RIVERVIEW — Blumchen, which is German for pretty little flower, is Riverview's newest accessory shop.
"I call my wife blumchen," said Dai Singhprasert, the store's owner. "When we opened the store, I suggested the name."
The store, which opened last week in Winthrop Town Centre, contains costume jewelry selections including rings, necklaces and earrings. Prices range from $10 to $25 for accessory sets. Purses cost $25 to $40.
Singhprasert says he stumbled upon the accessories business when his home decor store, Lebelle's Home Store Plus, started to lose ground. He started that store, near the intersection of U.S. 301 and Big Bend Road, when the housing market was in full bloom.
When real estate sales declined, Singhprasert added costume jewelry.
"We started selling accessories at Lebelle's, and it really took off," he said. "Blumchen is like an expansion, but it's for my daughter."
Singhprasert's daughter, Alisha Cuthertson, a 19-year-old college student, wanted to try her business skills in the accessories business after seeing the success of the items at Lebelle's.
Despite moving quickly to capitalize on a vacancy in Winthrop Town Centre, Singhprasert knows well the dangers of opening a new enterprise during a recession.
"In these economic times, you'll go into a Quiznos one day, and the next day they're closed,'' he said. "We've seen businesses fold in six months. It's a scary thought.
"But I've learned a lot in the years I've been in business. To survive, you have to adjust to the market. And from what I've seen, the response to our change has been very positive."
Blumchen is at 6026 Winthrop Town Centre Ave., Riverview. Hours vary. For information, call (813) 470-9074.
Rib shack makes way for Five Guys Burgers
The last slab of ribs came off the grill on July 5 as Shane's Rib Shack in Riverview closed its doors for good.
The restaurant, at 6020 Winthrop Town Centre Ave., struggled to gain traction in the area. Operations in New Tampa and in South Tampa remain open.
"The brand awareness and slow location caused the closing of this location," said Louis Oliva, the franchise operator of Shane's Rib Shacks in Hillsborough County.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries will replace the barbecue franchise.
Oliva is the franchisee for the burger chain as well. He plans to open in a few months.
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