BROOKSVILLE — Flowers wilt. Candies are eaten. But lingerie lasts long beyond Valentine's Day.
That's why the door swings most frequently during February at Sexy Creations, where female finery prevails.
"It gets really busy (during February)," owner Tina Eth said, noting that many shoppers are in search of fanciful nightwear, sheer and sexy hosiery and lacy undergarments that they won't find elsewhere locally. And leading into Valentine's Day, the store is offering 25 percent off lingerie.
"I think you have to go into a store like this to find something sexy," Eth said, adding that, even in department stores, intimate apparel runs to the casual and everyday varieties.
Gesturing to her selection of silky and satiny wear, Eth noted, "These are for the special night, an anniversary night, when you want to spice it up a little. This is sexy."
Customers range from college age to their 80s. They're equally divided among men and women. Men buy for their girlfriends and wives. Women also shop for the men in their lives in a small line of menswear — satin lounge pants, for instance.
The women's sleepwear collection features baby doll shorty gowns and snugger chemises, in feel-good glossy to gossamer and sequined fabrics enhanced with trims that are lacy, beribboned, sparkly or frothy.
For naughty-and-nice, there's a three-piece whimsical-in-red devil ensemble with skimpy top; an ankle-length, slit-seamed skirt, and a long, forked tail.
Bustiers and corsets are currently popular among undergarments, and they also are worn as outer garments, Eth said. With a sheer-fabric blouse underneath, a bustier or corset pairs well with jeans for a youthful look.
The tight-waisted and under-wired bustier is designed to enhance the bust line.
The corset is not your grandmother's old standby. It still tucks in the tummy, but is stitched in meant-to-be-seen fashionable fabric and trims.
For those who think garter belts are also their forebearers' wear, Eth said, "It's surprising how many ladies still like these. I sell out of them constantly."
To coordinate with the garter belts, the shop offers a wide selection of hosiery that far surpasses everyday pantyhose. Along with thigh-high stockings, they are arrayed in patterns and nets, in pastel or bright hues, often topped with stretchy lace or ribbons and bows.
Fashion hosiery is a smart choice to wear with a tunic-length club dress, with several designs available, including one alluring off-the-shoulder style.
Off to the side of the shop's apparel, an over-21 room carries adult novelties. Included are fun tableware and decor, along with inexpensive gag gifts, popular for bachelorette and bachelor parties, Eth said.
To quell any misconception that the store is a sex shop, Eth said, "We don't do special favors. We're an honest business."
Eth, 46, has worked in retail since age 18 in shops such as Sexy Creations, which she has owned for two-plus years. She picked up business practices in management roles and has an eye for quality.
"I think our quality is as good as Victoria's Secret," she said. "Their prices are pretty expensive."
Prices are reasonable at Sexy Creations: from $6 for hosiery, to $20 to $30 for sleepwear, up to $62 for the most expensive item.
To complete a special evening's ambiance, shoppers might pick up some incense sticks with alluring scents such as Latin Lover, Patchouli and Fairy Dust.
Contact Beth Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.