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Rappin’ with Pegi

Reid Williams
Pegi Rapp took a break from working in her Wildernest townhome Sunday to soak up sun on the porch with Ruby, her Jack Russell terrier.
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WILDERNEST – At 7 years old, Margaret Rapp, whom everyone called Peggy, which was fine with her because Margaret just wasn’t that great a name for a little girl, took the first of many steps in defining herself and her world. She changed her name to Pegi. And 33 years later, she’s still living on her own terms – in Summit County.

Rapp moved to the mountains in 1995 after finishing massage therapy school in Boulder. The Saratoga County, N.Y., native was pursuing her dream, a calling signaled to her by a spiritual experience.

She had worked in sales and marketing for 10 years after college, but felt there was something else out there. She took to working part time for a chiropractor friend and was considering massage as a second career. The day she entered the chiropractor’s office, closed while the employees were out to lunch, and heard drums – even though there was no stereo playing, no drum around or anyone to play it – she made up her mind.

“I was going through a life change and then it happened,” Rapp said Sunday, sitting in her Wildernest townhome. “My friend told me it was a sign that I had found my calling.”

Rapp also had begun snowboarding in 1990, a passion in which she found freedom and release. So, it made sense to move to Colorado and go to massage therapy school close to snow-covered mountains. She now works out of Dr. Ivo Waerlop’s Summit Chiropractic and Rehabilitation center and works with 20 to 30 clients a week. It’s exhaustive work, she said, but well worth it.

“I have the best clientele in the world,” Rapp said.

And it’s the people of Summit County who have kept her here. Rapp said she loves the small community life, where everybody knows everybody. If you treat people well here, she said, they treat you well, a rule she tries to live by, considering her job is all about customer service.

Rapp’s greatest passion centers on one person, though. Her 2-year-old daughter, Skyler, takes up most of her time. Before life as a single mother (a short marriage to Skyler’s father “just didn’t work out”), Rapp prided herself on snowboarding 120 days a year and hiking 3 to 6 miles a day in the summer. Rapp said she hopes to re-engage in those activities as her daughter gets older.

“I can’t wait to show her the world,” Rapp said of her daughter, who had her first experience on skis at 18 months. “I want to share my love of the outdoors and hopefully she’ll like it even more.”

A visitor to Rapp’s home might mistakenly assume that young Skyler has the largest wardrobe of any girl around – the Imelda Marcos of toddlers. Shelves of clothing line the walls of Rapp’s townhome, crowding the rooms and windows. Yes, the young Ms. Rapp is well-dressed, but it’s because of mom’s new business. Missing the sales game, her mother went into business on e-Bay.

It started with buying and selling items over the Internet auction site. This June, Rapp opened an e-Bay store, the Rocky Mountain Boutique, specializing in infant and toddler apparel. Rapp shops around Summit County and Denver, looking for fashionable clothes at a bargain and sells them online.

“Now I talk to people all over the world,” Rapp said. “I ship everywhere in the country, New Zealand, Europe, you name it.”

Between working a job, trying to run a business from home and raising a 2-year-old, however, life can be a little overwhelming, Rapp said. There are all the worries one would expect: making the mortgage, keeping her daughter healthy and trying to meet a man. You just have to take life a day at a time, she said.

So who knows what the future will hold, Rapp said. Maybe she’ll slow down with her massage work and open up a clothing store in the county. Life will definitely stay here in Summit County – the weather is too perfect to go anywhere else. “I’m a lifer,” she said.

And other than that, Rapp said, “I’ll just try to stay positive and happy.”

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.


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