Saturday, September 21, 2019

Missi D’Ambrosio – Painting Marco With Sunshine

Missi’s clients are an extension of her family.

Missi’s clients are an extension of her family.

By Maureen Chodaba

A new ray of sunshine has illuminated 1720 San Marco Road with color and light. Paint and Color Specialist Missi D’Ambrosio has joined the staff of Sunshine Ace Hardware, bringing along her talent, experience and dedication to customer service. A Marco Island resident since 1986, Missi is a familiar face, a powerhouse of expertise and a friend in need.

You may know Missi from the Florida Paint Centers. Many assumed she was the owner of the establishment, but in her words, she was “simply the manager” for almost 20 years. Anyone who has ever known Missi knows that there was nothing simple about Missi’s performance on the job. One Marco Island resident, who has chosen to remain anonymous, recalls a day when Missi came to the rescue. This individual recounts a day when he stopped by on his bicycle to check on the home of friends who were away at the time. This cyclist was horrified when his bike accidentally fell over, scratching and removing the paint from his friends’ custom-painted faux finish garage door. The 911 was Missi to the rescue. She personally traveled to the scene of the accident to access the damage and analyze the remedy. She determined the exact mix, color combination and application procedure to restore the garage door to its original state. With the help of a painter friend, our distraught bicyclist was astounded and relieved as the door looked perfect once again. Upon the return of the homeowners, he told them the story. Even when the area of repair was specifically shown to them, they swore they could not tell that anything had ever happened.

It is her personal touch and dedication that makes Missi such an asset to Marco Island. She says, “My clients are an extension of my family.” On May 20, when Florida Paint Centers abruptly closed its doors, it was not only a shock to the clients. It was a shock to Missi as well. She said, “Knowing I couldn’t turn my back on the wonderful clientele that had been built up over the years, I thankfully answered a call

Missi’s clients are an extension of her family.

Missi’s clients are an extension of her family.

from the Sunshine Ace team. Sunshine Ace will now be serving commercial paint professionals and do-it-yourself (DIY) customers, just as I have done for the past years.” Sunshine Ace carries Ace brand paints as well as Benjamin Moore. Missi added that Sunshine Ace is a locally owned company with a major buying power, allowing the business to make pricing on paints and supplies much better than she ever imagined.

Prior to living on Marco Island, Missi lived in Naples for 10 years. “I have seen the comings and goings of many trying to make this wonderful paradise work for both their families and businesses,” she said, demonstrating her affinity for the Southwest Florida area. Missi began her days on Marco Island as a full service attendant at the Phillips 66 Service station, then a 7-11, located next to Kretch’s Restaurant. She loved the job, because she was able to see her customers on a regular basis. If they didn’t need fuel for their cars, it was for their boats, lawn equipment or repairs. However, in the mid to late 1980s, most people did not think that a young girl could fix a tire or diagnose a necessary automotive repair. Missi said, “I loved the challenge. Once the men and women became comfortable with me, I seemed to be the ‘go to’ girl for many things.” After 18 years of service at the station, she was approached by a friend who knew of an opening at the paint store. The service station was under new ownership, so Missi decided to take the leap and applied for the job. She was told that the owner of the paint store hired her “because of her attitude.” Missi said, “I found out how much I enjoyed working in the paint field and with color, and here I am!”

Missi continues to be the “go to” girl in the world of paint and color on Marco Island. Stop by to see her at Sunshine Ace Hardware on San Marco Road. We hope she will be spreading her rays of sunshine on our island for many days and years to come!

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