Partly Cloudy77° FULL FORECASTPartly Cloudy77° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page

Katherine Snow Smith, Times Staff Writer

Katherine Snow Smith

Katherine Snow Smith has been at the Times either fulltime or parttime since 1995. She started as a business reporter then spent a decade writing the Rookie Mom column with stories from her own family and advice from other average moms and the experts. She now covers business in south Pinellas County. Katherine has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and is married to Times political editor Adam Smith. They have three children, two dogs and still feel like rookie parents much of the time.

Phone: (727) 893-8785


  1. Just saying 'no' to high heels at Cannes (and the White House)


    The recent unrest dubbed "flatgate" after women were turned away from a movie premiere at the Cannes Film Festival because their heels weren't high enough highlights the age-old, love-hate relationship we have with spikes, stilettos and the like.

    We love those high heels when we first lay eyes on them and get a rush when we slip them on for that big occasion, only to hate them them within hours (if you're lucky) or minutes of actually wearing them....

    Actor Emily Blunt has led sharp criticism of the Cannes Film Festival after women, including the wife of a director attending his own movie, were turned away from the red carpet because their heels were too low.
  2. For 15 years Stellie Bellies has brought a boutique feel to resale shopping


    Independently owned consignment and resale stores, especially those selling children's clothes and gear, seem to continually open in small strip centers throughout Tampa Bay only to close a year or two later. The owners, often a mom or two, believe there's little money needed up front for inventory since merchandise is brought in by customers in exchange for store credit or cash. They think it will be great to bring their children to work at the kid-friendly store and fun to sell to all their friends. But that fairy tale rarely comes true....

    Estella Myers is the longtime owner of Stellie Bellies Kiddie & Maternity Resale Boutique, with several stores around the Tampa Bay area.
  3. Local designer makes "My Outfit Monday" doable


     I forgot it was my turn to post a My Outfit Monday but fortunately I am wearing a dress that I love and is somewhat flattering. I bought this Tracy Negoshian dress about three years ago on sale in Raleigh, N.C. I think it was $40 or so marked down from about $100.

    Then I was shocked a year later to learn the dsigner, Tracy Negoshian, (a Zephyrhills native) runs her growing fashion empire right out of St. Petersburg. Her clothes are in boutiques in 50 states and she has stores in Naples and our own Sundial....

    Like this dress? Get used to it Summer 2015.
  4. Pet-friendly hotels offer room service and massages for dogs


    ST. PETE BEACH — Laura Abbott typed five words into a Google search: "pet friendly, hotel, luxury, Florida." Up popped Loews Don CeSar Hotel.

    That was three years ago, when the Houston small-business owner and her husband were planning a long-awaited vacation. They've come back to the Don CeSar and St. Pete Beach every year since for a week with their dog, Boogie, a putty-colored Shih Tzu....

    Boogie, a 12-year-old Shih Tzu, gets ready to dine Tuesday at the Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.
  5. At St. Pete Beach, hit this shop before sand and sea


    Most women go to St. Pete Beach for sun and sand. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's nice. But the main draw to get me across the Pinellas  Bayway is a great little consignment shop called Two Friends' Closet.

    It's right next to the PCI (Post Card Inn) in a tiny strip center at 6360 Gulf Blvd. I discovered the shop about three years ago and can think of only one time since then that I haven't left with great finds. (And that would be because I'd accidentally left my wallet at home.)...

    Most jewelry is around $10, unless it's designer.
  6. Residents and investors benefiting from buying boom in St. Petersburg's Midtown

    Real Estate


    A steadily increasing stream of money from investors, homeowners, the city, and nonprofits is changing the look of houses and entire streets in Midtown. • As homes below $130,000 are becoming scarce elsewhere in Tampa Bay, first-time home buyers and investors are seeing potential in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

    A Naples-based investment group has bought about 40 houses between Central Avenue and 22nd Avenue S between 34th and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. streets. A separate, nonprofit group is rehabbing 28 other homes to sell or rent. ...

    This home at 1727 13th Ave. S is among the new or substantially renovated homes near Melrose Elementary School.
  7. About 187* looks from one wrap found on Central Ave.


      The Deal Divas took to Illume Organic Boutique on Central Avenue to demonstrate just a few of the many ways The Wrap by AngelRox can be styled into a skirt, top, or dress. An instructor at Parsons School of Design in N.Y. created this super soft, super versatile swath of cloth with endless possibilities.

    (No, it's not Tim Gunn. But I'm sure the creator knows him and perhaps he gave her a "make it work" while she was designing The Wrap. So if you bought it I think you could reason that Tim Gunn highly approves of your wardrobe and you pretty much look like Heidi Klum.)...

    One wrap + lotsa Deal Divas = endless styles
  8. Downtown St. Petersburg employer uses Apple, not carrot and stick



    The local travel insurance company that woos its employees with unlimited paid vacation time, no assigned desks and a keg of beer always on tap just keeps on giving. Squaremouth Inc. is bestowing Apple Watches on its 24 employees to thank them and promote an enjoyable downtown workplace.

    About a third of employees already wear their $349 Apple Watch Sports on their wrists. Those who requested black or pink bands are waiting for them to be delivered in June or July....

Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth Inc., St. Petersburg, holds a meeting with employees in his bare feet recently. The company designs software to sell travel insurance online.
  9. St. Petersburg Housing Authority chief retiring by year's end

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Darrell Irions, the often-controversial CEO of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, is leaving after 20 years as head of the agency.

    Irions, 61, is retiring so he can have more time to spend with family out of state and "start that next chapter," he said Friday.

    The authority helps provide homes to almost 4,000 low-income residents. While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has continually rated it a high-performing agency under Irions, his tenure has been marked by several difficult chapters....

    Darrell Irions was criticized when he led the demolition and renovation of Jordan Park.
  10. Longtime barber is cut out of St. Petersburg's One Progress Plaza



    A downtown St. Petersburg institution has been handed its walking papers — under the door.

    After 25 years in the office tower One Progress Plaza at 200 Central Ave., Pedro's Tonsorial Parlor is moving out because the building's owners aren't renewing its lease.

    The management company slipped a letter under the shop's door on April 10, notifying owner Clyde "Pedro" Holladay that he would have to move out in August when his lease is up....

    Clyde “Pedro” Holladay, 66, cuts the hair of Bob Dale, 82, who has been a customer for about 20 years. The owners of One Progress Plaza slipped a letter under the door of Pedro’s Tonsorial Parlor to tell Holladay he has to move out.
  11. Always, always, always check out a liquidation sale


    I'd never even put my big toe into Cache before Saturday. I'd passed the shop a million times at various malls but always thought the dresses were a little to bedazzled or short and tight for me.

    When I passed the Cache at a mall in Raleigh, N.C. where I was on Saturday, it wasn't a dress that lured me. It was the neon orange sign screaming "70 percent off." The chain is in bankruptcy and closing its stores....

    Cache's signature hot cocktail dresses are 70 to 80 percent off through 9 p.m. Wednesday.
  12. Twin Brooks upgrades will impact more than golf

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Golfers will enjoy a bigger, nicer course at Twin Brooks come October. And 4,100 youths in the First Tee St. Petersburg program will reap benefits that reach beyond the greens. But until then, the course at 3800 22nd Ave. S is closing May 1 for a major makeover.

    The city is spending $1.5 million to renovate the 18-hole, par-3 course that was built in 1957. It will be converted to 12 holes with nine for play and three for practice....

    Louis Miller practices his swing Tuesday at Twin Brooks in St. Petersburg. The course is undergoing a renovation that will begin May 1. “I’m here at least once a week unless I’m playing in a tournament, then it’s twice,” Miller said.
  13. Another grocery store is coming to downtown St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays may not be banking on an influx of residents and activity in the westward expansion of downtown, but a developer and grocer see it and are getting ready.

    ARC Group is planning a 50,000-square-foot retail center with a 32,000-square-foot grocery store for 700 Central Ave. There will be three levels of parking above, according to plans submitted to the city....

    A 50,000-square-foot retail complex with a grocery store is planned for 700 Central Ave.

source: Arc Development Group
  14. Surviving #LillyForTarget: How one St. Pete woman walked out a winner


    The quest to buy Lilly Pulitzer, the Palm Beach designer brand, at Target prices caused quite the shopping frenzy across the country and online.

    Target's website slowed to a crawl while stores' shelves were wiped clean within minutes when it debuted its limited Lilly P. collection Sunday. The mad dash for hibiscus-covered dresses and elephant-laden shorts resembled the race for supplies and weapons at the Hunger Games' cornucopia....

    Target handout photo.
  15. Tierra Verde artisan turns out unique glass knobs


    TIERRA VERDE — A palace in Dubai has 100. A grand home going up in Sarasota will have 85. A ranch out West has eight, and a condo in South Pasadena has one.

    No matter the number, Alex Matheson's artistic glass knobs offer individuality to any home they complement. His Tierra Verde company, Out of the Blue Design Studio, offers more than 200 designs from 60 glass artists around the country. The orbs encase flowers, butterflies, coral, spirals and beyond, and Matheson mounts them to hardware that can be added to cabinets or shower doors....