Observations: Tube Dudes

I’ve spent the better part of the month of June relaxing on a little island off the coast of Florida.  The closest city on the mainland is Sarasota, and my family has observed a strange and amazing phenomenon blanketing the area: tube dudes.

These metal sculptures have an amazing history- the entire story can be found here, on their website- but the short of it is that their creators, a native Sarasota couple who had made their living building yachts, were hit hard by the struggling economy.  The yacht industry sank, and one day when business was slow, the first tube dude was created out of spare PVC pipe.

Talk about making lemons out of lemonade!  My dad is a big believer in the ‘who moved my cheese‘ mentality, in moving to meet opportunity when things don’t go as planned, and this is a prime example.  Tube dudes are everywhere.  Holding mailboxes, outside businesses- these smiling guys are always right around the corner to brighten someone’s day.

I like them, but I wonder about their longevity.  Already there is controversy about their legality, and I can’t help but think that tube dudes seem like another fad.  If that is the case, I certainly am not worried about the owners of this blooming business- they are the type who have the ingenuity to succeed no matter the circumstances.

Tube dude’s ultimate success will be proven over a number of years, but as of right now, I am shocked and pleased by how much success the sculptures have already attained- in just over 6 months  since I was last in Florida, they have taken over the city and surrounding islands where I stay.

Success stories like these are inspirational- especially since I love hearing about people who succeed at crafty careers with a smile on their faces. After all, this is largely what I hope to one day attain- a career in craft, waking up to a job I love. Tube dudes give me hope that there is still a place for the crafter in a downtrodden economy. Until I get a chance to try my hand, tube dudes will continue to brighten my day.


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