Main Street Vero Beach continues mission of support

Main Street Vero Beach is dedicated to enhancing the core of our city in Downtown Vero Beach by supporting historic preservation efforts, highlighting its local art, and helping businesses to flourish. Members and volunteers provide hands-on assistance for Main Street’s monthly events, i.e., Gallery Stroll, Downtown Friday and its annual Hibiscus Festival.

Main Street Vero Beach (MSVB) is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Florida Main Street program, part of the State Division of Historical Resources and is a member of The National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Across the nation, Main Street’s 4-point approach of Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring has transformed the way communities revitalize, promote, and manage their historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Main Streets everywhere thrive again as places where people still come together to live, work, and play.

There are many reasons for a community to actively encourage the revitalization of its downtown. An economically healthy downtown:

  • Builds a positive image for the community
  • Creates job opportunities
  • Saves tax dollars
  • Preserves the community’s historic resources
  • Helps to control sprawl
  • Supports “Shop Local” initiatives
  • Creates a destination for tourists, snowbirds and full time residents

Main Street Vero Beach was officially designated in 1998 as a way to help in economically revitalizing the historic and arts district in downtown Vero Beach. Since that time, it has obtained beautification grants for the downtown area and worked to promote artists and galleries through social media outlets.

Conveniently located inside the Main Street office is Main Street Vero Beach Studio and Gallery. It is a collective leasing space for artists to create, showcase and sell their work. The two resident artists, Barbara Sharp of Sharp Art Designs and Clair Brunetti of Jewelry by Clair have been friends for years and now work together to blend their creations on display at the gallery. This gallery of custom and hand crafted gifts boasts of tropical, sea life, floral, seasonal, safari, and holiday themes in their artwork, glassware, accessories and jewelry. Each item is uniquely and beautifully created for you, your family and friends. The gallery is warm, friendly and welcoming. Visually, it is a smorgasbord of aesthetically beautiful art.

This duo, commonly referred to as “Team Main Street” create monthly promotions at the gallery which highlight themes as sea life, flora and fauna and the ever popular, “Christmas in July.” They often participate in local shows and festivals together and collaborate on how to celebrate their respective art techniques. For example, Barbara has painted pendants for necklaces with hibiscus (for the Hibiscus Festival and Hibiscus City), grinches (for Christmas celebrations) and citrus (for local harvest celebrations). Clair then creates beautiful, unique, custom made necklaces that anyone would love to own as part of their accessory wardrobe.

Because they believe one must give back to the community, there are select charities that receive donations of their work to be used for raffle and/or auction prizes.

According to Barbara Sharp, “One of the most important aspects of running a good business is listening to your customers.” Many visitors over the years as well as the local clientele would continually ask for an item with “Vero Beach” painted or printed on it when they came in to browse and shop. They wanted a souvenir to remind them of their time spent in our local paradise. After giving it thoughtful consideration and much consultation, Barbara partnered with Christine Marion of Kool Stuff LLC for the production & distribution of these treasures.  Since 1999, Kool Stuff has been recognized for great selection, high quality and affordable prices. As part of a continuous effort to grow new business, the Kool Stuff expansion includes this online store. (www.verobeachsouvenirs.com) now extends the local shopping experience to a global market.

Customers will be able to shop from the convenience of their own home, purchasing anything from hats and shirts, to mugs, license plate frames and nearly a dozen different themed masks. Not only do they strive to provide customers with the best inventory, they also realize the importance of dedicated customer service. All items are available at the main Street Gallery location as well.

Considered one of today’s most innovative artists, Barbara Sharp’s use of color and inspiration from nature enables her to create beautiful, custom fabrics, rugs, textiles, and wall coverings, as well as custom-designed and trompe l’œil wall and ceiling murals, faux finishes, painted furniture, commissioned paintings and portraits.

A descendant of 1871 porcelain artist Franz Detless Goebel, artistry is not only in Barbara’s blood but also in her bloodline.  She attended Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska on a full art scholarship, dabbled in Interior Design classes at Indian River State College, and was a successful real estate agent before devoting herself fully to her art.

The beginning of Sharp Art Designs in 1989 started with a commission for Barbara to recreate designs for needlepoint canvasses.  Since then she has worked locally and nationally with interior designers. Her art has been featured in some of the nation’s most prestigious establishments, gracing private homes, restaurants, hotels, public venues, office buildings, yachts, and corporate jets locally and throughout the country.

Generous in talent is just the beginning of Barbara’s artistic repertoire.  She has selflessly donated magnificent works of art in addition to her time helping children and adults create artistic masterpieces for auctions and fundraisers.  Most noted for her Mental Health Association TurtleTrax© turtles, Barbara has also presented artistic creations to the Hibiscus Children’s Center, McKee Botanical Garden, Cultural Council of Indian River County, the Humane Society of Indian River County, New Hope Christian Academy, Alzheimer & Parkinson’s Association of Indian River, Vero Beach Hibiscus Festival, the 2009 Save the Chimps fundraiser and numerous more.  Her CCIRC cover design entry (a top-six semi-finalist) “Cultural Canvas” encompasses the beautiful cultural experiences the community offers and the delicate environment in which they are provided.

Murals, thousands of yards of fabric, hundreds of rugs, and a plethora of paintings later, Sharp Art Design’s growth and success, the result of Barbara’s hard work, speaks for itself as she is now highly sought-after for all genre’s of artistic creations.

Attention to detail and the highest standards of excellence coupled with Barbara’s creativity and insight with every design is Sharp Art Design’s commitment towards Making Your World Beautiful.

A graduate of Felician University, in Lodi, NJ with a BA in Education, Clair Brunetti’s professional background has largely been in the non-profit sector. She raised money for national and local non-profit organizations in New Jersey, New York and in Florida.

She started her jewelry business about 10 years ago when she became a full time resident in Florida. It all began with a jewelry making class with one of her daughters. Outdoor shows and festivals to display her work, creation of her website followed and now, resident artist at Main Street Studio and Gallery.

“My favorite color is BLING, and I love creating beautiful jewelry for my family, friends and clients,” says Clair. She expresses her enthusiasm by stating, “The whole process of designing and creating jewelry is not only meditative and calming, but exercise for my brain.” She offers a wide selection of superior quality jewelry highlighting classic and traditional looks to the latest fashion trends. She guarantees that any custom made selection will complement your casual style or will accessorize for that special occasion. You can choose any length or color to “top off” any attire. All jewelry is made with quality beads, beading wire, components and findings. If you need a gift and have not seen something suitable, she will customize a necklace, pair of earrings or bracelet in any color, length or style for you. You can turn that ordinary gifting moment into an extraordinary one with exceptional and personal customer service.

If you have broken jewelry, a simple repair is often needed. Clair can examine it and determine if it’s something that can be fixed while you wait. Most necklaces and bracelets just need restringing.

For those looking for a new look with their old jewelry, Clair would be happy to suggest some updates to create a trendy or classic look. Her consultation is free.

Perhaps you have jewelry you love but don’t wear it because it’s too heavy, too short or too long. Clair can resize, restring to a desired length for you to re-love.

Jewelry Collages are one of Clair’s favorite art creations. They are made with broken or unused jewelry, pins, earrings, vintage brooches and left over pieces given to her to up-cycle. All collages are done on painted canvas and are one-of-a-kind. They make great gifts for someone who has everything! They can tell a story of fond memories, have a theme, or simply become an heirloom. If you have a box of mom or grandma’s jewelry that is residing in the bottom drawer of your dresser or in the back of your closet, let Clair create a masterpiece for you to love and cherish.

You can visit with the “JEWELS” of downtown Vero Beach, Barbara and Clair at The Main Street Vero Beach Studio and Gallery Monday through Friday, 11 am-3 pm. Find them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram, and peruse their websites: www.verobeachsouvenirs.com

www.jewelrybyclair.com

www.tcsouvenirs.com

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