Rick was born in a small river town in Ohio called Cincinnati to Ralph and Irmi Weil in 1958. At a young age his genius was apparently not going to benefit mankind in such fields as medicine, engineering or physics. Instead his creativity drove him in other NON-ESSENTIAL directions. Rick starting lifting weights at 12 and quickly gained size and power. At a height of 5’5” the NBA was not going to call and the NFL could only use him as a tackling dummy. Powerlifting was his calling and he broke 9 world records in the Bench Press. Rick also has the distinction as being the FIRST World Class lifter to bench press an over triple bodyweight bench performing a staggering 556 in the 181-pound class at one of the many National meets where he competed.
As if that was not enough to give Rick a reason to live in the past. Rick went on to get a Masters degree in Education and all but his dissertation in Public Health working on his PhD. He got his Private Pilot license in 1995 and started a business making balloon art.
His wife Jamie is an avid horse lover. In 2011 the two of them bought a horse farm in Pinellas County Florida. Jamie only had one horse and that quickly grew into 4 plus three goats. Jamie started a 501C3 non profit to open the farm to cancer patients, veterans and others who just needed the help of a 1600-pound therapist (the horses weight not Jamie’s). With Jamie’s medical background she knew Shadow Serenity and equine therapy could help people with many different life’s issues.
24 years in business has driven Rick in many directions (remember he is a creative genius). Rick wanted to put company logos on balloons so he started a print shop. The print shop lead to doing décor. Décor lead to corporate accounts and COVID lead him to IMAGINE THAT. It is the old adage; give Rick lemons and he will make a clock.
His love of art and people and never conforming to societal pressure has been his secret to success. Rick has been heard many times saying “Success is not measured by your bank account, but how much you look forward to what you do every day” During the COVID shutdown, Rick could be found seven days a week at his studio just being creative. As the son of a 90-year-old handball player and grandson of his mother who lived to 109, Rick will surely still be found in his studio long into his 90’s. And at 62 that should give him enough time to pay off the horse farm.
PET PEEVES: people who say “Thank G*d its Friday” or “Don’t work to hard”
Jay is originally from Great Neck, New York. He originally got his creative side from doing theatrical lighting and set design in high school. He worked in summer stock in Maine and worked on a charity event at the Ed Sullivan Theater prior to David Letteman taking over the building.
After college, he determined that theatre was not going to make for a long term stable career so after some career advice he decided to get into sales. His first sales job was selling copiers and the first fax machines on Wall Street and the World Trade Center.
In 1992, Danka industries moved him to Florida where he continued selling copiers. He also trained other sales representatives and was asked to train a young woman how to sell fax machines. Sara Blakely after a successful career selling fax machines invented and now runs SPANX.
For 25 years Jay sold legal information (law books and Westlaw) to law firms in West Central Florida. He won multiple awards and trips over is career with Thomson Reuters. His success was based on customer service and support. He retired in 2019.
Jay first met Rick when he designed the Bar Mitzvah for his oldest son with the theme of trains. He also designed the parties for his other two children. He and his better half Melinda have 3 cats. Jay is a big sports fan especially of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Cowboys. He has a ridiculously large collection of autographed memorabilia.