08/25/16 Bizarre News
YBOR CITY — Brent Kraus' brother Matthew always wore bow ties.
When Matthew committed suicide in 2010, Kraus honored him by opening, Ella Bing Bow Ties.
To provide even more of a tribute, the company gives 10 percent of its sales back to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
Beyond that, Kraus and Kim Randall partnered to host a yearly benefit event, Beer and Bow Ties, which returns Wednesday to the Ritz in Ybor City at 1503 E Seventh Ave....
TAMPA — Before I die I want to find a cure for cancer.
Before I die I want to speak to a parent I've lost contact with.
Those were just two of the dreams scribbled in chalk that Loran Jarrett read while standing in front of a "Before I Die" wall in New Orleans.
The entire wall was a representation of the neighborhood. People's hopes, goals and aspirations. Their deepest secrets. Their wishes for the kind of life they want to live....
In 2002, Kendra Scott, a single mother with $500 dollars in her pocket, traveled door-to-door in Austin, Texas, selling her handmade jewelry.
Her bold, colorful pieces gained popularity and she soon started selling wholesale to stores like Nordstrom.
In 2010, she opened her first boutique, a flagship store in Austin.
Now, six years later, there are 46 Kendra Scott locations, including one that held its official grand opening in Hyde Park Village last week....
One hundred and five years ago, Dick Blick created a one-of-a-kind artist pen.
On Aug. 1, Blick Art Materials opened its 65th store in Tampa at 1502 N West Shore Blvd.
"Blick sold the company to the current ownership in 1947 and they've held onto it for four generations," said Bart Veghts, vice president of retail operations.
The art supply store caters to the creative with products for everyone from beginners and hobbyists to professional artists....
The summer may be ending, but Camp Tampa is still in session.
A year ago, Jamie Lanza and Jen Azzarelli, owners of the South Tampa fitness boutique, found their ideal property, almost an entire acre situated behind Datz.
"I don't think we've slept since last September," Lanza said.
Since Jaime's move here from New York last summer, her goal was to build a yoga studio.
After seeing the property and the three different structures that sit on the large piece of land, the duo was inspired to include three of their favorite concepts: yoga, cycling and circuit training....
Jay Mize and his wife, Bianca, introduced Hyde Park Village diners to Irish cuisine when they opened Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery in 2011.
On Monday, they officially welcomed patrons into their fourth location inside WestShore Plaza.
"I think Irish pubs have proven that they're time-tested," Mize said. "We're putting a little spin on the Irish pub with a more upscale touch."
Aside from a few design tweaks, including new light fixtures, updates to the restrooms and booths, the most recent location encompasses the same look, vibrant atmosphere and menu as the original three....
SOUTH TAMPA — One late night after one too many libations, Eric Seeley and his friend craved a calzone from D.P. Dough.
"D.P. Dough was a popular late-night food spot where I went to undergrad at Ohio University," Seeley said. "One night in Tampa, my friend and I were discussing how great an idea it would be to open one here, or to just have one right now so we could get a calzone delivered."...
07/21/16 Human Interest
Late for a casting, Leianna Casella, 21, ran through the cobbled streets of Paris in 4-inch heels, balancing a backpack, a purse and her modeling portfolio.
It was the third casting that day, and the most important.
"I was checking my email and realized there was a time change but it wasn't loading and when it finally did, I actually had to be there at 7 p.m. and it was 7:20 p.m. by the time I got to where I was supposed to be," Casella said. "I checked my email again and there was a venue change."...
In 2012, Rita Bauer began ballroom dance lessons with instructor Sho Rich.
"He told me how (he) and his friend Matthew Garfinkle wanted to break out of the franchise where they were teaching and start their own studio," Bauer said.
After much consideration, Bauer, who has a business background, decided to partner with Rich and Garfinkle in 2015.
"I stuck with him as a student, then seeing their talent, passion and enthusiasm decided to invest some money and we found the space in Tampa Heights," Bauer said....
TAMPA — In September, Mark Pocock and his wife, Rachael, traveled from their home in England to see Van Halen perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.
For breakfast, they dropped into the Loading Dock in downtown Tampa.
"We found out that the owner was selling it and we loved the way the building looked," Pocock said. "So, we decided to move here. We liked the weather and wanted a change."...
Whenever there's free time, in between juggling a full-time IT position and owning three boutiques, Michelle Thomas takes the boat out with her husband, Mark.
The aquatic life is what inspired their nautical shops.
The couple opened Boater's Republic in St. Petersburg a couple of years ago, and more recently Michelle opened a women-centric shop, Ship Chic, in May at 1540 S Dale Mabry Highway....
Franklin Manor, a downtown spot to drink and listen to live music, will open by the end of the month at 912 and 914 N Franklin St., near Tyler Street and the popular Fly Bar.
The entertainment venue is the brainchild of Anderson and Lanfranco Pescante, owners of the Nocturnal Group who brought in architect Robert Ibarra, cocktail specialist Roe Patel and Saltblock Catering Co.
"We're designing, implementing and managing the food concept, and Greg Zwolinski (operating partner) will handle day to day," said Scott Roberts, chef and co-owner of Saltblock Catering Co....
Before becoming a business owner, Nelson Cacciatore and his mohawk could be seen at punk-rock concerts, skateboarding and taking on adventurous, sometimes life-threatening dares from friends.
His "do anything" attitude wreaked havoc on his body, but he survived two skull fractures on top of other misfortunes.
It came to the point where he would donate plasma to pay for a massage to help him heal....
Everything inside the women's boutique, Fab'rik, (except high-end denim) is priced under $100 and soon South Tampa shoppers can get in on the deals.
Former teacher turned Fab'rik franchise owner Andrea Tuggle officially opens her first store at 1902-A S Dale Mabry Highway on Thursday.
"If you could do whatever you want, owning a boutique has always been my answer," Tuggle said. "My husband and I started researching about Fab'rik and found we didn't have one anywhere around us."...
Two years ago, Bailey Walman, 16, dropped out of Italian class at Gaither High School and asked to be put into anything else.
They enrolled him in theater.
Now, he is the lead, playing Jean Valjean in the Patel Conservatory's production of Les Misérables, which starts on Thursday and runs through the 17.
Talk about growing up fast.
Originally a novel, the musical portrays the hardships of the French Revolution. It plays on religion, romance, politics, human resilience and family, some of which is heady stuff for Walman and a cast which consists of students in grades 8 through 12....