BRANDON — Kristi Parrott scours estate sales, auctions, yard sales and flea markets in search of the perfect dressers, tables, chairs and more.
She likes the craftsmanship and aesthetics of furniture from yesteryear.
Sometimes she finds an item, like a table from the early 1900s, still in great condition. Other times she ferrets out a piece ripe for upcyling like a solid wood drop-leaf table.
That's the kind of furniture you'll find at Gracie Mae's, which opened Aug. 31 at 112 Beverly Blvd. near the corner of E Brandon Boulevard.
Parrott said she wanted to bring "shabby chic antiques" to the area.
"It's something I've always loved to do," said Parrott, who studied interior design at Eastern Kentucky University. "I've always had a niche for decorating."
And the name Gracie Mae's? It's the two middle names of her grandmothers from Alabama and Kentucky who, she says, influenced her. Expect to find pastels and vintage decor, some she makes to look worn or older through sanding, painting and waxing.
In addition to large pieces, Gracie Mae's offers mirrors, chests and even a fully furnished wooden dollhouse.
It's a unique alternative to mainstream furniture stores for people seeking a trendy yet Old World motif for their homes.
"Furniture is not made like it used to be," said Parrott, who has lived in Brandon for five years. "A mix of modern and rustic is really popular now. Everything within their home has to be a reflection of them."
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Most of the items sell for $100 to $300.
Visit graciemaesboutique.com for current inventory and prices.
What's new at the Brandon mall?
If you've been to Westfield Brandon mall lately, you've probably noticed more than just a few storefront changes. Here's a mini-guide to new stores that have opened or are on the way, as well as a few that have moved — just in time for planning your holiday shopping:
Six:02, a new Footlocker concept, recently opened near Macy's. Catering to women, the store is full of fitness apparel and performance shoes. It offers fit zones and fitting lounge areas for any activity, style or body type.
Boyz 2 Men Barber Shop gives customers hot shaves, fades, color and more near the East Entrance and Macy's.
Invicta Watch has timepieces at various price points near center court.
Skechers brings more than 3,000 footwear styles for men, women and children to the center court area near the carousel.
Scheduled to open
Jimmy Jazz will provide emerging lifestyle and fashion trends straight from its New York roots when it opens this month near Sears.
Charming Charlie has grown a lot since beginning in 2004. Now it promises to have the chic fashion accessories women want when it opens in November near Books-A-Million.
Vitamin World is slated to stock its shelves full of vitamins, supplements and minerals in November near Macy's.
Gift-ology will also open in November near Macy's and allow consumers to have the perfect gift no matter the occasion.
Nail Pro will open near JCPenney in November as well.
On the move
Zumiez has opened its new location near JCPenney.
As Seen on TV has moved near the food court.
Atomic Tattoos is scheduled to reopen near Sears this month.
FLY will reopen near Macy's in October.
Also, expect a bunch of temporary holiday retailers, many of which will remain open through January, to start popping up.
Toys 'R' Us Express is the first to open between center court and JCPenney (in the old Zumiez location).
Check westfield.com/brandon for more details and events at Westfield Brandon.
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