Cheryl Kandel Gimson | Ep 116

Cheryl's first experience with desert was in the early 80’s, driving to Palm Springs for Spring Break with a friend - and her friend’s grandmother drove them around Palm Springs to see the sights.

After that, Cheryl started coming out to the desert on her own, not really knowing about Joshua Tree until a former boyfriend suggested they visit a place he used to rock climb. On arrival, Cheryl was so taken with the place, she asked him to stop the car, so she could get out and take in the unique landscape and wide open space.

Eventually, LA traffic and other factors began to wear on Cheryl and she decided to come out and try living in the desert for a year.

From an early age, Cheryl was told she was creative and remembers always working on craft projects. Just out of college with a BA in Illustration, Cheryl expected she'd be working on the commercial side of art and also recognized the role computers would play in the future of some art disciplines.

In this episode, Cheryl says she didn't set out to start her own embroidery business. Moving to the desert and creating in a digital medium showed her she could work from anywhere and her many embroidery business contacts helped, giving way to her business, Stitch Art Studio.

Not knowing anyone when she moved to the desert and being a business owner, Cheryl got involved in the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce and shares memories of Turtle Days and Coyote Days and meeting her husband, while serving on the Board of the Chamber.

Her community involvement didn't stop at the Chamber. Cheryl talks about finding the Morongo Basin Arts Council, which expanded her community to the many creatives in the area. Cheryl served as a volunteer and in executive capacities with the Council and also presented her work as part of the Highway 62 Art Tours for many years.

The Joshua Tree Music Fest has also become a tradition for Cheryl and her husband.

After a 2018 trip to the Four Corners, Cheryl and her husband started talking about a side trip to Sante Fe, for a visit with friends. They quickly found a house outside of Albuquerque, which they are actively remodeling to prepare for a Spring 2020 move.