HYDE PARK— Born in Tampa and with a name like Sunni, perhaps she was destined to love the beach.
After living in Manhattan for 23 years and working as a buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, where she frequently traveled seeking unique products, Sunni Spencer decided to open a boutique to house unique beachwear and accessories.
She opened four boutiques in New York bearing her name, but realized her beach clothing store would prosper better in her hometown.
"I felt like there was a bigger purpose for Tampa and we were being called back home," she said.
"We really thought this was a booming market for year around resort wear. Instead of it being warm four months out of the year in New York, why not try a year-round tropical destination."
Spencer grew up in Ruskin and graduated from East Bay High School. But, when returning to Tampa, she had her heart set on operating the boutique at Hyde Park Village. That’s largely because it's a place she knows very well.
Her mom shopped there when she was little. Spencer’s first job was at the old Limited Express store on the same footprint where her current store resides. And her sister, Misty Akers, owns The Candle Pour, the candle-making experience shop that opened in Hyde Park Village last month.
Sunni Spencer opened for business on May 20. The boutique offers a high-end collection of ready-to-wear dresses, beach necessities like swimwear, coverups, sunglasses and handmade beach totes, and ocean-inspired home goods like fragrances, artwork and candles.
Spencer believes her curation will distinguish the boutique with its selection of high-end brands like WHIT, LoveShackFancy, and SOH Melbourne.
"There's a story behind every brand so I think that's what also makes us unique." she said.
Sunni Spencer boutique operates from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 pm. on Sunday at Hyde Park Village, 1610 West Snow Ave.
For more information visit sunnispencer.com/.
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