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The Canary, a gift store, opens on St. Petersburg’s Central Ave.

The gift and home-furnishing store is a place to make buying presents easier, the owner said. The opening comes just ahead of the holidays.
The Canary, a gift and home-furnishing store on 655 Central Ave., opened Nov. 10, 2022.
The Canary, a gift and home-furnishing store on 655 Central Ave., opened Nov. 10, 2022. [ Courtesy of The Canary | Photo by Jessica N. Solis ]
Published Nov. 11|Updated Nov. 11

The Canary, a new gift and home-furnishing store, opened on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg on Thursday — just in time for the holiday season.

The new shop will have a range of items for people looking to elevate their homes or find presents for anyone, from a father-in-law to a middle schooler, said owner Allie Padin.

“My objective is to make gift giving easy, which it’s not for a lot of people,” Padin, 38, said. “We all have someone in our lives who it’s hard to buy gifts for.”

The store’s carefully curated inventory includes puzzles, picture frames, collection of oils and hot sauces, charcuterie board tools, wine coasters, plants, tabletop decor and coffee table books on niches like home design, features on women, or searching for the mythical Sasquatch. Some items can also be personalized.

Opening The Canary is a full-circle moment for Padin, who watched her mother work at a gift and home-furnishing store near her hometown of New Rochelle, N.Y. Padin later went on to work for corporate retailers specializing in visual merchandising and sales before starting her own interior design business. She said she moved to St. Petersburg to open her business after visiting for a friend’s wedding and loving the bohemian and small-town feel within a big city.

The Canary's owner, Allie Padin, said her mission is to make gift-buying easier for everyone.
The Canary's owner, Allie Padin, said her mission is to make gift-buying easier for everyone. [ Courtesy of The Canary | Photo by Jessica N. Solis ]

Padin credits St. Pete Girl Boss, a local networking community for women entrepreneurs, for helping her get the store off the ground when she first moved to town. The network helped Padin find a commercial real estate agent, small business lawyer, general contractor and helped with managing the business, she said.

Padin said she hopes she can also help people find the right gift, “not just a good gift,” for their loved ones.

“There are so many great things about running a small business in a town and one of them is that you get to know the community,” Padin said. “You’re aware of the weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and you’re sort of along for the ride. And as you get to know each member of the family, you become this invaluable asset.”

The Canary also sells home decor items.

This 15-month brown tabby, Gator, is the resident cat at The Canary.
This 15-month brown tabby, Gator, is the resident cat at The Canary. [ Courtesy of The Canary | Photo by Jessica N. Solis ]

Padin describes her style as “new traditional,” a modern and sleek look to classic furniture designs, with “a fun sensibility.” She selected items with playful shapes, like the peacock chair she has in her window display, and focuses on furniture that can stand for long periods of time and fit into any style if a person shifts their interior design preferences over time.

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“I want to help people pick out pieces that are going to be transitional over time and will last over a good number of years,” Padin said. “We live in a world with disposable furniture and a lot of that ends up in the landfills which is upsetting. We spend a lot of money on furniture that doesn’t last so I’ve worked hard to find affordable pieces that will.”

The Canary, located at 655 Central Ave., will be open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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