VIRGINIA PARK — Like many people, Mina Brinkey started her blog two years ago as a hobby, an outlet for her passion for bohemian-style design ideas and a way to connect with some of the students in her high school history classes.
The blog grew in popularity, and a few months later Brinkey added an online store of vintage items that she had been collecting at thrift stores, flea markets and junk shops.
Now it's a career. Brinkey and her husband, Bill, opened a retail store in July. Bohemian Vintage is a 900-square-foot shop at 3418 S Dale Mabry Highway stuffed with vintage furniture, decor and accessories.
"He's an architect; he got laid off after 15 years," Brinkey said. "I was a schoolteacher and I got laid off. I have a law degree and couldn't use that either. I have a love for this stuff, and so does he. We decided, let's just do it."
Brinkey's Web site, bohemianvintageonline.com, now gets about 15,000 hits a month. She has shipped items "all over the world," including chandeliers, typewriters, kitschy kitchen items from the 1960s and '70s, an old brass genie lamp (genie not included).
"Everything is vintage or antique," she said. "We focus on recycling and being eco-friendly."
Hours at Bohemian Vintage are 11 a.m. to 6: 30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
They're back in business
Two Tampa favorites are open again after an extended absence.
Matoi Sushi and Korean Cuisine is back after a January electrical fire that caused about $500,000 in damage to the 3,000-plus square-foot space at 602 N Dale Mabry. Renovations to the smoke-damaged interior took over six months, said Susan Lim, whose father owns the restaurant.
The space is largely the same, though Lim said the family decided to update with a nicer interior and a new chef. Matoi also has new hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Posh SalonSpa is celebrating its grand reopening — and 10th anniversary — this month after a nearly year-long renovation of its building at 3120 W Bay to Bay Blvd. The full-service salon owned by Carmen Lee-Sargeant offers hair, nail, skin and massage treatments, as well as makeup services. The spa's Web site is poshsalonspa.com.
Kids' resale store to close
Consignment stores supposedly thrive during a recession, but Christina Hendry has learned that isn't always the case.
In March, she opened Not Too Shabby Kids, a consignment shop catering to kids ages 6 to 18, in a retail center at 4025 Henderson Blvd. Hendry said she had no trouble filling the shop with inventory. Getting it back out the door was another story.
"Everybody wants to sell and not enough wanted to buy," Hendry said. "I expected more sales at this point. I thought in this economy, this type of store would be successful in the shorter term."
Not Too Shabby Kids will close for good Nov. 14. Until then, everything in the store is half price.
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