Sugar Beach celebrates 30 years in business

Annie Blanks | 315-4450 | @DestinLogAnnie |
The staff of Sugar Beach Interiors, most of whom have been with the business for more than 10 years, poses for a photo in their showroom Tuesday afternoon. ANNIE BLANKS/Destin Log

SugarBeach Interiors in Miramar Beach is celebrating 30 years in business this year.

The furniture and interior design store, located on U.S. Highway 98, opened up in February 1986. Owner Karen Waterfield, who lives in Destin with her husband, saw a void in the market and decided to put her expertise and love of interior design to good use.

“We started out with an itty bitty store, with a small amount of inventory and three people,” Waterfield said. “Now we have a 12,000 square foot warehouse we built in 1988, and around a million dollars worth of inventory.” 

Waterfield decorates homes all up and down the Emerald Coast, and even beyond. She has clients as far away as Louisiana and MexicoBeach.

“It’s so much fun. It’s a great business to be in,” Waterfield said. “You have to like working with people, you have to be involved with people and their hobbies. It’s very satisfying to make something beautiful for a client.”

Waterfield said the style of her store has a coastal influence. She credits her ability to stay in business for three decades to a love of interior design, a lot of elbow grease and a dedicated staff.

“Our biggest thing is that we’ve had the same staff for 10 to 20 years,” she said. “It’s a testimony to how wonderful the store is.”

Chris Kenaston is one of those staff members.

“I love the industry, and I believe SugarBeach is one of the best representatives of this industry,” Kenaston said. “It’s a great group of people to work for.”

Waterfield said running a business for 30 years certainly hasn’t been easy, but definitely worth it.

“You have to be really diligent about watching every little thing,” she said. “You have to be hands on about watching your finances. I’m in this store every day.”