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Florida SweetTea Style Launches at WaterColor Store

April 5, 2019 by Audrey Johnson

Rebranding an icon isn’t for the faint of heart. Especially when it’s a store that’s been around for nearly two decades.

Still, the team at the WaterColor Store was confident they could deliver on what their customers knew and loved while elevating the brand to the next level. And Florida SweetTea Style was born. While the WaterColor Store still offers an encompassing range of gear with the iconic logo, including the softest T-shirts EVER co-branded with the logo and Justin Gaffrey’s ubiquitous artwork.

“We paired with local artist Justin Gaffrey and he did exclusive artwork for us and we printed them on t-shirts. We’re going to do different ones each season. They’re gorgeous; his artwork is amazing,” says Merchandising Manager Emily Groubert.

WaterColor Yetis, kid’s rash guards, and even a Yolo Board embossed with the WaterColor logo are just a few of the offerings that make for great items to use while on vacation or to take home as souvenirs.

Identifying brands that are not only a reflection of South Walton, but the Southern lifestyle as a whole, was a promise that Emily worked hard to deliver, and subsequently carry through the entirety of St. Joe’s properties. The impact has echoed throughout WaterColor Resort, as well as St. Joe’s Golf clubs, with plans to expand into WaterSound, and more locations soon.  

“It’s a startup so we didn’t really know what we were getting into. We knew the demand was there, so we really wanted to rebrand and bring what WaterColor is to the store. Higher end brands, sturdy brands, and good quality were our focus,” says Emily.

So what is Florida SweetTea Style? It’s going to be your younger mom and dad bringing their kids to WaterColor for Spring Break or Summer. Customers hail mainly from Atlanta, Tennessee, and Texas. Florida SweetTea Style encompasses higher end Southern lifestyle brands like Draper James by Reese Witherspoon, Peter Millar and Vineyard Vines. Polos, pullovers, and more come embroidered with the WaterColor logo.

The rebranding also came with a remodel of their brick and mortar location. The WaterColor Store and Florida SweetTea Style reopened on January 5 with a fresh, coastal look. The store now has two distinct sections, one showcasing WaterColor logo gear and the other featuring Florida SweetTea Style.

The space is now more inviting, beachy, and coastal. The total reno brought in new floors, light fixtures, and merchandise fixtures. They expanded into the back room to create new fitting rooms and opened up the windows to let in more natural light.

Keeping with the coastal theme, the merchandise reflects the physical appearance of the store’s interior, as well as the design of WaterColor Resort itself.

“We try to keep softer tones, more coastal casual, and we try to stick to blues and whites to keep it bright and fun,” says Emily. “We’re looking for things that our customer could come and buy to wear while they are in WaterColor, from a WaterColor t-shirt to a romper that they could wear to dinner tonight at FOOW.”

You could buy a wardrobe for your whole stay at WaterColor Store. There’s a whole activewear section featuring Lululemon gear embroidered with the WaterColor logo, as well as yoga mats, and totes to hold it all. Accessories feature local jewelry inspired by the sea and kitschy hats and tote bags to keep it all in good fun. 

WaterColor Store also carries Mojo Sportswear, a nationally recognized brand that hails from Defuniak Springs known for men’s fishing shirts and ladies sun coverups. But in a place like WaterColor, finding the right merchandise is only the first step.

“We are a Forbes four-star hotel, so we do have to live up to high expectations and standards for customer service. We have several training classes that our employees go to, and it’s really just catering to the guest,” says Emily. “The girls are doing an outstanding job catering to the guests and really getting to know our homeowners.”

The WaterColor Store and Florida SweetTea Style share a location in WaterColor Town Center on the Gulf side. The boutique is open daily. You can also shop online at www.shopwatercolor.com. Follow WaterColor Store on Facebook for updates. For all other inquiries, please call (850) 534-5044.

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Audrey Johnson's picture

Upon realizing that life is too short not to follow her dreams, Audrey moved to the beach and became a writer. SoWal’s pristine beaches inspire her to explore further, look deeper, and do better.

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