Years ago, here on the island of St Croix, Kenny Lindquist grew up surfing, sailing, swimming, and climbing coconut trees (it's true). By 19 years old, he had finished college and had no idea what to do next. Even as a child, Kenny was an entrepreneur - selling tomato plants by the roadside and banana bread in a local market. His mom had stashed away his profits for him and Kenny honestly forgot all about it. Turns out, by the 80's it was enough to buy a tee-shirt shop, which he did -- just to keep busy until he found his true calling, of course.
That was 1981.
Kenny named his store Cruzan Creations and came up with a name for his custom product line: Life in the Left Lane. He wore swim trunks at work so that when the surf was good he could lock up the shop, grab his board and hit the waves for a couple of hours.Kenny always took a little time every day to enjoy life. This gave him lots of stories he loves to share; all you gotta do is ask.
Kenny's brain never stopped coming up with new ideas. In 1989 he pitched his latest concept to Disney World for theirt theme park: selling tees from vending machines! A few days later he was hit by a Mack Truck (I swear on my mother's grave this is true. He's also been hit by a bus and kicked in the head by a horse. He's like a walking punchline, bless his heart). All that to say he never followed up with Disney.
It was not until 2017 that Kenny finally brought to life his long-time dream of tee vending machines. He set up two specially configured machines in the store, naming one Fatty Bum-Bum and the other Sugar Dumplin'. They were a big hit (see what I did there?).
Kenny donates a percent of every sale to the local non-profit Project Promise, which supports local at-risk youth. Go see the machines in the store and buy something. You'll get a cool rash guard AND help keep kids off the streets. Kenny calls it "Shopping to make a difference".
With the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 Fatty Bum-Bum and Sugar Dumplin' became the safe way for locals and tourists to purchase masks - in scarce supply on the island - in addition to sundries and shirts. Kenny also donated lots of masks and PPE to local health providers on island. We're all in this together.
A question we hear a lot is if Kenny named the store after a popular book from the 90's titled Life in the Left Lane. Truth is, it's the other way around. The author popped into the store to ask permission to use that phrase, and of course Kenny said yes. He didn't charge her a penny, because that's the kind of guy he is. Unfortunately, the book was printed without noting Kenny's ownership of the phrase. We know it wasn't deliberate. She's a nice lady, and it's all good. That book just might be the whole reason you wanted to check us out in the first place. For that, we are thankful!
Hurricanes have come and gone, as have shops and eateries on St. Croix. Cruzan Creations still stands, Kenny keeps printing shirts, and the original sign still hangs outside the store. Through it all, Kenny never lost his positive outlook and contagious smile.
If you take away only one thing from reading Kenny's story, let it be this: Live your life now, make sure to take a little retirement every day, and keep smiling. Every little ting gonna be alright.