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Palm Coast Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 1 year ago

Meet the makers: inside the Florida Workshop

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Formerly known as Fortis, the Flagler Beach shop recently celebrated its two-year anniversary.
by: Anastasia Pagello Contributing Writer

Fortis, a Flagler Beach arts and home decor shop, has officially changed its name to the Florida Workshop.  

“The name Fortis meant a lot to us personally as the word means strength, and our maker's mark focused on the Latin term 'fortis finere,' which loosely means strong finish,” explained Sean Palmer, co-owner of the Florida Workshop. “We realized over time through meeting many more local makers and carrying their art and goods that our shop should focus more broadly on the fact that we’re all about this beautiful, crazy place called Florida we all love.”

"Our shop is small, but our hearts are big."

SEAN PALMER

Although the shop’s name has changed, the location remains the same, at 209 S. Second St., Suite 1, in Flagler Beach.

“We realized that changing the name can help highlight all the local talent that deserves a spotlight here in the Flagler area,” said co-owner Brice McPherson. 

The shop celebrated its two-year anniversary on Small Business Saturday.

The owners met when McPherson was hired by Palmer at Bespoke Group Architecture and Construction, and they immediately hit it off after they discussed their shared passion for woodworking and making things by hand. After a few years, the idea for the Florida Workshop came into fruition.

The shop is currently featuring 14 local artisans and a wide variety of goods.  

Delicious smelling handmade soaps featured at the Florida Workshop. Photo by Anastasia Pagello

Palmer and McPherson make 70% of the products offered, including uniquely designed and printed T-shirts, wooden wall-decor, resin decor, hand-poured candles, custom signs, graphics and various other home goods. They also do custom jobs.

For the holidays they are offering a festive range of seasonal candles, wooden and resin ornaments. 

Most of the other products in the shop are made by local artisans within a 40-mile radius of Flagler Beach. Items include pottery, wood puzzles/decor, jewelry, leather goods and beer.

Each artist selected to be featured in the shop is carefully screened based on the quality of their goods, and their passion for the art they produce. 

“We also search out other great companies/producers that share in our same belief that handmade is better,” said Palmer. 

Florida Workshop was impacted when COVID-19 shut down all business operations earlier this year.  Palmer called it a "punch in the gut," but, "Thanks to our amazing customers and friends, we were able to weather that storm.”

Palmer and McPherson are optimistic about the future. “Our ultimate goal is to create a maker-space in Flagler County,” said Palmer. “We want to give this community a place where they can try their hand at woodworking, pottery, welding, forging, glassblowing, screen-printing, graphics, etc. It will also be a place that can support local makers by providing a storefront to sell their wares and goods. We’ll likely have a food and bar component, too."

For more information visit thefloridaworkshop.com.

Photo by Anastasia Pagello
Heather Wales of Down to Earth Pottery. Photo by Anastasia Pagello

 

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