to shine is truly an honor to watch and be a part of.
I was born and raised in a small town called Rutledge (supposedly named after Abraham Lincolns sweetheart) in Delaware County on the outskirts of Philadelphia. One of the best parts of growing up was spending a lot of my summers at my grandparents beach house in Avalon, NJ. That’s right , “down the shore”. Right when we would arrive my grandmother would approach with paper bags for me and my siblings to pull weeds from the pebbled yard. We would spend the entire days on the beach, eating lunch on our beach towels with our sandy PB&J’s, catching minnows in the gullies, burying each other in the sand, and floating on our rafts amongst the waves for hours. At night we would head to Stone Harbor, the air cooler and our skin warmer from the sun all day, eating ice cream and shopping for new sweatshirts that have Avalon scrawled across the front with 2 boat oars crossed underneath. Or after dinner we ride the tandem bike to the candy store for a bag of penny candy. That house and those summers are some of my best memories and that is why I love the ocean and beach today, I get all those memories flooding back every time I set foot in the sand or just smell the salty air.
My Dad and grandfather were both graphic artists. As a little girl I loved traveling by train into the city to visit their art studio. A group of 8 artists, of all different styles, made up “Graphic Consortium”. EVERYTHING art was at my fingertips. The airbrushes, the 100’s of markers of every size and color, paints and brushes of every kind, and a row of cubicles filled with drafting tables. I would spend all day at those tables, only stopping for a quick lunch in nearby Chinatown. My Dad was always so patient in guiding and teaching me all he knew.
After graduating high school I attended Bloomsburg university for 2 years before coming home and switching to Hussian School of Art in downtown Philadelphia. I made Deans list for the 2 years I attended and absolutely loved the school and being in the city everyday. But in my youthful mind at the time, I decided I was going to make all the money in the world tending bar. So I quit art school. My parents moved to Naples Florida and I moved in with a friend who was a dental hygienist. After tending bar for about a year, the hours were not ideal for a girl who is definitely a morning person and not a night owl at all! My roommate talked me into dental assisting , and that’s where my 23 year dental career began.
A couple years later I up and moved to Duck, NC with my high school sweetheart. If there is anything nice I can say about that relationship its that it got me here to beautiful NC! I had never been to the Outer Banks before and I had NO idea what to expect. Lets just say I found it slightly shocking from the hustle and bustle of the city and I was ready to have some fun! As I searched for my next dental assisting job I spent my days on the beach, riding horses, and I bought my first horse! Which turned into 18 years of owning horses and barrel racing all over NC, SC, and VA. But soon after I bought that first horse I fell off and broke my arm. The orthopedic surgeon introduced me to his best friend who was a periodontist searching for an assistant. I was hired right away, with only 1 working arm, and it turned into a 21 year long career with the best boss ever.
In 2005 I met my wonderful husband Mike (who has always supported every single one of my crazy ideas, and is my biggest fan), Luke was born in 2007 and Silas came along in 2016 and his adoption was finalized in 2018. The best days of my life!
Looking back and writing this, I realize I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I've always used some sort of creativity as hobbies dreaming that one day it would be my “job”. In 2015 I started painting furniture. In 2016 I bought a scroll saw, then a table saw, then a mitre saw, etc. I was loving the creative journey I was on
When Silas was adopted I took a break to be with the kids, it was a wonderful time but at the same time I was missing my art. I picked it back up in late 2019. In early 2020 Steff ordered a custom piece from me. She never revealed who she was until I was finished with her piece and when she said she had a store front in Virginia Beach I just had to hand deliver her piece...I wanted to see that store! We hit it off and have never looked back!
Things became a little crazy, obviously, when Covid hit. Navigating those times with kids became very difficult and unpredictable. After all the ups and downs with school, and the dental office I came to the conclusion that this was the time to take the leap and go full time artist. And I did just that in October 2020. I'm finally where I truly have always wanted to be. God had a plan and I just had to be patient and trust the journey. I don’t take one single day for granted on this amazing journey. I'm so thankful for it and all the incredible people who have been, and continue to be, part of it.