Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on Frill Seekers Gifts, located in City Market Bayside in Destin. The boutique is owned and operated by mother-daughter duo Heidi and Peyton LoCicero. Do you have a business you think we should feature? Leave a comment below!
1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
Heidi: As a young girl, [I] fondly remember venturing into gift shops on trips, searching the spinning thingys that had gifts with every first name imaginable except Heidi, or so it seemed. Once that search proved fruitless, I realized I could personalize and create exquisite stationery, invitations and gifts in my own calligraphy penmanship. After working in television and also serving as the Louisiana Lottery Million Dollar game show host, I opened my first gift shop in 1993 in my native Louisiana and Florida stores followed shortly after. Once the internet entered homes, FrillSeekersGifts.com grew exponentially, and we now have clients in 49 states and ship personalized fabulous finds, fine stationery, wedding and party invitations worldwide. My co-founder and daughter, Peyton LoCicero, who is a newscaster for ABC TV’s WGNO by day, oversees the website e-commerce, product design and development by night. As a tireless duo, we have found the ideal mix of blending unique gifts with personal service while delivering a captivating shopping experience to our customer base.
2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
Heidi: Frill Seekers Gifts has been giving customers a “frill”… one fabulous gift at a time … since 1993. The brand started in Louisiana and expanded to Florida in 2005. Frill Seekers Gifts is known to locals, celebrities and visitors as their “favorite place to shop” on the Emerald Coast. Located in sunny Destin, Florida, we are known for our signature style: All things Southern, elegant and personalized. We have created a boutique that is a feast for shoppers’ eyes. For decades, Frill Seekers Gifts has been the place to shop for unique, custom gifts for all occasions. The shop has been named “Best Gift Shop in Destin” and “Best Gift Shop on the Emerald Coast,” year after year.
3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
Heidi: Shoppers adore Frill Seekers’ selection of unique gifts, monogrammed jewelry, coastal decor, invitations, fine stationery, entertaining essentials, wedding invitations, promotional products and gifts, attendants gifts, napkins, cups, favors, wedding supplies, programs and so much more. Realtors rave about the “closing gift baskets” we create for our clients featuring beach house-branded items, custom charcuterie boards, monogrammed beach towels and more. This is truly a one-stop-shop for gifts, a new home, events, parties and weddings. Clients come in to pick up a best-selling item such as personalized custom cups and leave with an arm full of “frilling” gifts to give.
4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?
Heidi: Not only are the gifts at Frill Seekers personalized, but the customer service is too. Our personal shoppers will handle suggesting or selecting a gift within your price range, gift-wrapping the treat in their show-stopping signature style and handwriting the card prior to delivery and/or coordinating the shipping to the recipient. Frill Seekers also offers an extensive collection of promotional products that can have your logo, slogan or branding on the items. From pens, koozies and hats to golf balls, beach towels and coffee mugs … our team can personalize just about any product with your logo at a reasonable price. Every detail about the shopping experience is tailored to meet our clients’ needs, budget, ideas and vision.
5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
Heidi: Frill Seekers Gifts in three words? Oh, that’s easy…Personalized Fabulous Finds! We scour gift markets several times a year and commission unique items from local and regional artists to give the shop a very personal feel. We’re both very creative artists, in our own right, who love to design and entertain guests at home. The shop’s product mix reflects the collaboration of these interests. We intentionally seek out small vendors who offer items not found in big box stores or on mass marketing websites. When you walk through the shop doors, all five of your senses will be tantalized by the offerings, from Capri Blue’s popular Volcano candle line to bright, sparkly tote bags filled with confetti, We have something for everyone.
6. What do you love most about your line of work?
Heidi: The thing Peyton and I enjoy most about owning our shop is the opportunity to create personalized items for folks as they celebrate milestones in their lives. For example, one day we may be designing custom cups and koozies for a new beach house owner that will feature their beach house name and neighborhood, and the next day we will be typesetting a letterpress wedding invitation or baby announcement. Each day provides the opportunity to design, create, dream and inspire. Life is good.
7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
Heidi: With the onset of COVID-19, the two trends that we’ve seen evolve the most are intentional giving and a return to writing personal notes. Many of our clients are not able to visit intimately with family or dear friends on birthdays or special occasions so they want to send a gift to show how much they care or to celebrate a milestone. Our clients are also ordering beautiful stationery to write a personal note to keep in touch with loved ones. This return to traditional handwritten notes has been warmly received by all as a lovely way to connect during socially-distanced times. The most popular item, by far, is a Crane fold-over note in ecru with a gold filigree monogram. Classic and memorable.
8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
Heidi: The shop offers such personal service, clients never feel the need to shop anywhere else. Customer Cindy Trist said, “I send the shop my monthly birthday gift list and my Christmas list. The staff helps select items that will tickle the fancy of the recipients, many of whom are considered to “have it all.” Somehow Frill Seekers sends the perfect gift to delight and excite my friends. I absolutely love this shop and their team.”
9. Who or what inspires you? This could be a family member or celebrity, a particular quote or even a book/movie/podcast. This sky’s the limit!
Peyton: My mother, Heidi, inspires me and so many others. She is a wonderful example of a mother who can do it all — serve her community and support worthwhile causes while working hard to build our shop brand, loving fiercely, forgiving quickly and impacting the lives around her for the better … all while planning a dinner party for 20 the following evening! Ha!
10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
Heidi: When customers call the shop, they are warmly greeted with a saying that epitomizes the Emerald Coast lifestyle, “It’s a great day at Frill Seekers! We’re glad you called. How may we assist you?” Getting to live and work on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast is a blessing. Of course, it is going to be a great day! Great things are happening in our little beach town, which is the best reason to consider making the Destin/30A area your “home” full time. Then, you can shop with us year-round!
11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
Heidi: Serving and supporting the community is at the heart of Frill Seekers’ foundation. The shop’s leadership and personal shoppers volunteer and support several community causes such as Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Lupus Foundation Florida, Destin Fishing Museum and Habitat for Humanity. The shop is also a Destin Middle School Classroom sponsor. I am a founding executive board member of Destin High School and serve on the board for the Miss Destin organization. The shop and the LoCicero family endow the Peyton LoCicero Humanitarian Award scholarship, which is given out during the annual Miss Destin pageant. Peyton served the community as Miss Destin 2011.
12. What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
Heidi: Each day when a visitor stops in the shop, they ask us for suggestions of things to do in the area. Our best “insider tips” include catching a sunrise and sunset on our local beaches, dining at one of our award-winning local restaurants such as Boshamps, Bitterroot, Dewey Destin’s, Camille’s or LaPaz. We suggest vacationers explore the mom and pop shops and art galleries that dot the landscape and visit the Destin Fishing Museum to get a true appreciation of how charming our little beach town is.
13. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?
Heidi: When the day is done, you’ll find us boating, power shopping, walking on the beach or taste-testing to find the Emerald Coast’s best margarita!
14. Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about?
Heidi: Frill Seekers Gifts is nestled in the heart of City Market Bayside (4495 Furling Lane) in sunny Destin, Florida. As the sign on the shop door says, Frill Seekers is open Monday through Friday 10-ish* a.m. to 5-ish p.m. and Saturdays 10-ish a.m. to 2-ish p.m. *Unless something really “frilling” is going on, such as a dolphin spotted at the beach, an amazing sunset, or a celebrity sighting! Visit our website at frillseekersgifts.com or find us on social media here: Facebook | Instagram.
15. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
Heidi: Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t shop at Frill Seekers Gifts!