HOT ITEM: SUNSHINE STATE'S NEW DESIGNS
It's not hard to tell that the creator of apparel company Sunshine State is a Florida native. A couple of years ago, Chelsea McMillan, who hails from Clearwater, set out to design a line of apparel that reflects the true Florida beach lifestyle. She hit the mark with graphic designs on T-shirts, tanks and hats for women and men, from a riff on the Florida Lottery flamingo to classic surf styles. The design choices and colors are what set Sunshine State apart from your typical beach gear. As the brand continues to grow, so do the designs, many with retro vibes. I'm particularly digging this '70s-ish Coastal T-shirt in a lovely shade of iris. They've also branched out into items you'd bring to the beach, including a stainless insulated wine glass. Shop online at sunshinestategoods.com, where you can also find a list of retail partners. Or drop by the Clearwater headquarters at 1799 Clearwater-Largo Road, Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
MAKE A DAY OF IT: ST. PETE BEACH CRAFT FESTIVAL
You've got to love that there's creativity at every turn in the bay area, even at the beach. Corey Avenue on St. Pete Beach is loaded with shops from local makers and restaurants, and they have a market every Sunday. And four times a year, including this weekend, the St. Pete Beach Craft Festival comes to the avenue. The juried show offers a selection of handmade fine craft items, including glass, pottery, wearables and jewelry, like the sweet necklace from Sol Filippi, pictured below. There's also fine art including painting, photography and sculpture. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 250 Corey Ave. artfestival.com.