When Daryl Davis created Perspicacity (now Cabana) more than 30 years ago, it was a small, outdoor market on Saturdays offering shrimp, freshly-baked bread and produce — what later became known as the Seaside Saturday Market. This was a pivotal point in the beginning of community making and later retail development. Daryl recalls trying several different formats before finding success: Saturday markets, Sunday markets, and sunset markets open in the cooler part of the early evening, and eventually asking other artisans she met along the way to join her. The Saturday Market consisted of a baker of organic bread, a potter, a photographer, a shrimp stand, an used book seller and many others.
Deborah Berke, one of the early architects working in Seaside, ran the used book table. The only consistent vendors were Deborah and Daryl. All the rest of the artists showed up as they pleased; some weeks they were there and some weeks they weren’t. Likewise, some weeks the market had customers and some weeks it didn’t. Daryl recognized that depending on others was going to be a big problem.
When Daryl began her open air market at the beach, she didn't know she would be setting an international trend in coastal style. Daryl recalls, “I was complimented on my simple style of dress, so I began adding similar articles of clothing and home decor to my offerings.” Once she realized locals were clamoring for more than just produce, the stands started selling simple cotton items ideal for the Florida sun, selling out every week.
“Cotton clothing and items in fun beach colors were not to be found in this 90-mile stretch of beach along the Gulf of Mexico,” Daryl adds. “I brought these items up to Seaside from South Florida.”
Daryl began scouring discount stores, used clothing shops, army surplus shops, etc. Her eye was highly developed to find quality merchandise that she would be able to resell at her market. Knowing nothing of mark-ups and sales tax didn’t stop her, she was very much interested in the psychology of pricing. As Daryl began selling these items with her local produce including strawberries, southern peaches and Dothan tomatoes, the market began to gain traction.
Over the years, it has become so much more; first, an outdoor boutique where locals could pick up sunny sundresses and visitors could buy beach-ready gifts, and now, a unique shopping experience that’s like nothing in the area.
The open-air bazaar offers visitors flowy maxi dresses, beach- and pool-friendly jewelry, straw hats perfect for a Seaside stroll, chunky espadrilles, flip-flops for the pool and so much more. The 56-square-foot huts designed by Burke provided a relaxing shopping experience reminiscent of a European market, right by the Gulf of Mexico.
This summer, Cabana made a major move to Central Square. You might have noticed the chic, feminine boutique has made its way to the center of town and has a stylish makeover befitting the times.
The revitalized locale is focused on comfort and luxury with a twist. Think Old Hollywood meets Palm Beach chic, the spirit of the French Riviera, mixed with a bit of Gatsby. The move indoors means brands you haven’t seen before and palm fronds everywhere. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped on the ultimate tropical getaway, and you’ll come away with a new envy-inducing wardrobe that’s perfect for the beach.
Cabana isn’t the only change in town. The SEASIDE Style® family introduced Seaside Yacht Club over spring break and guests are already charmed by the nautical decor.
Erica Pierce, Vice President and General Manager of The SEASIDE Style® explains, “The Seaside Yacht club is a re-branding of the former SEASIDE® Beach store. By moving into a downtown location on 45 Central Square, new opportunities made way for a fresh look and feel.”
The ship-like interior houses a custom bar serving up SEASIDE® tees, housewares, books, toys, and even pet accessories, perfect for your sea dog.
Whether you’re hunting for an effortlessly chic boho dress for dinner at Bud & Alley’s or need a nautical bandana for your first mate (whether that’s a person or pup) these stores will have everything you need.