My mom…mentor…inspiration…cheerleader and ‘bestie’……among many other attributes!
What makes more sense than starting a business at the age of 83? Not much.
Sal graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Masters Degree in painting in the late 50’s. Since then, she has enjoyed a 63 year career of selling her work to individuals as well as corporations. ‘Painting has always been my first love creatively.’
Sally’s love of all things creative, delicious, celebratory, and funny have always been contagious! Whether her kids were in the mood or not there were usually Broadway Musical soundtracks playing in the background to her whipping up a gourmet dinner for 12 guests.
Throughout her nearly 50 year marriage to my father they hosted hundreds of dinner parties for friends and family. I never thought about it growing up but our house was always filled with parties – nobody ever said no to a Dick and Sally event!
During the 80’s when her kids were going through college, she sent care packages of brownies and cookies to the boys, and I got home made bran muffins…trust me, I didn’t need the sweets…most weeks we each got packages.
The business woman
Back in the 70’s Sal organized an art fair in our neighborhood, The Gregory Street Art Fair – every neighbor participated on some level whether by hosting a dunking booth in their backyard pool, carnival games in garages, a puppet show, a pet parade, hot dog stands in front yards, you name it, she thought of it and got it done.
By the late 80’s, after her four kids were grown and out of the house, she started an Open Studio event in the house to sell her oil paintings. As years passed and the Open Studio gained popularity she managed to always increase the number of like-minded artisans wanting to sell their wares – ceramics, jewelry, hand made papers, weavings, jams, candy – you name it – Sal had it! She organized and hosted 15 years of Open Studio events, it was the place to be the first week of December each year.
Sally's Nuts isn’t really her first business endeavor, just the first official ‘accountant necessary’ business.
The Birth of Sally's Nuts
Which brings us to Sally’s Nuts today. For at least the last 15 years, or so…Sal has gifted friends and family at the holidays with Sally’s Nuts. Recipients have actually returned empty jars for refills before New Years!
During the Open Studio years, batches of nuts would go home with artisan’s and patrons of the sale. Each year people would say, “oh Sally, you really should sell these, they are the best nuts I have ever tasted!”. Sal would smile and say thank you. This happened year after year…after year.
Each year Sal enjoys the compliments and scratches her head on the thought of making it a business…well, this is the year! No more wondering if Sally’s Nuts can make a go of it, here she is, doing it…no better time than the present.
Way to go mom! We are all behind you cheering you on!