Shop Talk

Photography by Matt McCourtney By Carol Tisch’s April 1, 2010

Who's in Store

Now that some women are conflicted about conspicuous consumption, recycling family heirlooms and tired-looking jewelry has become a politically correct luxury. "It’s also fun to breathe new life into pieces you’d never wear and a lot less expensive," says Maureen Hoyt, owner of Optional Art, a former St. Armands Circle jewelry boutique that recently reopened in downtown Sarasota.

"Fashionistas are now frugalistas," explains Hoyt, who intended to retire but just didn’t feel complete without jewelry design—her passion and creative outlet for the past 30 years. Closing up shop and a prolonged inventory clearance sale led to a new focus on great value and unique design in a small, intimate setting. "I’m having more fun than ever because I decided to reinvent rather than retire," she says with a smile.

Can’t live without designing jewelry. "I was very ready to abdicate the responsibility of a big retail store," says Hoyt, now happily creating custom pieces like Etienne Perret chic zirconia ceramic rings with new or clients’ existing gemstones (from $3,000).

What this town needs "Jewelry wardrobing—women in Sarasota have stockpiles of old jewelry they don’t wear," Hoyt explains. Her recycling solutions range from the Vario clasp system by Gellner to updated necklaces of white, yellow, and black Tahitian pearls (price on request).

Jewelry bag?

Little luxuries at the new Optional Art include unique leather handbags by Robert Wan, known as the last word in black Tahitian pearls. Pearl-studded clutch, $2,050; string leather bag with signature mother-of-pearl clasp, $4,450. Optional Art, 119 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, (941) 955-4400

Design Super Stars Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is a furniture brand and partnership that changed the way America decorates (and sits) when they pioneered their relaxed casual slip-covered upholstery in 1987. The darlings of the interior design world have expanded their look considerably since then, and it’s finally available in Sarasota, exclusively at The Sarasota Collection Home Store, 622 Central Ave., (941) 955-8313.

Sea Treasures Mother-and-daughter team Lannie Cunningham of Sarasota and Jazmine Giovanni of L.A. are partners in designing and hand-crafting a hot new line of decorative objects sold nationally under the brand name Trinka5 (shown here). At June Simmons, you’ll find vintage shells, coral and Austrian crystals crowning antique silver candlesticks ($260 to $700). Black Bird Home Gallery carries the sea specimens mounted on old apothecary bottles ($130 to $350). June Simmons, 68 S. Palm Ave., (941) 388-4535. Black Bird Home Gallery, 1540 Main St., (941) 366-0941.

Chanel Alfresco Bloggers are abuzz over the special edition Dedon Dress Code collection from award-winning designer outdoor furniture source JANUS et Cie. Among the most talked about is Cambon, a bold black and white hounds-tooth inspired by Chanel couture worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s Both JANUS et Cie and Dedon collections debut at Home Resource, 741 Central Ave., (941) 366-6690.


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