Make us your home page
Instagram
Everybody's Business

Glass Reunions store on Davis Islands to close in midst of sluggish economy

DAVIS ISLANDS — Kim Sprague learned the hard way how quickly the market for I-love-it-but-don't-need-it items can disappear.

Her Glass Reunions store opened at 233 E Davis Blvd. on Aug. 1, not long before a tanking stock market and impending layoffs forced a nationwide pullback in consumer spending. Sprague decided not to wait for the economy to improve; she closed the store at the end of March.

Sprague said her store, which carried work by more than 200 American glass artists, was fairly busy until the end of the holiday shopping season.

"We thought we were doing wonderfully," Sprague said. "Then January, February and March, we weren't even having people coming in. We'd go for days and not see a soul."

And those who did wander in often said they would return later when they had something specific to buy. "I was getting a lot of the 'be back' syndrome," Sprague said.

It was a different environment from what Sprague sees daily at her Key West store, which she opened 18 years ago on tourist-dependent Duval Street.

There, her traveling customers are quick to buy items they fear they won't see again. But on Davis Islands, where Sprague owns a home and is a part-time resident, "I think a lot of people are afraid" to splurge, she said. "It was a business decision all the way."

E Davis Blvd. Subway eatery closed for now

Meanwhile, down the street on Davis Islands at 304 E Davis Blvd., the busy Subway franchise that opened in 2003 has shut its doors.

The store closed a month ago. Company officials aren't divulging why it closed, or when it will be open again. "There's not a lot I can really say," said Jennifer Sanchez, director of operations for Subway Development of Tampa Bay. "It's our goal to get the store open as soon as possible."

Nancy Gregorio, co-owner of the building, said Subway officials told her the company will be "putting a new owner in there." Sanchez said the franchise had already changed ownership since opening six years ago.

Beer tavern on tap for Seminole Heights

Seminole Heights is a step closer to getting its own version of the Independent, a popular beer and wine tavern in downtown St. Petersburg that features upscale independent labels and an artsy feel.

The owners of the Independent, John and Veronica Vellines, closed last month on the property at 5016 N Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights. Renovations to the property are expected to begin soon, Veronica Vellines said.

'Mompreneurs' will gather for shopping

When she started her photography business three years ago, Nicole Geller learned how difficult it can be for a new business owner to market a product or service. Many "mompreneurs" — Geller's name for mothers who start their own businesses — don't have much of a budget left over for advertising.

Geller is trying to help them get the word out. She has gathered about 28 "mompreneurs" for a shopping event Saturday outside Giggle Box Couture at 3211 W Bay to Bay Blvd.

Participating in the six-hour event, which starts at 9 a.m., will be jewelry makers, clothing and shoe vendors, an embroiderer, a tutor, a representative of a kitchenware company, a maker of nontoxic cleaners and others. Geller also will do 15-minute photography sessions on site with children and pets. Donation boxes at the event will benefit the Spring, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Children's Cancer Center.

"It's a great way (for vendors) to get their name out there without having to pay a huge amount of marketing expenses," Geller said. "I went crazy with my marketing budget the first year, but truly, if you have one happy customer, they're going to tell a million people, and that's the best (approach)."

To sign up for a photo session or for more information about the event, e-mail nicolegellerphotography@gmail.com.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call (813) 226-3394 or e-mail sharonlginn@yahoo.com.

Glass Reunions store on Davis Islands to close in midst of sluggish economy 04/30/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.