Several months ago, 2876 West Bay Drive was a vacant, musty-smelling former ice cream parlor with peeling wallpaper. Today, a chandelier hangs above the newly rejuvenated space that now sports carpeting, great-smelling lotions and designer lingerie.
Jerilin's Fine Lingerie & Gift Boutique features elegant robes and nightgowns, teddies, bed jackets, underwear and spa wear by such designers as Christian Dior.
The store also has hose from Barcelona, camisoles and slips, slippers and towel wraps for the body and hair, bath salts made from grapefruit, lotions, shower gels and other bath supplies.
Gift items include music boxes and jewelry boxes, picture frames, potpourri and sachets.
Owner Jerilin Willes moved here seven years ago from Chicago with two children, a son, now 17, and a daughter, 15. She has been a single mom for 11 years.
For years, she had dreamed of owning her own business but was afraid to take the financial leap.
"I worked in high school guidance in Chicago and here as an office manager for an import-export company," she said. "I got tired of dreaming and contacted a bank for a small-business loan."
With the loan in hand, she went on buying trips to New York City and Atlanta.
She cleaned and remodeled the store herself. "To begin with, there was this ugly, dark green, peeling wallpaper, and dead bugs _ it was pretty disgusting."
Mrs. Willes is pleased with the transformation and proud that she has finally realized her dream. "I've heard other women say they could never do this, and I once thought like that," she said. "You just have do it."
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The store is closed Sundays. The phone number is is 587-9818.
Laura Carvalho, Kenneth Chan, Fermin "J.J." Miranda and Christine Moraites have been promoted to team leaders and officers of Barnett Banks in Publix Super Markets at East Bay Drive and U.S. 19 in Largo, McMullen-Booth Road and State Road 590 in Safety Harbor, East Lake Road and Tampa Road in East Lake and Park Boulevard and 113th Street in Seminole.
Excel Molded Products, a manufacturer of plastic-injection molded products, has been elected to membership in Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association International with headquarters in Fairfax, Va. The company, 1460 L&R Industrial Blvd., Tarpon Springs, manufactures products that service the silk-screen, pad-print and specialty industries.
Frank Frederick has joined Westin Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor as director of group sales. He will be responsible for Innisbrook's convention sales and sales staff. He has worked 11 years for Westin Hotels and Resorts, and he came here from Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo., where he was director of group sales.
Craig R. Koller has joined Shane & Associates financial planning consultants, 29399 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, as senior financial consultant. He previously worked in the compliance and legal department of SunAmerica Securities.
Corena Kim Albrecht, an ophthalmic technician at St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute, 43309 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon springs, has received the registered ophthalmic ultrasound biometrist designation.
Sherwood "Flip" Coleman has joined the law firm of Kwall & Showers at 133 N Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. He most recently was an assistant state attorney in the felony and misdemeanor division of the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office. He works in the areas of personal injury, criminal and employment law.
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Richmond C. Flowers, Andrea Lee Abrass and Scott P. Swope have joined the Clearwater office of Tew, Zinober, Barnes, Zimmet & Unice at Prestige Professional Park, 2655 McCormick Drive.