Mercantile specializes in American-made, earth-friendly, cause-related and well-worn goods for ladies and their men. Located in Seaside, Florida, we open daily at 10:00am seven days a week and close anywhere between 6:00pm and 10:00pm depending on the time of year. Call us at 850.213.0010 for more information.
Giving back to individuals in need, our community and area charities is a core component of our business, and we enjoy supporting vendors who do the same. Among others, Mercantile gives to the following organizations: The Special Olympics of Walton County, Children's Volunteer Health Network, Food For Thought, Alaqua Animal Refuge and area schools.
We'd love for you to visit our other store - which happens to be right next door - for the very best in kids' toys, clothing and just plain silly stuff called Duckies Shop of Fun.
Want to know more? Read on...
The Merc Story
When we began conceptualizing what Mercantile would be before it opened, we decided there were plenty of trendy boutiques around (many of which we love to visit). What we thought was missing was a place to get neutral-colored wearables and gifts that were well-worn, distressed, vintage-inspired - and even a bit western. We hoped we could combine those attributes with a store that also focused on American-made, eco-friendly and cause-related goods. We drew on our Texas roots, love for antiques, appreciation for goods that were imperfect and started brainstorming. We took a road trip through the Lone Star State combing antique stores, mom and pops, restaurants and other places that inspired us. We purchased old metal signs, a saddle, our beloved Bevo (the longhorn hanging on our wall) and lots of old barn wood.
We started noticing our love for items that were patina'd, chipped and rusted and those that could be re-purposed. We jumped at the chance to procure things others had left for waste. We found beauties like some exposed box springs waiting for a trip to the junk yard. Our contractor had worked on many of the houses in Seaside, so we were able to use the late Mr. Modica's (of Modica Market) screen door from his Seaside home as one of our dressing room doors. We kept the counter from the bank which once housed our space and covered it in 100+ year old barn wood. We hung more barn wood on the walls along with discarded siding from Seaside home renovations. Benches were constructed of reclaimed wood, and the roof over the dressing rooms was formed with rusty corrugated metal (yet another score that was headed to the junk yard). The heads of old rakes were hung to hold belts, and vintage suitcases and trunks housed blankets and t-shirts. We pulled up the old tile and decided we loved the look of the raw cement floors. We didn't fill in the dents and scratches as we thought they added to the authenticity of the space. If you look closely when you're in our store, you can even see faint lines where the bank offices were separated by walls we had fun tearing down.
Then came the challenge of selecting merchandise. While we certainly don't want our goods to look dated, you won't find us bragging about this season's color. We think that can actually be frustrating to customers. Who wants to spend a wad on a fabulous dress only to find out next year it's "so last season?" And while we appreciate designers' evolving creativity as they design, we typically don't want to carry something you won't love wearing one and even five years from now. We decided to concentrate primarily on neutrals. We found both men and women are drawn to neutrals when selecting footwear, clothing, bags and even home accents like candles and frames.
We determined it was important to carry as much merchandise as possible that was made in the USA, eco-friendly and cause-related. We're proud to support companies like AG Denim, an eco-friendly company who manufactures in the states. Our line of hats and bags by Real Deal are handmade in a remote small town in rural Brazil from recyled canvas tarps that once stretched across the beds of cross-country cargo trucks. Our Raven + Lily jewelry is handmade by HIV-positive women in Ethiopia and North India from recycled metals and melted down war weapons, and the proceeds from this line provide for those women's healthcare and education. We partner with local designers like Blessings in Disguise, Ginger Leigh and Annie Parker who not only manufacture in the USA, they also give back.
Finally, we try to live our lives according to biblical principles, especially the Golden Rule to treat others as we would like to be treated. This can sometimes be difficult in business as competition rears its ugly head. We have prayed about every decision in our lives since we married over a decade ago (in Seaside, as a matter of fact) and entered into this business as we have all others - to do the best we can to please God first. We hope our message to "do unto others" is evident in the merchandise we carry and staff we hire. We think giving back to the community in which we live is extremely important as is supporting local merchants. While we are incredibly far from perfect, it's important our customers know that we're works in progress who try our best to serve God.
Thanks for taking the time to read our story.