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 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 20 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 get my ceramic slip from him.
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 will continue mild Chemo treatments every 28 days until they find a better solution. The treatments are working and I have almost no side effects. My first home made Tiki mug was named Carson as an awareness tool soon after my diagnosis of Carcinoid cancer. I often use “Liver Cancer” as an excuse to stop drinking early.
Today, I still spend 40+ hours a week in my graphic design studio creating brochures, logos and websites. I paddleboard when I have beach time and am vice president of a whale research team. 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. People wonder why I don’t quit my job and do mugs full time, I tell them that it would then be my job and would become work!