BRANDON — Opening a retail business in a recession may not be the safest financial bet, but that doesn't seem to bother Cassandra Patterson.
"Sometimes you just have to gamble and make that leap," she said.
Patterson has made a couple of leaps in recent years. The latest is her new shop, Antiques & Etc., which opened in March.
Before that, Patterson and a partner owned and operated Et Cetera Home & Garden on Mason Street. That shop did well for about a year, but the partnership split up. Patterson decided to expand the size and scope of her business.
Antiques & Etc. has a lot of the same kind of distinctive items as the original shop, Patterson said. There's cast-iron lawn furniture, garden decorations and a lot of "shabby chic" accessories and home decor items.
But the new shop is about four times the size of the old one, so Patterson has been able expand her selection of merchandise and add a wedding boutique, with items for showers and other wedding-related events. She also has six vendors who rent areas of the store to sell a variety of antiques and collectibles.
Among the new features is a coffee bar. Customers can take a break from browsing for a cup of coffee or a soft drink, plus a pastry. They're asked to leave donations, which Patterson will give to local charities.
Another new feature is a monthly crafts class. On one Thursday night each month, Antiques & Etc. offers a two-hour class. Classes cost $30 for one person and $55 for two. Details about upcoming classes are available on the Antiques & Etc. Facebook page.
Antiques & Etc. is located at 706 W Lumsden Road, in La Viva Plaza at Kings Avenue and Lumsden Road. It's open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call (813) 654-4927.
Automotive business keeps expanding
RIVERVIEW — It's almost easier for Angelo Maldonado to tell you what his business doesn't do than to tell you what it does.
Essentially, if you need anything for your car, with one exception, Maldonado's a good guy to see.
"We do everything but the mechanical work," Maldonado said.
Maldonado has run a successful auto detailing business for the past six years. About a year ago, he expanded that business, and started installing car stereos and rims and selling other accessories. He changed the name of the business to Tropicale Detailing & Auto Accessories.
In recent weeks, he added a second business called Superior Autosports. Both business are now located at 2210 U.S. 301 S, near the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway.
Together, Superior Autosports and Tropicale Detailing & Auto Accessories offer used car sales, pinstriping, painting, detailing, audio system, headliners, upholstery and sales and service of most automotive items.
The businesses are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Call (813) 363-2798.
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