Anyone who spends a few minutes scrolling through the Palm Beach Lately blog or Instagram feed will likely experience an irresistible urge to live in the sunny, pastel-hued world created by sisters Beth Beattie Aschenbach and Danielle Norcross.
For a decade, the duo behind the Palm Beach Lately brand has been transporting followers into a well-curated lifestyle that exudes the area’s barefoot elegance, with posts featuring breezy fashion and home designs in signature pastel colors of mint green, blush pink, and pale blue set against lush backdrops. More than 100,000 like-minded followers can’t get enough of their content, and the sisters’ enthusiasm, coupled with the quality of the posts, is a siren call to big brands seeking sponsorship opportunities.
From its start in 2012, the sisters’ blog was profitable. But it certainly wasn’t the mature brand it is today—partly because their concept was new at the time. “It took a long time for people to understand what we were doing,” says Norcross. These days, companies sourcing local influencers as part of a targeted marketing strategy is common practice—but 10 years ago, no one was filling the demand in Palm Beach County. “Back then, you had to be in New York or L.A. to do what we’re doing,” says Aschenbach. “We wanted to bring it to Palm Beach.”
There was also the challenge of zeroing in on their brand’s corporate identity. “We used to be all over the map,” Norcross confides, before they eventually settled into their sweet spot of travel, home, and fashion and their signature color palette.
Since then, the two have been met with a myriad of partnership opportunities that have allowed them to expand their brand beyond the internet. They have designed capsule clothing collections for Vineyard Vines; for Elizabeth Wilson of Kentucky; and for their latest collaboration, Sail to Sable, which debuted in May. On the home front, they have designed the Sisters Suite by Serena & Lily and Palm Beach Lately at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, a vacation rental (since sold) called the Pineapple Pad at the Palm Beach Condominium Hotel, and Endeavor Cottage with Serena & Lily at Harborview Nantucket. They partnered with Business & Pleasure on a line of beach chairs and umbrellas. And they have even entered the boating genre with Palm Yachts, customized and restored 17-foot center console Boston Whaler “picnic boats” in mint green and pastel pink with striped Bimini tops, which they both sell and charter. Eventually, they’d like to add to their portfolio with their own line of home furnishings. “Now that we have our style, we’d like to explore different avenues,” says Norcross.
With only 20 months separating them in age, Aschenbach and Norcross have always been very close, and their path to co-owners of a business reflects their symbiotic goals. Along with a younger brother, they grew up in Wellington before attending the University of Florida. After graduation, both sisters ended up in New York City for a bit, working separately in related fields—Aschenbach in public relations and event planning and Norcross in luxury travel marketing—before returning home to Florida, where they knew they eventually wanted to raise families.
Norcross married her college sweetheart, Jason Norcross, in 2007—with her sister acting as matchmaker. “I had just graduated high school in 2000 and was heading to the University of Florida (where Aschenbach and Jason were already students),” recalls Norcross. “Beth brought my now husband and his friend down to the Keys to vacation with our family before I left for college, and the rest is history.” A year after her sister married, Aschenbach went on a blind date set up by a friend’s mother and met her future husband, Lawson Aschenbach. They married five years later in 2013.
The sisters share an entrepreneurial streak and initially created the Palm Beach Lately blog and Instagram account as a side gig. By 2014, the brand became their full-time focus. The idea for the blog came to them after realizing the untapped treasure trove in their backyard and in their collective memory. Growing up, the two spent countless hours at their grandmother’s house in Palm Beach, gathering memories of walking to Worth Avenue for the annual Christmas tree lighting and stopping by Sandwiches by the Sea to pick up takeout lunches for the beach. When they began mulling over business ideas, says Norcross, “a lightbulb went off.” They would share their love of Palm Beach and its lifestyle with the world.
The name they chose for their brand reflects the goal of showing off Palm Beach at its well-manicured best while also chronicling the area’s evolution into a hipper, somewhat younger hot spot, with new restaurants and shops opening seemingly overnight. “Palm Beach had sort of a ‘your grandmother lives here’ vibe, and now look at it,” Aschenbach says.
“Everyone is here.”
Running a fledgling startup, Aschenbach and Norcross did everything themselves, including photo shoots. These days, professional photographers are their only staff. “When brands talk to us, it’s authentic,” says Aschenbach. “We don’t have someone answering for us.”
Initially, they hadn’t planned to feature themselves in their posts. The nudge into the spotlight came from the companies sponsoring the posts, who urged the photogenic sisters to adopt a more personal approach. Although they were hesitant at first, there is no denying the power of depicting how to actually live the life they espouse.
Their personal style is all over the Palm Beach Lately brand. Both women prefer flowy, feminine dresses in their signature pastel hues. “Having a style means we don’t chase trends,” says Aschenbach. “It just makes it so much easier to get dressed.” Their travels showcase various resorts and rentals in quaint locales fitting their brand, including Boca Grande, Islamorada, Nantucket, and the Bahamas. Recently, Aschenbach and her general contractor father renovated her Palm Beach Gardens home, and the results—featuring a clean, white background highlighted with lots of wicker and mint green—are documented on the blog.
Working so closely hasn’t tarnished the sisters’ close relationship in the least. In fact, it has strengthened it. “Our vision and style are the same, but our personalities complement each other,” says Norcross. “I’m the visionary, and Beth gets it done.” Since their brand has taken off, approximately 75 percent of potential clients approach them to sponsor a post or create a collaboration. They decide together which clients to work with, then diverge in responsibilities. Norcross is more about designing the overall style and writing the blog while Aschenbach works the phone, lining up the details and featured products. “Beth and I text a million times a day, says Norcross.
Aside from occasional babysitting help, the two rely mainly on each other and their husbands to manage their brand—and their broods. “We’re all very flexible,” says Norcross, who has four children (ages 11, 9, 6, and an infant). “We jump in and do what needs to be done.” They don’t have nannies, adds Aschenbach, who has two children (ages 6 and 2), so they often have various kids in tow while they work. But there’s an upside to involving the children in the business, Norcross says: “We want them to see what we do for a living. My older kids are into photography and design and have made their own vision boards.”
The sisters live right around the corner from each other in Palm Beach Gardens. Aschenbach’s husband, Lawson, is a championship racecar driver who owns BizCar and also co-owns LaMuse Jewelers on Worth Avenue with the sisters’ brother, Greg Beattie. Norcross’ husband, Jason, is a broker with HMY Yachts in West Palm Beach. “Our husbands are a huge part of our success,” Aschenbach says. “They believe in us and support us. When we had the idea to design boats, they both just said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Work doesn’t feel like work because they have managed to accomplish what might seem impossible to so many others by seamlessly blending a busy home life with a growing and evolving business. “Our life is our work is our family,” says Norcross. But they wouldn’t go so far as to describe themselves as superwomen. ”We don’t do it all; no one can,” says Aschenbach. “There are times when we slow down and focus on family because that will always be our priority.”
Check out their blog and follow them on Instagram.
When we asked Beth and Danielle to name some of their favorite haunts in the area, Beth quickly gushed over, of all places, a car wash! “They have a great gift shop with coffee-table books and cute curated gifts for kids,” she says of the Jupiter Inlet Car Wash. Here are a few of their other top spots.
Date night: 1000 North in Jupiter, River House in Palm Beach Gardens, Limoncello in Palm Beach Gardens
Family dinner with the kids: County Line Pizza in Juno Beach, U-Tiki in Jupiter
Treats or a casual bite: Coral Cones in Jupiter, Southern Belle’s Cakery in Juno Beach, Alaina’s Café & Bake Shoppe in Palm Beach Gardens
Beach day: Coral Cove Park in Jupiter
Picnic supplies: Charcuterie boards and box lunches from Apricot & Olive in Lake Park
Gift shop: Back Porch in North Palm Beach