YORK, Maine — When she couldn’t bear the physical and psychological toll of sitting and staring at a computer system all working day, Cherie Herne still left her career in 2014 as a graphic world-wide-web designer.
Herne, an eighth-generation York resident and daughter of New England rock ‘n’ roll legend Bobby Herne, had been identified with Lyme disease. She reported she skilled joint suffering, was much more forgetful than regular and at 1 position considered she was enduring early onset dementia.
“It damage me so substantially to sit and hold points with my hand or hold the mouse,” she said.
Laptop or computer code that experienced the moment been common started to appear to be at situations like a international language.
“It was like I could no lengthier read it,” she reported.
In advance of her prognosis, Herne regarded as herself to be healthful. After conducting a variety of exams, medical doctors knowledgeable her that her condition is incurable, she stated. Her muscle mass and joint discomfort are probable to worsen, along with her absence of energy and memory decline, she mentioned.
Individuals with Lyme illness who are taken care of early on with antibiotics typically recuperate promptly and completely, and most who are handled afterwards on answer well to antibiotics as perfectly, however some may possibly experience extensive-expression problems to their joints or anxious programs, according to the U.S. Facilities for Sickness Control and Prevention. Signs and symptoms typically make improvements to more than time.
A new CDC estimate dependent on insurance policies records implies about 476,000 Us residents are identified and dealt with for Lyme disease each calendar year. Regular signs and symptoms consist of fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash. If the ailment is left untreated, infection can distribute to joints, the heart and the nervous process.
Lyme illness, which is transmitted to people by way of the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, is the most frequent vector-borne ailment in the United States, in accordance to the CDC.
Paddling in a new direction
On a sunny Thursday afternoon, when the tide was very low, Herne lugged her paddleboard from atop her automobile to a tucked-absent shore on the York River, near to the Harbor. She paddled her way simply by means of the drinking water, as her chihuahua, Piggie, sat adoringly by her side, sporting a pink mermaid daily life-vest for when she inevitably falls in.
Herne explained climbing on rocks and steering a paddleboard keeps her in form, which eases the pain induced by the disorder.
All-around the time of her diagnosis, Herne wanted a clearer direction and at some point sought enable from a enterprise coach, who observed that she obviously desired to be performing something on the water since it’s where by she feels the most relaxed, content and nutritious.
When Herne was out on the h2o, she commenced to gather driftwood and sea glass as a interest and would paddle to close by shores in search of the great resources for her art.
Herne paddleboards in close by towns as well mainly because York has an ordinance banning beachgoers from using rocks and sea glass in the town. But driftwood is good match in York, and is regarded disposable, Herne stated.
Herne gained a $1,000 stipend from generating two parts for the Eagle Parade to Gain The Seacoast Chapter of Veterans Rely, which she selected to devote on two inflatable paddleboards — that buy was a single of the ideal selections of her lifetime, she stated.
As she paddleboarded and gathered driftwood just about every day, her selection grew, and Herne realized she needed to do something productive with her hoard of driftwood accumulating dust in the basement. Her artistic roots kicked into equipment, and she commenced by making her first craft, a mason jar stuffed with sea glass fashioned with a tag and ribbon of a bride and groom’s name. Three months soon after posting 6 of these jars on line, Herne manufactured her to start with sale.
“I read the ‘cha-ching’ noise from my phone, and I had hardly ever heard that prior to … it was so fascinating,” she said.
Her next products was the commencing to Herne’s “claim to fame,” she claimed. It was a wreath made out of white paper plates and wicker with driftwood glued on. The product has gotten considerably more robust given that that very first wreath was created. Through demo and mistake, Herne’s creations are produced with bigger quality materials, she mentioned.
At that time, Herne was nevertheless functioning comprehensive-time as a graphic designer to spend the expenses, so she designed new plans every thirty day period.
“First it was, ‘Can I pay back for my foodstuff this month?’ Then I said, ‘All proper, what if I can pay out payments this thirty day period?'” Herne claimed. “And, inevitably, I could fork out my rent and all of my expenses.”
Eight months following that 1st listing on her Etsy shop online, she was equipped to give up graphic design and moved into her basement workshop to produce pieces for her new small business, Salty Woman.
Herne now functions from 8 a.m. to as late as 10 p.m. some nights doing what she enjoys. She has moved on to build elaborate driftwood Christmas trees, marriage arches and 36-inch wreaths as artwork inside of people’s households, she claimed. The Salty Lady signature grew to become a little coronary heart on a stone, which will come with all Salty Girl symptoms, sailboats and wreaths, alongside with a handwritten, in depth thank-you take note.
Salty Female has expanded at a swift tempo considering the fact that it very first started in 2014, Herne reported, and it stands to grow much more. She’s hired two part-time staff who aid Herne with communications, shipping goods, amassing driftwood and several other desires. According to Salty Girl’s website, the Etsy store has generated upward of 7,000 gross sales. Herne programs to move out of her rental house soon to acquire a residence with added storage area, she stated.
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During the pandemic, organization incredibly grew, and extra locals commenced to get her merchandise, Herne stated. When she to start with opened her enterprise, she created a package for creating her driftwood wreath, which became a popular seller. When the pandemic strike, she expanded that choice and added additional “do it yourself” kits.
Now, Herne scarcely demands to go out and paddleboard each day to gather driftwood due to the fact persons will generally fall it off and donate it to her, Herne claimed. Whilst she may well need the content fewer, she nevertheless helps make her way into the waters multiple moments a 7 days, up right up until the late tumble.
The walls in her basement are lined in driftwood from best to base, as effectively as a two-tale, 2,400-sq.-foot storage device up the avenue, which is overflowing. Items of sea glass and art made from driftwood are scattered all over the home.
Deep rooted history in York
Herne, 61, researched graphic design in Denver in advance of relocating to Vail, Colorado, she said.
“I love the West, but the ocean constantly calls you when you were brought up on the ocean. … It is really in your blood. You just can’t leave it … I tried using to go someplace, and it just calls you,” Herne mentioned.
Eventually she moved back dwelling, had two little ones and owned her very own enterprise.
Herne reported she is motivated by her father, who died at age 61, and typically feels him with her out on the water.
Herne’s father, Bobby Herne, was effectively-recognized in New England for assisting to invent a person of the first guitar synthesizers and staying a well known guitarist himself. Bobby Herne was a person of the first white musicians in the region to engage in with Black musicians, in the All-Stars group in the 1950s, she said. If her father were alive now, she thinks he’d be genuinely very pleased of her.
“I’m like a whole solution of my dad,” Herne stated.
Possessing the potential to make a living from a hobby and a passion is a thing Herne hopes other individuals can do for on their own.