The plaza was considered for demolition last year.
The end of an era is coming for Fountain Square Shoppes, as My Adornments, a fashion boutique, is closing after 20 years. The two-story plaza at the corner of Vining Court and East Granada Boulevard has been the site of several upscale clothing stores, but none will be left with the departure of My Adornments.
Most of the boutiques closed for the same reason as My Adornments owner Laurie Schammel: retirement. Staying on top of fashion trends is a demanding business, she said recently.
"The fashion business never sleeps and 20 years is a long time to go without a good night's sleep," she said.
Schammel had planned to keep My Adornments open until the end of July, but thinks she may run out of merchandise before then.
She calls My Adornments a “mom and pop” business without the “pop” because her husband had his own career. She drew customers from all over Central Florida with high-end merchandise.
“I had a big-city shop in a small beach town,” she said.
Schammel said she gave the business everything she had and now wants to do other things. Writing could be in her future as she has a journalism background.
Past fashion shops in Fountain Square were Casa Granada, Greiner's Fine Men’s Clothing and Chez Aline. Businesses now in the plaza include a music school, restaurant and a wellness center.
In April, 2018, a neighborhood meeting was held to show plans for Fountain Square Shoppes to be demolished and replaced with a five-story mixed-use building, which would be a permitted use for that zone. There was opposition from nearby residents at the meeting, and the project was placed on hold. The owner is Across the Pond Developments LLC.
GIRLFRIEND TO GIRLFRIEND
Schammel knows she will miss parts of the business. There was that “girlfriend to girlfriend” interaction when she helped customers solve problems, such as finding the right dress for an event that night.
"Many of our customers are like family to us. We have dressed them for work, vacations, first dates, weddings, funerals and even divorces,” she said.
“I had a big-city shop in a small beach town”
LAURIE SCHAMMEL, My Adornments owner
Her business approach through the years was to offer a high level of service and a unique product mix. These practices became even more important in recent years as people have begun to shop online, especially younger shoppers.
Schammel tried branching out into online sales, but found it was too time demanding for her small operation.
“By the time I photographed a dress and placed it online, I could have sold it in the shop,” she said.
Despite the online competition, she said she could keep the business going. There will always be a need for local shops with personality that offer a high level of service, she said.
A HIGH STAKES GAME
Even though times have changed with online shopping, the demand for fashion is still there, she said.
“Women like to express themselves through fashion,” she said.
She started a boutique in 2000 on Seabreeze Boulevard in Daytona Beach and stocked gifts, jewelry and home decor but decided to expand into fashion after three years. A picture frame or candle had longer shelf life, but also fewer financial rewards than clothing.
“The fashion retail business is a high stakes game. Styles are constantly changing with seasons so to make it you've got to keep up with fashion and trends." she said,
My Adornments is located at 142 E. Granada Blvd. Call 386-676-4414.