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Destin Jewelers

In search of Americaʼs most unique jewelry retail businesses...




Destin Jewelers, Destin, FL

OWNERS: Elizabeth Carmont and Lisa Peters; ADDRESS: 14091-B Emerald Coast Parkway Destin, FL 32541; PHONE: (850) 837-8822; FAX: (850) 654-1990

SURROUNDED BY THE AQUAMARINE WATERS of the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, the store of Elizabeth Carmont and Lisa Peters is located in a unique, even enviable, setting. But, if anything, itʼs the inside of the store that is most unique and enviable. It required a special vision to build a store where customers could comfortably buy high-end jewelry in sandals and sarongs. And Destin Jewelers pulls it off. Vibrant bright hues meet muted colors to create a store where fine jewelry is displayed like fine art … in a gallery that flows as easily and smoothly as the Gulf tide.

What would you say is the most unique feature of the store?

“One unique feature is a decorative bulkhead, like a balcony, framed with wrought iron, drawing attention to the faux-finished mural a la Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec mural above it,” says Lisa. “Large windows in the front of the building reveal this brightly lit balcony to passersby at night, acting like a billboard for the store. Fluorescent lights in the bulkhead flood the space with light; spotlights underneath the soffit and occasional lamps help recreate an ambient light, not unlike the Florida sunshine.”


please Describe the interior of the store.

“The flooring is stained concrete that goes from terra cotta clay color to brown giving the appearance of marble or stone,” says Lisa. “Weʼre located in the resort and many people walk in to the store straight from the beach or the boat so the rustic looking concrete floor is easy to maintain. The display cases are set up like a gallery so people can easily browse the store. The cherry wood display cases are done in a dark mahogany color with black metal trim around the glass. The standing cases are 56 inches in height, which is higher than the average, but itʼs in keeping with the gallery feel of the store. The walls have a stucco-like surface and are painted a variety of whimsical colors such as Tropical Fern Green, Tiger Lily Orange and Azalea Pink. These main three colors were used to divide the store in certain areas.” Says Ruth Mellergaard, a principal of GRID/3, the interior design group for Destin Jewelers: “The suspended lights and rich colors contribute to this space acting as a more intimate space, which is suitable for the purchase of their high-end diamond and gold pieces.”

Who did your design for you? and how closely did you work with them?

“We worked very closely with GRID/3, as well as with a local interiors company owned by Candace Herrick-Varner,” says Lisa. “Weʼre in a resort area so we wanted to create a ʻno-threshold resistanceʼ shop in our second store that people would want to enter. We conveyed our less than traditional vision of a European Village with bright ʻat the beachʼ colors to Ruth. The first design GRID/3 presented was a bit too traditional. So we met with her again to make the interior more fun and less intimidating.”


How much did it cost to create the interior of the store?

“The cost of the build-out and the interior design work was about $250,000 to $275,000,” says Elizabeth.

How do people usually react to the store?

“Weʼre part of a small retail area in a resort thatʼs near condominiums and a convention center,” says Elizabeth. “People walk in to our store not even knowing what we sell. When they realize what we do they usually say ʻthis is awesome … Iʼve never seen a jewelry store like thisʼ.”

Do you think the unusual appearance of the store helps sales?

“Absolutely,” says Elizabeth. “The fun color combination has been so successful that weʼre in the process of taking the design elements and color themes to our original location, which is located in the heart of Destin on Emerald Coast Parkway.

What do you like most about the store? and least?

“Weʼre amazed at how all the interior design elements come together and the simple and easy flow of the store,” says Lisa. As for the negatives, Elizabeth speaks up: “With a 27-foot high vaulted ceiling we get an echo from the noise coming from the air-conditioning unit.”

What does it feel like walking into this store each day?

“Itʼs exciting to come to work here,” says Elizabeth. “This is a beautiful place, visitors come from all over the United States and Europe to spend their vacations, relax on our beaches and enjoy the beautiful blue green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Lisa and I feel very fortunate to live and work on the Emerald Coast of Florida.


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