I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I was born into art. I think it was in my DNA. My Grandmother was an artist. My Mother was a painter and my Father was a painter, sculpter and potter. They had an inspiring art studio in our home, a pottery studio in our basement, and a wood fire kiln that my father made on our farm in Oregon. They both sold their art in galleries. They always encouraged me to pursue what I loved, and I had always seen them do that themselves.
In High School I painted and won several state competitions so I decided to pursue art in college. I attended Portland State University and studied fine art, graphic design, and architechture, not knowing that all those things would be essential to what I would be doing the rest of my life.
I never started out to turn my art into an "egg business". Who would do that? It started quite by accident. In the early 80's my wife and I made Christmas ornaments for Christmas Bazaars. The only reason I did them on eggs was because back then it was the cheapest thing to use. ( you could get them for 39 cents a dz). I did simple illustrations of Santas, snowmen, Christmas villages, etc.
After many years of selling our eggs at large shows we decided to see if we could sell them to Christmas shops. We took a vacation with our three kids along the west coast and sold them to finance our trip. It worked! So we did it again. And again. A couple of the stores asked us if we could draw their town on the eggs and they sold well. Other stores started calling us and before we knew it Country Christmas Eggs was "hatched"!
I realized I was on to something. I thought about how when we travel, my wife hits every Christmas shop in every town and buys an ornament from every memorable place. The problem is that most of what was available, was the same ornament with just the name of the town written on it with a pen. Many of them cheaply made imported ornaments. We could offer unique ornaments people could buy that would actually show where they had been. They could preserve their memory. The orders came flooding in and soon I had bit off more than I could chew. It quickly became a full time venture. A wonderful venture!
From then we traveled collecting orders from coast to coast. I am proud to say that the stores I started with over 30 years ago - still sell them today, including the ones that launched my career.
One of my highlights was in 1993 when I was asked to do one for the WhiteHouse. It was for a display they did of the 50 states in eggs for Easter. I was chosen to represent Oregon. It was the 150th anniversary of The Oregon Trail so I chose to do an egg commemorating that.
Today my wife and I continue to add new stores. We recently have added Historic Hotels, Wineries, Museums, and other custom ornaments. We enjoy traveling and uncovering new beautiful sites we haven't yet seen.
While taking photographs and drawing coastal villages, Historic towns, and cityscapes, I am constantly thankful that God has turned a business that started by accident into a business that combines all the things I love in life: my art, travel, time with my wife, and Christmas!
Dan currently lives in Oregon with his wife Sherry,
a dog, and 2 cats. Their greatest joy in life is spending time with their 3 grown children and 7 Grandchildren. They feel so blessed that all of them live near by.