Spotlight on Gemma Azan and Shirley Watterud of Uniquely Chic Boutique
By Heather Bennett
Gemma Azan, co-owner of Uniquely Chic, came to South Walton from Barbados in 2002 with her husband and two children, to study theology at the Christian International School of Theology. After graduating she worked in the ministry there for several years and was the director of the local ministry school there for two years.
While working in the ministry, Azan met her business partner Shirley Watterud. “Shirley and I both had a vision for business,” said Azan, who has about 20 years of retail experience. Azan and Watterud opened Uniquely Chic at Baytowne Wharf in 2013 and demonstrate what they call marketplace ministry. “It’s an opportunity to be able to meet people, show them the love of Christ outside of the church walls.”
Azan and Watterud get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life in their store. They get a chance to strike up a conversation, learn about their customers, interact with them, and have open conversations about who they are and what they believe. “We’ve had the opportunity to pray with some people, and minister to them in different ways,” said Azan.
Uniquely Chic sells a variety of jewelry, fashion accessories, unique gift items and home décor. They have an eclectic mix of inventory. It’s a mix of local artists, as well as national and internationally known brands. They carry Mariana jewelry, which is made of Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones handcrafted in Israel, candles and more from Tyler, a company based in Tyler, Texas, and jewelry from Lenny and Eva. They find products from attending tradeshows, and marketplace magazines. Azan worked at a chain of five boutiques in Barbados and has an eye for picking items that will sell.
There are about 8-9 local artists that are on consignment at Uniquely Chic. “I have a heart to see local artists have an opportunity to share their gifting” says Azan. They are quality products such as glass art, paintings, metal work and crystal, gemstone and leather and pearl jewelry.
During the holiday season, Uniquely Chic is offering free gift-wrapping. They also offer shipping from the store, which is available all year round. Uniquely Chic will also work with you on getting customer orders made through the local artists.
So, set some time aside time and stop in to see Gemma and Shirley at 107 Cannery Lane at Baytown Wharf in Miramar Beach for a truly “unique” experience.
You can also visit Uniquely Chic online at www.shopuniquelychic.com