When a spot became available on Kings Highway, Aquamarine owner Maureen Eschbach didn’t hesitate.
“Kings Highway is seeing a big change for the better,” she said. “I thought I’d take a chance.”
So Eschbach shut down her 1,200-square-foot shop on Second Street in Lewes and moved out to the former Surf Shanty, a 399-square-foot space.
“I didn’t realize I was moving when I ordered for spring, so I have 1,200 square feet worth of clothing,” she said, laughing. “It’s a challenge, but a good one.”
Eschbach opened Aquamarine 13 years ago in the basement below Biblion bookstore on Second Street, where Vintage Underground now resides. After a few years, she moved into the larger space farther down Second Street, where she became well known for her creative storefront window designs. There isn’t the space for that at the new shop, but it will be back soon enough, she said.
Although details are still to be determined, Eschbach said she plans to build a new building on her new Kings Highway property. It will definitely be a larger space, with plans for an AirBnB on the second floor.
“I don’t feel totally rushed,” she said. “I think we need to do it right. Eventually we’ll have a normal-sized space instead of a shoebox.”
The existing miniature store will remain and be used in some way, she said.
Aquamarine specializes in women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Her target is broad, attracting women of all ages.
“When I opened 13 years ago, a lady asked me who my target audience was, and I said it was women in their 20s and their mothers and grandmothers,” she said. “That’s exactly what we have. Generations shopping together.”
Nearly as important as the clothing for Eschbach is the atmosphere.
“We are so laid-back,” she said. “We have people who just drop by to visit. I want this to be a comfortable place.”
Before moving in, she painted over the bright-orange exterior with an aqua tone. She also did some minor painting inside and replaced the flooring.
Aquamarine, 820 Kings Highway, is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Sunday by chance.