Where are you from?
I grew up all over the world. My father changed jobs about every three years so we lived in Central America, Europe, and all over the US. Guatemala was, by far, the most interesting.
What was your upbringing like?
My father was Norwegian and my mother, Canadian. We constantly traveled the world. My father was also a pilot so he flew us all over in his single engine Cesna. Life was never dull, for Dad was a live wire and full of adventure. We even explored the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala back in the 60's- just as they were being excavated and discovered. We grew up with iceboats in Chicago, motorcycles, sports cars and a home full of art. Both parents painted, but it was my father who became my teacher at the young age of six (seepicture below).
Where do you currently reside? If in a larger city, what part?
I live in the five Points are of Raleigh, NC. It is an artsy area with small bungalows and cool restaurants all within walking distance.
How long have you been in the Carolinas? Why did you move here?
I moved to North Carolina in 1980 right out of college to host a television program called PM Magazine. I eventually went on to not only host but produce the show as well. Over the two decade period I spent at WRAL-TV 5 in Raleigh, I created award winning children's programming, won an Emmy for one of my documentaries, produced restaurant reviews for the newscast as the Arts and Entertainment Editor and finished up as marketing manager for High Definition television.
Family stats (including the furry members)?
Husband Johnny, married in 1984, daughter Maggie McCall born 1987, Sarah Gray born 1991. Marley labradoodle, Murphy Goldendoodle.
What is your education or training background?
B.A Graduate degree in Speech Communications from Penn State University in 1979.
What is your occupation?
You can say I like to reinvent myself. After a successful career in television, I became a manufacturers sales rep and then went on to create a T-shirt company with business partner, Karen Hall, called SweeTea - which sold in Hallmark and gift stores all across the South. I turned my once hobby of painting into a career producing original oil paintings under my maiden name, Susan Dahlin www.susandahlin.com.
To supplement my creative passion, I became a real estate broker with Hodge and Kittrell Sotheby's International Realty and today am one of their top performers marrying the art of selling with art on a canvas.
What are your hobbies? Are your hobbies a side business?
My hobbies are to ride bikes on the fabulous Greenway system throughout Raleigh. Hike and walk my dogs morning, noon and night. And I traded in my tennis racket to play golf, always dreaming of finding more hours to practice. Barre 3 is in my backyard and life could not be better walking to your workout at 6 am to start off the day refreshed.
What are you passionate about? What motivates you?
Waking up every morning motivates me. What am I going to paint today? Who am I going to sell a home to today? Neither real estate nor painting is ever the same. No transaction, or canvas can repeat exactly so life is always interesting and exciting.
What causes are you involved with?
I recently volunteered to help build a Habitat for Humanity home which I found very rewarding and plan to continue. As for charities, I have my select groups I donate my paintings to and imagine I give away over a dozen a year.
What do you love about the Carolinas?
The variety and beauty of the Carolina's is unmatched. From the coast to the mountains we get it all in an eight hour span. We have four seasons, friendly people and Southern Charm around every corner.
Where do you vacation?
We have a mountain home in Todd, NC. When I can find time, our log cabin is my slice of Heaven. All tension departs once I top the Blue Ridge and the mood switches to mountain time.
What are your proudest accomplishments?
My children are my proudest accomplishments. Graduates of Duke University and Appalachian University. Maggie lives in Brooklyn, New York as a computer rock star for a start up company and Sarah lives in Raleigh and has joined me at Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby's as a broker.
Have you had a life changing event in your life?
Upon the passing of our parents, my husband and I decided to downsize and restore an old bungalow. Taking it down to the bare bones, we rebuilt our tiny, yet charming dream home. The finishing touch is an art studio currently being constructed in the backyard. Each morning I have to pinch myself that I created that classic dream home that I had always envisioned. It was like the end of the movie Miracle on 42 Street when Natalie Wood realizes Santa got her that dream home she had torn out of the shopping catalog. My dream came true.
If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your time each day?
I would renovate more bungalows, like the home we renovated below. :)