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Lara Neece

In 2009, I quit my editing job, moved onto a small sailboat, and decided to become an artist. During the early years, my husband and I renovated our 37-foot sailboat Illusion, sailed up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and explored the islands of the Bahamas. Utilizing as much wind and solar energy as we needed, we cut back on our water usage and transformed a unique mode of transportation into a lifestyle. 

What started out as an adventure became a whole slew of new experiences in art, blogging, sailing, and design that turned into a passion for the environment, and ultimately a full-time art and design businessI am an award-winning artist, a self-taught graphic designer, and bootstrapping entrepreneur. I've participated in solo and group art shows in the Southeast and exhibited in several juried events, winning awards for my wood panel illustrations, and have artwork hanging in public art collections.

When I returned to the US after traveling for a year and a half, I spent the last of my savings on screen-printing equipment, set up a print studio, and created my company Forest and Fin. I designed and printed my first nature-inspired screen-printed apparel by hand, using water-based inks and a manual press. Forest and Fin balances beauty, functionality, and responsible design to inspire people to spend more time outside. Items are made as earth-friendly as possible with portions of revenue giving back to environmental conservation efforts. For more info about Forest and Fin apparel, visit www.forestandfin.com.