MARCO ISLAND — Mary Pazell didn’t used to have a favorite store. For Pazell, a baby boomer who splits her time between Florida and Missouri, clothes just weren’t fun for her anymore. Then, she happened to walk into a new store in the Marco Walk Plaza called Beach Daisy. It was June and owner Lee Ann Adams was still unpacking some boxes for her new clothing store, but from the first moment, Pazell was hooked.
“The clothes have a wow appeal, but you still feel covered,” Pazell said. “You buy a shirt that covers your arm, but shows a little shoulder, and someone like me suddenly looks sexy.”
The clothes in Beach Daisy have a beach, island feel, but are tailored and well-made with good fabrics for all body shapes and sizes. Adams is careful about what designers she chooses and calls her clothes “effortless lifestyle clothing.” This means fabrics that wear well in Florida, but are also slimming, clothes that don’t wrinkle and can be packed easily for traveling. One of her favorite lines is Simply.
“The angle slims you, it is lined so it holds everything in and the fabric moves around and flows,” Adams said. “One woman tried it on and came out of the dressing room crying and said, ‘this is the first time I have felt sexy in 10 years.”
For Adams, this is the reason she is in the business. She has been in the retail clothing business for most of her adult life. She began with Chicos when it was a small, Florida chain. She helped run the stores in Sanibel and Key West. As the store went corporate, Adams left, saying she felt that some of the soul went out of the store. She then worked for Fresh Produce as an independent sales representative for 10 years. She traveled back and forth from the Caribbean stores as an independent sales rep and a buyer. Over this time she gained not only experience on how to set up and run successful stores by always putting the customer first, but also how to buy lines of clothing that would be successful. She stays up to date on fashion and travels to shows in Las Vegas, New York and throughout Florida, keeping a keen eye out for lines that work well in Southwest Florida, appeal to the resort lifestyle and make the wearer feel beautiful.
“Everywhere I go I get compliments,” Pazell said. “I feel alive again and it’s because of her clothes. Lee Ann is not pushy, but is helpful; she will be extremely honest and I love that.”
Pazell likened Adams to having a personal shopper, saying she wouldn’t sell a customer anything that didn’t look good on them.
“They are feel good clothes that look good on you,” Adams said. “Some feel good clothes don’t look on you, these do.”
Besides the clothing, the Beach Daisy is a treasure trove of fun accessories. A customer could spend hours just looking at jewelry, shoes hand bags and hats. Everything is unique with an island feel. Customers may feel like they are shopping in the Caribbean without ever leaving Marco. She has unique hand bags called Dewi that are handmade in Bali and are so one-of-a-kind that it would be hard to find anything like them in the Western hemisphere.
Her jewelry comes from artists throughout the world, including local artists. One line, called Love Heals, plants a tree in Ethiopia for every purchase. Lines like this appeal to Adams because she likes to give back. She looks for small lines that support good causes and use good practices.
For Adams, she is living her dream. She loves Florida and has been here since she was a teenager. She used to go to her family’s beach house on Bonita Beach and ramble with her favorite flower, the beach daisy.
“It’s a wild sunflower that grows on the beach; it travels the beach and wonders freely,” Adams said. “I’ve always loved them because they just grow wild.”
Customers will find the owner funny, honest and a pleasure to be around.
“The secret of my success is just creating a good atmosphere,” Adams said.
Beach Daisy is located at 599 S. Collier Blvd., Space 102. Information is available at 394-0169 or www.beachdaisy.net.
Discovering Beach Daisy
Marco Walk clothing store offers quality beachwear
What: Beach Daisy
Where: 599 S. Collier Blvd., Space 102, Marco Island
Information: 394-0169 or beachdaisy.net