Our Community - Vicki Campbell - "Rubbing you the right way in San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 34            September 18, 2003

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Vicki Campbell

Whether you are a tourist on vacation or one of the many service providers in a tourist destination, we all need to take a little time out to pamper ourselves. In San Pedro, there are shops to get manicures and pedicures, and others which provide massage and aromatherapy. There is also a woman who, over the years, has learned to provide all of these amenities and more, in one locale, Vicki Campbell of Tropical Touch.

    Born in the tiny town of Kermit in west Texas, USA, no one could have guessed that little Vicki would venture around the world three times before she was fifteen years old. This became possible when her mother Jackie, who was "a bit of a gypsy," married Don Nolan, a man who worked in the oil industry. Over the years, Vicki and her two sisters moved from Texas to Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi and eventually, to the Middle East for three years.

    During her mid-teens, the family returned to the US and settled down for a while. Vicki was able to finally attend a "regular" high school in Marion, Ohio but just before her senior year they moved back to Texas again, this time to Houston. After graduating in 1972, she studied interior design at Southwest Texas State, and then returned home to her family.

    Next, Vicki opened her own record shop and novelty store, a business that would sustain her for the next two years. It was during this time that she met and married Jay Crofton, the man who would eventually bring her to "paradise". Taking a month off every winter to travel, the couple first discovered Belize in 1979 and found themselves returning to the country every couple of years.

    While Vicki was married to Jay, she attended classes to obtain a real estate license and then sold real estate for two years. In 1986, she gave this up to attend Cosmetology School and also became a licensed hairdresser. Jay had other plans though, and decided Belize was the place to open a car rental business. So, in December of 1988, Vicki helped drive a caravan of vehicles south and Crystal Auto Rentals was established on the Northern Highway. It took only a few months of leaving the business in the hands of another manager for the couple to realize that Vicki was needed onsite to run the operation. She arrived in March of 1987 and for the next 18 months managed the business on her own.

    Alone, Vicki made some friends in Belize City, but the separation was too much, so she and Jay parted ways. It was some months after that, during a visit to San Pedro with one of her friends from Texas, that Vicki was introduced to contractor Mike Campbell. The two were re-acquainted a short time later when he offered to buy a tent she was selling and the rest was "fate". Vicki spent the next six months with her new love building a resort on Lighthouse Reef. After living out of a glorified tent for three weeks, the couple would run to San Pedro for a few days of a "real bed and air conditioning." After the Lighthouse project was completed, they established themselves permanently on Ambergris Caye.

    Vicki first supported herself by baking and selling her goods door-to-door and to some of the local grocery stores. Following this, she sold newspaper advertising for the island newspaper, The San Pedro Sun, until she gave birth to her only son, Cody, in September of 1991.

    For the next few years, Vicki enjoyed simply being a mother and helping with the construction business. In February of 1994, she married the father of her son on the beach at Holiday Hotel. The next few years were spent traveling to job sites around Belize.

    Finding more time on her hands after her son started school, Vicki accepted a position as an events coordinator for a large US financial investment firm operating in Belize. Her next two years were spent arranging seminars, greeting clients and booking recreational activities for these visitors.

    It was in September of 2000, that Vicki made a decision to expand her horizons and left Belize to learn the art of massage in Woodlands, Texas. After five months, she returned to Belize and with her newfound knowledge, opened her own studio inside her home. This was just the beginning of a new "career," and just two years later, she incorporated all her knowledge of interior design, cosmetology and massage into one concept. In September of 2002, Vicki opened Tropical Touch Massage and Day Spa, a business she maintains with flair and panache.

     What spare time Vicki has these days is spent with her family. She still takes time for herself though, and enjoys decorating, reading, working out and swimming.

    As her past reveals, Vicki is not one to sit still for very long. She hopes to eventually integrate her business services with those of the Isla Bonita Tennis Club, of which her husband Mike is part owner.

    Whatever she chooses to do with her life, it would appear Vicki Campbell has the determination and drive to succeed. It is this type of spirit that built Belize and it is this type of energy, which will inspire other women to succeed in "Our Community."

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