Celebrating our Centers’ Entrepreneurial Women

There is no such thing as going into business for yourself. Why? Because people go into business when they see that the needs of people, other businesses, and organizations not being met. Think about this for a moment. If you went into business for yourself then you would only need one customer and with that mentality your business would simply not survive. Today we find the business world is filled with confident female entrepreneurs that are redefining what it means to be strong and courageous.

We are proud to have such strong and dedicated female entrepreneurs right here at Destin Commons. Just stroll down our Main Street, pop into some of your favorite stores, and you just might come across one of these inspirational women. Lizard Thicket, Deep Sea Gypsy, Pink-n-Blue Avenue, and Donna Gatta Boutique are all owned by women that saw a need in the marketplace and were courageous enough to fill it.

The idea of being your own boss sounds ideal, right? No more irrational bosses, processes that drive you crazy, and schedule flexibility are things that come to mind when we think of being master of our own domain. To some degree, this holds true. But now consider the risk, the long hours it takes to succeed, and finding a work-life balance and you will understand why we look up to these brave individuals. Add to this the ever-changing environment of retail and in a tourist driven market and these women become superheroes! Daily challenges can be exhausting and Claire LaPlante, co-owner of Lizard Thicket, says “The real question is- Are you willing to power through them all to succeed?” Top that with motherhood and a healthy dose of working-mother guilt and you would now wonder: “what are these women thinking?”

The truth is that these women enjoy having creative freedom, sharing their passion with guests, and having the ability to bring a smile to the faces inside their stores. Munika Karimova, owner of Deep Sea Gypsy, states that she loves learning new things through her business and sharing her Uzbekistan culture with others. For Gulia Metcalf, owner of Pink-n-Blue avenue, it is the flexibility of bringing her children to work and having the privilege of “dressing up the local children and seeing them grow.” Overall, these women love bringing positive impacts to our community and are proving that women can have the career they always dreamt of having.

Think you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur? The women we interviewed shared some valuable advice with us.  Michela Marangoni, owner of Donna Gatta Boutique, told us many people might not ever get to a point where they are truly happy and fulfilled by their career. Thankfully for us, Marangoni refuses to let fear get in her way and that for her failing is a decision and not an option. She also notes, “If you choose to get through it and trust the process, you will choose success instead.” Another tip they all have in common is to truly believe in your vision and not let naysayers stand in your way. Metcalf states it is also important to “be an inspiration, stay humble, and follow the Golden Rule,” while LaPlante adds, “Write your goals down, do your homework, and don’t forget how GREAT you are!” Well said ladies. We could not agree more and Destin Commons is proud to be surrounded by these powerhouses.


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