Living the dream!
I moved to Maui in 1989 with some of my college buddies to windsurf the best conditions in the world. I windsurfed almost every day for 4 years while working evenings waiting tables at the Rusty Harpoon in Kaanapali. I would airbrush surfboards for the local shapers in the mornings before the wind would come up and helped start a windsurfing magazine with some friends. In 1994 I started Tradewind Graphics after the graphics company I was working for shut down and left me all their clients.
I got married to my best friend, Kristy, in 1995 in Kapalua and have two great kids. Kristy and I built a house in more affordable South Maui and have lived there for 22+ years.
I began collecting Tiki mugs after seeing an ad for MunkTiki in HOUSE magazine. My first mug was MunkTiki’s Super Tiki Deluxe. After visiting Paul and Miles at their home in Carmel, I began dreaming of making Tiki Mugs, but didn’t have the resources on Maui. I drew up some ideas and eventually had my first mug made in China. One day a ceramic artist walked into my graphics studio to see if I could help him put together a book of his art. In exchange for helping put his book together he helped me make my first Tiki Mug. We have become great friends and I still talk ceramics with him to this day.
In 2008 I was diagnosed with stage 4 Carcinoid cancer (same type of tumors as Steve Jobs). I had the primary tumor removed but the cancer has taken hold in my liver. I have undergone Chemo treatments every 28 days for the past 12+ years. I have had several surgeries to remove cancer from my intestines which has left me 60 lbs underweight and makes it difficult to eat normally and to gain weight. They have removed or bypassed much of my small intestine. In 2019 I did a new treatment called Lutathera, which is a Nuclear Radiation treatment administered over 8 months. It seems to have slowed the growth of my existing tumors, but I’m still struggling to maintain a healthy weight. My current scans (11-15-2020) show my cancer has taken over. I’m beyond the point of treatments and surgeries. Doctors are only giving me a few months to live. My first home made Tiki mug was named Carson as an awareness tool, after my diagnosis of Carcinoid cancer.
Today, I only am able to spend 10-15 hours a week in my graphic design studio creating brochures, logos and websites. I try to make it to Tiki Oasis every year and enjoy my tiki visitors who often end up eating pizza with me at the South Shore Tiki Lounge. I make mugs as a hobby in the evenings and weekends, so am only able to make a few a month. With my health issues I’m only able to work on mugs for a few hours in the mornings before I need to rest and recover.