Spouse/significant other/children: daughter, Evie (age 4) and girlfriend, Ali
Place of employment (what do you do & where?): I own Baby Ink… a children’s clothing store on Main Street in Brevard.
What inspired you to open Baby Ink? Well, I had a kid and I got annoyed with shopping for clothing for her. I felt like I could only find one great thing at a time and I wanted to open a shop that appealed to dads and parents like myself… parents that grew up with a different aesthetic, different style, different image. Toby with daughter, Evie
Any advice you would give to new parents? I don’t give advice to new parents, just like I don’t give advice to newlyweds. You know what works for you and your family and your kids, so do that. I just hope they’re considerate of others as they do it.
What do you hope your daughter will remember most about you as a father? I hope my daughter remembers laughing with me, and that she knows she can be who she is and she still feels loved.
You’re also involved with Heart of Brevard… what is your role with Heart of Brevard? Well, I’m now on the “promotions committee” and essentially the chairperson for this year’s Twilight Tour.
What can we expect at Twilight Tour this year? Twilight Tour will be bigger this year than it has been in recent years. We’ve brought back vendor booths and will have a vendor village with crafters and non-profits. We’re brought in food trucks and food vendors so you can grab a bite as you walk around. Lots of free stuff, including an Elf Workshop for the kids to make free crafts and write a letter to Santa, free pics with Santa, a Santa’s farm petting area, pony rides, outdoor holiday movies, trackless train rides, and horse drawn carriages. Fire pits and S’mores and LOTS of free musical performances all over downtown. It will be a true, old fashioned, Mountain Christmas Festival.
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What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Surprised? That I don’t really know. People around here may be surprised to know I spent a lot of time involved in music in my 20s, touring the U.S. and promoting bands and concerts.
How do you like to spend your free time? Usually with my daughter and my girlfriend. We like to hike, watch a lot of movies, eat, have dinner parties with friends, go see music. We stay pretty active.
What are you most proud of in your life? I try not to be too proud. I appreciate the little accomplishments. I try to be good at the things I take on and the jobs I find important. I try to be a great dad. I try to be a smart business owner. I try to play well with others. I try to be considerate. I try to be a good human being. I guess the little accomplishments in those areas give me a sense of pride in their own way.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Brevard? Brevard is my first “small town.” I like the sense of community and the fact that Brevard is home to a wider variety of people, mindsets, and personalities than I would have anticipated when first moving here as an outsider.
Do you have a secret you never told your parents? Not really. At least, not that I didn’t tell them eventually. I have a pretty close family and I’m not too shy and they’re not too judgmental.
What’s one thing you did as a child you hope your kids never do? I was a mess. A stubborn, pig-headed mess. I hope my daughter learns patience and understanding quicker than I did.
When you played make-believe as a child, what did you pretend? We used to pretend to be playing in a band with fake guitars and drums made out of cardboard, sticks, and bar stools. Music was my life from early on.
Where you ever scared of anything as a child? Roller Coasters
Name some popular hit songs from your youth. Ok… so this one is tough because I was not into popular music. I was a punk rock kid who spent my afternoons and weekends scavenging record shops looking for rare and weird vinyl. I hated the radio and everything on it. A “hit” to me was usually a loud, angry, train wreck to mainstream music listeners.
What’s your favorite music you like to listen to today? Still old punk rock records, post punk, some early hardcore (pre-metal), and then a swing to the other end… as in old crooners and jazz singers. I like things that either feel melodic, aggressive, and provoking… or things that feel nostalgic.
What was your first job ever? My first job ever was at Subway. I never made sandwich artist. I didn’t last long.
If you were to return to your youth, what would you do differently? Very little actually.
What was your most prized possession as a child? Oh sheesh. Probably my sheet or my pillow as a little kid. My mother used to call me Linus.
Do you know how your first name was chosen? I’m pretty sure my mother just liked the name. No other reason.
What gift are you secretly hoping to get for Christmas? Some goodies from my favorite band :)
What’s the worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received? A family joke, but one year my brother and I received a book from my grandmother called “Stand up, shake hands, say ‘how do you do.'” We were in our late teens at the time and apparently uncultured.
What do you miss most about your childhood? Not having to pay bills.
Did you ever break something valuable as a child and not tell anyone? I broke a lot of things, but I’m not sure they were ever valuable.
What kind of parent are you: A. Very strict, B. Just about anything goes, C. Somewhere in between? C. – Some people think I’m a little strict I guess, but I’m definitely in the middle.
What are your dreams for the next year? Next 5 years? Next year I hope for some great changes in the business I own, and in the next 5 years I hope for a lot of great changes and growth in love, family, and life.