- By Kevin D. Thompson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
I met Brian Schlitz, owner of Artsy Fartsy Decor & More, last year, a few weeks after his colorful gift shop opened on Lucerne Avenue.
He had a thick Noo Yawk accident, which I loved. He was personable and a pretty funny guy.
On Friday afternoon, the day before Lake Worth’s 24th Street Painting Festival opened, Schlitz wasn’t saying much.
Which was rare.
“I’m moving, Kevin,” Schlitz finally said. “Bigger space in West Palm Beach. On Clematis. I think it’s fabulous.”
Why is Schlitz moving?
“I can’t tell you today,” he says. “Call me on Sunday.”
On his personal Facebook page, however, Schlitz wrote his shop faced code enforcement issues this past week.
Ben Kerr, Lake Worth’s spokesman, said Artsy Fartsy didn’t have any code citations.
Schlitz says he loves Lake Worth. “But you know what it does,” he says. “I gotta eat. I can’t be restricted. I have a big appetite.”
Schlitz says his lease is up May 1, but he’ll be out by April 15.
Doug Peters, Schlitz’s landlord, said he doesn’t want him to leave. “He’s a good guy and I wish he’d stay,” Peters says.
Peters, standing next to Schlitz, didn’t want to say why his tenant was leaving. “I’d rather that it come from him,” Peters says. ”He really has a lot to say. I’d rather you get the information from him.”
Schlitz says his business grew about 200 percent in a year, mostly because of the street painting festival. “I have over $60,000 to $70,000 in products just for this weekend,” he says. “This is my whole business for Lake Worth. If it wasn’t for the festival, I’d be shut down. We make between $30,000 and $50,000 for the two days. It was my livelihood.”
But Schlitz says West Palm Beach will be money everyday. “The city welcomes small shops,” he says. “They’re out trying to recruit small shops and they’re making it feasible. I’m excited.”
Schlitz says he loves the oversized chair outside his store. “It brings people in so people can say we’re a fun city,” he says. “There’s no adult fun in my store. My store is children friendly.”
No one is forcing Schlitz to leave. It’s his decision. He’s not sure which Clematis location he’ll move into.
“There are three little locations I’m looking at,” he says. “It’ll be signed on Monday.”