A Creative Force
By Laurie Crowley
When limits are removed, endless energy, power, and influence are allowed to run free. Imagine a world in which labels and boundaries are nonexistent. You no longer have to be just a doctor, a writer, a business executive, or any other singular profession. Remove the blinders and take a cue from Nancy Veldman, businesswoman, author, pianist, watercolor artist, and promoter of all things creative. Nancy has listened to her heart and followed her passions; and along the way, she has uncovered talents and abilities even she never knew she had.
Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. (James 1:17)
Veldman’s first lifestyle shop, Magnolia House, was a charming old cottage in Grayton Beach, Florida, that was a delight to visit. Meandering through the rooms filled with soap, art, and linens—with a white baby grand piano as the store’s centerpiece—was simply perfection. An emerging and vibrant artist community, Grayton Beach and the other towns along Scenic Highway 30-A had a need for someone to tout the skills of the local artists, and Veldman began showcasing many of their pieces at Magnolia House along with her original works. Maybe it was the investment in not only herself but also in so many talented artists that led Veldman’s quaint cottage to evolve into the successful luxury lifestyle store it is today. Now located on Highway 98 at Sandestin’s Grand Boulevard Town Center in Miramar Beach, Magnolia House Lifestyle Store brings even more incredible pieces of art to the forefront for its clients.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
One artistic talent that Veldman discovered in herself later in life was her ability to write. She knew her inner storyteller was there; she just needed to sit down and write the first few words for it to truly emerge. “Many plots, characters, and settings have come from my own experiences,” Veldman says, reflecting on the nine novels and spiritual books she has written. “Weaving what I have lived and learned into a fictional story somehow feels so authentic.”
Veldman’s recent novel Saints and Vagabonds exposes the frailty of man and the ability of the human spirit to overcome loss, pain, and hardship. Her ability to weave the relatable, tragic, heartbreaking story of Matt Collins, a man at the top of his game who falls to the depths of despair, is a testament to her understanding and compassion. Locals will search for and delight in the nod to the book’s setting of Destin, Florida, and everyone else will soak up the beauty of the Emerald Coast through Veldman’s words. Saints and Vagabonds is a summer must-read—but be sure to have a box of tissues handy!
Magnolia House Lifestyle Store offers a diverse collection of handmade and one-of-a-kind items. From California to Massachusetts and beyond, Veldman seeks out artists whose work speaks to her. “There is a force in fine craftsmanship,” she says. “It can be empowering to us when we surround ourselves with accomplished work.”
Veldman’s life’s journey has led her to become a curator and purveyor of art in various forms. She has exposed many of her friends and customers to original works of art and says, “When people purchase our items, I want them to add beauty and joy to their lives.”
In addition to writing books and painting original watercolors, which adorn the walls of her shop with character and emotion, Veldman found yet another outlet to express her creativity: composing music. One day after her father passed away, she sat down at her piano and started writing music, and she’s never looked back. “When my father passed away, I started hearing music. I have written over a hundred songs and produced ten albums,” she says. “This event was life changing and began a ministry undercover inside the walls of Magnolia House.” Her music has found its way into hospitals, cancer centers, cardiac centers, schools, and offices, not to mention many cars going down the road—it seems a lot of people have bought her CDs. She has participated in Sacred Heart Hospital’s Arts in Medicine program, playing music for patients and staff at their Pensacola, Florida, facility. “When music spontaneously emanates from within, there has to be a greater purpose. I feel it restores and gives hope.”
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. (Psalm 98:1)
Pushing past limits and removing the proverbial stumbling blocks that can impede a person has become a natural way of life for Veldman, and it has led to a form of enlightenment that she generously shares with all who cross her path. It is a very freeing concept to think that no matter where we are in life, it is never too late to re-create ourselves. So write, paint, explore, create, and share your beauty with others.
— V —