Originally from New York City and Darien, Connecticut, I moved to a waterfront Cape in Cushing, Maine in 1992. My new Maine property was an 1800's saltwater farm and then, from the 1920's until I purchased it, a summer home in dire need of restoration. In Connecticut, after I had an old Five Mile River boat house moved and turned into an addition to our main house, I caught the "renovation disease". I discovered how much fun it was to put your own stamp on a property. I found I had an affinity for older houses and, even though a new house is cost effective and practical, I liked the sense of history that old houses carry. I discovered that I enjoyed turning a house into my own while maintaining the integrity of the original structure.
I thought the Maine project would be quick and easy and during the process, I could continue my career as a writer and illustrator of children's books. However, the Maine project took over my life and happily, I completely succumbed to the restoration and renovation process. As the Maine property was nearing completion, I wound up working part time for the company who installed the tiles in the bathrooms and kitchen. It was there that I noticed a lack of tiles made specifically for children's bathrooms. Making tile meant for children's spaces was a limited market but it was one that united my children's publishing world with my love of renovation. Animal Tile Works became an ongoing venture where I designed and made molds for tiles that were then handmade and hand painted in Guatemala. The tiles are carried in stores nationwide and in Canada and the inventory has expanded to include tile lines for a wider use. Just as my children's book career segued into developing a tile business, it was another natural segue to go from the tile business, where I developed a special interest in designing kitchens and bathrooms, to real estate. I joined the real estate community in 2003.
A few years later, I moved from the salt water river Cape in Cushing to yet another, 1800's Cape in the middle of Camden village. Naturally, I found a property that was also in need of full renovation but it also had a enchanting English garden created by a master gardener. I now seem to have turned my thoughts from maintaining my garden to landscaping in general. I have found what I enjoy the most in my real estate practice is that it allows me to share my design ideas, and what I have learned along the way, with my clients. I like to see possibilities, the " what ifs '', not just with the houses but also with the surrounding land. Whether it is an in town lot or several acres on the ocean or the country, I enjoy creating outdoor private places and keeping a house in balance with its land.