Shopping as the sun rises
Three Deal Divas met this morning at 6:15 a.m. on the Vinoy front porch in the name of journalism. Somebody had to cover the 43rd annual Sunrise Sale so it might as well be us. Yes, journalism is an ugly job sometimes. We had to sip free mimosas, nibble on doughnuts and actually BUY stuff at deep discounts. But our bosses want the paper to keep up our streak of winning Pulitzers, so you gotta do what you gotta do.
The sale sponsored by St. Petersburg's Downtown Business Association is a summer tradition that gets folks dressed in their pajamas out while the moon is still up to shop the independents along Beach Drive, Central Avenue and down Fourth Street.
We started at the Museum of Fine Arts where the deals and mimosas started flowing in the gift shop at 6:43 a.m., the official start of the sale. I found a giant Andy Warhol Portraits book for $12 that will be a Christmas present for my oldest daughter if I can find it five months from now. Deal Diva Kathryn Varn bought what she thought was a succulent-shaped candle for $8.
(She later suffered buyer's remorse when she realized it was actually an artichoke. But come one, there was champagne, the moon was up, we were living for the moment. Who here can honestly say they've never mistaken a cactus for a vegetable under such conditions.)
Onward to Cerelean Blu where racks and racks of great dresses and kaftans were 50 percent off and swimsuits were 40 percent off. I nabbed three pairs of dangling earrings for $5 each.
As we crossed the street tweeting about the deals to be had Kathryn bragged that we were walking, tweeting and drinking mimosas all at the same time. Eat your heart out Pokemon Go people.
At Juxtapose in Sundial, Deal Diva Maggie Duffy scored a beautiful sweater for $25, Kathryn bought a knit blanket with a great pattern for $25 and I bought a $25 embroidered satchel bedazzled with tassels for my other daughter. Each of our finds was close to or more than $100 before the sale.
We all bought cool stuff at The St. Pete store (Maggie will fill you in below on that.) Misred Outfitters had bargain racks on the sidewalk with $5-$10 leggings and dresses.
Everything was 25 percent off at Zazoo'd where they were serving a lovely grapefruit and champagne concoction. If you wore you pajamas you got to pop a balloon to get another discount. I scored a fab candle.
I stuck to my goal of not buying anything for myself and have some Christmas presents I'm already excited to give. I'm just a giver. I live to give. Ok, yes, I did buy those earrings for myself. But do earrings really count?
Here's Maggie's take on the morning:
This was the first time I have ever gotten out of bed at what I would normally consider an ungodly hour to go to the Sunrise Sale. I have to say, while it was still muggy, downtown St. Pete is especially beautiful that time of the morning. I don't know the last time I've even seen the sunrise, but it looked great coming up over the bay, from our vantage point on the lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts.
It was totally worth waking up that early! We really got first dibs on the deals, and man, there were some deals! I'm really mad at myself for not buying this totally sweet metal bowl at the MFA's museum store, which was only $5!!!!! I must have been sleep deprived to not snatch it up. In my fuzzy state, I could only imagine having to schlep it all over downtown, as this was our first stop. Duh, I totally could have had them hold it till later. And yes, I did call them MUCH later to check on it, but of course, it was long gone. Lesson learned. As Alexa Volland remarked, I have the opposite of buyer's remorse.
But why dwell on that when I can discuss what I DID buy. We found this great store that is a partnership between the City of St. Petersburg and the Chamber of Commerce, appropriately named The St. Pete Store. It's the mother lode of all things St. Pete, all made by St. Pete artists and is located in the Visitors' Center. I scored a tank top that says "My Way or the Skyway" for less than $15. If you were wearing pajamas, you got a discount on everything in there. The staff there was super nice.
At Juxtapose Apparel and Studio at the Sundial, I found a beautiful, lavender high-low sweater for $25. Well actually, Kathryn spotted it first but when she passed on it I snatched it up.It sounds crazy to purchase a sweater in July, especially this July, but I'm heading out to the San Francisco bay area in a few weeks and I'm pretty sure I will get to wear it out there. If not, then I will have a never-worn sweater for the next time it gets cold here. Whenever that is.
Finally, at Misred Outfitters, I got two pairs of tribal print leggings for a mere $5 each. They're really soft and comfortable, and they satisfy my current obsession with African prints. I could have done way more damage, especially at Cerulean Blu on their $5 and $10 jewelry tables, but I held back. (The idea of saving for San Francisco kept my spending in check.) All said and done, I think I spent just over $50.
It was a great morning. Hot and muggy, sure, but I got to hang out with two lovely ladies, Katherine and Kathryn, drink mimosas along the way, and check out a bunch of downtown businesses that I don't frequent enough. I will definitely go again next year, and I think I'll even get up early enough to catch the sunrise.