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The Laid-Back, Emerald Coast, Minimalist Surf-Shack

Christina Kelley

Southern Mesa Trading Co.

Owner, Wooden Home Decor & Signs



»Hacks For a Quick Transformation

Paint can fix a multitude of problems. Want to update a room for under 50 dollars? A bucket of paint. Hate the color of your hardware or doorknobs? Spray paint. Want those cool concrete tiles but don’t have the budget? Paint a pattern.

» Proudest DIY Moment

Our very first project was building a dining table and bench. We had never built anything before, and serving my first big meal to family and friends around a DIY gone right was one of my proudest moments.

» Creating Your Space, Literally

I have several pieces I’ve created for myself in my home. Seeing something I’ve created with my own two hands still gives me a surge of energy and reignites my passion for woodworking daily.

» Cheapest Gorgeous

DIY Update The floors in my bathroom are just builder grade tile I painted by hand to look like concrete tile. It might be the cheapest update that had the biggest impact in the entire home.

» Design Ideas I Love

I love having a neutral palette that can evolve every season just by switching out accessories. A pop of color with a pillow or a throw and BAM, instant change.

» Shopping Secret

If you want to own something that was made with love and care, shop small. Artisans around the globe pour hours into their crafts. It shows in the quality and makes me love it so much more.

» Mesa Motto

“Just chill.” It’s the Southern Mesa mantra and the sign that inspired the #JustChillNation (as well as a daily reminder to slow down, have fun and enjoy the moment).

» Instrumental Advice I’ve Received

If you spend your energy being kind and encouraging others, it comes back in mighty waves.

» What’s Your Story?

I’m just your girl next door with a power saw DIY-ing my way through our first home on the Emerald Coast of Florida. I run a small business that creates wood signs, tables and home decor while sharing life antics along the way.

» Something We Might Not Know About the Field You Work In?

There aren’t many tutorials or videos for woodworking or furniture building led by women. I plan on changing that. I feel very passionate about empowering women to pick up that power drill and become comfortable completing DIY home projects. With the proper techniques and information, anyone can make their builder grade house into their dream home.

» Tips For a Healthy Workflow

A clean and clutter-free workspace and a flowchart are my saving grace. If I can’t find my tape measure, we’re all in trouble. Creating designated spaces for all of your tools or supplies means less time searching for things and more time getting it DONE!

» Unknown Essential

I listen to ’80s music almost exclusively. I think I was born in the wrong decade. I would have rocked some teased hair and acid washed jeans like nobody’s business.

» Pizza and a Few Power Naps. Finding Balance

The business ebbs and flows, so when everything speeds up I have to make sure I take time to unplug and recharge to keep from burning out. A long bath, a cup of hot tea and sometimes just sitting in the quiet are all I need to get back to center.

» Something I Wish I’d Known When I Started

That you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s ok. Find your people and love them hard

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