Kyletta Esz has always been a creative person.



Kyletta Esz has always been a creative person.

She enjoys finding random objects around Port St. Joe and turning them into something else.

“Some people just look at something and see something different,” Esz said, standing outside her colorful workspace just off of U.S Highway 98 in Highland View.

She likes to craft miniature boats out of driftwood and old table cloth. There are also the small paintings of Volkswagen buses on re-purposed wooden pallets.

Esz grew up around art.

Her father was a professional painter of portraits and Native American scenes.

“Maybe he’s proud of me now,” Esz said. “Because I really didn’t take that much interest in it all those years. I guess I just had to home in on it.”

But Esz has always enjoyed making something out of nothing. She can often be seen scouring the beaches or streets of Gulf County looking for something that pops out to her.

Esz also enjoys refinishing or repurposing furniture, a trait she says she picked up from a fire restoration business she had while still living in Georgia.

And while she has always made arts and crafts for friends, Esz is ready to take the next step and put her pieces before the general public.

Esz credits her move to Florida for expanding her goals with her art.

“Being here has heightened my sense of being artistic and seeing people for who they are,” Esz said. “You become who you want to be here. I think I have.”

Two years ago, Esz and a friend packed up what they had and headed south.

“We pulled a ‘Thelma and Louise’ and off we came,” Esz said.

While Esz had visited the area many times in the past, the home where she would be living was bought sight unseen by her friend.

“It was time for a change,” Esz said. “Trying to be happy doing what you’re doing. To me that’s Florida.”

While Esz worked at a local retirement home and assisted living facility, she continued to accelerate the rate at which she produced her art.

Quickly outgrowing her workspace at home, Esz found what she says is the perfect workspace with a view of St. Joseph Bay.

The Highland View building had performed many duties in the past including being a Laundromat, grocery store, flea market, and antique store.

Esz and a friend added the paintings to the exterior walls, and Esz began to receive compliments from the neighborhood residents and folks just driving by.

People began asking Esz how they could purchase some of the things she makes, so Esz decided to host a yard and art sale last weekend and was pleased with the results.

Esz would like to be able to sell her work full-time and possibly host social media classes to teach people how to make usable objects and art out of recycled objects.

Though she has big goals for her work, she realizes that it won’t all come at once.

“To be able to do what I love, that would be best,” Esz said. “Slow, because I am a girl on a nickel, not a girl on a dime.”

Esz believes that if she is able to go full-time selling her work, that she will be able to go back into the community and give back on a volunteer basis.

One of her goals is to taking crafting to those who cannot come to her, such as those in a retirement of assisted living facility.

“I get excited,” Esz said. “There are so many things you can do. When you’re in Florida you have to think outside the box.”