Nov. 2, 2005 An advertisement in their native Cincinnati newspaper for graphic artists led Chris Schatzman, 41, and Beth Bocklett, 32, to Tortola in 1998. But work permit issues sent them on to St. John in 2002, where they now own the graphic design company, Studio Equinox.
"St. John looked like a pretty good place to settle," Schatzman said in a recent interview.
He said that on St. John, he could indulge his top two passions graphic design and sailing. Schatzman owns two boats, a 32-foot O'Day named Sea-B-Sea and a 20-foot Highlander called Equinox, the boat that lent its name to the business.
After arriving on St. John, Schatzman kicked around a bit, working at Island Blues and Aqua Bistro restaurants, before getting Studio Equinox underway.
Studio Equinox offers graphic arts work in the fields of advertising, menus, Web sites, business cards, logo/identity design, package design, multimedia, illustration, signs, and more.
He said business is good so far, "but it could always be better."
Schatzman and Bocklett are both graphic artists who met while students at the University of Cincinnati's school of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning.
After getting his associates degree in arts from the University of Cincinnati, Schatzman joined the U.S. Army. He returned to the university to enroll in a five-year program in graphic design after his discharge.
He said that after graduation, the two took turns working out of their home studio. When one worked at home, the other held an outside, full-time job.
Currently, Schatzman does most of the work at Equinox Studios, with Bocklett pitching in occasionally when she takes a break from her job waitressing at Polli's Restaurant.
It's just a couple of steps from the restaurant to Studio Equinox since both are located at the Lumberyard Shopping Complex.
Studio Equinox started its St. John life at Cocoloba shopping center in Coral Bay, but moved to the Cruz Bay space in May.
Schatzman said that he and Bocklett have different strengths, which helps Studio Equinox sell its services to a wide variety of customers.
He said that the best part of the job comes in learning from new clients.
"I did a brochure for a steel door. Now I know lots about steel doors," he said.
When Schatzman and Bocklett aren't hard at work, the two make time to go diving, put in some beach time, play with their 11-year-old black Labrador, Czar, and read.
"Beth doesn't work on Sundays, so we try to go sailing," Schatzman said.
Check out Studio Equinox online or call 513-4523.
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