The Salty Mermaid features 35 local artists.
Sunlight streams through the large window at The Salty Mermaid, a new shop on State Road A1A, and when the door opens the ocean breeze can waft in.
It’s a light and airy place stocked with colorful objects from 35 local artists, including paintings, hand crafted jewelry, candles, soaps, bath salts, custom shirts, hand-painted wine glasses and much more, most with ocean themes.
“Coming here is not like going to work,” said owner Penny Shumate. “You're wearing flip flops, looking at the ocean and surrounded by beautiful art.”
One wall is covered by an original, fanciful mural of a mermaid and sea life left by the previous tenants, a tattoo shop, and it fits in well. Shumate wants a comfortable, colorful vibe.
Opening the business across the street from Tom Renick Park at 1546 Ocean Shore Blvd. in Ormond-by-the-Sea was a dream come true for Shumate. Living nearby, she envisioned the shop drawing walk-ins from the park and drivers traveling the busy highway.
She was excited to see the vacancy in the strip mall on A1A where she dreamed of having her business.
“I feel like this was meant to be,” she said.
MEANT TO BE
The Shumates have lived in Ormond-by-the-Sea for four years, having come down from Jacksonville to escape the congestion.
“To me, this really is paradise,” she said.
Shumate had a hobby creating art with sea glass and donated a piece in an antique window frame to a local charity a couple of years ago. Orders for her work started coming in so she started going to art shows.
Her husband David was very encouraging and supportive, she said, and travelled with her to 12 art shows in a row on weekends while working his regular job through the week
Dreaming of having her own art shop, she went around to artists that she liked at the festivals and asked if they would be interested in displaying their works in a shop. Since opening, artists have been approaching her and she now has a variety at a wide range of prices. She said she keeps her commission low so the artists can charge a good price for their works.
There’s no other shop like it all the way to Flagler Beach. Also, her Facebook page, TheSaltyMermaidArt has 900 followers and attracts customers from hundreds of miles away, she said.
“The first month was phenomenal,” she said.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, and she posts sales on her Facebook page. She will be closed on Mother’s Day.
Previously, Shumate worked as a licensed aesthetician and has also been a retail manager. She said she wants to thank all of her customers for supporting small business and local artists.
“I feel like this was meant to be.”
PENNY SHUMATE, shop owner in Ormond-by-the-Sea