Philanthropist and wildlife painter Lynn Chase has been in the home décor business for close to thirty years. As a child, she began painting. As an adult, painting turned to plate design, and her message and passion for nature conservation grew. With no formal training, Chase’s original designs graced countless tabletops, each with an inscription dedicated to a population in need. Today, her works are award-winning, she serves on the board of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, and she donates a portion of all proceeds to the Lynn Chase Wildlife Foundation. Here, from her home outside New York City, Chase talks business and inspiration.
Lynn Chase with her Jack Russell terrier, Bandit
Rue La La: So, first things first. Why animals?
Lynn Chase: I grew up on Long Island surrounded my animals. My mother raised golden retrievers and my grandmother was an ornithologist. I started drawing at an early age – leopards, for some reason, even though I’d never seen one as a child.
RLL: How did you get your business off the ground?
LC: After the October 19 crash of 1987, I drafted a business plan with my then-partner who had worked at Cartier. We went to friends and family for investors, since we couldn’t rely on venture capitalists at the time. A marketing research firm told me it would never sell, claiming no one would eat off of animals. But then, Jaguar Jungle won the Best Design and Impact Award from the National Tabletop Association.
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