Somewhere there’s a photo in a family album capturing me and a neighbor’s kids with red faces, sweaty brows, and bright smiles behind a makeshift ‘lemonade stand’.
Of course, as an early entrepreneur at a mere ten years old, I was up with the roosters making an awful mess of my mother’s kitchen, scooping Country Time lemonade and squeezing lemons.
When I sold that first glass for ten cents to a thirsty hiker, I felt like I won the lottery! It was worth getting up early and making a mess in the kitchen…that I most likely caught a little hell for. It stirred a feeling that I certainly didn’t understand at a young age.
I had produced a product; something I was proud to share. I only made fifty cents that day—one glass sold to a thirsty hiker and four to my dad. Nevertheless, that lemonade stand planted a very powerful seed. A seed that sprouted repeatedly as I grew into a successful designer, creative, and business owner.
It was Pride.
This past spring I spied a little gem in Naples—a petite house in her heyday, and an American Dream. An obtainable homestead in Southwest Florida, it’s a perfect little oasis. Forty-two years ago, she arrived to Naples on a truck. Today she’s tired and, very much like myself, needs to be whipped into shape!
Last month I honestly thought she might get ‘whipped’ or swept right into the Gulf of Mexico as Ian’s wrath hammered our beloved Southwest Florida, but she proved she’s a fighter. The little house sustained little damage—merely a cracked window and a series of downed branches. In the short few months that she had become ours she was already showing us she was all American…resilient, strong, and brave. I saw the aftermath of Ian firsthand. She was brave!
This little house is about to deliver my American Dream. That dream is so much more than
home ownership, which my husband and I achieved decades ago. My American Dream goes
deeper, and it all began with that pitcher of lemonade and the discovery of pride in a product.
I strive to celebrate American craftsman and manufacturing.
Imagine a home where the insulation is manufactured in Fernley, NV, tile is crafted in Dallas, TX
and Lexington, KY. A home where counters are manufactured in LeSueur, MN, flooring made in
Barnwell SC and lights are designed and produced in Castleton VT.
There are naysayers who have told me for years that a home cannot be remolded or built with
only American made products. I am here to show you it can be, and it does not need to be cost
This is Living Large in Small Spaces, brought to you by America the Beautiful.
It is bigger than just a little house that is exquisitely designed and cleverly appointed. This is the American dream. This is Americans at their finest. This is what it means to be American.