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Forbes and Yola Christie left Harvard, Massachusetts, looking for a place to settle down and establish their wooden flute making business, Windward Flutes. They came to Shelburne in 2004 after seeing pictures on the Internet; initially they were drawn by the affordable property prices and beautiful scenery.
"Originally we were looking for a piece of land along the coast, on which to build a house and workshop," recalls Forbes. "But when Yola saw the house in Shelburne, she knew immediately it was the right place."
The Christies chose Shelburne as a happy medium between Yola's roots in Vermont and Forbes' roots in Scotland. They both enjoy sailing and love being close to the harbour. They particularly enjoy the community spirit alive in Shelburne. "We find it very cozy here, particularly in the winter," says Yola. "We live in a great neighbourhood with really lovely people."
Forbes is a master flute maker and Yola a silversmith and keymaker at Windward Flutes. Together they work on the design of the flutes. They build traditional wooden instruments with modern tuning and restore historically valuable wooden flutes, so that they will not be lost to posterity, as well as repairing concert Boehm instruments.
Forbes made flutes at Brannen Brothers for more than 10 years, after which he became head of the body department at V.Q. Powell Flutes for four years, before founding Windward Flutes with Yola.
Their grown children come often to visit them in Shelburne. One daughter recently commented, "If you still lived in Massachusetts, I'm not sure how often we would come to visit. But here in Shelburne, we will come as often as we can - you guys live in paradise!"
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