Monday, April 23, 2018
Business

Businesswoman brings firm grip to home decor in Sun City Center

RUSKIN — Shake Connie Kennedy’s hand and it’s easy to understand how she was a former semi-pro softball pitcher with a killer grip on the ball.

Her firm greeting also provides a window for new acquaintances to see into a life that has taken her from a self-described poor childhood on a Michigan dairy farm to 35 years in the mortgage industry with Fortune 500 companies in New York, Chicago, New Mexico and Florida.

In between she authored a book on do-it-yourself home design and survived the mortgage industry crash, but not without having to live out of a storage locker and her car for 6 months upon moving to Mount Dora in 2011. Scavenging dumpsters at night to find metal that she could trade in for cash also made her stronger.

"You do what you have to do to survive," Kennedy said. "It’s been very rewarding for me, my life."

At 63, Kennedy has a strong grasp on life. At an age some would consider retirement, she opened a business serving one of the area’s largest retirement communities. Late last year, Kennedy launched Connie’s Home Décor & Design at 3818 Sun City Center Blvd. in the Cypress Village Shopping Plaza anchored by The Home Depot.

Kennedy said it took six years to build her latest business in the South Shore area, after owning mortgage and real estate companies, and more than two years to find a suitable retail location where she can let her creative eye see into her customers’ homes. If you don’t need or want a complete home makeover, invite Kennedy for a consultation so she can see how best to: plan spaces, organize closets, treat windows and floors, upholster furniture or add just the right colors and fabrics for a fresh look.

Or if you just want to purchase something from her showroom, that’s fine too.

"We’re flexible," said Kennedy, who has bought and sold more than 300 homes and redesigned 150 plus. "If you think it will work, take it and try it. If it doesn’t, bring it back."

Kennedy gladly offers some basic free advice to do it yourself types such as size matters (understand your piece to space ratio), keep collections together (critters, spoons, dolls, etc. all belong in one place) and wallpaper works great in small bathrooms. But with a background that also includes building, staging and designing luxury properties, she also can lend a hand – a strong hand.

"I know people, I can hear people," she said. "I listen to people and I give people what they want. It becomes personal, people are truly appreciative, and I feel blessed. Now I have this fabulous store."

Call (813) 545-3320 for hours and appointments or for ideas, visit connieshomedecortricities.com.

Ellenton Premium
adds retailers

Ellenton Premium Outlets has started the new year with the opening of a new Greg Norman retail outlet store and renovated Under Armour and Brooks Brothers Factory stores.

Greg Norman retail outlet store offers golf-inspired apparel for men and women in a 2,400 square-foot space near Chico’s.

Under Armour has reopened its doors near the Food Court, with 10,000 square feet of space – nearly 7,000 square feet more than beforehand.

Additionally, Brooks Brothers has relocated to a space near Michael Kors.

For updates on openings, events, and exclusive discounts visit premiumoutlets.com/outlet/ellenton.

SHARE YOUR NEWS: If you have an item for Everybody’s Business, contact Eric Vician at [email protected]

Comments
Work starting on JW Marriott, but Water Street Tampa expects to have 10 buildings under way within a year

Work starting on JW Marriott, but Water Street Tampa expects to have 10 buildings under way within a year

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa marks the start of construction Tuesday on its first building, the posh JW Marriott hotel, but there’s a lot more to come.And soon.Within a year, developers said Monday, construction should be underway on 10 — 10! — of Wate...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sears in Clearwater’s Countryside Mall to close in mid-July

Sears in Clearwater’s Countryside Mall to close in mid-July

CLEARWATER — The Westfield Countryside Mall Sears will close in mid-July as part of Sears Holdings’ latest store cuts, bringing the number of shuttering Kmarts and Sears to nearly 200.The store’s liquidation sale will begin on Friday, according to Se...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa draws praise, criticism at penalty hearing

Foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa draws praise, criticism at penalty hearing

CLEARWATER — Homeowners from as far away as Texas and North Carolina crowded a Pinellas County courtroom Monday in support of embattled foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa. Facing possible disbarment for professional misconduct, Stopa also drew s...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Tampa workers accuse General Dynamics unit of underpaying

Tampa workers accuse General Dynamics unit of underpaying

TAMPA — The Tampa call center of a federal contractor is being accused of underpaying its employees. Workers for General Dynamics Information Technology filed wage theft complaints with the Department of Labor Monday, calling for an investigation int...
Updated: 11 hours ago
With lights from Toys R Us dimmed, sales plunge at Hasbro

With lights from Toys R Us dimmed, sales plunge at Hasbro

Associated PressNEW YORK — With its sales falling due to the liquidation of Toys R Us, Hasbro is looking for new places to sell Monopoly, My Little Pony and its other toys. Hasbro said Monday it will rely more on online sales, although it has also be...
Published: 04/23/18
Sears’ biggest shareholder offers to buy Kenmore brand

Sears’ biggest shareholder offers to buy Kenmore brand

Associated PressNEW YORK — Sears’ biggest shareholder appears to be pushing for a breakup of the 125-year-old company that has survived two world wars and the Great Depression. Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert — whose hedge fund has forwarded millions...
Published: 04/23/18
Lucky’s Market hosting job fairs in St. Petersburg ahead of June opening

Lucky’s Market hosting job fairs in St. Petersburg ahead of June opening

ST. PETERSBURG — Job fairs to fill more than 100 jobs open at Tampa Bay’s first Lucky’s Market start this week, the organic grocer announced on Monday. The grocery store, located at 6765 22nd Ave. N, is hosting hiring fairs Monday through Friday unti...
Published: 04/23/18
Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

WESLEY CHAPEL — Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will splash down Saturday at the Crystal Lagoon in Wesley Chapel’s Epperson development.Phelps, a global ambassador for Crystal Lagoons, will appear at the grand opening of the first Crystal Lagoon...
Published: 04/23/18
Big visitor calls at Port Tampa Bay

Big visitor calls at Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA — The 750-foot-long Ireland, one of the biggest cargo vessels ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, arrived Sunday.The Ireland is on its inaugural voyage, having left a shipyard in China for a stop in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to pick up 64,865 shor...
Published: 04/23/18
Tampa Bay gas prices rocket 17 cents over a week

Tampa Bay gas prices rocket 17 cents over a week

Floridians are paying plenty at the pump for a combination of spring gas prices and high oil prices this week. Gas jumped 11 cents per gallon over the week in Florida, averaging $2.74 per gallon Monday, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. That’s t...
Published: 04/23/18