Who's in Store / Shop Talk

By Carol Tisch Photography by Matt McCourtney June 1, 2010

Globetrotter Cleon Dixon admits to perpetual wanderlust, which also happens to have shaped her career. Dixon travels the globe in search of unique artisan clothing, jewelry and home gifts for the mini empire of three retail shops she and husband Arch now own on St. Armands Circle.

The founders of Ivory Coast and Binjara Traders stores, which have become icons on the Circle, the pair just opened Sahara, which will specialize in fashion and home products with a North African tribal feel. “It’s quite different from the Asian and Indian concentration at Binjara and our focus on the African continent at Ivory Coast,” Cleon explains.

With fashion and interior design trending to all things Moroccan, the timing for Sahara couldn’t be better. Following their annual trek to Cleon’s native Australia, they’ll embark on a buying trip, circling the globe. “As much as I love every new adventure,” she admits, “I also love to come home.”

Sahara, 362C John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-0587

Binjara Traders, 327 John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-3335

Ivory Coast, (941) 15 N. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-1999

Can’t live without? Travel. “We live here during season and part-time in Australia, where we still have family,” Cleon reports. Summers are spent traveling and shopping for the stores in exotic spots from India to Morocco.What this town needs “Sarasota’s perfect—paradise, really. I’d leave it just as it is,” says Cleon. But co-owner and husband Arch Dixon has one suggestion: “Sarasota needs synchronized traffic lights,” he says.

Armchair travelers live vicariously through Dixon’s three stores, where customers find everything from handmade Balinese jewelry to oversized Moroccan pots.



Windows on the World NanaWall, an international LEED-certified eco-friendly glass wall system brand, comes to Sarasota with a chic architectural look in folding and French door single-track sliders (price on request) at the new showroom of Lubé of Sarasota, 202 N. Tamiami Trail, (941) 954-0200.

Close Knit Susan Post’s busy new shop takes knitting to new heights with incredibly beautiful yarns like Kidsilk Haze ($14/ball), a blend of silk and mohair from Rowan, a British company that also creates patterns for fashionistas who knit. A Good Yarn, 7668 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 487-7914.

Women of Influence Sisters Liz and Sam Murray have opened Influence, a hip, young boutique with a laid-back California aesthetic. Clothes from Joie (Nana top, $198), Rebecca Taylor and Madison Marcus reflect the eye Liz developed as an L.A. celebrity stylist. Influence, 474 John Ringling Blvd., (941) 343-2315.

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