A bustling collaboration of artists chatted and arranged paintings along the wall of Kaleidoscopes, the newest art boutique in Destin.
Located in Main Street Plaza, Kaleidoscopes is just one of many new businesses popping up along Main Street.
"We decided we wanted local artists and crafters," explained Lisa Hobbs, co-owner of Kaleidoscopes, alongside her husband Tim.
"About 85 percent of the store is local art," added Hobbs, noting that other gift items are also available. "There are 14 local artists lined up right now."
Hobbs explained that one exciting reason to be on Main Street right now, is the new Main Street Betterment Alliance.
"The motto is, 'Bring Destin Back to Destin,' " said Hobbs.
Ron Sandstead, owner of Flutterby Antiques Uniques and Gifts, located in the adjacent parking lot to Kaleidoscopes, founded MSBA last year after learning that the Main Street area is considered a “depressed area,” according to City guidelines.
"We are hopefully changing that by beautifying Main Street," said Sandstead. "We are trying to bring in more arts and studios, and change the complexion of what Main Street is today."
Sandstead explained that all of the business owners on the street have been approached and invited to join weekly meetings to discuss potential projects.
"I've never done anything like this before, where I tried to bring business owners together for the betterment of the community," he said. Among the numerous projects in the works are a community garden, tree planting along the medians, a 5K run and art displays.
Kaleidoscopes accentuates these artsy initiatives as the boutique features local art of all spectrums from paintings, basket weaving, and crocheted rugs, to fused glass products and hand-painted scarves.
Hobbs told The Log that she plans to help developaMain Street art walk, and hopes to have local artists on-hand to lead in designing and decorating banners to line the streets. The store's name itself lends to the new life on Main Street, as businesses come in, and locals are drawn back to the area.
"I named it Kaleidoscopes because of the kaleidoscopes of color, and kaleidoscopes of people." Hobbs said.
Kaleidoscopes soft opened Feb. 14, with a grand opening to follow in March.
MAIN STREET PLAZA AT A GLANCE
From the exotic teas to the inviting lighting, Sunshine Yoga offers the perfect space to relax and focus on strengthening the mind and body. Certified in Rishikesh India, Kim Mosby offers authentic yoga for all ages. She recommends gentle yoga to first timers but also offers, Vinyasa flow, deep healing, and meditation yoga. "The best thing that I really want to grow is kids and family classes," said Mosby. A special "Kids Only Workshop" is forming now slated to begin March 26. Group and private sessions are available.
Aquatropic Marine Canvas and Upholstery
Serving the community for 25 years, Aquatropic boasts a large staff of expert seamstresses and designers. Specializing in Marine Canvas and upholstery, Aquatropic also offers upholstery for restaurants, interior designers, and even individual households. "We pay attention to detail, we strive for service, and we cater to timelines," said owner Frank McKenzie.
Village Groomer Dog Grooming Boarding and Daycare
Village Groomers is a Destin staple with veteran dog groomers and caregivers led by Penny Vance for 25 years. Village Groomers boards and grooms all dogs, and all breeds.
Emerald Coast Computer Services
Located up a spiral staircase inside of Kaleidoscopes, look for this computer business to open soon.