Jay Puig opened his flooring, cabinetry and finishings store, Restoration Home Design, five years ago when he could count on a steady stream of contractors and builders coming through his doors.
Now, it's mostly the homeowners themselves.
"My builder business is completely gone," Puig said. "But now I'm seeing an influx in renovations. People are renovating their homes — we're getting a lot of walk-ins. … I'm seeing it more and more with people who have had their homes for many years."
Puig is marking the shift in business with a new name, a new partner and a different focus. The shop at 1416 W Kennedy Blvd. near Oregon Avenue is now UltraCustom Home Designs. Pool contractor Zach Pease has joined the business, and Puig is renovating the outdoor space behind the store into a showroom for outdoor design features such as pergolas and kitchens.
"People are not wanting to go out as much, and they're investing in their yards," Puig said.
The store is under renovation and should reopen in April, he said.
Silver Sage Organic Boutique has only been open since September, but owner Amanda Brzozowski quickly found that the trend toward "greener living" was no match for a recession that has proven especially painful for newer businesses.
Silver Sage closed its storefront at 2408 S MacDill Ave. this month, though Brzozowski said she will continue to sell items through her Web site, www.silversagetampa.com. Her shop focused on gifts, accessories and personal products, all of which were organic, all-natural or made from recycled materials.
"It's definitely been sad, but (closing the store was) the best thing for me to do," Brzozowski said. "Timing is everything and it just isn't the right time."
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