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Emile T Petro III

Tailwalk Apparel & Gallery is the natural progression inspired by artist’s inner eye, a vision of the future and the past combined. Tailwalk Art was created around everything saltwater but has grown to encompass the adventure of outdoor life everywhere. Emile T. Petro III discovered his talent for drawing early in life but not until his late thirties did he discover his inner eye, his passion for the action of saltwater life and the people that make it happen. 

Born in Gulfport, MS he grew up with the Gulf of Mexico and her thousands of tributaries as his front and back yard. Emile gives credit for his talents to his grandfather, Robert A. Breckenridge who was an excellent illustrator and free hand sign painter by trade, he was also an exceptional artist that was never intimidated by the size of his canvas. Breckenridge was also known as a local fly-fishing legend. Emile spent much of his formative years around the family fish camp nestled back in the Mississippi bayous where young Emile would hone his talents and passion. Fishing from Ship Island, MS to Perdido Key, FL. Emile has played and worked in hundreds of miles of some of God’s finest fishing grounds. One of his fondest memories is catching his first Red Fish with his father at the Chandelier Islands. It took a while for them to get back home when the tide went out and left them high and dry for several hours, “That was a great day!” 

The allure of fishing and the magic the Gulf of Mexico as well as his vision propelled him toward the inevitable. He was encouraged by his daughter Anna and wife, Jill, who have always saved his doodling, but it was not until a day in 2003, while in the Florida Keys when Emile saw a painting of a blue marlin, did he say to himself , “I can do that!” 

What followed is all but astonishing;

His first piece “Soulless Blues” is representative of the insight that this artist possesses. The fish is the one no one will ever catch, the one every saltwater angler hopes for, he is old, he is wise, he is majestic and he is truly uncatchable, he, or is it a she, is the fish of your dreams. 

In 2009 Emile joined with Ellen Peel of The Billfish Foundation and donated an early copy of the original “Soulless Blues” for their conservation benefit efforts. At the time the idea of Apparel sales was in its infancy and the visionary in Petro designed an entire catalog for a virtual store long before creating many of his shirt designs, just to test the market. The response was so overwhelming that next came more designs and a real store front and by 2010 sales were up and the demand for Tailwalk product was on the rise. Emile proudly services his tourist and local client base from his own Tailwalk store at the family owned restaurant, The Perdido Key Oyster Bar Restaurant and Marina in Pensacola, Florida. 

Comfortable with his art, and his approach to merchandising Emile, just like his grandfather, he is never intimidated by the size of the canvas or his dreams. On his father’s desk sits a picture of a beautiful oriental woman atop an elephant somewhere in Thailand and she is wearing a Tailwalk t-shirt and the biggest smile you have ever seen.

What is a “Tailwalk”

In off-shore fishing the term “Tailwalk” is an act performed by a hooked Marlin or Sailfish.  The intent of the fish is to throw the hook or cut the line, the intent is to regain freedom!  The fish thrusts itself out of the water and with the power of only its tail stays aloft and seems as though it is performing a dance. In reality it is in a desperate challenge to remain free.  Freshwater trout perform much the same way Marlin do when hooked.  The challenge for the angler is to land the fish; the challenge for the fish is to never let the angler lay a hand on him, freedom.

A Wild Dolphin “Tailwalk” just fun, to enjoy their unbound freedom.  In snowmobiling “Tailwalking” is the act of using only the very end of the track to propel the vehicle forward while standing and leaning back with precise balance, thus performing a dangerous act with skill and precision. Successfully done it delivers an exhilarating feeling of freedom.

Tailwalk Apparel & Gallery, Inc. was created by the influences, inspirations and experiences that come from an adventurous lifestyle. We proudly design and market aggressive apparel for the outliners of life who enjoy every minute of their freedom!

Tailwalk is the expression of determination to be free and adventurous, throw your hook and enjoy life to the fullest!!! 

Emile currently lives in Perdido Key, Florida with his wife Jill, daughter Anna Claire and of course their Chocolate Lab Rusty who enjoys boating as well. 

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