Starting a Business After Age 50
More profiles of encore entrepreneurs
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Gratitude Inspired a New Career
Photo: Lee Ann Bowman
Born in 1936 in the English industrial town of Shropshire, retired grade-school teacher and longtime piano teacher Thelma Taylor of Haleiwa has become a manager for SendOutCards.com, her first business venture.
Her life reads like a storybook. The only child of a mother who went to work in a factory when she was 14 and a draughtsman dad, Taylor’s parents loved to sing and play the piano, instilling a love for music in her from an early age.
Although Taylor has called Hawaii home since 2007 (son David Hicken, a pianist and composer, has his own music school in Honolulu), she still affectionately refers to Americans as “Yanks,” remembers hiding in bomb shelters during War World II and uses expressions like “we got gob-smacked” to describe being let down.
She joined SendOutCards initially because a dear friend introduced her to the online site. When the company ran a promotion to send cards to anyone to whom one was grateful, she thought at first, “But they’re all dead.” It didn’t take long for her to realize that there were hundreds of people in her life to whom she was grateful but had never actually thanked.
The notion of an inexpensive but personalized “real” card with postage included in the cost and the sender’s sentiment and design selected online (and mailed off without one having to go to the post office) seemed terrific. She became a SendOutCards manager – to do so one must enroll three others as marketing distributors and teach them how to do the same – and today she marvels at the friends she’s found through the online venture.
Taylor’s spare-time business is “growing steadily” and has changed her life. “The personal benefits are astounding,” she says. They include “expressing yourself at impromptu times and making a positive difference in others’ lives.”
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