Providing everything needed to enjoy beach life while vacationing or living along the Cape Fear Coast is what concierge business owners Becky Flournoy and Kelly Barnes have made their career.
New to the concierge game, Wrightsville Beach local Barnes recently started Coastal Concierge by Kelly Barnes after providing similar services to friends and family for everyday occurrences.
“People call me a lot for advice about who to hire to do work on their house or what babysitters and doctors to go to,” Barnes said. “Since I have been in the community for such a long time, people trust my judgment on things like that.”
In her new business, lifestyle advising is just one of the services Barnes offers. Other services include vacation home, rental home and home-improvement project management, boat and yacht maintenance and management, business-oriented management and others like airport transit, pet sitting and mail pickup.
In addition to having a wide range of work experience, Barnes said she also knows how to serve her clients because she felt the need for a concierge in her own life when traveling around the country to surf competitions for her son, Mason.
“Over the years, I have done everything out there and I also have lived that lifestyle where I thought I would like to have someone to do this for me,” Barnes said. “With traveling all over the place with Mason, we would rent a lot of houses and when I would get to the house and it would be in shambles. … I always wished there was someone there to do that for me and that is what I am trying to help out with here.”
Becky Flournoy started Ship Shape Detail and Delivery eight years ago when she began with cleaning Figure Eight Island homes. A healthy client base developed in those eight years and Flournoy and her family now provide a wide range of services. On any given day, Flournoy said, a concierge’s duties could range from feeding pet hermit crabs to hiring personal chefs, providing marine transportation and readying a family’s beach house.
“We are here to assist both vacationers and homeowners,” Flournoy said. “For homeowners, we are here to be their hands and eyes when they are not here; for vacationers, we are here to make their stay with their guests as fun and enjoyable as possible.”
Flournoy said she realized the need for concierge services when she noticed the abundance of second homes, vacationers and seasonal residents on both Figure Eight Island and Wrightsville Beach.
Barnes said she believes the evolution of Wrightsville Beach as a year-round destination and the ever-increasing size of the homes have furthered the need for concierge services.
“We have all these larger estates that need to be managed where there used to be more small beach cottages,” Barnes said. “It is always good for somebody to be your eyes and ears there if you live out of town and only come once a month because anything could happen and it is nice to have someone check up on things.”