1. Shopping

Mad Hatter General Store's goods keep getting curiouser and curiouser

It might be slow, but it’s so beautiful. The calligraphy set ($35) and wax sealing kit ($24) may be less practical and the message will definitely take longer to arrive, but you can’t get that classy effect with email.
Published Oct. 30, 2014

One would imagine that if Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter owned a store, it would be filled with a variety of things: some functional, some simply eye-catching and all of them "curiouser and curiouser." That image comes to life in Tarpon Springs at the Mad Hatter General Store.

Inspired by owner Sheri Wilken's love of vintage and nostalgia, the shop carries clothing, accessories, toys and all kinds of items that evoke that Oh, remember that? feeling. From an old-school shaving brush ($19) to a classic domino set in a tin can ($9.95) and a flapper inspired dress ($202), everything looks like it belongs in a distant era, but is brand new.

While a steampunk dress ($52) with a tulle underskirt and corset bodice might be a little too much for some, a men's fedora ($15) has only a subtle nod to '50s fashion. And for pun lovers, there are always items like the Freudian Slippers ($12), slippers in the shape of Freud's face.

The decor adds to the whimsy of the place. If the gigantic keyhole-shaped mirror in the middle of the store is not enough for seeing how the vintage-looking pieces look in a 21st century body, the two available dressing rooms are themed. One takes customers to an early 1900s safari, complete with a fake zebra carpet on the wall, while the other brings them to a turn-of-the-century boudoir with a chaise, trunk and bedside lamp.

Many customers are so inspired by the ambiance they have asked Wilken to start selling real vintage items from her personal collection. After three years in business, she finally gave in, but with a caveat. Instead of replacing anything in the store with vintage, she's doing what the Mad Hatter himself would do and adding some more flavor to the mix. Thursday nights will be Throwback Thursdays and her private vintage gems will also be available for sale from 5 to 8 p.m. exclusively.


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