Owner, Sally A. Trout, ASID, Interior Design
“I've been doing interior design in Sarasota since 1975. We’re busy, and we’ve stayed busy. Part of why we’ve maintained that is we never stopped advertising.
“It’s all about name recognition and networking, and I do rely on referrals from former clients, realtors and architects.
“We dropped off a little bit in the downturn, but not as badly as we could have. We’re definitely benefiting from the upswing in the luxury home sales market now. Right now, we’re just finishing up two large, custom waterfront luxury homes. I’d say half our clients are new to the area, and half are long-time residents.”
“We opened Oct. 15 on Lemon Avenue in downtown Sarasota after being located on St. Armands Circle since 1960, and things are going well. We have a broader audience; about 25 percent of our customers thus far are people who had not shopped with Reasons before, and we estimate the average age of our women customers has dropped by about 10 years. It’s good; it means found business.
“When our lease came up for renewal last year, I started to spend time downtown, and it didn’t take long to realize how vibrant things had become here.”
Director of Communications, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
“In 2011, the Aquarium at Mote showcased its first temporary exhibit, Penguin Island, which showcased South African penguins. We definitely noticed an increase in visitorship that we attributed to the exhibit, which drew visitors from at least 18 states and 10 countries.
“This year, our special exhibit is Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge. The exhibit is open through the end of April, so we won’t know for a bit what it will mean for visitorship, but we expect good results. As an organization dedicated to educating the public about marine conservation and research, we’re excited to provide new offerings to get the public excited about our oceans.”