Tybee Business Spotlight: Wild Zinnia Tybee

Sign for "wild zinnia beach boutique" mounted on stucco wall with potted plant beneath and "open" sign by the door.

Tybee Business Spotlight: Wild Zinnia Tybee

A new beach boutique brings authentic coastal lifestyle goods to locals and tourists alike.

Tybee’s thriving commercial scene recently welcomed a new addition: Wild Zinnia Tybee, a brand-new beach boutique that celebrates and encapsulates the quintessential coastal lifestyle that local residents enjoy and visitors from around the world are drawn to. Owner Jennifer Ochoa and her husband opened the shop this year on March 8. It spurred from the success of an earlier venture, Tim’s Bike and Beach Gear and Disc Golf, which the couple purchased in March of 2021. 

“We really just fell in love with Tybee as a whole. We live out on Tybee. It’s been our home now for eight years and we just really fell in love with the community. . . [When Tim’s Bike] became available, we just decided to jump all into Tybee life and purchase the bike rental business, even though it was in the middle of a pandemic. But it proved to be one of our best ideas we’ve had. We absolutely love having a business and living out on Tybee,” said Ochoa. 

Wild Zinnia was originally the second location for Tim’s Bike. Ochoa explained that after a year in business there, they decided to add some retail items to both rental locations. 

“The south one especially really got a lot of great feedback from the customers. We had a lot of people saying that they really love the diversity and the quality of the retail items that we were carrying, even though we had a small selection there, and that they’d love to see more of it,” she said.

Taking into account all that excitement and positive feedback, the couple decided that they didn’t need a second rental location since they deliver their bikes and beach equipment throughout the island.

“We decided to pull the trigger and turn that location into a full retail shop,” she said. 

Since opening just weeks ago, Wild Zinnia has received a warm reception from the public.

“We are really appreciative. It’s been really well received by both locals and tourists alike, and that’s what we were looking for. We’ve gotten some really great feedback. . . What we’re looking to provide for both locals and tourists is a memento of this beautiful island that we live on. Things that can be incorporated into everyday life but that are still unique enough to be conversation pieces,” Ochoa said. 

Wild Zinnia carries a curated array of products for patrons of all ages that represent the coastal charm and signature style of the island. They offer a variety of accessories, gifts, decor and more, much of which they source from local artists and artisans. 

“We . . . have a little something for everyone . . . things for women, men and kiddos, so we have a pretty broad range. We have a lot of unique beach accessories, handcrafted jewelry. We have a lot of local artwork, but it also ranges to things like games for the family, custom wallets, even unique goods to stock your bar with,” she said. 

One particular point of pride is that Wild Zinnia vends a collection of smart toys for children.

“We have a 20-month-old at home ourselves, and we’ve always been very family oriented, so it’s important for us. We wanted to bring smart toys to the island that kids can have as their own mementos [while] also making memories with their family. We have puzzles, games and crafts, things they can do on the beach or if they’re hanging out with their family at the beach house,” Ochoa said. 

It’s this thoughtful collection of quality products that sets Wild Zinnia Tybee apart from other shops on the island. 

“We’re trying to bring things that aren’t necessarily screaming souvenirs but things that you would bring into your everyday life to remind you of Tybee. And we’re trying to appeal to that mix of both locals and visitors who want to come and shop around and chat with our associates,” she said. “We try to make things accessible, and we’re also on the hunt for more unique items. We take our time going to shows, visiting with local artists, and we’re trying to be respectful of other vendors. We support so many vendors on the island ourselves and love everything that everybody does.”

Shoppers will be delighted by the unique finds they discover at Wild Zinnia like handmade wooden purses, custom resin wallets and 3D puzzles that are perfect to engage inquisitive minds. And to make the shopping experience even more enjoyable, Wild Zinnia offers a loyalty points program. Patrons receive a punch card that, once filled up, affords them 50 percent off an item of their choosing. 

Ultimately, Wild Zinnia is a celebration of the coastal community beloved by all, which inspired the name. The vibrant annual zinnia became Tybee’s official flower in 2019 at the request of a local resident, Jane Will, who grew the flowers in her garden.

“The flower is beautiful. We love the name,” said Ochoa. “We wanted to pay homage to something attached to Tybee, so we picked up the name and put a little zest with it [to become] Wild Zinnia.” 

Wild Zinnia Tybee is located at 1510 Butler Ave. Visit them online at wildzinniatybee.com or on Facebook and Instagram @WildZinnaTybee. 

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