Moving On Up

Retro Boutique Finds Permanent Home

Local treasure trove Canned Ham Vintage expands into larger space.

By Sarafina Murphy-Gibson January 2, 2020

Canned Ham Vintage

Lovers of all things retro have cause to rejoice: Canned Ham Vintage, a boutique teeming with treasures from the past, is moving into a larger space and plans to open to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 7. In just one whirlwind week, owner Ashley Rogers and her team have relocated the Rosemary District shop to a building on 12th Street. In addition to having three times the room, Rogers believes the space offers an opportunity for continued growth and exemplary customer care.

Canned Ham was founded in 2014 by Rogers, who credits her mother for instilling an early love for the interplay of textiles, fashion and history. Rogers believes that wearing vintage not only has transformative powers, but offers a “window into the life of that time period.” Second-hand shops are like special museums where you can learn about history and maybe even take a piece home with you. Each feathered felt hat, bakelite bracelet or gunny sack dress tells a story.

Setting up the new shop.

Over the years, Rogers has developed a reputation for impeccable service. She enjoys getting to know her regular clients and keeps them in mind when out hunting for merchandise. Her trained eye is quick to determine flattering shapes, colors and styles. Clients seek out Rogers's expertise for creating one-of-a-kind bridal looks or ensuring they'll be uniquely dressed during gala season. She loves helping shoppers achieve that "glass slipper moment," where they find something special that fits like a dream. Canned Ham is also unique in that each item is ready-to-wear—all are washed and, if necessary, mended before hitting the sales floor.

The new location will feature a large collection of men and women's vintage clothing and housewares in addition to art, furniture and oddities curated by antiques dealer Jesse Sturtevant. There will be exploratory cabinets teeming with curios, two cabana-style dressing rooms and a retro kitchenette for staging dishes. On top of the extra floor space, Rogers is excited about larger offices, perfect for hosting private consultations, and a room designated for running Canned Ham's online shop (which features rare, delicate or collectible items).

Mannequins waiting to be dressed.

“Canned Ham isn't just a store,” Rogers says. “It's a community of like-minded people.” While browsing, it's not unusual to bump into a friend or make a new one at the fitting rooms. So, whether you're looking for a statement piece (a solid bronze belt or perhaps a monkey fur mini-skirt?), vintage designer threads (Chanel, YSL and Bonnie Cashin) or someone else who loves pink pyrex as much as you do, you know where to head.

Join Canned Ham's sip 'n' shop grand opening on Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 6–10 p.m. at 2081 12th St., featuring a special burlesque performance by Sarasota's "Sweetheart with a Switchblade" Marina Elaine.

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