Back to the islands we go for our Store of the Week- this time it’s Boca Grande! The beautiful island of Boca Grande, FL is home to The Palm on Park, a small shop is a small town- both with great big hearts! They admit their store isn’t a “lets-just-stop-by” kinda place but after reading this and seeing their Lilly pink nightly sunsets (pictured above), you’ll definitely want to drive out of your way to say hello and shop with these ladies!
Location: 444 4th Street, Boca Grande, FL
Store Hours: 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday, year round!
Find them online or connect with them on Facebook
A little background… Our store owner is Jennifer Burch and I’m Kris, Boyden- the store manager. We were one of the first accounts to sign up with Brad & Scott when they bought Lilly from Lilly! The brand never went out of fashion here- ladies were always trying to find it- mostly in thrift stores at the time. When the brand started up again, we started growing with it! We started in a little corner of Ariel LTD and quickly outgrew that spot, moving into a separate store thus becoming “The Palm on Park” in 1998. We are now selling to our fifth generation of Lilly lovers!!! More than one grandmother reports to us, after picking up their visiting grandkids from the airport, the first question the little ones ask is “When can we go to the Lilly store???? We want to go to the pink and green store!!!!!” It’s such an honor for us to be a part of their yearly family traditions.
We’re proud of our town! We are a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of nowhere; definitely not a drive-by store! That being said, we are a wonderful and very popular destination as more and more people are discovering us! Our downtown shopping area is 2 square blocks and we are lucky to be in the heart of it ! There are no stop lights, no fast food restaurants, the stores shut down at 5 PM no matter the time of year, and everyone heads for one of our beaches to enjoy our tropical breezes and sunsets! We are a very close-knit and small-town community.
We have some fun parties/events in our store! Our annual Easter Lilly Sale, which begins on Good Friday, is always a great event and our other yearly event is our annual Pink Friday Sale, which begins the day after Thanksgiving. We just had a St. Patrick’s Day party with Brad (James Bradbeer, CEO) who was our guest of honor!!! (I have an awesome picture of him making a funny face with our customer’s baby that he was holding!)
We just had to share one of our favorite customer stories… At our annual Easter Lilly sale at our former location, we had a HUGE tent and hired a local fireman to be our guard (to let only 100 customers inside the tent at one time!) The place was CRAZY and full of Lilly-grabbing women. (like a Filene’s Basement sale!!) One of our regular Tampa customers and her sister had at least 30 items each in their arms and realized that her 4 year old son, Harold Arthur, was missing…….. not to be found anywhere!!! I ran up and down the street, looked in the park across the street (scared he’d fallen in the little water pond!), looking in the stores, everyone helped in the search, we finally called our police and they came and helped ~~~ All of a sudden here comes Harold Arthur wandering through the back door of the store, as sandy and dirty as he can be… he’d been playing in the dirt with his truck by our back door!!!!! In this 20 minutes or so of frantic searching, running throughout town calling Harold Arthur!!, his mother and her sister NEVER put down their armloads of Lilly!!!! She said she’d worked way too hard finding good deals that fit her and she was not going to lose them!!!!! 10 years later we still tell this story and laugh!
Our store is unique because… We are a VERY small store and we pride ourselves on being a BIG LITTLE LILLY SHOP!!! We love it when customers come in for the first time and say “WOW, I’ve never seen so much Lilly in one place!!!” We cannot offer our customers a big store, but we can serve them up a big dish of great customer service!
Did you know… Our store owner, Jennifer, is a 4th generation islander!
Our favorite product from the Spring ’11 delivery is… We actually have 2 favorites- the Whitaker in Optical Confusion and the Blossom dress in every pattern and color that it was made!!!!
And this last part was in the e-mail Kris, the store manager sent me. She didn’t intend for it to be part of this blog post but I just had to share- I thought it was so nice the way she feels about her customers!!
It’s so hard to put my feelings into just these few words ~ we have the world’s best and nicest customers. When I first started working here 19 years ago the folks were nice but a bit stand-offish (not all, just some…) me, I’m a hugger, so when they’d go away for the summer and they’d come back in the Fall, I was happy to see them and would give ‘em a hug. The first year or two they were a bit stiff, but now they’ll walk across the street for a hug, they hug me every time they come in. They even come in for their end of the season hug and we’re one of their first stops when they come back in October!!! They’ve all been such a blessing in my life! I wish you could come down and meet them all ~ (I think I’ll be taking her up on that invitation soon!)