It’s never too late to find your passion. Recently, at one of my craft shows. someone asked how I got started with my little art business and where do my ideas come from? I guess I need to start at the beginning. I was raised in Stowe, Vermont a beautiful ski town in the Green Mountains. Art class was always my favorite but I also enjoyed sports like skiing, skating, golf and tennis.    My first real job was being a ski instructor while going to college. I started as an art education major at the University of Vermont but changed course to study health & physical education. I played golf competitively and that is what inspired me to move to Florida so I could play all year round and enter more tournaments. During this time, I still dabbled in art and even taught a summer art program for kids on Longboat Key.   Needing to find a job, I worked in a local restaurant where I made contact with someone who was hiring for a small commuter airline. I was hired as a flight attendant and went to work for Florida Air Lines flying to most major cities in Florida. The airline was eventually purchase by PBA (Provincetown Boston Airline) and I became a snowbird flight attendant spending my summers on Cape Cod and then back to Florida for the winter. I would always have my sketch pad with me while traveling.    The goal of most employees working for a commuter is to get hired by a major carrier. I applied to them all and was eventually hired by Delta Air Lines. I ended up back in New England based in Boston. After a few years of winter weather again, I knew I wanted to go back to Florida. I met my husband, got married, had two children and art fell by the wayside. I ended up teaching physical education at their school and took over the organization of the yearly art festival.    As the kids got older and more independent, I began to get back to my art. I became obsessed with polymer clay and started designing jewelry. Initially I gave my pieces to family and friends, but they encouraged me to sell it at local craft fairs and gift shops. I started my first business The Crazy Bead Chick. 

Fun Polymer Clay Fish Necklaces

It was a lot of fun but I knew I wanted to get back to painting. One day I looked out my window and saw a palm frond shuck on the ground (the shuck is the woody part that attaches to the palm tree on one end and the frond is found on the other end) It had the shape of a fish so I painted it, put it on Facebook and had tons of offers to buy it. That’s when a light bulb went off and I combined my love of hiking with searching for palm frond shucks and seed pods. I would soak them in my swimming pool and lay them out flat with boards to dry in the sun. Voila! Free canvas! I loved every minute of painting these fun pieces but it was tedious and slow going. I would have to paint all week just to have enough pieces to sell at the craft shows. It became exhausting. I started to look for ways to work smarter not harder.   

I changed my business name to Tropical Art Chick and began to create artwork that could be put on products like purses, handbags, wallets & totes. I would create the art and then digitally send a file to the printer and they would produce my inventory. I sold mainly online and things were going well until the pandemic hit. 

I was unable to get my orders and decided that I was just going to close up shop. My hiatus away from art lasted about three months when I started playing around with the Salty Sayings Collection. I’ve always loved fun beachy signs on wood or posters.  I did my first design “No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise” and before I knew it, I had over 50 designs. 

I started selling wholesale and consignment to gift shops and went back to the craft markets. This has been my most successful venture yet and I have some big plans for growth in the future. I never thought that at the tender age of 68 I would have found my passion. I always joke with people when they ask me about the name “Tropical Art Chick”. I tell them I was a chick when I started the business. Now I’m just an old hen.    Age truly is “just a number”. Keep searching for those things that excite you and make you look forward to each and every day. It’s never too late!  You can learn more about me and my art at