Meet the Maker – Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea

Chloe Tate

Meet the Maker - Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea


This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Tasha Chapman, the Florida-based maker behind Chapman at Sea, a line of amazing ocean-inspired bags and accessories. Welcome, Tasha!


LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Tasha: I’ve always worked on my own. Before starting Chapman at Sea I worked as a freelance artist & illustrator.


LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Tasha: I started off making surfboard bags, because at the time, there wasn’t anything on the market that fit my needs. Everything was mass-produced and very sporty; not my style. I didn’t do a lot of actual business planning – I just knew I wanted this product to exist, and went to work designing it. And then I imagined the company that would sell this product, and created that too. Our style is something that is still pretty unique to us, and I think that’s what defines us.


Meet the Maker - Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea


LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Tasha: Chapman at Sea creates surfboard bags, beach bags and ocean-worthy accessories for a life centered around the sea. I like well-made, simple things. Surfing is so beautiful and peaceful, so I wanted the gear I used to have that same timeless, laid back feeling. It’s all made from washed cotton canvas, with clean lines, light colors, and is carefully crafted using traditional methods.


LBC: Where can we find your products?

Tasha: The biggest selection is online at our website, but Chapman at Sea is also carried by a variety of stockists across the U.S., including online at Free People and Fab, as well as internationally at shops in Australia and Japan.


Meet the Maker - Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea


LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Tasha: The best part about working for yourself is the flexibility, so there are a lot of different types of workdays. The only thing that’s for sure is that it’s going to start with coffee! Then, there’s usually some computer time, emails, checking orders, etc. After that, it’s all in the workshop, actually making the bags or designing new things. Some days are more creative than others, so some days are strictly production, whereas other days I’m trying new materials and drawing up new products.


LBC: What are some things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Tasha: If you’re going to be working on your own, ask yourself – really honestly – if you like being alone and if can you motivate yourself to do what needs to be done without any encouragement, because you’re going to be alone a lot. That might sound great when you’re surrounded by coworkers, but will you still like it when your longest actual conversation of the day is with the guy you order lunch from? Or the dog?

Also, whatever you’re making, do you want to make hundreds or them or more? Planning a new business is exciting and full of possibility; but will you still want to do it when it becomes routine?


Meet the Maker - Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea


LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Tasha: For me, it’s always the ocean. As long as I can get out there and surf, my head stays pretty clear. If I go for more than a week without it, I’ll start feeling a little grumpy and weighed down; but as soon as I get out there it goes away.

When work is piling and I start to feel overwhelmed, my inclination is to buckle down until it’s done, so I have to remind myself to take those breaks because it’ll make everything go so much more smoothly afterwards.


LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Tasha: Putting my focus on building an Instagram following has been a good move. I personally enjoy it because it lets me tell my story in pictures, and I know a lot of my customers have found me that way.


LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Tasha: My accountant and my financial advisor are incredibly important. I’ve handled every aspect of my business on my own – from logo design to photography to production, it’s all me. Sometimes I really need help, but I just don’t want to hand thing over to anyone else… except for that part. Having good advice and management for that side of things is essential. See? You asked for 3 things and I gave you two. That’s how bad I am at math.


Meet the Maker - Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea


LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Tasha: It’s in a good spot now. I like how small it is, I like the product, I like my level of (total) involvement in it. If it stayed the same, I think I’d be pretty happy. If it were to grow a bit more, you might see our bags showing up in more independent shops and possibly in a brick & mortar shop of our own. My husband Joe, who makes the wooden products we sell, would love to open a shop, so if it happened one day, that would be sweet. It would give us the chance to expand more. Overall though, I find it pretty satisfying today. There’s the right balance between creativity and work, as well as the time to sneak off and surf when I want to.


LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.

Tasha: Coffee, from a shop or cafe. I could just make it at home and then I wouldn’t feel guilty about it at all, but I don’t want home-coffee, I want out-coffee. So one of my daily rituals (and daily guilty pleasure) is to go for coffee, take the dog for a ride, and check the beach.


Meet the Maker - Tasha Chapman of Chapman at Sea


LBC: Tell me a few of places on your travel “bucket list”.

Tasha: I love to travel and I’ve been throughout North & South America, but never anywhere else. So England, France, Italy, Greece, Australia, Indonesia… There are a lot of places to go.


LBC: What’s your best recipe?

Tasha: Frozen peanut butter pie. Whenever I would visit my grandmother, she’d serve it after lunch. When I make it now, it tastes just like it did when she made it, which means it’s a huge success.

Thank you, Tasha, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love your work and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Chapman at Sea. We’re cheering you on…


Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!


About the Author

Chloe Tate

Once described as “relentlessly cheerful,” Chloe is a lover of all things colorful and practically every fruit known to man. She lives in Atlanta and divides her time between supporting Lucky Break clients, keeping shop at a local artisan market, and event planning for business conferences. She’s also working on the launch of her skincare line while finishing her degree in Organizational & Leadership Studies. True story: Chloe shares 50% of Lela’s DNA and is poised to inherit her obscenely large shoe collection.

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