Some people think awesome bikinis and board shorts when they think of Shore on St. Armands Circle. I however, think awesome interior design and visual merchandising. Either way, Shore is a great store with a strong sense of style and purpose. I like it so much that I asked owner Susan Leonard to give me the scoop on the why and the how of Shore. Luckily for me she agreed and even gave me a guided tour. Thanks Susan!
The main mission of Shore is to promote and inspire a water-centric, active, relaxed lifestyle. Although the store has a vintage surf shop vibe, it’s so much more than that. Surfing is encouraged of course, but so is boating, biking, swimming, skating and walking. Shore brand is all about getting by the water – pool, lake, river, ocean – it doesn’t matter as long as you’re out doing something and having fun.
To carry out their intended mission, Susan and two staff merchandisers pay obsessive attention to layout and design details. Everything in the carefully curated inventory has to keep within the brand message, all the time, without feeling forced or too serious. A series of large scale wave photos help reinforce the water-centric focus.
On the sales floor, clothes are grouped by color, not brand, because it’s easier on the eye. Mannequins are dressed in layers which adds interest and sleeves are perfectly stuffed and pinned. Custom made display tables hold items that can quickly be put together as an outfit, complete with backpack, sunscreen and a Sarasota must have – a Shore Tervis Tumbler!
Playful touches and whimsy are an important part of Shore style. Countless examples can be seen in framed surf memorabilia, display table accents, or in vignettes on store shelves. Next time you’re in Shore, see if you can spot the alligator clock or the decked out rooster.
As you can probably tell, I could go on and on. I just love Shore. The only thing that would make it better was if the fabulous lamps behind the counter were for sale. Seriously!
Shore is located on St. Armands Circle, at 465 John Ringling Blvd. Sarasota.
All photos by Raeanne/inhabitSarasota