What happens when your hobby takes over and becomes a full-fledged business? Ask Lara Beaudoin and her mother, Dorene Thornton. They’ll be the first to tell you that sometimes your dreams and hobbies can play tricks with your future!
The year was 2011 and Lara, a real estate agent, had acquired a building in Surf City in which to operate her business. However, the real estate market had slowed down considerably in the area. Her mother, Dorene Thornton, had just retired from Dupont. The two of them had a hobby of collecting vintage items and collectibles and they were looking for a booth in a consignment shop to have a place to display and sell their wares, just a side business.
Instead, they began using the building that was intended to be a real estate office and what was suppose to be a booth supporting their hobby, became their store, Carolina Decor and More. “Overnight, it just blew up,” Lara told me yesterday, when I visited her shop. “It took on a life of its own!”
I don’t think they’ve looked back with any regrets. From what I saw yesterday, business was booming. The customers were walking out with packages and everyone was smiling! Lara and Dorene were busy shifting things around, making space for more happy things.
The ambience of the shop sets up the perfect shopping storm! The moment I walked in, I heard “the great standards” playing on a music system. Louis Armstrong was singing, “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” All of a sudden, I felt like I had that “swing,” and could find that perfect little something and yes, even afford it! I was surrounded by a cheerful clutter of beachy decor, glassware, vintage linens, gorgeous jewelry (some new and some antique,) local artwork, shabby-chic furniture and that one of a kind coastal kitsch, that you just have to have…because it makes you smile.
Lara said that their shop keeps prices below what the same type stores in Wilmington offer. They want to move their product quickly because space is limited. If you visit on one day, the next day the shop may have a completely different look. Merchandise goes fast and is replaced quickly.
Carolina Decor and More also has a FaceBook page that is popular with its customers. It’s updated daily to keep their loyal clientele informed of its ever changing merchandise. Lara believes if you see something you like, don’t miss out on the deal. It may not be there the next day.
So, the next time you need some shopping therapy and want to keep it close to home, visit Carolina Decor and More. It will certainly “cure” your ills and be easy on your pocketbook!
Carolina Decor and More is located about a mile or so after you cross the swing bridge over onto the mainland in Surf City. Located on the right, it’s the building that looks like a low country house with a wide wrap around porch, filled with hanging vintage fishing bobbers, flapping flags, bird houses, and vintage goodies. Come see Lara and Dorene. They’ve chosen things that you will love!
Carolina Decor and More is located at:
14130 NC Highway 50, Surf City, North Carolina 28445
Hours are from Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ‘til 6:00 p.m.