Driving east on County Road 30A through the beach community of Seacrest on a sunny day one notices chairs, tables, artwork and other sundry household furnishings outside a store front in the Alexander building. The store is the Haus of Abood Interiors.
Inside, browsers will find an eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories for their homes — everything from hand-made designer soaps to sofas, said owner Nancy Abood.
Abood opened the store on her birthday — Aug. 27 — in 2009 as ConsignMint, and she handled mostly high-end furniture on consignment from homeowners in nearby Rosemary Beach.
"I survived oil spills and the recession," said Abood. "I owned my real estate and there is no way I could have survived otherwise."
To survive, Abood progressed from consignment to property management to design.
These days Abood only takes very high-end consignment items. She now has her own stain-resistant private label fabrics which she uses to dress custom sectionals, sofas, chairs, headboards, etc.
Abood moved here in 1992 and left behind a career in marketing and resort hospitality. But Abood had always had a plan on her "storyboard" to own her own business by the time she was 45. Opening this type store was right up her alley.
"Doing this type thing has always been my passion," said Abood. "I love to arrange and rearrange things. It's a gift you have from God or you don't. I used to rearrange my room all the time. It's a passion God gives."
In helping people decorate their homes, Abood first interviews clients to understand their personality and lifestyle.
"It's all about personality," she said.
Some of those personalities need help arranging their elegant home with antiques and heirlooms, and some need a hand with their casual beach bungalows. Abood said she has done that and everything in between.
"My store is an eclectic mix of everything from contemporary to custom vintage," she said.
And fortunately, the market has rebounded with more people buying, building, and renovating.
"Seacrest has built 68 new houses and Rosemary is almost built out. It has been a great ride. I have met so many people. So many people have touched my life and me theirs. So many return. I get a lot of repeat clientele. It's exciting to be a part of people's lives," she said.
Because of all the people she has met here and through contacts, she has been asked to decorate three houses in Atlanta.
"Life is good," said Abood. "I would never have thought. Everything happens for a reason. I had been in corporate America all my life. Now I'm a small business entrepreneur."
Haus of Abood is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.am.-5 p.m. In the fall Abood plans to stay open later and host a wine Wednesday with hors d'oeuvres for locals while they shop.
Haus of Abood was closed this week while the owner took part in the 60-mile Susan G. Komen walk to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer. Her niece and two sisters walked with her in Detroit. One sister is a survivor.
Call Haus of Abood at 231-1878, or visit the store at 9961 E. County Road 30A.