All In With Home Decor
Vivi’s By The Sea in Ocean Isle Beach is the place to go whether you’re seeking help with a home makeover, decorating your new home from scratch or looking for a unique gift.
Vivian and Bill Hotle, owners of Vivi’s By The Sea, moved to the Ocean Isle Beach area permanently in 2016, and in April 2017 they opened their store on Beach Drive.
The store offers eclectic furniture, home decor and accents, gifts, jewelry and more in six themed rooms: Coastal Elegance, Modern Farmhouse, Beach, Seaside, Nautical and Jewelry & Gifts.
“Customers usually come here looking for a specific style of decor,” Vivian Hotle says, “so I direct them to whatever theme they are interested in. That preference can change, of course, when they see the different styles of furniture and home accents.”
Sometimes, she says, customers come in with a focus on Modern Farmhouse decor but may discover they prefer Coastal decor since we are so close to the beach. “My job is to show them all of their options, help them learn how to blend different styles and then let them choose which they like best.”
Vivian grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved with Bill to the Raleigh, North Carolina, area in 1999. She has a B.S. in education, training and development from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and spent years working in marketing and business development.
Bill, a U.S. Navy veteran, is a full-time software engineer based in Research Triangle Park. He enjoys supporting Vivian in the store on weekends and holidays.
When they got a second home in Ocean Isle Beach 12 years ago, Vivian started thinking seriously about opening her own home decor store near the coast, which she had dreamed about for years. When one of her favorite home decor, jewelry and gift stores closed on Beach Drive, she decided to move forward and bring her dream to fruition.
“I truly felt there was a need in our area for the type of store we opened and our community appears to agree,” she says.
The name came from her nieces. “Several of my nieces always called me Vivi, and when I would tell them about my dream to open a store one day, they said you should name it Vivi’s.”
In addition to home decor, customers come to Vivi’s in search of the perfect gift, whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary or a housewarming gift. “We offer a wide variety of unique gifts, and our customers appreciate the personalized customer service we offer that department stores frequently can’t,” Vivian says.
The Hotles say they are busy all year round.
“I estimate that one-third of our customers are local residents who keep coming back to see what new items we have, one-third have a second home in Brunswick County and another third are visitors and vacationers,” Vivian says.
A great deal of their customers are people who are moving into the area.
“There’s a lot of new construction going on in the Ocean Isle Beach area, and many people feel they want a lighter decor than they had in the colder climates they came from,” Vivian says. “So, we get people who’ve moved here and are starting to decorate their homes, many with a blank slate. Living in the coastal Carolinas offers exciting new opportunities for home decorating.”
Vivian has three employees besides herself in the 1,500-square-foot store. She purchases as many USA-made products as possible for her shop plus handmade jewelry and paintings by local artists.
The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm year round.