TAMPA — Jacob Wurtz discovered Kenkoh reflexology foot massage sandals at a natural health show in Orlando in 1980. He has sold thousands since 1985 as co-owner of eight Happy Feet Plus stores.
This month, he closed the location in St. Petersburg's BayWalk, as that retail complex is renovating, and opened his ninth store at Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard, next to the FedEx Print & Ship Center.
Besides the Japanese massage sandal, he built his Happy Feet Plus business on a once little-known German sandal called Birkenstock.
"And now we offer one of the largest selections of Birkenstocks in the country," Wurtz said.
Of the dozen brands of shoe wear in the store, Kenkoh stands out for its therapeutic effect, Wurtz said. "Customers no longer have back pain, leg cramps, tendonitis, migraines … the massaging 'fingers' made of natural latex rubber stimulate reflex zones in your foot," he said.
The sandals can also alleviate grumpiness and "put you in good mood."
Happy Feet Plus, 109 S Dale Mabry Highway is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit happyfeet.com or call (813) 873-3690.
Cast-off fashions get new use at exchange
Once-loved and gently used clothes and accessories are rapidly filling up the third bay area Revolve Clothing Exchange, expected to open Aug. 1 on Kennedy Boulevard, a block east of Lois Avenue.
"We are currently buying clothes for men and women," said Julie Meloche, who manages the Ybor City location.
The store revolves around customers' cast-off fashions finding new life in someone else's closet. "They bring in clothing they no longer wear and receive either a store credit for 30 percent of the retail price or cash for 20 percent of the selling price," she explained. Store credits never expire.
According to Meloche, their buyers choose the most trendy and stylish items, casual to dressy, ranging from mall brand designers such as H&M and Zara to handmade items.
"A bit of everything,' Meloche said, "shoes, handbags and jewelry. One person's trash is another person's treasure."
Revolve Clothing Exchange, 4023 W Kennedy Blvd., will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily as the business launches. For updates, check facebook.com/RevolveClothingExchangeKennedy or call (813) 406-7788.
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