Janice Seitzinger is the owner of Chill Men's Clothing Shop, which is located in the Tradewinds Building across from Paradise Villas. The store carries the best names and latest styles in men's fashion - "Cool Clothes for Cool Guys".
Janice Seitzinger grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. She was the only child of a car dealer father and homemaker mother. Her parents were very interesting people and were involved with many hobbies and activities. From her father's antique car and gun collecting, his flying his own private plane and teaching flying at his own little airport, to her mother's raising animals from poodles to peacocks, sewing her own clothes, hosting dinner parties, and brewing Saki (Japanese Rice Wine), Janice grew up in a very interesting home.
From such eclectic parents, Janice's interests were diverse as well. She did very well academically, received the "Fine Arts Award" from her high school graduating class, and went on to major in scientific mathematics at Penn State University. She left college after a couple of years (to return later), and moved to the San Francisco Bay area in California.
On the West Coast she continued to take some courses. She studied astronomy, pottery, weaving, philosophy, and religion. She also became a gardener and a gourmet cook. But it was while living in California that her most life changing event took place - the birth of her daughter, Wreath Rose. Janice loved being a mother and spending time with her daughter. Her husband, HansPeter, who she had met during her time in California, was from Austria. With degrees in Art, and Religious Anthropology he worked as a writer, art editor for a book publishing company, lecturer, and massage therapist.
Both Janice and HansPeter, always wanting to discover the different experiences life had to offer, decided to leave California and moved to the mountains of Arkansas. She and her husband built a log cabin, situated on a scenic 40 acres nestled inside the Ozark National Forest. "We were homesteaders of a sort - we had a mule and raised a lot of our own food," commented Janice. "But after five years, we decided that we really weren't the pioneer type and decided to move back to civilization." First they did some traveling, visiting some 25 countries, spending one summer in Europe near HansPeter's family, and then lived a year in Cuernavaca, Mexico. They eventually settled back in Janice's hometown in Pennsylvania in 1980, where she would live for the next nine years.
By that time both of Janice's parents had passed away and they lived in her family home. Back home she got involved in her community and church activities. Janice remembers, "My best friend and I, who had also studied religion and the Bible, started a Women's Group. About 20 women would show up every week, and we would talk and share our thoughts, and discuss the relevance of God and religion to our everyday lives. It was a rewarding and interesting experience." Janice was also a Youth Group leader and taught adult Sunday School for nine years at the Methodist Church.
Janice's daughter, Wreath, was in high school by this time and was busy with her school, friends, and activities. Janice kept busy, working for a while as a radio disc jockey and then as a program director for a European Student Tour organization. This company, Educational Foundation, sent student groups from Europe and Japan to the U.S. to study English, to become acquainted with the American culture, and also do some sightseeing. Janice set up the programs, hired ESL teachers and guides, and planned their tours. She worked for this company for three years. It was also during this time in Pennsylvania that she returned to Penn State and finally graduated with a degree in "Letters, Arts, and Sciences," reflecting her diverse interests.
In 1987 her husband decided he wanted to do some more traveling, and with other factors involved, they separated and eventually divorced. Then in 1989 her daughter graduated from high school and headed off for the University of Colorado in Boulder. Janice recalls,"Since I had no other family except my daughter who was getting ready to go away to college, and my husband had left, I felt like I wanted to get away from Pennsylvania and get a new start somewhere different. I loved swimming, tropical islands, and foreign lands. I found "La Isla Bonita" and decided this was the place for me." She visited Belize in 1988 and moved to San Pedro in July 1989.
Janice took the opportunity of moving to a country where no one knew her to withdraw from being so active, and wanted to remain fairly anonymous for awhile. "I think I was feeling ‘burnt out' from all that I was involved in while living in the U.S., and feeling the loss of my marriage, and with my daughter going off to school, I guess I just wanted some time out. But you don't remain anonymous in a small town with friendly people, and before long I made friends here."
In late 1990 she traveled back to the United States to Boulder, Colorado where her daughter was attending college. Janice and Wreath started Travel Belize of Boulder, a travel and tour company specializing only in trips to Belize. "Since we both loved Belize and traveling, and I had some experience in the travel industry, we thought it would be a good idea to help plan other people's trips to Belize. We started small - in the loft in our apartment with a desk and a toll-free "800" phone number. Some of our first clients never knew they may have caught us just out of the shower booking their trip dripping wet wrapped in a towel!" But the business got "professional" real quick. Janice attended travel school in Boulder at night to learn to do airline ticketing. Eight months after they started in the little apartment, they opened an office in a shopping center and hired their first travel agent employee.
The idea was that Janice would help get the company started and that when Wreath graduated from CU she would take over the company. Janice wound up spending most of three years there with trips to Belize every few months. In 1993 she based herself back in Belize, and helped Wreath with the business from here. She continued to make frequent trips to Boulder to work and to visit Wreath. In 1996 Wreath officially took over the company and she was also married that year. This mother/daughter team discovered that the travel business involved a lot of hard work and long hours with little profits, but they had the satisfaction of knowing that Travel Belize had sent over 10,000 tourists to this country!
Then last year, May 1997, an unthinkable event happened. Wreath and Janice had just finished talking on the phone before Wreath left the office for the day. They ended their phone call with the usual "I love you." Minutes after she left the office, Wreath was in a traffic accident and killed. "She was my only family, the most loving daughter any mother could want, my best friend, and my business partner. She was sweet, kind, beautiful, and had a great sense of humor. And now she's gone. No one can imagine how much it hurts and how much I miss her." Janice said with a sigh. This left Janice with no family and a sadness in her heart that's with her every day.
In early 1997 Janice and her partner, Todd Young, started CHILL. Janice says, "The men and young men here are very up on what's "in" and like to look good. Todd had a great sense of style and was always up on the latest mens fashion. We knew San Pedro needed a good men's clothing store." At Chill you can find a variety of men's clothes in a wide range of sizes and prices. Chill has casual and dressy clothing, many with designer names - shorts, jeans, slacks, shirts, belts, fragrances, swim trunks, socks, underwear, and lots more. Chill has many regular customers but if you haven't been to Chill yet, make sure to stop in it for some great Christmas shopping. As you walk into Chill you are greeted with Janice's friendly smile and you'll love the clothes.
"I think I'm ready for another ‘new beginning' soon," says Janice reflectively. "The loss of my daughter, and several other difficult events this past year have put a new perspective on my life. I miss not having a family to lean on during difficult times, but life must go on." Janice loves San Pedro and hopes to remain here, but what new ventures the future may hold are not yet clear. For now she will go on providing fashion for the men of San Pedro. Chill clothes are very cool clothes. And Janice Seitzinger is a very cool lady.
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