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
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
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
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