BRANDON — Rhonda Davis' five-year plan recently culminated with a surveillance operation that would have impressed even the most veteran law enforcement officer.
After years of toiling as a veterinary technician, working at animal shelters and fostering dogs, Davis, 56, wanted to start fresh by opening her own consignment business.
So she hatched a strategy.
"I sat in a lot of parking lots counting women," she said.
She targeted females from their teens on up. When she counted 80 potential customers between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. one day walking around Providence Square, she knew she had found a fit for her new storefront.
Davis opened Sassy and Classy Boutique on May 1 at 1925 W Brandon Blvd., offering clothes, purses, shoes and jewelry in all sizes and styles.
What makes Sassy and Classy a bit different from the growing list of area consignment stores? Davis' hand-made, fused-glass jewelry and the Palm Beach-inspired wardrobe section.
Davis, a Riverview native, spent some time in New Mexico as an artist. She has a kiln on site where she fires the glass to 1,350 degrees to make a variety of accessories, and she plans to host beading classes soon.
Her sister-in-law owns the Second Time Around consignment shop in the Palm Beach area, and Davis offers items from Florida's east coast that tend to have a European style or beach flair.
"I never know what I'm going to get," said Davis, who also travels to estate sales for clothing and more.
"I'm starting my life over and hope this will be my retirement one day."
Sassy and Classy Boutique also will offer $5 and $10 racks of clothing outside on the sidewalk, and Davis said she plans to outfit people from women's shelters for free, so they can look their best for job interviews.
The store is open Monday through Saturday. Call (813) 330-7905 for more information.
Beef 'O' Brady's in Valrico upgrades look
The Valrico Beef 'O' Brady's recently completed a renovation from ceiling to floor to generate excitement among sports fans, kids and parents.
Jeff Fuerst, who has owned and operated the family sports restaurant at 2561 E State Road 60 since 2002, originally planned a piecemeal overhaul that would have taken more than a month to complete. But he chose to spend just five days after Easter gutting and improving everything inside.
"It didn't seem logical to have an impact on the guests," said Fuerst, a former corporate trainer at Beef's who will now use the location to train employees.
Sports fans immediately will notice the wall of six 70-inch flat-screen televisions and six more 60-inch televisions spread throughout the restaurant.
"That should be the big wow factor for football games," Fuerst said. "It will be pretty awesome."
Parents and kids will notice the relocation of the arcade and games to the back of the eatery, alleviating prior concerns about the games being close to the entrance.
"It's one more variable parents don't have to be concerned with," Fuerst said.
All the furniture, except for the chairs, has been replaced, including new booths, a larger bar area and even the bathroom faucets. The new black ceiling gives the pub more height and the carpet has been removed in favor of wood laminate.
The phone number is (813) 655-1055.
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