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Rising Stars: Meet Duranne Collins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Duranne Collins.

Hi Duranne, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Take this surfer beach girl add in a lifetime of creating art, add 3-decade dashes using epoxy resins, and bring these skills together and I have some of the most beautiful creative pieces for my customers!

Epoxy pour designs dive you into shimmery ocean waves or dreamy scenes that look like sun-kissed diamonds on glittering water! I’ve spent my life living by the ocean, in the ocean, around the ocean and my Epoxy Creations cause you to slow down and swim into these beautifully poured pieces!

“My art takes us out of our moment allowing us to reflect that our lives, emotions, and situations can be released thru the gentle ebb and flow ocean waves have on us.” Duranne Collins

I spent 30 years raising four children, homeschooling for 12 of those years and when my last one was almost out of high school, I searched my mind as to what to do in my “next season.” An “Ahaha” moment hit me square in the head one morning and I saw all the art and skills I learned as a child in 2017 and coupled all my gifts together and started restoring and upcycling furniture professionally. Within a month of diving into my newfound business, I learned about this creative process of epoxy pour art and had a goal to learn this art medium. Within 6 months I created my first HUGE epoxy pour and was hooked!

I am just entering my 5th year of business and I have completed wood bartops, a 600lb eucalyptus log into a wine bar filled with pearls and seashells, large epoxy wall art, refinished a boat pilot house (yeah!), poured ocean wave scenes on guitar tops, so many gorgeous charcuterie boards I can’t even count, teach epoxy pour classes and the best part is seeing the HUGE smiles on the faces of my customers!

I love sharing my dreamy sun-kissed diamond ocean art!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a bumpy road! Actually, in the first year of business, I filed for a divorce after 33 years of marriage. So every emotion detailing that was included in leaving my home, adult kids, and couch-surfing here and there and wound up living out of my suburban for 6 months all the while building my brand new little business.

Gratefully my business made enough money to run itself renting an industrial studio and paying for all the necessary things to build it including workbenches, purchasing machinery and tools, materials and supplies, and slowly applying for all the business permits and licenses.

I was scared but I was so determined. I had no one else but myself since my marriage didn’t have any assets of any kind to fall back on. I poured everything I had into it… Years of education from business classes, an AA in Business Communication, and having been raised in my parent’s surfboard company all helped me piece together how to run and own a business. It has NOT been easy at all, but my determination and grit have allowed me to be where I am hitting all the goals I created for myself on the way.

Two years ago I hit a major roadblock realizing my hearing had completely deteriorated after being hard of hearing my whole life. The stress of the divorce and life resulted in losing what little bit of hearing I had left while I wore hearing aids. It got to the point I strayed away from social situations and completed all my business through social media. Almost a year ago January 10th, 2022 I had bilateral cochlear implant surgery! This completely shook my world while I was prepared to get this surgery for a whole year, I had to set my business up to hold its own while I was out of commission for almost a month. The good news to a long story is the surgery was a success and I’m 9 months in and still retraining my brain to hear and can join in conversations and even talk on the phone again!

2023 will be my 5th year in business, I have more goals to achieve and I hope to jump over some more (good) hurdles in hiring some part-time help!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
After being in the surfboard building industry my whole life and with family members who were creative woodworkers, this paved the way for me to dive into creating with epoxy resins on wood. I wasn’t a novice by any means; I knew all about polyester and epoxy resins, pigments, using bandsaws, saws, sanders, cutting out and building surfboards, etc. So when I first saw these gorgeous epoxy art creations on Instagram, I knew EXACTLY where I wanted to go after I had started my furniture restoration business.

I specialize in so many aspects of my business but the bottom line is creating something on wood. I absolutely love wood, I rent my studio space in a wood cabinetry shop, and when I see those gorgeous huge slabs of walnut or oak wood I just get all dreamy. They represent strength and longevity and being able to create either a clear epoxy pour on them sealing that beauty in or creating a full shimmering epoxy ocean wave scene makes me all squishy!

I am known to create beautiful ocean scenes that are realistic in depth and beauty, even the mystery the ocean brings with epoxy, paint, mica-powders, and resin pigments.

I am most proud of the large pieces I finish. Why? Because they take a lot of preparation to finish those large pieces and once they are done they are MAGICAL! I take my time doing them; such as I have a huge 30×45 inch art pour I’m about to do and I have to create a special cover to keep dust and flies out of each stage of pours completed. I will be creating a beach scene with sand from The Wedge as the base and will do four separate pours to create the magical 3D effects I get with epoxy and mica-powders. I absolutely LOVE creating these large pieces because of the difficulty and challenges they bring me.

What sets me apart from others? Most likely the background I have growing up in the surfboard industry and professional surfing world, growing up at the beach and in the water, being born into the family of a famous surfboard maker, and a family of craftsmen and women set me apart. Along with my grit and drive to take care of myself by doing what I truly love to do… Art!

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I believe the industry will ebb and flow just like tides do. Epoxy pours are the rage and I think those who are in it for the long haul will continue in it out of the pure love of the art and they have something unique to offer. I am riding that wave as well but establishing a thick clientele specializing in unique niches of home remodeling and interior decorating offering epoxy finishes on bar tops, desktops, countertops, floors, furniture pieces, and large art pieces.

I’m not creating for the short term, this will be my retirement nest egg. The best part is I will never tire of creating these ocean wave epoxy pieces.

For me, I’m setting the tone to be in this for the long haul.

Pricing:

  • $55-$200 for Charcuterie Boards.
  • $500 and up for commissioned epoxy art.
  • $150 and up for epoxy on furniture.
  • $35-$40 for epoxy wave bottle openers.
  • $100+ for epoxy wave wall hooks.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Duranne Collins, Bill Brown, and Trish Meyler

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