Start by selecting any plate, bowl, flowerpot, mug, jug, or unexpected pottery discovery from a variety of contemporary and functional finely crafted artifacts. The Pottery Patch's colorful design books and friendly staff can help if you need inspiration or artistic guidance. After you make a sketch, you'll pick out paint colors (The Pottery Patch has more than 50 pigments). Then carefully direct your brush in tune with your dreams and wishes, letting your creative juices flow wildly onto the dinnerware of your choosing and spill onto the floor that is thoughtfully provided. There are no studio fees at The Pottery Patch, and pottery ranges from $7 to $75, depending on size and type. Once you're finished, The Pottery Patch glazes and fires your piece in a kiln; it'll be ready for pick-up in about a week, just like a slow-baking cake or a reverse movie rental.
Vibrant swaths of fabric in nearly every hue of the spectrum line the walls at Keep Me In Stitches, where knowledgeable staffers dispense creative advice and design ideas as they roam the prismatic environs. They carefully curate a vast collection of textiles, which flaunts silks, novelty prints, and batiks from brands such as South Sea Imports, Benartex, and Michael Miller.
Aside from fabrics, the shop uses a fleet of sewing machines and digital design tools to facilitate embroidery endeavors. The staffers can also enlighten nascent seamsters during frequent classes and workshops, as well as repair sewing machines and bionic grandmothers of all makes and models.
Stocked with cute collectibles, hand-made home furnishings, and fashionable accessories, Gifts by Maria is a treasure trove of keepsakes and mementos. Under the sparkling light of a crystal chandelier, customers can find bath and body products, decorative figurines, and treat-packed gift baskets in Big Bad Wolf–proof packaging. Seasonal offerings include stocking stuffers, unstuffed stockings, and spooky Halloween-themed party favors.
Premier Parking Ventures solves commuters’ daily existential crises by carving out secure parking lots on six downtown Tampa corners. Strategically placed concrete pedestals glaze over highly trafficked avenues with affable attendants and reliable security. Drivers with a mallet to drop at the Florida State Circuit Courthouse can roll into the 1012 East Madison Avenue auto nursery ($66.20) and rest their vehicles next to safely snoring auto-tots. The 401 South Florida Avenue ($66.20) parking palace safely eases guests of the catty-cornered Tampa Convention Center into slots where their wheels may rest under the sun, heating leather seats and leftover food scraps alike.
Four Corners Custom Framing owner Chad McCluskey once elevated mall art to high art at a Deck the Walls frame shop, where he would preserve $6,000 art pieces alongside Scarface posters at Christmas. Now that he owns his own framing shop, Chad loves to display his clients' finished pieces in his sprawling front windows just so he can revel in the looks on their faces when they come to pick it up. Chad takes equal pleasure in the sheer variety of things he gets to frame, which has encompassed everything from poisonous blow darts to a lone turkey gobbler from a father-daughter hunting expedition.
Packaged by the ounce, The Spice & Tea Exchange hand-mixes spices from around the world to create their unique blends and rubs. Banish blandness from any meal with a wide variety of spices (starting at $0.99 per ounce), more than 60 custom blends and rubs (starting at $4.89 per ounce), and a ton of salts, peppers, and chili powders (starting at $0.49 per ounce). Office workers can wean themselves off the teats of the break room's coffee-cow with dozens of loose-leaf teas ($4.89 per ounce) sweetened with more than 12 flavor-infused sugars ($4.89 per ounce), including blueberry sugar, spicy habanero sugar, and espresso sugar. The Spice & Tea Exchange's huge variety of flavors make it easy to fulfill long-held cooking fantasies, be it a robust hickory-flavored manticore or topping a freshly grilled cheeseburger with unicorn-radish.