Born and raised in Virginia Beach, my family has owned a salt box in Kill Devil Hills since my inception. The Outer Banks was our vacation spot, here and Snowshoe WV were where my most cherished memories were made. Though I love the mountains, I do not love the cold and I simply can not fathom an existence further than 10 miles from the sea...so a move to the West was not in the cards for me.
After graduating high school I immediately joined the workforce, taking a job at a brand new franchise organization. It was a fun and fast moving company and I was in on the ground floor. I spent almost 20 years at the same company, learning and growing in unison, 17 of those years in the Marketing Department. That is until 2017, when we were bought out by a group of venture capitalists and the fate of my complacent existence began to quake... In the two years prior I had also lost my Mom and Grandma, each a year a part, to the dreaded C word and it really began to dawn on me that this life, it's not a dress rehearsal.
Even though I had allowed myself the comfort of staying in the same company for my entire adult life, I always had in the back of my mind known that I would one day own my own business. In August of 2017, in the midst of the turmoil at work, I made a trip down to our cottage and scrolling through Facebook I saw that there was an art show going on in Rodanthe, NC. I loaded up my 7 month old sweet P and headed South. It was there at the Island Art Show, hosted by Randi O'Sullivan, that I took my first step towards my dream! Today Muse features 6 of the artists that I met that day, including Randi.
This video was shot by a local Ignite Films just after we opened in 2018, Alex couldn't have contacted me in a more perfect time! I am so grateful for things like this that lined up perfectly to light my path and continue to do so...
Well, if life has taught me anything it is to remain fluid... After putting my nose to the grindstone and creating what I thought was my dream, the calendar flipped to the year 2020 and reminded me to hold on tight! Muse had done well, but still in it's infancy being forced to shut down for several months was a little difficult. I took those weeks and months of the 2020 Covid shut down to rethink my life and my goals and on May 1st I made a new plan. I reached out to local restaurants first to see if it was a viable idea and within one hour I had my answer, a resounding YES from the newest owners of the Rundown Cafe in Kitty Hawk! I decided to close my sweet little store and take the show on the road, literally!
On May 21st I bought a school bus, Jonathan, our friend Troy and I began planning our attack, we had just 4 weeks to turn this 22 year old retired school bus into a roving skoolie art gallery. Through multiple obstacles including a couple of tropical storms and a 7 day rain storm.... we persevered and the new Muse Originals Skoolie Art Bus popped up, on my 40th birthday, at the Rundown Cafe for the first time alongside 7 other artists and their tents! WE DID IT!
And we are still doing it, weekly, at Rundown Cafe, The Currituck Club in Corolla and Outer Banks Brewing Station with more locations to come!
If you have a venue and would like to partner up please give me a shout!
Cheers to 2020 and turning lemons into lemonade...