Shining the fashion light

Jeanne Hastings, long-time resident of South Bethany, has continued to satisfy her faithful customers’ demands for interesting and fashionable clothing and accessories at her store, Lighthouse Landing, located in Fenwick Island.
Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT: Jeanne Hastings, left, helps a customer in her Fenwick Island store.Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT:
Jeanne Hastings, left, helps a customer in her Fenwick Island store.

Hastings, who currently works with two employees, Nada Argonish and Faye Smothers, says that “the whole thing kind of evolved.”

She is referring to the store itself, and more specifically, to the types of merchandise she sells. Established 20 years ago, Lighthouse Landing, which once sold only handbags, accessories and gifts, added a wide variety of clothing to its inventory 10 years ago.

Working as both a teacher and flight attendant before running the store, Hastings explained that she decided to open Lighthouse Landing because she “loves to be busy.” After vacationing in the Fenwick area for many years, she decided that it was “a nice place to live” and moved here permanently from Virginia 25 years ago.

Hastings has three children, one of whom lives in Ocean View. Two of her nine grandchildren are currently lifeguards in Middlesex Beach in South Bethany. Commenting on the proximity of some of her family, Hastings said, “I’ve got family here, and that makes it a great place to live.”

Open year-round, the store carries casual ladies wear and accessories, designed by manufacturers such as BellePointe, Nomadic Traders, Casey Coleman, Icelandic and Vera Bradley, the store’s most popular brand.

In fact, the Vera Bradley handbag line has been so popular that Hastings has arranged for a sales representative to display all of the new Bradley items available for fall on Aug. 20 and 21 — these items will be 20 percent off at such time.

One distinctive trait of Hastings’ Lighthouse Landing is the loyalty of her customers, some of whom have been coming to her for 20 years. Commenting on whether these customers’ preferences and tastes have changed over the years, Hastings said, “I think that they want clothes that look up-to-date, but not updated.”

Over the years she has come to know a number of her customers, especially the year-round ones. As a result, she knows their tastes and is constantly looking for clothing or items that would suit them.

In addition to its assortment of clothing and accessories, the store also sells a variety of other items, including stationary, decorated canvas bags for wine or liquor, serving dishes, jewelry, refrigerator magnets, small hooked rugs with beach themes, visors and ceramic signs and toss pillows with humorous sayings. Some of the more amusing sayings are: “If a man can clean a fish, why can’t he clean a house?” and “Close the door and step away from the refrigerator.”

Hastings believes that the location of her store (in the ocean block of Fenwick) helps business, because customers are able to walk in from the beach: “Walk-in traffic is absolutely a big deal here. Also, we’re so close to Ocean City that people can just walk a few blocks and they’re here.”

Lighthouse Landing, located on Ocean Highway and West Virginia Avenue in Lighthouse Square, Fenwick Island is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Hastings can be reached at 539-2211.