By Martie Thompson
Despite being born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Kendra DeGidio said she got to Florida as quickly as she could. “I hate the cold weather,” she said. DeGidio started her career in marketing and events management by working for a trade association, specializing in trade shows. Her dream came true when she moved to Florida to pursue a career in tourism marketing in Destin, where she lived for 10 years before moving back to the D.C. area. The good news is that she met her husband, Russ, at this time when they were both volunteering at an event. He had daughters in the Jacksonville area, so it wasn’t long before the couple moved back to Florida. Today, they live in NW St. Johns County with their dog and two cats. Kendra is the owner/operator of Coastal Postal+.
Q: How did you come to live in NW St. Johns County and what do you like best about living here?
A: Russ and I met in the D.C. area. After a few years and a few blizzards, we knew it was time to make the move south. We chose NE Florida because his two daughters live here. We chose St. Johns County because, having lived in the city in Washington D.C., we were looking for something more suburban. We were attracted to all the trees and nature here. Plus, the beach and St. Johns River are nearby.
Q: How did you come to open Coastal Postal+?
A: When we first moved here in 2018, I was working remotely. Once I had quit my job and Russ also became available, we looked at each other and said, “What do we want to be when we grow up?” Russ started doing some research into mailing and printing stores and found a company that specializes in helping people open these types of businesses. We are not a franchise. We are our own company and we came up with our name (Coastal for obvious reasons and we liked how it rhymed with Postal) and logo (we picked the pelican because it is indigenous to Florida). We opened our store in July 2019. By a year and a half later, the space next to us became vacant and we expanded to include our printing and design business, which is really suited to my background. My whole career has been in marketing and branding and I have a passion for helping people promote themselves and their businesses. We love being a part of this community.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: We love everything outdoors. I am big into bird watching and have several bird feeders in my yard. We also like to garden. My garden contains mostly flowers to attract birds and butterflies, while Russ grows peppers and tomatoes in his garden. We like to hike and we like to kayak. We have a tandem kayak and enjoy spending time on the water.
Q: What pets do you have?
A: We have two cats, Scooter and Beemer, that I rescued at four and six weeks of age and bottle fed. Our dog, Henry, is a Chiweenie, which is half Dachshund and half Chihuahua. He thinks he’s a Great Dane!
Photo courtesy Kendra DeGidio
Kendra and Russ DeGidio