Feature Friday: Taylor Lumpkin

Posted on July 06, 2018

Meet Taylor Lumpkin, a Chicago's First Lady Cruises and Mercury Cruises employee who has been with the company since 2015. Taylor works in the ticket office assisting with answering phone calls from concierge and guests, booking reservations and answering emails. With this year being her fourth season with the company, she also serves as a shift lead for the ticket office. With her eye for design, she is one of the first to be called on to contribute to special projects like setting up for an interior boat photo shoot or assisting with creating floral arrangements for a private charter event. Outside of work, she is heavily involved in the Chicago theatre community performing and assisting with the wardrobe of productions. Read Taylor's interview below to learn more about her.

Why did you become an employee here?
I moved to Chicago three years ago to pursue theatre, and was looking for a day-job that would be flexible enough to allow me to do that. I found CFL on a theatre job website, and it was the perfect fit. My supervisor has been so wonderful in allowing me to have the schedule and time off that I need for theatre, while still having a fulfilling and fun day job!
What is/was your most recent professional career?
I previously worked as the Wardrobe Supervisor at TimeLine Theatre Company for their production of In the Next Room by Sarah Ruhl. My role as a Wardrobe Supervisor is to wash and care for the costumes, set all of the costumes needed for each performance, assist the actors during the show with costume changes, and most importantly, uphold and maintain the production that the costume designer created.


As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
As a child, I was convinced I was going to grow up to win American Idol and be just like Kelly Clarkson. (Spoiler alert: I cannot sing like Kelly Clarkson.)
Which building on the tour is your favorite and why?
My favorite building on the tour is Aqua for many reasons. I love the unique wave-like balconies, and that the building is eco-friendly, including having bird-safe windows. I also find Jeanne Gang to be an inspiration, as she is such a prominent and accomplished female architect.

Tell us about a memorable experience on one of your river cruise tours.
My first summer here, my mom came to visit and we took the Urban Adventure Cruise on the same day as the Air and Water show. While we were on the lake, the Blue Angels flew overhead and it was such a cool experience. It was also special for my mom and I because my late grandfather loved the Blue Angels, and it was a nice way to remember him.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Chandler, Arizona. Chandler is a suburb in the greater Phoenix area. I love Arizona, and my dream is to one day be a snowbird and live in Chicago in the summer and Phoenix in the winter to get the best of both worlds.

Besides architecture, what are three passions of yours?
Three passions and interests of mine are theatre, arts & crafts, and animals.


Where in Chicago are your favorite places to….

  • Unwind – The Regal Webster Place Movie Theatre has really nice reclining seats and cheap tickets on Tuesday nights, so I like to catch a movie there when I need a relaxing night out.
  • Experience the great outdoors – I love spending time at Montrose Dog Beach with my dog Pepper.
  • Grab a great cup of coffee/tea – Zanzibar Cafe in Edgewater has some great coffee and breakfast food.
  • Enjoy a delicious dinner – The Growling Rabbit in Edgewater has great dinner options. They serve American Style comfort food and have delicious baked goods, with a lot of vegan and gluten-free options. The Carnitas Bombwich is to die for.
  • Play tourist for a day (besides the cruise of course!) – Any of the Museums. I love the Field Museum and learning about all sorts of history, and I could get lost in the Art Institute for days, entranced by the beautiful artwork. The Impressionism collection is incredible, and I’m always fascinated by the miniature rooms.

What’s something about Chicago (restaurant, activity, destination, etc) that is a “hidden gem” of yours?
The Nature Boardwalk in Lincoln Park may not be so hidden, but it feels like a special, magical spot in the city. The view from the bridge overlooking the south pond is one of the most breathtaking and Instagram-worthy views in the city. I could sit there and watch the turtles and the fish in the pond all day. Bonus: It’s where my fiancé proposed, so it holds a special little place in my heart.  

What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
Move to Chicago! I’ve lived in Arizona my entire life, and most of my family is still there. Moving across the country to a big, unknown city, was very scary for me, but so worth it to pursue my career. I sometimes still can’t believe I did it and it's been over three years!


What is the next destination on your travel wish list?
I want to travel to Italy, and all around Europe in general. I’ve never been out of North America and would love to see new parts of the world.

Favorite customer you've encountered on the job and why?
My favorite interactions are when I get to meet guests from all over the world.

What is something people are surprised to learn about you?

Some people might be surprised to learn that I am recent graduate of the Conservatory Program at The Second City.