It only took Dot Murphy three months to realize she needed more space. Murphy relocated her business, Dot's Thrift Shop, just off the main drag in Lutz to a standalone store on U.S. 41.
With 500 additional square feet in her new store, the shop also boasts a large overhang, enabling her to keep merchandise outside, even during rain showers.
Murphy said she has been a thrift store "junkie" all her life.
"I've always gone out yard sale-ing and thrift store shopping, always looking for a bargain," she said. "Opening this store was a natural thing for me."
Dot's is a combination consignment store and thrift shop. Murphy owns some of the sales merchandise. She serves as a consignor for other items.
Store offerings include: mag wheels, flip-flops, clocks, books, televisions and more.
Buyers can even purchase a kitchen sink.
Murphy said her business makes sense during these tough economic times. She also said it promotes environmental awareness.
"Thrifting is really about recycling and not throwing things away," she said. "You can't get any greener than that."
So enthusiastic is Murphy about thrifting that she has created a "thrift store treasure map," which displays 14 thrift stores located in North Tampa. She lists each at no charge to their owners and offers the map at the checkout counter.
Murphy welcomes competition.
"Each one of us sells one-of-a-kind merchandise, and when people go thrift shopping they want to go from store to store," she said. "The map helps everyone."
Dot's is at 19033 N U.S. 41 in Lutz. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (813) 949-9101.
'Designer secondhand shop' opens in Lutz
In search of something new after the real estate market soured, Kim and JR Roché opened Felicitous in May. The idea behind Felicitous, a high-end thrift store, started with the building it now occupies on U.S. 41. The couple often passed the structure, a one-time Phillips 66 gas station.
"We kept saying 'This is such a great building. It's got such great potential,' " Kim Roché said. "And then we realized, how perfect, we can make that happen for the building and for us."
Felicitous, she said, is "thrift redefined." She called the store a designer secondhand shop, selling a wide variety of furniture, housewares, electronics and clothing. The couple also dedicated a small corner of the store with tables and chairs where patrons can purchase pastries and freshly brewed coffee from well-known Ybor roasters, Avier.
Felicitous is at 19015 U.S. 41 in Lutz. The store is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (813) 690-4607.
Self-defense, physical training center moves
Home of Sparta, a self-defense and physical training center, has moved to an 18,000-square-foot facility in Lutz.
Owned by Rena Lteif, Shawn McCarthy and E.J. Diaz (a former police officer, 5th degree black belt and head instructor) the facility employs the CrossFit method of physical conditioning that incorporates a variety of exercise techniques. Participants, for example, may work out using gymnastics and calisthenics, or they may jump on boxes, flip giant tires, carry odd objects or throw medicine balls.
While the program is rigorous, there is room for personalization.
"We teach people how to defend themselves but have created a curriculum that allows them to have fun while they are learning," Diaz said. "Although the workouts are designed with military Special Forces candidates, triathletes, and martial artists in mind, they're scalable to all fitness levels so you can bring your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt or granny."
Home of Sparta is at 15445 N Nebraska Ave. Class times vary, Monday through Saturday. For schedules and more information, call (813) 971-9348.