Who exactly is BoatShowGirl?
Well, that’s kind of a million dollar question.
Before I became BSG, I used to spend my summers as a pre/teen going down to our friend’s houseboat on Lake Cumberland in Somerset KY. That’s where it started: my love for the water. Everything about it was magical. We celebrated Christmas in July, had major cookouts where lots of beer cheese was eaten, late nights walking up and down the dock and being with friends/family. After our friend sold the houseboat, I found solace in a small lake nearby where I lived, and then when I moved out of KY to NC, I found another lake. That’s all I had for a while.
When I moved to Florida in 2011, I spent so much time walking the beach, spending time writing poetry by the water, taking photos and relating everything to this Pirate life I was living. And, at that time, I lived it and I lived it hard. I took a job that geared me towards the industry a few months after moving here. It was a side job that turned into building an entire business from scratch. What an adventure.
In 2012 or 2013, I went to my first boat show: Miami International (at the old location). I fell in love. I took thousands of photos (no joke) and couldn’t wait until the next one… I bet that I went to 10-12 boat shows the first two years after going to Miami. I knew I wanted to do something with boat shows but I just didn’t know what. Just being in the atmosphere at the boat shows brought me to another level of refreshing. I came back to work with new ideas, inspiration and almost a cleansing of the soul. I became addicted to the feeling.
After 3 years, I left that first job in the industry, only to end up working at my favorite company for 3 years after that. And now–to date–I’ve been working with my current company for about a year now. So, 7 years of being in the marine industry doing multiple things and working around and getting to know a whole lot of people.
In 2016, when I returned to the theatre after a 12 year gap, I ended up working backstage or stage managing almost every show we put on and that has continued up until this summer. With having said that, I had to give up traveling to boat shows and being BSG because the dates always coincided. I’ve lost some momentum and I also went to high burn-out (of which, I declared I never would) with boat shows.
Now that I have a little bit of a break, I am trying to return to my roots to figure out what I can do with my brand to take it to the next level. My roots started with passion and happenstance, I know, if I stop forcing myself to come up with something and just do it…the ideas will flow. So that’s where I am. It’s August, and I am having a bit of the boat show fever… so I can definitely say I can’t wait until Tampa, IBEX, FLIBS (I hope I get to go), Ft Myers and St Pete. I will be there.
Always, Karen Maeby – Boat Show Girl