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.
Founded by Don and Cathy Statz in 1996, Victorian Village still employs many of its original staffers, who remain dedicated to helping guests find their ideal gift. Sips of gourmet coffee and nibbles of cookies provide much-needed sustenance as shoppers navigate the sprawling 15,999-square-foot store. Collectibles from Brighton, Lladro, and Swarovski beckon from their dedicated nooks, and patterned accessories by Vera Bradley encourage appropriate organization of toiletries, jewelry, and paisley swatch collections.
For more than 20 years, the professional photographers at Charlie's Angels Photography have worked to capture images that not only preserve memories but also incorporate artistic touches. Their digital galleries boast shots from larger occasions such as weddings and runway shows to private events such as boudoir and portrait sessions. Their staff also includes professional makeup artists, who can prep subjects for shoots or gussy up complexions before weddings or high-school-graduation re-enactments.
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.