The more things change, the more things stay the same. For Dream Weaver Collection, that sentiment rings especially true. This September, the St. Armands Circle women's clothing store will be celebrating 30 years since it opened. While styles have changed over the decades, Dream Weaver remains a treasure trove of unique styles that founder and owner Joan Morgan calls "art to wear." To celebrate the store's milestone, we caught up with Morgan (and her wonderful pups) to talk about her success.
Have you always been in Sarasota?
No, I am from Massachusetts. Thirty years ago, I had a store in Martha's Vineyard and my customers were all telling me about this beautiful St. Armands Circle and Sarasota. I hopped on a flight to check it out for myself. Right away, I knew it was the right place for Dream Weaver.
What makes St. Armands Circle special?
I had stores in Nantucket and on Worth Avenue, different resort-type areas. But the mix of restaurants and shops makes St. Armands such a wonderful destination, and the Sarasota location is my only store now. It is also nice to see that people are taking better care of it. The walkways and flowers are beautiful. Everything is so well maintained. It is paradise here.
What has made Dream Weaver so successful for 30 years?
A store like this can be hard to organize because we work almost exclusively with smaller designers and suppliers. We offer "art to wear," unique and special pieces you cannot find anywhere else in Sarasota and certainly not online. During the season I host trunk shows for our designers in the store every two weeks so there is always something new to see. We also enjoy working with customers that have difficulty selecting their clothing. My staff is very skilled at putting together something for each individual. We carry clothes for every size, shape and age. Even husbands love coming in here. We serve coffee or wine while you shop, along with comfy chairs for shopping companions.
Tell me more about what we’ll find in your store.
We feature small European designers. You can expect to find hand-painted silks, architectural jewelry and unusual color pairings. I was an art major in school and early on I focused on pottery, which led me to own a craft shop. I have always been an "artist first" and I think the clothes in the store reflect that. At one time in the early 2000s, we were the largest art-to-wear store in the U.S.
How will you be celebrating 30 years?
We will be having some sort of party this September. The plans are still in the works, but it's going to be a fun celebration.
What color should we be wearing next season?
We are seeing lots of emeralds. Green is going to be big.
Tell us about your dogs.
Dogs have always been a part of the store. When I started, I had the golden retrievers and all of the carpets were blond to match. Then I got Buzz [a silver labradoodle] and now all of the carpets are gray to match him. We recently got Bodhi [a spotted pyredoodle], who is just a puppy so he is still learning the ropes of "store life." But they love greeting all the customers and all the attention and scratches they get. It is so nice having them around, and makes for such a fun environment.
Dream Weaver Collection is located at 364 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, and is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. For more info, call (941) 388-1974 or check out the store's website.