Dan Thompson is the owner of Suncatchers’ Dream on Sanibel Island, located along the southern Gulf Coast of Florida.  Dan fell in love with Sanibel the very first time he visited as a young teenager.  “I had come down to see family and knew one day I would live there…in paradise,” he said.  Prior to moving to Florida, Dan worked in the corporate division of Pier One Imports for 8 years. He was based out of Pittsburgh, PA but traveled all over the state and into New York helping managers set up their stores.Suncatchers-Store

Eventually, Dan left Pier One and transitioned into running a privately-owned store for a friend in Pennsylvania.  When this friend decided to open a second store on Sanibel, he was presented with the chance to begin the life he had always imagined!  Dan immediately accepted the position and moved to his dream island.  “Once I was here, I knew it was to stay,” he said.  However, the store closed post Hurricane Charlie in 2004.  At that time, Dan felt he had already put down roots and considered himself a permanent resident on Sanibel.

sanibel2In 2005, he seized the opportunity to open his OWN store…Suncatchers’ Dream.  It was an instant hit!  The combination of reasonable prices and mostly handmade items was a great fit for the island. His store has grown to feature artists not only from Sanibel but all over the country. Dan feels Suncatchers’ Dream is the most “colorful” on the island, carrying a wide selection of unique gifts, home décor and jewelry. Repeat customers have made Suncatchers’ Dream part of their Sanibel experience because they know they will be able to find something new and exciting in the store.  They also know Dan is extremely knowledgeable about the area and is always ready to give them the best places to eat, shop, shell or kick their feet up!

sanibel3Since most of the jewelry he carries in his store is made by friends involved with the arts festival circuit, he had a lot of exposure to the industry and developed a keen sense for would be well received by his customers.  “When I saw Dune Jewelry, I knew it was a perfect fit for my family of American made beads that aren’t available in any other shops in Southwest Florida,” he said.  Dan carries a large stock of Dune JewelrySand Beads, bracelets and Dune Dropearrings filled with sand from Sanibel and Captiva.  He is the exclusiveretailer of Dune Jewelry on Sanibel Island.

In addition to his store, Dan has also served as a board member and officer of CROW, the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel.  CROW is a wildlife hospital that rehabilitates thousands of animal patients each year including sea turtles, otters, bobcats, and many types of birds. He has also volunteered for theSanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation which works to protect sea turtle nests during nesting season. He has helped to flag sea turtle crawls, mark nests, and monitor nests until hatching.  With Dan’s involvement in the local community, running his store and taking up residence in paradise, he feels like he has it all.  He said, “I am living and breathing the life I knew I was meant to have…how lucky is that?!”

sanibelSuncatchers’ Dream is located in the historic Olde Sanibel Shoppes next to the local food favorite, Over Easy Café.  Visit Dan at Suncatchers’ Dream next time you are on Sanibel Island.  You can also keep up with the latest news from Dan on theSuncatchers’ Dream Facebook Page!