Lead Sand Sculptor and Master Instructor
by Anne Bennett
In a former life, Rick Mungeam (DBA Richard G. Mungeam Designs) was a renowned residential architect traveling extensively designing custom resort homes showcased in several architectural publications. The economic changes of 2008 resulted in Rick and his wife, Capri, selling their Colorado home and beginning a traveling adventure which has drastically changed and blessed their lives.
South Padre Island, TX, late 2010; under the tutelage of Andy Hancock, Master Sand Sculptor, Rick learned the basics of sand sculpting. By mid-2011 Rick was honing his sand sculpting skills on The Emerald Coast of The Florida Panhandle, near Destin, along Scenic Hwy 30A. When his sandcastle with a romantic heart was used for a wedding, and later for several family portraits, Rick realized his talent might develop into a business.
Nov. 2011, Rick won the Pro-Am Division of The World Championship of Sand Sculpting to further prove his talents. 2012 watched BeachSandSculptures.com became the reigning Sand Sculpting Champions and a visible and known presence along Florida’s Emerald Coast. 2013 SandCastle Lessons with Beach Sand Sculptures became a 5 Star Tripadvisor “Recommended Business”, and become a highly sought after activity with their SandCastle Lessons.
Their boys are grown now, but through home schooling their two sons Rick and Capri learned creative teaching skills that Rick now utilizes as he offers design services in the form of sand sculpting creations. Rick and Capri’s son, Marcus, is the newest member of the family to play in the sand. Marcus, as a Certified SandCastle Coach, will be mentoring and teaching families “SandCastle Success” on The Emerald Coast beaches.
Professional Sand Sculptor, Marketing
They say, “Behind every successful man there is a successful woman”, this is often said to emphasize a man’s success often depends on the work and support of his wife. That may or may not be the case with The Mungeams, but one thing is for certain, they’ve been a successful business team for nearly 30 years now.
Initially sand sculpting was definitely Rick’s forte. Capri would talk with the people on the beach, handed out business cards and promoted Rick’s Sandcastle Lessons. But over the last couple of years she has watched carefully and slowly absorbed many of the finer details of sand carving. She still feel like she has much to learn, but the alligator she sculpted on the Topsail Hill State Park Sand Sculpture caught the eye of many a “Gators” fans as one said, “that’s a good lookin’ gator”.
The design development is Rick’s department. “Rick is really the artist”, Capri is fond of saying, “but I come up with a lot of ideas and sometimes they are pretty good”, she said with a smile. Typically when beginning a project Rick shovels and Capri hauls the water from the nearest water source – usually The Gulf of Mexico. They methodically work together to build their sculpture foundation and fill the forms. The couple has worked out their individual roles in order not to literally “step on each other’s toes”.
The other major role that Capri takes is the “behind the sands” marketing. “I’m acquiring a marketing degree through Social Media. There is so much to learn”, Capri states, in a humorous yet serious manner.. The ever changing advertising/marketing innovations and technology caused The Mungeams to realize, if you aren’t communicating with the world via Social Media you are frankly “dead in the sand”. When BeachSandSculptures.com on Facebook received its 1000th “Like” in less than 6 months, they knew they had something very unique and appealing to the masses. “Beach Sand Sculptures are magical; they intrigue the mind, tantalize the soul and capture the heart. They make people happy”, she stated whimsically.
Capri attributes much of the success of SandCastle Lessons to the 5 Star Tripadvisor Recommended Business rating bestowed by their clients. “We are blessed and honored to offer a service that many of our clients feel is “Best family Activity Ever”". The Mungeams have discovered SandCastle Lessons are so much more than building taller sandcastles, although that is great fun, but the experience of quality family time on the beach coupled with the development of vacation memories is priceless.