Sabrina Tropf, a single mom who worked in the music business and dabbles in interior design, is now using her creative energy to develop collage-style greeting cards that are in nearly a dozen stores throughout Pinellas, including one shop in Dunedin.
Tropf has lived in Los Angeles and Nashville, then came back to the area to be near her family, including her mother Larraine Beigel and grandparents, Bert and Liane Beigel, Holocaust survivors who passed away several years ago.
Tropf has been married before and has a 1-year-old son, Nova Berlin, the middle name after her grandparents’ birthplace, Berlin, Germany.
Tropf loves rock and roll, and colorful tattoos run up and down her arm and other places on her body. One on her hip says “Live Free.”
Soon she hopes to add the numbers that were tattooed on her grandfather's arm while he was a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp – 126999.
“I want to honor him,” said Tropf, 29. Her late grandparents lived much of their lives on Clearwater Beach. Tropf now lives in their small 1950s house, which she has redone in ultra-modern Ikea style furnishings and décor.
She has a degree from the Musicians Institute of Hollywood, which she’s proud of herself for seeing through to the end. She attended both Tarpon Springs and Clearwater High School, and ended up getting her GED.
As a child, she and her mother worked on many collages side by side. She considers it an “expression of her inner vision and a creative outlet during troubled times.”
After moving back to Florida, a friend re-inspired her to start doing collage work again, and she turned her art into cards.
“She’s taking her own positive energy, her artistic energy, and putting it into something positive, something good, that people enjoy,” said Rebbetzin Chanie Adler with Chabad of Clearwater, who runs a Babies & Bagels program for Jewish moms that Tropf attends.
Tropf goes out to stores looking for potential venues to carry her cards, and only puts them in shops she thinks are a good fit for her work. She sells them wholesale to stores, as well as at occasional art shows.
“I wear whatever I’m wearing, I am who I am,” said Tropf, whose business is called Pulp by Sabrina.
When she goes into a boutique or gift shop, she does a quick evaluation and asks some questions. Mostly, she can tell from the vibe whether it’s a place she wants her cards – which are a collaged combination of rubber stamps, dried flowers, specialty papers, photos and other interesting things she finds. She puts herself into her work, which can be both draining and energizing.
“I can’t force it… I have to feel it,” she said. “It’s not like I sit down and make cards everyday. I have to be in the mood. I have to be inspired.”
She has cards for births, marriages, break ups, birthdays and other occasions.
Tropf's cards are available in Dunedin at Erika’s Place, 714 Broadway.
“Her cards have been doing really well in our store,” said Renee Cornish with Warehaus Boutique in downtown Clearwater. “She has such a unique style and they really reflect her personality. Even her cards that are the same theme, they’re each unique. People love them. They’ll just instantly think of someone they know when they see one.”
Tropf didn’t have a relationship with her father growing up, but her grandparents served as an inspiration throughout her life. She still enjoys the annual Passover Seders at her mom’s house and her continued connection to Judaism. She’s learning more and more about her roots, growing as a mom and now as a business owner and artist.
“I’m a work in progress. Everybody’s working on themselves everyday,” Tropf said. “And I put that into my cards.”
For more information and pictures of her cards, visit www.pulpbysabrina.com.