For 4 years now I’ve paddled Florida’s waterways and collected trash from the mangroves. I’ve recovered over 6,000 hooks, over 400 lures, piles of plastic bags, 5 flies and zero cases of tetanus. At first I disposed of the things I found, but when I noticed it was more of a problem than I thought I started documenting my journey on the water and the hauls I would bring back. It felt silly to throw away lures that were practically new so I started saving them. I used them for Christmas decorations and have given some to local artists to paint and spread the word of awareness. I flirted with the idea of creating a company that would repurpose the lures and help keep the coastline clean. I finally got past flirting and took the plunge into commitment.
I’ve had the online store live for 2 weeks exactly when I ran out of stock this past Saturday. What can I say, but I’m shocked! Most of my recycled lures were bought by local fisherman, but the bulk was bought by fellow islander and charter boat captain, Cliff Gilchrist. I think it’s a misconception that fisherman are out there just blindly casting into trees and doing nothing to take care of it. Cliff is a great example of how many fisherman are. Whenever he’s out he does his part to pick up what he finds. And now, he’s using all natural, locally sourced lures.
To those of you who have supported and encouraged me to do this, thank you. I can’t tell you how much it fills my heart with joy to be on the water and make people on the beach speculate as to what the crazy woman is doing in the trees. This week I’ll be cutting my first two checks to nonprofits and creating shadow boxes to showcase some of my more interesting finds. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, the store can be found here.
I’m pretty much out of everything right now (first world problems) but will be restocking in the next few days.