Megan Strickland's jewelry and home decor can be found on Etsy, Living Social, in Sears, Lowe's and beginning mid January, in Seminole Heights when she opens her very own store: Royal Suzie Design.
"I've been doing this as a hobby for about 13 years now," Strickland said. "I had my entire apartment robbed when I was living in California, waitressing during a summer from college. I had nothing and needed some earrings to wear to work so I asked my roommate and she gave me these old tarnished things. I took them apart, burnt holes and stuck guitar picks in them because I had a punk rock style then."
Strickland wore them to Hennessey's Tavern on the beach where she worked and servers immediately asked where she bought them.
"I said give me $10 and I took them out of my ears and gave them to her because I was a hungry college girl," Strickland said. "Another server said she liked them and I said $10 and I'll bring them to work tomorrow. I sold 10 pairs in one hour."
Her success only continued when a woman walked in to Hennessey's and said she wanted to sell Strickland's earrings out of a boutique she owned.
She sold 100 pairs.
After that she traveled around Manhattan Beach doing art shows, then in 2007 she moved back to Tampa, where she was born and raised.
Just as the challenge of the robbery only pushed her forward, so did one customer's request for turquoise jewelry.
"I had no idea but I said 'sure,'" Strickland said. "Then I read a bunch of books. I didn't even buy them, I just looked at the techniques and went home and tried, and I did it. I was like I can do wire wrap."
From there, her skills broadened into home decor.
Now Strickland is planning for a Jan. 15 grand opening with a 20 percent off sale, but the date is not finalized.
Royal Suzie Design, named after Strickland's mother Susan, will be located at 4314 N Florida Ave.
For more information visit, facebook.com/RoyalSuzieDesign or call (813) 842-3654.
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