The saying “it takes a village” is used in many situations and it’s helpful to remember that our fair city, Naples-on-the-Gulf as it is sometimes styled, was once known primarily as a sleepy fishing village.
Not so anymore – the town has grown up with a steady array of newcomers over the years and as beachfront resorts and other luxury lifestyle and living options beckon still more to come.
I’ve been here for 29 years, making my way via my upstate New York hometown and then a stint in Palm Beach. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I love hearing and connecting more from those who came before me and for whom Naples is their everything – family, work and home. And, I’m one of many who came here for Florida’s most important features: endless sunshine and seashores.
Shari Summers is one such soul with deep roots here. Originally escaping Wisconsin’s cold, she has been a licensed interior designer for 40 years, launching her distinguished career at R & R Robinson, once located on the NW corner of historic Third St. S. and 13th Ave. S. Of course, we all know the Third St. S. Association’s apt and artful reminder – “Where Naples began.”
This led to her own business, Summerfields Interior Design, founded in 1996. The path her storefront location took over the years also serves as an interesting trip down memory lane, first located in a building which was once the local bus depot (once sited at the Four Corners on Fifth Ave. S.) to the current setting in the bustling Naples Design District, at 953 Central Ave.
The business became a family affair over a decade ago, when daughter Stacey joined Summerfields, now serving as store manager. Like mother, like daughter: both explore their creative and entrepreneurial sides on a daily basis. Together, they brainstorm and balance each other, looking for the best way to provide a special client experience while supporting the community at large in many ways.
Of course, this mom and daughter synergy is boosted by those who surround them: a great team and a wonderfully supportive Naples community which embraces the notion of “shopping small, supporting local.” This is especially important in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Even then, Summerfields found a silver lining in Ian’s aftermath – an opportunity to create a new vision for a magical future, including special “pop up” events to thank their clients and supporters. They will host a Bubbles & Blooms event on Thursday, May 11, from 2 – 5 p.m., in honor of Mother’s Day. Stop by to make a custom bouquet, sip some champagne, and enjoy the company of others who care deeply about Naples goodwill and sharing positive experiences.
While you are there, another mom-daughter shop, Shady & Katie, is located in the same plaza. Look for the breezy rattan beach umbrella and chalkboard billboard offering tongue-in-cheek fashion advice. Proprietor Becki Norris runs this playful store with her daughter Meagan (the “Shady” to her twin Katie). Give them a hello as well.
Since Father’s Day is during the three month span of this published issue, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add a nod to Stacey’s dad and Shari’s husband, Dan Summers, President of BSSS Architects, whose business is located between Summerfields and Shady & Katie.
So much going on in the Naples Design District and our Naples “village.” It’s waiting for you!
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@Naplesbythenumbers or email her at NaplesKCC@gmail.com with story ideas or questions.