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Tom’s Shoes and Seasonal Twists at OLIVE in San Marco

22 Feb

Certainly if you are a female shopper in San Marco you’ve explored Olive.  As shops or boutiques go, this is a store that one definitely explores.

That’s because Olive carries all sorts of great things, from lovely clothing, to a large selection of unique and on-trend accessories, to fine lingerie; a diverse selection of things for the home…yours, or somebody else’s.  Whether you need a gift or are just shopping, it’s hard to go into Olive and leave there empty-handed.  There is so much to look at.  If you can restrain yourself from buying this lovely thing, or that, Olive is a great place for browsing.  (Browsing is fine, of course, but we want to support our merchants, not just admire them!)

Items for spring are everywhere in Olive now.  Along with the brighter colors in clothing that spring evokes, Olive has brought in Tom’s Shoes as a new line.

Tom's are known the world over for confort and consciousness.

Do you know about Tom’s?  First of all, Tom’s are cool and comfortable shoes, that are both in the moment and styled eco-friendly.  Not only are they stylish and comfy, but Tom’s Shoes is a for-profit company that donates one pair of shoes for every pair bought, to a child in need, in another country, elsewhere.  And now you can pick up your own pair from your own San Marco distributor of Tom’s, Olive!

Baubles and bangles of all sorts await you.

Olive’s accessories selection is vast, and alluring. The trendiest bracelets and earrings, lovely necklaces; everything a woman could want to, because there is an accessory piece to fit with whatever style she prefers.

Olive has created an inviting space, a home-like interior, as their selection of home accessories are artfully arranged to catch your eye and make you feel like you’re browsing in a really cool house. Every great design item (the perfect place to pick up wedding, bridal shower,or hostess gift, too) can leave with you and grace your home.

Housewares & home decor are new additions to the offerings at Olive.

Owner Heather Wingard is off to New York next week, to order the latest in Fall fashion for Olive. She stays ahead of the trends, always watching the fashion horizon for clothing that suits the stylish Jacksonville shopper. At the end of New York Fashion Week, it’s ‘market time’, when buyers from the best shops everywhere arrive in New York to order their selection for the next season’s offerings. But now, Olive is fresh and bright with spring offerings, and Heather tells us that coral is going to feature strong in spring colors this season.

With the weather warming and the daylight hours lengthening, everyone’s ready for spring. So pop into Olive for burst of spring.

Clothing and accessories at Olive, with a twist!

And don’t forget: Olive is the place for Tom’s Shoes, now, too!

~Contributed by Jeannie Greenwald of


Woodside Lane: Reclaiming Local Treasure

4 Feb

Woodside Lane in the San Marco Square

If you haven’t yet made a stop into Woodside Lane Grainmill Art, a storefront on the Square for about six months, it’s well worth your time for a look-see.  With so much commitment to ‘going local’ here in San Marco and the greater Jacksonville area, Woodside Lane’s beautifully handcrafted tables couldn’t be more ‘local’.

Kevin Byrnes, a master craftsman with more than thirty years of experience and owner of Woodside Lane, obtained reclaimed wood from an old Jacksonville grain mill on West Beaver Street.    The mill was built in the 1940s of longleaf pine, and was being demolished.  When Kevin saw the old, heavy, solid wooden mill, he knew at once it was constructed from a virgin stand of longleaf pine.  Longleaf pine is from the Southeast, and these virgin stands were of trees that were over 100 years old.  Mature longleaf pine gives a beautiful grain, texture, and resin that’s hard to find in today’s pines, because now they’re harvested much earlier in their life span.  They simply do not display  the full and hearty texture that the wood from older pines yielded.

Enter Kevin Byrnes and the imminent demolition of the old mill.  The mill was a massive fortress that processed corn, serving the dairy industry in the northeast Florida region.  When the dairy industry died, so did the need for the grain. The property changed hands, and finally, the mill was scheduled to be torn down.  The artist in him desired to obtain as much of that wood as he could, knowing he could create things of beauty from it.  And so he did.

He loves that this wood has story; the nail marks and dents,  texture and resin from its days as a Jacksonville grain mill.  He loves that this wood is strong: it processed heavy grain, daily, for decades.  He loves that this wood is locally sourced. And he loves to refinish this wood with his own hands, creating custom tables for families who appreciate a table with history, and who’ll imbue it then, with history of their own.

These tables are beautifully displayed inside Woodside Lane, on the Square, next to the San Marco Movie Theatre.  Kevin greets customers there, and helps them to design the table that’s just right for their home, their family.  The textures and markings of the wood are  beautifully rendered, after Kevin has prepared them for final construction. Customers understand that the distressed appearance comes from the fact the this is reclaimed wood and not artificially “distressed” in a factory somewhere else.  This is local; authentic.  A local grain mill’s mighty and beautiful wood is in the masterful hands of a local craftsman, who is now making tables of beauty for local families.

When you come into the shop you’ll envision one of these tables in your home.  They are artfully presented; the store has a gallery-like vibe.

A Woodside Lane table featured on the Taverna patio.

You may work directly with Kevin to create a custom table, or purchase one  he already finished; the store has several to choose from today.

San Marco’s Taverna restaurant has one of Kevin’s reclaimed wood tables, and it’s part of their  covered, outdoor dining area.  If you’d like to know what it feels like to gather around such a table, hit Taverna and ask for seating at the long, rectangular table just outside the restaurant window. Their heat lamps will warm you if it’s a chilly evening. You really can’t go wrong.  A great meal from a great local restaurant, served atop a hand-crafted table from locally reclaimed wood.

Gallery table display

Then go on down the street to Woodside Lane, and talk with Kevin Byrnes about his creating something of beauty for you.

Let’s not keep this local treasure a secret. Pass the word to people you know who appreciate things like reclaimed wood and local history and meaning in their homes. Nearly every design magazine features interiors that contain such unique pieces as part of a home’s furnishings.  This is just too great a story not to be shared!

~Jeanne Greenwald

Mrs. Howard’s–Proof that you can Aim High when you GoLO

4 Jan

photo credit:

First things first: Most of us cannot afford to shop at Mrs. Howard’s.

Unless you’ve just won the lottery, or happen to be the beneficiary of a lovely inheritance, the high-end furniture, accessories and linens showcased in this impeccably elegant design emporium, located just outside of Avondale at 4128 Herschel Street, are just plain out of reach. Mrs. Howard’s is unquestionably one of the premier home stores in the Southeast, and its prices reflect the rock-star status of its owners, interior designers Phoebe Howard and James Michael Howard.

But even if you have to leave your wallet at home, it’s well worth your while to explore Mrs. Howard’s and its slightly more affordable offspring, Max & Company (the side-by-side stores are connected through interior doors). There’s simply no better place in Jacksonville to soak up design inspiration and feed your passion for beautiful personal spaces. (And those of you who are savvy about design will undoubtedly take away ideas about how to rearrange your furniture, how to select sophisticated new wall colors that will totally revamp a room, and how to display that cool object you discovered at Fans and Stoves to maximum effect.)

Founded in 1995 by Phoebe Howard, the store began as a place where her husband Jim’s clients could find elegant and interesting pieces for their homes. But as Phoebe’s own design instincts developed and she began taking private clients, the space evolved into a reflection of her uniquely Southern decorating style–something she characterizes as, “Keep it pretty.” In room after beautifully appointed room (don’t forget to check out the incredible moldings), modern pieces mix with antiques, colors are soothing and softly neutral, and stunning accessories such as starburst mirrors and William Yeoward crystal dot shimmering surfaces and unexpected nooks. The atmosphere is timeless and yet modern—just what you’d want for your own house if you had a couple extra zeroes in your bank account.

The foyer at Max & Company. photo credit:

Max & Company, opened in 2000, has a looser and more youthful design aesthetic. Here the feeling is upscale beach house, with lots of comfy, slipcovered furniture, sculptural lighting fixtures and appealingly tactile accessories like porcupine quill boxes, driftwood mirrors and mercury orbs. There’s also a standout collection of bed linens on offer and an array of gorgeous chrome hardware for the bath.

Clearly, the Howards are doing something right, because sixteen years and four locations later (Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlanta and Charlotte), their stores—and legions of fans–have extended far beyond Jacksonville. A true GoLO success story, the couple has seen their work featured in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Coastal Living, Cottage Living, Southern Accents, InStyle and Traditional Home.  (The two were also commissioned by House Beautiful to create the Designer’s Vision apartment in one of Manhattan’s newest luxury apartment high rises. Inspired by the movie, “Something’s Gotta Give,” this is one gorgeous place–what design aficionados memorably term “house porn.”)

Mrs. Howard’s may be out of reach, but it’s not out of touch. Despite its unabashed elegance, the store’s soft, lush, dreamy interiors are inviting and warm—and so its staff. It’s the perfect place to feather your nest . . . presuming you’ve got a couple of golden eggs to display.

Mrs. Howard's

Mrs. Howard's

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