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LIFE SHINES: A little bit about that "30A" sticker and that popular brand

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Sierra Jerkins, with the Florida-based 30A Company, holds a bottle of their award-winning red wine.
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SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. – Lots of Oklahomans enjoy heading to the beautiful beaches of Florida’s Emerald Coast each year and chances are, while traveling between Pensacola and Panama City, they (and others from around the U.S. and around the world) have ambled down Florida’s Scenic Highway 30-A.

It was here, back in 1985, that I spent a week at Santa Rosa Beach, staying in one of those pastel-colored, “Old Florida” beach houses right off 30-A. At the time, the area wasn’t built up, with communities like Seaside (which served as the setting of the 1998 Jim Carrey film The Truman Show).

But in 30 years’ time, this 28.5-mile corridor hugging Florida’s Gulf Coast in Walton County, has come into its own, with a mix of great restaurants, world-class shops, colorful homes, nature trails and miles of sugar-like sand beaches to enjoy, right next to those emerald-colored waters that draw so many people to this area each year.

And while my family tends to stay further west of the beach homes on 30-A, I wanted to know more about the story behind the round, sky-blue stickers that have been proliferating on the back windows of SUV’s, Subaru’s and every vehicle in-between. And these include vehicles with Oklahoma license plates.

The Gulf Place Town Center where one of the 30A retail stores is located. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

I knew little about the “30A” stickers or the brand. So one salty, blue day this month, during my annual family vacation down in these parts, I happened upon a store in a retail outlet here in Santa Rosa Beach (aka Gulf Place, on the far western end of 30-A) sporting the simple and eye-catching 30A logo.

Wandering inside, I was warmly welcomed by Sierra Jerkins, the retail manager for the 30A company, which has been around for approximately a decade, after the man who started it had blogged about places to see and visit and celebrate along Scenic Highway 30-A. 

And a business and lifestyle brand was born!

30A is the creative business behind those stickers you see everywhere. In fact, the company has given away nearly 1 million of the stickers over the years. It pretty much goes without saying that 30A has helped tourism efforts with their stickers and brand. That sticker with a child-like sun for the “0,” a design that almost didn't make the cut - but then seemed simply brilliant.

A sampling of 30A-branded merchandise for sale. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

But as the friendly Auburn, Ala. native explained, the 30A lifestyle brand has grown beyond just the stickers and into four retail stores in communities along Highway 30-A (Seagrove Beach and Rosemary Beach) and one in Panama City Beach.

This Gulf Place 30A store has just about everything a visitor would want related to this 30A lifestyle brand. They have shirts, mugs, beach gear and even their own 30A branded beer (the popular Beach Blonde Ale) and wine. The red wine, in fact, Jerkins said, was an award-winning wine from grapes grown at Mercer Estates in Washington State. The winery was recently named Washington State Winery of the Year.

Jerkins was excited to explain to me that a new line of environmentally-minded T-shirts known as “Dumpster Diver” apparel. These are the eye-catching shirts made from recycled bottles, food trays, etc. that are comfortable and let the world know that you are ready to “Unplug,” as one guitar-themed shirt demonstrates.

Some shirts made from recycled materials. (Andrew W. Griffin /Red Dirt Report)

Environmentalism and social consciousness play a big role in the 30A operation, which Jerkins said is a very laid back environment where all voices are heard among the staff who all seem to love working at 30A. They continually give to charities and the notable Sonder Project which raises money in Florida and beyond to fight hunger and extreme poverty.

And if you can’t make it to the Emerald Coast any time soon, but would like to get a sense of the 30A vibe, we direct you to go to the official website – – and check out 30A Radio, where they play everything “beachy,” music-wise, from good-ol stand-bys like Jimmy Buffett and The Beach Boys to Kings of Leon and Keb’ Mo’. If it’s jammy, strummy, beachy and/or fun, it’s likely to get played on 30A Radio (which is also available as an app on your smartphone). Or as they say on the station: “We play what we like, and nothing else.”

“(30A) is a place where life shines, life slows down and where we celebrate the good times,” Jerkins told Red Dirt Report

And it's true. Scenic Highway 30-A also hosts access to the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches and some appealing hiking trails, all in close proximity to these 30A stores. And with the 2011 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill increasingly just a bad memory, things seem to be peacefully buzzing this summer along Scenic Highway 30-A.

Those famous Emerald Coast beaches in South Walton County, Florida - all within close proximity too Scenic Hwy 30-A. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

So, next time you see a blue 30A sticker on a passing car, you'll know what it represents and why it has such an appeal to so many people.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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