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San Clemente Journal

Meet the Metzgers

Jun 22, 2017 09:06AM ● By Maggie Zeibak

Tina combines faith with the ocean in her creations.

by Maggie Zeibak

There are many paths to artistry, and smack-dab in the midst of San Clemente runs a duo with creativity to spare. T is for Tina whose stunning, hardy and exotic, succulent plant creations are immediate candidates for the gotta have list, while T for Todd wanders around catching spectacular photographs of our hometown. Together, they enhance life for the rest of us.
Early on in life, Tina always had a vegetable garden which she enjoyed until the drought hit California and she was faced with a water shortage. That’s when she started focusing on water-wise succulents with their thick, fleshy leaves, and formed her business making Pallet Walls, re-purposing wooden pallets to form a garden accent.
She said, “I purchase my reclaimed wood frames from Living Creations in Modesto. There are many shapes and sizes, particularly letters, and I love to assemble them full of healthy and vibrant succulents to make a special presentation. Often a client will bring special pots for me to fill and design something outstanding with beautiful plants. I sell mostly by word of mouth and I’ve been blessed with many amazing customers who have shared my name with others. Realtors often place orders for house-warming gifts which are greatly admired and cherished.”
Tina’s clients have helped promote her work by hosting Sit and Sip Shops at their homes, inviting their friends over for wine as they shop. She generously gives back a discount to the hostess and does the same for fundraisers, giving to the charity of the hostess’ choice.
Busy, like many moms, she strives to work out the balance of business and family time. Gaining a loyal customer base here in town, she has fulfilled many special orders for weddings and memorial services requesting the initials of the people who are being honored. For example, her large initial is 19 inches x 16 inches in size which can be a great gift for the person who “has everything.” This might be something to keep in mind for Father’s Day where a personalized living gift beats another neck tie, hands down. 
Her most popular order is for a large anchor called, “God is My Anchor” combining faith with living near the ocean.
“My price range is from $40-$125 so there is something for everyone,” Tina remarked. Customers say they appreciate how much I pack into the frames and the variety of succulents I use to make them most attractive. These creations are made to be hung in variable-to-bright sun. I use a mixture of Echeveria, Sedum, Dudleya and Sempervivum, providing a rainbow of colors to catch the eye and feed the soul. I love knowing who these arrangements are made for and find so much joy from making these little works of art.”
So, where is Todd while Tina creates her masterpieces? As many of us know, he’s prowling around town looking for images to capture on his camera. Barely a sunset at the pier is missed as he appreciates, and shares, life in our town.
“I started taking photos in the 3rd grade back in Winnetka, Illinois. My mom encouraged me as she was an amazing photographer and I would like to think I inherited her talent. Fortunately, I’ve never had to take any formal classes, thanks to her,” says Todd, “I take photos daily with my Canon T5 and upload shots to my computer where I can edit and enhance the lighting. My stepfather nicknamed me Splash as I bring colors and pizazz to my life. I’ve lived in San Clemente for 11 years and I love sharing the gifts that God gave me to bring joy to this world. I share a lot of images on Facebook, but mostly I donate to charities in hopes that they can raise money for their causes. Architecture, light, people, everyday things, these are topics I like to freeze.
“I have more time now that I’m retired from a fill-in position of Benny the Bull – the mascot for the Chicago Bulls. I’ve done extra work for movies and still do it from time to time, but now I have time to help Tina with her company so that we can be flexible and be at home for our daughter, Tanner.”
Mixing and matching their talents, the Metzgers bring beauty to delight our senses here 
at home in San Clemente. Stop by and meet them at the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at 
North Beach.
Todd Metzger: (949)202-6711 Tina Metzger: (714)679-0058