APOLLO BEACH — It was a chance meeting for Dana Silva and Tamera Dyer in their new hometown of Apollo Beach.
Both recent transplants from the Midwest, Silva from Kansas City and Dyer from Springfield, Ohio, met for what seemed like just another mundane Craigslist transaction.
Silva answered an ad for a mattress that Dyer put up for sale. They quickly realized they had more than furniture needs in common. Having both come from military families from the same region, they connected. Silva an Air Force veteran and nurse, has a husband, Jose, who served in the Army and Navy. Dyer's husband, Charles, is retired from the Navy after also serving in the Marines and Air Force reserves.
So instead of just doing business, the duo went into business together.
Silva and Dyer are startup entrepreneurs of Apollo Beachcombers, a traveling artisan business and online store that features coastal living and hand-crafted beach treasures for your home.
"We both always wanted to do something, have a business of our own," Silva said. "We both absolutely love Apollo Beach and both feel lucky to have landed where we landed."
The friends simply wanted to buy T-shirts with the words Apollo Beach on them. When their search came up empty, they decided to fill the void by having apparel made with their new hometown emblazoned on them. After adding some pottery, wood engraved items, license plates and other similar décor to their collection, the friends held their first tent sale in late August and made $500 in sales.
Now, Apollo Beachcombers travels to local markets and events to set up shop. The list of where Silva and Dyer plan to be along with their web store can be found online at apollobeach combers.com. They also are planning to help local artisans and veterans.
They agree that a brick and mortar store is a "far future" possibility and they will continue to take suggestions from customers looking for something special. Apollo Beachcombers plans to start work on similar Ruskin-related items and will be offering their manatee T-Shirts in the Manatee Viewing Center when it opens Nov. 1.
Academy steps lively in added location
Julestarz Academy for the Performing Arts has opened a third studio. After growing in FishHawk and Riverview, the dance, music and theater studio has expanded into Apollo Beach at 6128 U.S. 41.
Julestarz strives to educate children and adults in their chosen fields, focusing on exploring their creative potential through everything from self-confidence and self-respect to imagination and an instilled appreciation for the performing arts.
Visit julestarzacademy.com for announcements and information on classes.
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