The shop, purchased by the Youngs in 2008, operated for 20 years as Linens Plus. “After a career change for Jim, we were looking for a business for me to dive into as a Plan B. It turned out to be a business we could both pour our hearts and talents into without having to relocate,” Vee says, explaining that they have lived in Collier County since their 1999 move from Arkansas.
“We both graduated from the University of Arkansas with business degrees back in the stone age,” she laughs. “Jim has had a career as a COO and president in the airline industry, and I have a purchasing background. So, together we make quite the team.”
Vee says they started the business with assets from savings and have been able to increase their sales annually. “Owning a business on Marco Island can be tricky and is not the gold mine that some may think,” Vee admits. “The first obstacle we encountered was the financial disaster of 2008 we faced right after we opened. We survived by making small adjustments to our product lines and managing a tight inventory by ordering in small quantities more often so as not to over-invest in products that might not sell quickly.”
Surprisingly, Vee adds she never wanted to be in sales as a young woman. “Now, I feel that being in this business is more about getting to know our customers and helping them make choices that are best suited to their needs, whether it be lamps for their living space or a thank you gift for someone special to them.”
The Youngs are bracing for the upcoming season and renewing friendships with their return customers. “That’s one of the bonuses of having a business on Marco Island,” she notes. Vee offers free design consultations and has a full complement of coastal and transitional accessories for every home and condo. New on the shelves this season is the Nora Fleming line of ceramic trays and serving pieces that become holiday-specific with the insertion of a specially-designed flag, bunny, heart or Christmas decoration sold separately.
The shop is also the exclusive retailer for My Journey Locket. Made of stainless steel and tempered glass, the see-through lockets can be personalized with tiny charms representing a favorite sport, hobby or vacation memory.
The Youngs plan to keep the store “for as long as we can last, ” Vee says. “I’m always open to a better opportunity, so who knows what the future holds?”
One thing she knows for sure — “Live each day to the fullest, treat others as you would like to be treated, and share a smile with those who cross your path.”