Owner Nava Ottenberg and her savvy staff oversee an era-spanning trove of vintage and boutique get-up at Persona Vintage Clothing & Costumes. Guests can buck outdated musical trends to blend metal and country with a 1960s fringe suede leather jacket ($20) and Whiting & Davis metal mesh clutch ($22). Nava's Sleepwalk collection swathes figures with one-of-a-kind dresses assembled from vintage pieces, hand-dyed fabrics, and vibrant prints ($40), and a little black dress from the ’40s ($40) steeps torsos in film noir flair. Wrap necks in a selection of vintage silk scarves ($6–$10), or sport an old-style paperboy hat ($18) and compete with the shop's mannequin population for most fervent cries of "Extra!".
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Armed with more than 20 years of framing experience and a lifelong passion for preserving artistic works, Héctor Puig personally helps customers select the perfect display methods for their pieces. Together, they sift through the gallery's selection, which includes wooden and metal frames with matte black, cherry, and antique gold finishes, to name a few. In addition to aesthetically completing a picture or a diploma's presentation, these frames, along with other materials, come in archival varieties for customers who value conservation above all else.
For inspiration, visitors can peruse the gallery's eclectic displays of paintings and sculptures by regional, national, and intergalactic artists. Héctor explained his motivation for continually seeking out these works to the Gainesville Sun in 2005, saying, "I want people to feel like they can come in and see what real art is about, as opposed to feeling like it's something they can't understand." Among these works are pieces from Héctor's personal collection of hand-carved santos de palo figures, which come from his native Puerto Rico and occasionally appear in domestic and international museums, according to Gainesville Magazine in 2006.
Staffed mostly by volunteers, Family Treasures Thrift Store sells donated goods that range from light fixtures and bed frames to books, antiques, and men's and women's clothing. All proceeds are donated to the Children's Home Society of Florida.
With a nose and eye for special occasions, the experienced florists at The Plant Shoppe arrange flowers artfully to enhance momentous events. Specializing in weddings, the team can garland everything from the flower girls and the bride to the tables, cake, ceremony site, and limo driver. The florists also help their customers celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays with roses, orchids, carnations, and more to create a kaleidoscope of colors and fragrant aromas. As a one-stop gift shop, the crew customizes self-inking stamps and sells imprintable invitations from companies such as Picture Perfect, Design Design, and Four Seasons.
Wolfgang, located a few blocks from the University of Florida, stocks its shelves with choice women's apparel and accessories from brands including BB Dakota, French Connection, Blank, Cheap Monday, and more. Shoppers can drape midriffs in a slouchy jungle-print tank top by Final Touch or help contestants cheat at spelling bees with gold or silver letter-charm necklaces with adjustable 18-inch chains ($14.50 each). Just USA skinny jeans ($45) fit snugly around limbs, and an orange-and-blue semisheer top by D'closet ($35) flatters the torso with central pleating and Gator spirit.
Though it may be just you and your board gliding through a riptide or across hot pavement, a trip to FreeRide Surf & Skate Shop involves actual human interaction. Here, surfers and skaters take a break from board-based exploits to outfit themselves in shorts and bikinis accessorized by Ray-Ban or Oakley sunglasses and sandals from Reef and Vans. Surfboards, longboards, and skateboards—ready to conquer bustling streets, open shorelines, or particularly deep bathtubs—fill the store. If customers can’t find exactly what they are looking for, staffers will special order most items, working hard to match the price and cover shipping on most items.