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Tampa man's gnome hobby during pandemic turns into online business

tampa gnome maker-robert boyd.jpg
Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 18, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — What started out as one, turned into more than 100 during the pandemic. However, if you ask this Tampa artist you can’t have enough when it comes to gnomes.

John C Marsh Jr. isn’t exactly Dr. Frankenstein, but he is bringing imagination to life inside his south Tampa home.

“Mythical things, mythical creatures,” said Marsh.

He is referring to his family of gnomes. What started as a fun art project during the pandemic, has turned into an online business at BoldMan Galleries.

“And some friends of mine said, ‘oh yeah, I want one,’ and I thought, ‘really, ok,’ I was just making little house decorations,” said Marsh.

Half the materials can be found in your own home and the other half can be purchased at a Dollar Store.

“Men's black sock, filled with something to weigh it down, either gravel or pebbles, and then just stuffing or foam, stuff you would find in a typical pillow,” explained Marsh.

When it comes to making a gnome, John says the most important part is choosing the right hat. He even has his own hat tree.

“I take pride in the hats because it's just something different you don’t see too many of the gnomes with the style hats that I do,” said marsh.

Don’t ask John to choose a favorite, they’re like all his children, and they don’t just come out at Halloween.

“I’ve got some Fourth of July, Memorial Day, I’ve got a few Christmas ones over there,” said Marsh. “My pirate is actually one of the newer ones, I just started working on creating those especially down here in Tampa bay for Gasparilla.”

He says everyone needs a gnome in their home, they just make life a little more magical.

“Find your keys for you or maybe hide your keys for you,” joked Marsh.

For more information, look for him on social media @boldmangalleries.