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Published Aug. 31, 2008
Updated Sep. 2, 2008

Furniture isn't safe in Karen Fraley's house in Crystal Beach. She's not above snatching things for her shop, Wilamina's, in Belleair Bluffs.

"My husband wanted to know a few days ago where his nightstand was,'' she said.

She'd moved it to the shop.

"I have a customer who wanted a nightstand," she explained.

Back home, the phone and clock are sitting on the floor.

Wilamina's features home furnishings from antiques to original art. The shop also carries coastal-style lamps, chandeliers and oddities like a pair of stuffed owls from the 1940s.

Fraley's interest in furniture and decorating began when she was a child in Grand Rapids, Mich. Her family moved to Dunedin when she was 15 and she graduated from Dunedin High.

She had a shop in Tampa for eight years called the Blue Moon Trading Company that specialized in antiques and chandeliers. Wilamina's, which opened in January last year, focuses on coastal-style living.

"My ancestors on my mother's side were whaling captains in Martha's Vineyard,'' she said. "The ocean is in my blood. I think if you live in Florida, you obviously love the beach and the ocean, and that's what inspires my shop."

How did you come up with the name for the shop?

Wilhelmina was my grandmother's name and my mother's name. I spelled it differently for the shop because I wanted it to be a little unusual and easier to remember.

How often do you change the inventory?

I bring in new things every Wednesday. I can't stand to walk into the shop each week and see the same stuff. I like change and want to make it fun for the customer to find new furnishings and accessories each week.

What about this business appeals to you?

Hunting and finding new and exotic items for the shop excites me. My goal is to bring in things that no one has seen in this area. And I love the creative process and challenge of designing furniture for the shop.

Who does the original art work?

Local artist Carrie Jadus does everything from original oils to whimsical prints and Carol Cortright, also a local artist, is creating a series of sea creature circus banners painted on canvas for the shop.



The business is located at 790 Indian Rocks Road, Belleair Bluffs. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Call (727) 585-6038.