Town Center News

The art of combining old and new is no easy task, though you’d never know it walking around Red Daisy.

On every shelf and surface, elements of years gone by coexist peacefully with their shinier, newer counterparts. Rusted cheese graters long out of commission find new purpose as a display for colorful rows of earrings; grandma’s china lives on, reimagined as a necklace. Around here, owner Tracy Raymond makes sure everything gets a second chance at life.

Self-described as “always selling something”, Raymond started her first business when she was 16. A cocktail cleanup crew called ‘The Party Slaves’, they tidied up after the soirees of family and friends. From there, her path led her through various ventures: sales associate, travel agent, caterer, florist and stay at home mom— when at last, Red Daisy was born.

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To find out what goes into running such a cool business, we chatted with Raymond about antiques, being your own boss lady and more:

Q: When did you decide to venture out and open you own store? What was the process like?
A: The decision to open my own shop was kind of made for me. I had put in an offer to purchase an existing gift shop and that fell through. My current space became available and Red Daisy was born. The process was so exciting! How could it not be-- I was shopping for my favorite things! And I knew the location was special. The Courtyard at 200 First Street is the perfect spot for Red Daisy because of its location and surrounding retail businesses.

Q: Where did your love of vintage kitsch come from? How do you make these items current and fresh for a modern clientele?
A: My love for antiques and vintage came from my maternal grandmother and her sister-in-law. While at a family reunion in Missouri and Kansas, Grandma and Aunt Marge took me on a "Huntin' and Gathererin’" trip. I learned so much-- how to smell furniture, china markings and furniture styles... Those two gals opened a whole new world for me and I was only 23 at the time!

I don't think it's so much about keeping the vintage items current, after all they AREN'T current... they're old. I think it's about balance and combination. The mix of old with new is something that surrounds us daily. I try to educate our customers about antique and vintage items. And then incorporate a fresh new item that compliments their vibe. A vintage tobacco tin canister is a great planter or a sleek, modern glass decanter filled with antique beads is piece of art. Old family items have "soul" and I feel, make your house a home.

Q: When it comes to being a successful businesswoman, what traits are a must-have?
A: Dedication and a positive outlook. I have always been a "glass half full" kind of person. There are always going to be pitfalls in any business, but how you interpret them determines the outcome.

Q: What do you love most about being your own boss and calling the shots? What's the most challenging part?
A: What I absolutely love the MOST about being my own boss is the TIME I get to spend with Red Daisy's customers. I love spending time getting to know our clientele. Our customers are what drive me to find new items. Making the call that I've found the perfect gift a customer has been searching for is the biggest perk. It's why we spend the time getting to know our shoppers.

The most challenging part is finding the TIME to do the dirty work-- the NOT so fun part of the business. The paperwork, back office stuff, heck...finding time to clean out the storage room is hard! Red Daisy is open 7 days a week and some evenings, so the re-arranging and "fluffing" has to be done way after or before hours. Most Sundays you'll find me in my shop at 6:30am doing all the dirty work, but I still love it and wouldn't have it any other way!

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself when Red Daisy was just getting started?
A: Going back in time I would have listened and paid more attention to people. You can learn so much if you just listen. My father used to always say “listen louder”.

Q: What do you hope to achieve with Red Daisy in the future? What's your vision?
A: Going forward I hope to add to Red Daisy's charitable giving, be able to give all my awesome Red Daisy Gals yearly raises and continue meeting and helping customers find unique and treasured gifts.

My vision is to go global! Franchise Red Daisy! Make it a household name! Have a Red Daisy reality show! Anything is possible... I just need to find time to vacuum the shop!

You can catch Tracy and her menagerie of new and old at Red Daisy
Mondays through Saturdays, 10am-6pm or Sundays 12pm-5pm
For more info, visit their Facebook page here or call (904) 339-0137

Jam-packed with things cute beyond comprehension, it’s no wonder why KYDS Children’s Boutique has remained consistently busy since opening its doors.

Within seconds of walking through the giant, green doors, you’re immediately consumed by adorable-- teeny-tiny outfits for baby, funky styles for tweens and blankets so cuddly, you’d want to buy one for yourself. Forget about walking out empty handed; it’s nearly impossible.

All of these great things coupled together made the decision to acquire the business an easy one for twins Rachel and Melody. When the opportunity to buy arose, they grabbed the baton and ran. The fact that they had no prior experience as business owners didn’t matter-- they were going to make it work.

To get to know the two bubbly blondes better, we asked them a few questions about what goes into taking over a business:

Before taking over KYDS, the two of you were professional tennis players. Does your professional athletic background benefit you as business owners?
To succeed as a pro athlete, we had to be committed to never give up, to keep our eye on our goal of being the best we could be no matter what. We embraced the understanding that success does not come easy—but failure was not an option. We also could not listen to those who told us we could NOT become professional athletes- and focused on HOW best to do so.  These lessons we learned during our tennis careers prepared us for what we needed to do as business owners. In our tennis careers, we succeeded by constantly focusing on seeing what could be accomplished….and now, as business owners, we are focusing on the unlimited possibilities of success.  Also, when we started tennis, we knew nothing about how to become professional athletes. But, we knew that through constant study and discipline we could do so.  This is exactly our approach as business owners.  We know that with perpetual learning and discipline we will reach our goals ---as we will not give up.

What was the most challenging part about taking over a preexisting business?
We knew we had to ensure that the customer base and stellar reputation developed by the former owner was maintained.  However, we also wanted to make necessary improvements to create a fresh, new and contemporary venue. Our biggest challenge was how best to introduce our own vision for the business without compromising the integrity or diminishing the value of operations of the former owner.

On your journey as new business owners, what has been the best advice you’ve received?
To learn and grow one day at a time.  To pray for wisdom and understanding and embrace the advice of multiple counselors.  To recognize that change is good and to realize when change is best.  To constantly study and learn how to improve business operations and customer enthusiasm.

People always talk about the unbreakable bond twins share. How does that play into being business partners?
We know each other better than anyone else.  Therefore, we do not have to go through a learning process of how to get along.  We are keenly aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and understand best how to accomplish any task. We encourage and support each other without fear of condemnation and judgment. We know that with every conflict, we will always work things out for the best of our business as we are together forever.  We can always count on each other in any situation.

What has been the most rewarding part of operating a business in the Beaches Town Center?
It is a charming and trendy shopping experience for customers in this beachside venue.  The energetic atmosphere and camaraderie between shop owners creates a unique dynamic of fun and support. It is especially rewarding to operate a business that offers an alternative, more personalized relationship with customers than can be experienced in a large retail environment.

When you think about KYDS’ future, what is your vision? What can we expect?
We want to explore ways to better serve the unique needs of our customers with fresh new lines and brands of quality merchandise. We are also exploring possibilities of creating new experiences for our clients with new services and new types of merchandise beyond clothing and accessories.
We are excited in knowing in our hearts the best is yet to come as we seek to be the best for our customers.

If you’re looking for the hottest trends in youth fashion, or maybe you just want advice on how to perfect your tennis technique, make sure you stop in to KYDS and say hi.

10am-6pm Monday through Saturday.
12pm-5pm on Sundays
Call (904) 595-5092 or visit www.kydsboutique.com

Hurricane Irma has caused much devastation across the state of Florida, including the destruction of Dance Trance’s San Marco studio on September 10th.

The studio was submerged in 3-5 feet of water and was considered a total loss and will thousands of dollars and months to get it back up and running on its feet. The money collected will go towards bills and damages of what the storm claimed.

Jay and Beth Handline, the creators and owners of Dance Trance and beloved staples of the Beaches Town Center community, have sunk every penny into creating the studio and dance fitness program as a whole.

If you are able, we hope you’ll consider a donation to help re-open the studio’s doors, but to also help the Handline’s keep the program in operation for many Jacksonville students.

In addition, the Dance Trance Neptune Beach studio will be selling tops for $10 and pants for $20 in the DT shop to help raise funds. The shop will be open during class hours.

For more information, visit their YouCaring page here

For a dance class schedules and DT Neptune Beach shop hours, visit here:

Kim Rogers wasn’t always immersed in the world of retail.

Originally a restaurant owner in St. Louis, it was a desire to return to Jacksonville that drove her to sell the business and move to Neptune Beach. And through a happenstance business venture proposed by friends, she dove headfirst into the challenge of buying with no prior experience.

The product of this partnership, of course, was Bali Cargo Company- a tiny slice of exotic locale stowed stateside that you could visit without the expensive plane ticket. Behind its doors lays a business that beautifully blends the rich, ornate culture of Bali with the laidback, chill lifestyle of Neptune Beach.

To get a feel for how the gears behind this cool business work, we chatted with Rogers’ about bringing Bali to the Beaches Town Center, the art of buying and more:

How did you become interested in the world of Bali and its incredible culture?
Before Bali Cargo Co., I had only visited Thailand a few times so my knowledge of Asia was very limited.  My business partners traveled to Bali for a surfing trip and upon returning were ready to begin the import business. They approached me and I gave myself a crash course in the business of retail and importing!

The pieces you purchase are products of the “cottage style” industry- meaning they’re made in homes or small, communal workshops. How do you go about communicating with these communities of artisans?
When I first traveled to Bali I would wake up at the crack of dawn, shop all day, return late to the hotel, eat, sleep and repeat! I noticed other buyers sitting with store owners enjoying coffee, relaxing and chatting… I would think to myself “how in the world do they have time for that?” Now, after 10 years and over 20 trips to Bali I am able to enjoy that Bali coffee.
The buying process has become a bit easier although always a challenge, just a bit more relaxed. Contacts come through communication. Both the Balinese and other buyers have shared contacts with me. The goal is to keep lasting relationships with the families so that they will work with me on my designs and ideas to keep our product fresh and current.

When you started, did you ever worry that an American audience might not “get” certain design aspects of the Balinese culture and aesthetic? Why do you think your store has translated so well?
Bali is truly an international marketplace. People from all over the world travel there and the Indonesians are very open to new ideas. If I have an idea for a carving, they can make me a sample within minutes. I sit with business owners and design jewelry for hours. Their adaptability in the marketplace is the key to their longevity. Some of their traditional crafts don’t always translate but because of their business savvy we can take a traditional design and make it contemporary with a few tweaks here and there.

What, for you, is the most rewarding part of owning such a unique business?
You can ask any small business owner and they will give you the same answer when it comes to the benefits of owning your own business. Flexibility, creating jobs and using your creative juices everyday in everyway  - but in my case throw in a few trips to Bali and you have the best job ever!

You can pick up a piece of Bali at 200 First Street in the Beaches Town Center.
Mon–Sat. 9am-8pm
Sun 9am-7pm
Call (904) 270-2254
Or shop online at balicargocompany.com

For the past year, Mother and Daughter duo Michele and Whit have kept Beaches Town Center stocked with Southern, salty home and entertaining goodness at Sailors Siren.

Nestled in a cozy loft off of 1st Street, the space is a visual treat— bright, warm and exploding with color. Tables topped with beautiful book spreads dot the room, while the shelves display things like delicate dishes and cards with cheeky sayings. It’s a one-stop shop for everything entertaining-- a hostess’ haven, for sure.

If you’re unfamiliar with this bubbly, bright pair of boss babes, read on— to
celebrate their brick-and-mortar’s One Year Anniversary at BTC (and to get to know them a little better) we picked their brains on some different topics:

Following a 9 month renovation of the historic Palms Inn, the owners behind Hotel Palms are hoping their private courtyard and patio space becomes an event venue for locals to use for happy hours, birthday parties, family reunions, trunk shows, weddings, rehearsal dinners, etc. The space, which fits 125 people, is complete with an outdoor fireplace, access to the hotel's beer and wine lounge, and wooden rocking chairs. Click Here To Visit Their Website.

Contact:
Stevan Brown
(904) 226-8782
stevangarvin@gmail.com

100% Natural, Vegan, Cruelty-free—what more could you want? Saavy Naturals are experts in handcrafted beauty, so you know their new Bay Rum & Hemp scent has to be good. A classic scent for men, but great for women too, this scent is packed with amino acids and nutrients to deeply nourish hair and skin. Score this yummy scent in a few different forms: soap bars, bath salts, body cream, bath bombs, salt scrubs, body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

Stop in and shop their store in the Beaches Town Center today!

This spring, the Beaches Town Center Agency issued a friendly contest to all BTC employees: make a 3-5 minute video of the do’s and don’ts of employee parking that was both creative and entertaining.

After much outstanding work and effort, the winning video was selected and the amazing team at Peterbrooke took the prize! As winners, the team split $500 and will receive VIP parking for one month.

Watch their incredible video.

Sliders has a new K9 for Warriors puppy namesake!

NEW FAMILY MEMBER: Slider

K9's for Warriors

Sponsored by the Fletcher High School Interact club. Sliders Seafood Grille has hosted five fundraisers for K9's for Warriors which has raised $50,000. This cute 8-month-old Black Lab is our namesake SLIDER. An owner-surrender, Slider is now being fostered by our very own staff member Samantha Epstein!
Luckily Slider is now also the subject of her new blog, Sliding into Service. In it, she chronicles both the journey of this special pup to becoming a service dog and her own discoveries about the unique and challenging process. Keep up with his AND her progress at slidingintoservice.wordpress.com and sharing it with your followers!

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