When Diane LaPatra was a little girl, she used to rearrange the furniture at home while her mother was at work. “My mother used to get so angry with me,” laughs Diane. “But I loved decorating, and interior design has always been a big part of my life.” But it would be many years later, after her retirement from Ford Motor Company, before she bought a home decor store, Amelia’s Treasure, in downtown Fernandina Beach in 2012. The store has moved twice, and has now found its permanent home at 218 Ash Street.
The shop is jam-packed with beautiful gifts like lamps, prints, mirrors, candles, jewelry, table settings, Christmas ornaments, and more, but her true love of decorating is one of the “treasures” you’ll find at the store. “I help people decorate for the holidays, using their existing holiday decor, or adding new items for a timeless look,” says Diane. “I love to make custom wreaths, Christmas trees, and garlands. I use them to decorate my own store, but inevitably, I end up selling them all!”
Diane is very involved with community activities, including the Amelia Community Theatre, where she decorates sets, and the Main Street Program, where she volunteers. She’s also decorated several of the homes featured in Amelia Island Museum of History’s Annual Holiday Home Tour. Amelia’s Treasure is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., so Diane doesn’t get much time off, but that’s okay with her. “I love working, and I love my customers!”