Lynn and Thayne Taylor - Watercolor Dreams
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The Perfect Storm

In 1991, Thayne conceives a business plan to do a series of videos of bed and breakfasts in Hawaii, starting with those on Kauai. His thought is to use the newly expanding networking called BBS’s as a marketing tool and a way to book reservations. The idea being that this great plan will afford Lynn and Thayne the ability to combine a business venture with travel – moving all around the globe eventually videotaping unusual vacation accommodations worldwide. They were off to a good start with a demo video of some Kauai properties. Some major bookstore chains, Walden and Dalton and Borders, were interested in their project and carrying their videos! Well that was the plan, until September 11, 1992 when the category five Hurricane Iniki devastated the island of Kauai.

Hurricane Iniki over Kauai (image: NOAA)
Hurricane Iniki over Kauai, Sept. 11, 1992 (image: NOAA)

Thayne worked for a couple of weeks on construction crews helping with the clean-up. Being one of the bigger guys on the crew and mandated to the role of mule, he decided to head back to the computer and came up with a new game plan. Always the entrepreneur and ahead of his time, Thayne saw that the world of BBS’ing was on fire and growing quickly. He decided to scrap the vacation rental video idea since there were few, if any, vacation accommodations on Kauai after the storm. He decided to start up an online Bulletin Board System – the precursor of today’s extensive online networking world.

Hawaii OnLine (HOL)

Together Thayne and Lynn created Hawaii OnLine, which started as a statewide BBS and grew into becoming the largest Internet Service Provider company in the state of Hawaii. Their adventure with Hawaii OnLine lasted a fast and furious four years. They started the company out of their tiny apartment in Lawai, moved to a one room office in Lihue and then to a high rise office in downtown Honolulu. The company grew quickly with a dynamic young staff of about thirty employees and it was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. They were the first to develop instant web pages, videoconferencing over the web, first to accept and process credit card transactions over the web, first to do a live Internet feed of a major sports event – The IronMan Triathlon. The Taylor Team gives major kudos to their Hawaii OnLine team of partners – Kitty Lagareta, Eric Epling, Pat Chicas, Jimmy Thompson and all of the original HOL employees. The Taylors credit the entire HOL team’s enthusiasm and dedication to the success of the HOL adventure. After its development, HOL was sold to a telecommunications firm out of Portland, Oregon.

Side Trip

Ever try to put an artist in pantyhose and pantsuits and try to get her to conform to corporate life? It wasn’t working for Lynn and she went through a pretty bad funk. Lynn and Thayne were not cut of the corporate cloth. They survived two years out of a three-year contract which relocated them and the HOL staff to Portland Oregon.

To help Lynn recoup from the trauma, Thayne took Lynn on a road trip through the Wild West, stopping off in his hometown of Loveland, Colorado. On that stopover, Thayne and Lynn saw that Thayne’s mother was having health issues. The couple made the decision to relocate to Colorado to be there to help Thayne’s mom.

Home Sweet Home

What was supposed to be a year in Colorado before they would return to Kauai turned into three years. On September 10th 2001, the Taylors finally landed back in Hawaii. The day after they arrived, all flights out of Oahu were grounded due to the 9/11 attack. The couple waits it out on Oahu, spending most of their time at the animal quarantine center visiting their cat Gypsy. They are finally able to fly back home to Kauai where they designed and built a beautiful home in the hills of Kalaheo. There they operate a nice little bed and breakfast, with their beloved cats, Gypsy and Samantha and their environmentally friendly lawnmowers – three St. Croix sheep.

Lynn and Thayne
Studio Cats Gypsy and Samantha

The couple spends as many available hours as possible collaborating on songwriting – Thayne with a guitar and Lynn with a notebook developing lyrics. The boom box has been replaced with a laptop outfitted with Logic software that they keep in their living room – the place where most of their impromptu jam sessions happen and most of their songs are born.

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The Making of Watercolor Dreams