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Bahamaville – A Slice of the Islands in the Heart of Downtown by Joanne Blandford

Walking into the new Bahamaville store on 218 Orange Avenue is like entering a state of relaxation. This is the exact state of mind Shelia and Al Secgin want their customers to have in their own homes with their unique line of outdoor furniture and Bahamian coastal décor.  Shelia was born in the Bahamas and moved to Miami with her family when she was 10. She attended college in Atlanta and began her career there in interior design. After a brief visit to south Florida for a family event, Shelia decided to move back in 2001. Soon after, she met her husband, Al, and to- gether they sold real estate in both south Florida and Atlanta. In 2007, Shelia and Al decided to move to the Bahamas for its relaxing lifestyle and to raise their two small children, Yasmin and London. They tried to open a business in Freeport, however, the recession had begun and it hit the Bahamas tourism industry hard. The family moved back to south Florida in 2009 and resumed work in real estate and home interior restoration projects. A client introduced the couple to Fort Pierce when she hired Shelia to rehab a house in the city. Shelia was amazed at the affordability of the homes in Fort Pierce compared to south Florida and the easy access to the waterways. “Fort Pierce is the closest place to the Islands we could find. There is never competition for the beaches which is similar to how it is in the Bahamas.” After visiting Fort Pierce a few times they decided to move their family here to take advantage of the “old world pace of Island life.” Opening a store in downtown Fort Pierce is a fun side job that they pair with their real estate business. Looking for a niche in design and décor, Shelia decided hers would be to bring the look and atmosphere of a vacation to her customer’s backyards. After visiting several markets in the North Carolina and Atlanta area they chose a unique line of outdoor furniture made from marine grade mahogany and painted using a two-stage acrylic and two-stage epoxy marine finish. These durable furniture pieces are painted in bright, brilliant colors that resemble the colors one would see while visiting a tropical island paradise. Many of the pieces have beautiful fish and other sea life details carved into them. They have a great variety of items in stock and an even larger selection available for special orders. In addition to the outdoor furniture, Bahamaville also has outdoor décor items such as life-sized, hand-carved and airbrushed wood fish of many species and vibrantly colored giclée-printed photographs printed on weather resistant canvas. Indoor coastal décor items and larger rustic coastal furniture pieces are also available to bring a taste of the Bahamas to any living room. If you want to bring the ambiance of the Bahamas to your home and yard visit Bahamaville at 218 Orange Avenue. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and may be open for extended hours for certain downtown events. Call 772-777-6165 or visit www.bahamaville.com for more information.