Today we’re highlighting Urban Coast, one of our fabulous Smock retailers! Based in Belleair Bluffs, Florida, Urban Coast specializes in custom letterpress wedding invitations and event design. Owner Soosie Lazenby was kind enough to give us a behind the scenes scoop on this fabulous paperie.
Tell us about yourself & the shop. What was the inspiration behind Urban Coast?
I had a very blessed 20 year career in sports and entertainment marketing. I worked for companies such as IMG and Adidas, and served as the Sports Commissioner for the State of Massachusetts, an appointment by Governor Mitt Romney as the Chair of the Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports, and then built my own company which I later sold. A geographical move made me ponder what was next. I decided to create a business that represented all the things I loved about my prior career and the challenges I faced in planning prestigious events. Thus, I founded URBANcoast: marrying the creative side of events and developing a model that provides a one stop shopping experience for clients. URBANcoast offers custom invitation designs, and represents the best in stationery, personalized gifts and accessories, and tabletop decor.
What do you love most about what you do?
Designing a one-of-a-kind look for clients that conveys the style and experience of their event. I also love getting to know our clients – it is such a personal process that takes place over an extended period of time. It creates a special opportunity to form a bond that goes beyond their wedding and carries over into other momentous occasions in their life.
Any predictions for 2012 weddings? What do you think will be popular this year? We are seeing a huge surge in letterpress. History always repeats itself. Additionally, fonts are taking center stage. This is why Smock and Bella Figura [Smock's sister company] do so well for us. Having your design libraries allows our clients to create a unique look that represents their personality.
What’s the hottest color palette out there right now? Taupe — this color somehow makes its way into a majority of our designs.
What charities does your store support? We support a number of local charities, but the one we champion most is the Morton Plant Mease Foundation. Morton Plant is one of the top 50 hospitals in the country and we are fortunate to have the care they offer in our backyard. We have raised almost 100K and named a hospital suite on the new Women & Children’s floor after my father who has been on staff there for over 40 years, in addition to three other physicians who have made a profound impact on the lives of many in our community.
What about your store are you most proud of? Our relationships with our clients, which have been cultivated through excellent customer service, delivering a quality product and exceeding their expectations. It’s phenomenal!
If someone is visiting your store, what’s another essential stop in your neighborhood? 432 Westside. An amazing clothing boutique owned by none other than my mother!
Thank you, Soosie, for giving us a glimpse at the inspiration behind Urban Coast! And if you’re in the Belleair Bluffs area, be sure to stop by this fabulous shop!