Water babies seek to capitalize on love of ocean
BERLIN—Hunter and Devon Bostic grew up on the water and their parents are entrepreneurs, so it is no big surprise that their first venture, Sea-La-Vie, would open with the type of atmosphere and seasoned polish that drew crowds into the repurposed North Main Street studio at 11 Artisans Way on Oct. 19.
Actually, the robust foot traffic on opening day coincided with Berlin’s Octoberfest celebration. A common refrain of customer’s entering the shop with its whitewashed walls and nautical-themed gifts and décor items was, “Wow, it smells so nice in here!” A common view as customers left the shop was the Tiffany’s blue bags, with crisp white borders and string handles and pink tissue paper wrapped around newly-purchased goodies peeking out along the top, swinging from the arms of sated shoppers.
Inside, the shop bathed in light and with a nice balance of open space, included crystalized faux chandeliers, white paper lanterns and Capiz shell mobiles. It delivers on its marketing tag “Home Accessories and More.”
The displayed products run the gamut from sea-themed cook’s tools, potpourri and bath products, jewelry, notecards, children’s gifts, and pet toys and collars.
The sisters had been talking about opening a store for about five years, Devon 22, said during an Oct. 20 interview. She said Hunter, 25, was the one who came up with the name.
“She woke me up in the middle of the night,” Devon said of her sibling’s eureka moment. “I said ‘Great. Can you tell me in the morning? I’m still sleeping.”
According to Devon, Hunter brings years of clothing retail experience. Devon moved to Miami and developed business skills with a company that specializes in sea-life items and art.
A third sister, Kristen, 27 is also entrepreneurial and owns a day-care business, Devon said.
Their mom Angela was on hand for the opening and it was clear she was trying to keep her distance, as her daughters greeted visitors and customers. But that proved difficult since the mom kept being mistaken for yet another sister.
All the sisters were born and raised in the Berlin area, Devon said. Their parents, dad Graham, who was stationed in Ocean City while in the Coast Guard, and mom Angela, who moved to the area as a child from Washington, are local fixtures. They own the Ocean City Searocket Adventures, Surfside Parasail and Ka-Motion Sailing Tours.
Devon said the daughters basically grew up on the water, which may explain why the shop looks like a sea-themed Pier-1 Imports store. She said the primary sales items will be for gifts, such as house warming and wedding presents, and home accessories, which will include garden decor in the not too distant future. Eventually, she said, they wanted to add fashion items like purses, bracelets and clothing.
The long-term goal for the shop will be to keep a nice variety of items and for the most part to keep the product lines local and American-made, although they currently have a nice collection of Brazilian-made whimsical clocks.
Eventually the store will also go online, Devon said. Their Facebook page is currently under development and will soon launch as Sealavieberlin. For additional information about Sea-La-Vie, call 443-513-4768.