Local couple transforms old rubber into garden decor


Bruce and JoAnne Byrd have taken old tires and turned them into decorative flower pots.

Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 02:03 AM.

The late automobile dealer Dan McKenzie once said that if you loved whatever you did to make a living, you would never have to work a day in your life!

A living example of this philosophy couldn’t be more exact in its application with Bruce and JoAnne Byrd who live and “work” in the Hickory Hammock-Ward Basin area on B. Lowery Road. The pair takes old, worn out golf cart tires and transforms them into beautiful, functional flower pots that are seemingly, becoming the rage all over the country.

The “manufacturing” process, although a tough job in itself, is a delicate and sensitive, two-ended operation the Byrds share. Then when it comes to the sales or marketing end of the operation Bruce and JoAnne once again shoulder it as a team.

Although both are business and industrial professionals, the Byrds have for many years “dabbled” in creative, recreational projects to their liking. Bruce as a printing plant operator and JoAnne as a graphic designer found extracurricular activities working with their hands “making things” was a great stress reliever and, quite frankly, enjoyable (and also profitable).

JoAnne, who has a B.S degree in social rehabilitation service and art from Troy State University, fashioned trinkets such as crosses, wind chimes, and other custom decorative items with beads and such that were winners at yard sales and flea markets. In fact they were successful enough to sustain them during the ensuing months. Bruce, on the other hand, obtained an AA degree from Okaloosa Walton Community College, which proved to be valuable to him while working in infrastructure roles with people in the flea markets and retail and direct sales business.

Married in 1975, they raised three children: Reuben, Hannah, and Michael, and there are now four grandchildren

Hurricane Ivan in 2004 was a tragic event for most everyone locally but was especially cruel to the Byrds whose home was virtually destroyed by flooding. As a result they decided to move out of the city, a move that eliminated the flooding problem and at the same time furnish them more room to devote to their hobbies.

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