Mary Hong, Walton County Artist of the Year for 2014, is expanding her business due to the demand of those wanting more than the beach.
Hong works in the genre of glass and acrylic when creating her eye-catching pieces of art and her Grayton Beach gallery was well-received when she opened five years ago. But when she expanded to open the Shard Shop three years later she discovered that people are looking for more to do on vacation than go to the beach.
The Shard Shop offers visitors the option of making their own unique piece of glass artwork to take home as a souvenir.
The concept has proven to be so popular that she opened two new locations last week and is in the process of opening a fourth.
Hong's new Destin location is next to Ulta Beauty at The Shoppes at Paradise Isle and has twice the amount of space as her Grayton shop.
"We are bursting at the seams in Grayton," she said. "The one in Destin is easier to get to, and with it being just two blocks from Henderson Beach, people can walk to it. We get so many people coming in looking for something to do."
In addition to Destin, Hong also just recently opened a shop on Magazine Street in New Orleans.
The Madison, Wisconsin, native said one of her partners is from New Orleans and wanted a shop there. That partner is running the store.
A grand opening for the new locations will be held July 6 and pieces of artwork will be raffled.
Hong's fourth shop will be in Nashville, opening next month.
Hong's Grayton location is at 26 Logan Lane. Hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Register for classes by calling 231-0544 or visit them on Facebook.