Help Us Bring The Island Octopus Shop To Life!


Our names are Matt & Melissa and we are looking for help with making our dream of having our own retail shop and art studio in southern Florida a reality. After much planning and research, we have realized that we can't do it alone. Having a little extra help from our supporters is essential to making this happen. We hope that you may share our dreams and would like to see us continue on our paths as artists.

In addition to continuing our online sales, a physical location in southern Florida will allow us to focus on our artistic endeavors, and provide a larger studio space to create and display new artwork for you. We have endless ideas for new designs, including apparel, tropical flora & fauna-themed artwork, incense blends, and more.

The capital we are trying to raise will go to start up costs for this new store front. This will include purchasing paint, lighting, displays, cleaning supplies and other vital components for the retail space. In addition, extra funding will help us order sufficient quantities of merchandise to be sold over the first few months. All merchandise will feature our original artwork! Besides the fun things that everyone sees when they enter a shop, there are many other hidden costs that may be unknown to the general customer. This is especially true when it comes to the actual opening costs! Deposits not only for the leased space but also utilities, licenses and inspections, filing and legal fees, and simple things like having gas for transport and food to eat absolutely must be covered to even open the doors to the public.

Here is a look at some of our artwork, gifts and incense that will be offered at our shop:

In addition to the capital we've saved, here are how your donations will be used:

Storefront (estimated $7,600)
Deposit for lease & utilities, signage, furniture & display fixtures, register & point of sale software, cleaning & office supplies, phone line, paint and lighting for storefront, inspections & licenses.

Inventory (estimated $4,000)
Cards, stickers, books, handmade Incense, roll on perfume, shirts, art prints, cups & mugs, beach decor, business cards, shopping bags.

Professional fees (estimated $1,500)
Advertising fees for online listings, local magazines/newspapers, chamber of commerce, and artist organizations, professional fees for a lawyer and tax accountant.

While this might seem like a lot, we are being as resourceful as possible and feel very positive about our endevour being a great success. We have nearly 10 years of past experience with our own sole proprietership, and have spent many hours over the years interacting with our customers and learning about their interests at live art and craft fairs. During that time, we have successfully managed our own online store in addition to other platforms such as Etsy and Zazzle. Over the last year and a half, numerous long hours lasting into the late nights have been dedicated to research, business planning, and budgeting to bring The Island Octopus to life. We even have the ideal space picked out, now it is up to the final push to gather the missing finances that will complete the massive endeavor. If you find it in your heart to offer us any assistance, just know that we will be eternally greatful. Even the smallest donations do make a difference and will be beneficial. Thank you for taking the time to learn about our hopes and dreams!

More about us...

The Island Octopus™ LLC was founded in 2021 by husband-wife team Matt and Melissa Gindling. Our store offers whimsical critters, beachy art, coloring books, apparel, and handcrafted incense. We started this project with the intent of giving our creations a home, while offering clients, fans, and friends an inside-look into the creative process. This artistic journey began in St. Louis, Missouri in 2011. Throughout the past 10 years, we've both enjoyed creating artwork, books, incense, and other unique products.

Matt is a graduate from Webster University (St. Louis, MO). He is the creator of Ethereal Aromas Incense, as well as a visual artist focusing on pen, pencil, and graphic design. His interest in the lore and horticultural aspects of incense and medicinal plants has led to a collection of rare plants. Melissa studied illustration at Columbia College Chicago (IL). She enjoys creating cute critter and animal illustrations in watercolor, pen, and colored pencil. Past illustrated book releases include The Sleep Catcher by Za Goodbrake, Little Bird, Little Bird by Loni Hoots, Duskie the Owl by Matthew Gindling, and an Octopus Coloring Book.

View our online shop to learn a little more about us! The Island Octopus

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    • $50 
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    • $100 
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  • Robert Hall 
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  • Michael Evans 
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Matthew Gindling 
Ballwin, MO
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