Deb Gelerter vividly remembers her first visit to Honeymoon Island.
“I knew I had to live here as soon as my feet hit the sand,” Gelerter, an artist who owns Lucie-Mae’s Beach House.
While her piggies sunk into the granules, she began brainstorming how to move away from the corporate life that was ticking-off its vacation days.
“No other place speaks to me like Honeymoon does," she says. "I try to explain how it makes me feel, but I can’t … so I paint.”
Gelerter began creating a working studio to sell her paintings. But she wanted to fill more than just the walls.
“A few years ago, I painted a chest of drawers and eventually sold it on craigslist. A few weeks later, the buyer called me and asked if he could buy end tables to match. I said to him, ‘You know this isn’t a store, right?’ But I did make him some end tables.”
When she discovered another piece of her hand-painted furniture being resold on craigslist for a profit, she realized she had art to fill the floor space of her store.
“I love solid wood vintage pieces with beautiful lines. I always have. I can still visualize dusting an old green secretary that my mother had painted when I was a little girl,” Gelerter says of her passion for giving old furniture new life.
Gelerter opened Lucie-Mae’s Beach House (named for a beloved late pet bird) with her paintings and furniture on Sept. 28, 2010. And she looked to local artists to fill the rest of her store.
“My mentors encouraged me to develop my creativity as an artist, and they taught me to do that for others,” she says. “I thought, there are creative people all around, so why would I ever buy anything for a retail space outside of my own community?"
Thus, everything in Lucie-Mae’s is locally sourced and produced.
"One of the results from sourcing local is that we are helping to make a positive change in the environment and hopefully when people come into the store they can be inspired also — and the positive changes continue,” she says.
The inspiration at Lucie-Mae’s Beach House does seem to help others soar.
"Being invited to sell my work at Lucie-Mae's Beach House has given me the courage to break out of my 'shell'. (A little beach humor there.)," Dawn Lai, owner of the essential oil skin care line Three Violets, writes. "Deb has given me so much confidence and inspiration.”
Cricket Cain, a fiber artist, agrees.
“When I come in to the shop and see the art, it makes me want to go home and create something. I can tell I have been affected by the experience by the choices I am making in colors for paint and fabric.”
Lucie-Mae’s Beach House specializes in custom-painted vintage furniture, as well as coastal home décor and original local art. Gelerter is also available for interior consulting.
Come in, get inspired and then review it on Patch!
Want to go?
- Lucie-Mae's Beachouse, 638 Skinner Blvd.
- Contact: 727-216 6322
- Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Wednesday, CLOSED; Sunday, 3 to 6 p.m.