Not many businesses in this area can claim the longevity of 30 continuous years open.
Bea Reynolds is one who can.
Reynolds moved to the area in 1976 from Racine, Wisc., and went to work doing interior design management for a local establishment.
On Aug. 1, 1983, she opened her own shop — Bea's Interiors — on U.S. Highway 98 where Haven House is now. She remained in that location for 21 years until she built on 30A, just east of the 393 intersection, and opened there in April 2004.
This year, however, Reynolds celebrated a milestone birthday and now she wants to slow down a bit.
She will close her store on 30A on Aug. 16, but continue to work with clients from office space on 393 North.
Between now and Aug. 16, Reynolds hopes to sell her inventory of home furnishings at her 30A store. What is left after that date will be consigned. (For more information see her advertisement on Page A10.)
All furnishings are new, and she feels she has something for most everyone's taste, from low to high-end furniture such as Stanley, Lexington, Braxton, and others. She also has artwork and home decor accessories. Her artwork is not original pieces, however, as many of her clients are decorating their rental units and don't want to chance original pieces disappearing.
Most of the furnishings are geared toward the beachy look, as Reynolds found that is what folks want when they decorate a home at the beach.
"People usually want more casual here, and slipcovers are big. People don't want mahogany and cherry at the beach. They say, 'I don't come to the beach to dust; I can do that at home,' " she said. "I am not licensed as an interior designer, but I can and have done it all for my clients in helping them decorate or renovate their homes, second homes, and condos."
Usually, those clients become her friends and return to ask for her help.
The strangest thing Reynolds says she has experienced in her 30 years in business is the BP oil spill and the many foreclosures it caused for so many people.
"Before the BP oil spill, we did more business in one month than we did the entire next year. It was a difficult time," she said.
However, Reynolds now looks forward to downsizing and continuing to work with her long-time clients.
In addition to her longevity in the business world and all the friends she has made through the years, another thing Reynolds is proud of is her work in the community through two organizations. She has served on the board of Caring & Sharing of South Walton since 1995, and, she is the last remaining charter member of the Rotary Club. The local Rotary chapter was chartered in 1995 and she has maintained perfect attendance since then.
"It was chartered just before Opal hit and we were meeting at the Santa Rosa Beach Club. But after Opal, we had to find another place to meet," she remembers.
The club now meets at Embassy Suites.
Bea's Interiors is presently located at 3788 W. County Road 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 267-2929. Her phone number will remain the same when she moves into her office space on 393 North.