Friday, April 22, 2016

Get Your Pretty On In 2016

It's no secret that we love pretty feminine styles...

...and this season we are thrilled with our buying choices! 

Delicate layers of chiffon and a sweetheart bodice, give this fit and flare dress the vintage look we love so much.

Vivid florals and soft pastels will brighten your mood.

Layer with this season's delicate kimonos and cardigans.

Step out in layers of lace with fabulous accents.

Don't know about you, but we think it's time to get out and shop! 

Shop our newest arrivals here 

If you haven't been to Tarpon Springs lately, you will be surprised by all of the new boutiques, home decor, restaurants, as well as all kinds of eclectic shopping from architectural salvage to garden art!

The next Tarpon Springs Wine Walk is Saturday, May 21st! Meet all of the new merchants and enjoy a really fun evening of wine tasting and appetizers.

Visit the Tarpon Springs Florida USA Facebook page for event details and a link to buy tickets online or go to

Our new First Friday event has been a great success! 
Join us on May 6th, 6-10pm for an evening of food, music, vendors and shopping on Historic Tarpon Avenue in Downtown Tarpon Springs.

 The theme for May 6th is Latin Night! 

Concerned about parking? No worries! Park in the Splash 

Park parking lot at 508 Live Oak Street and we will bus you 

to the event. The bus will run from 5pm-10:30pm.

If you are interested in being a vendor please email and an application will be 

sent to you. You can get a 10’x10′ booth space for only $20 

(additional fee of $15 for electric). This is a great way to 

promote your business or product and direct people to your 

Etsy or online store. Come on out and join us for this fun 

monthly event!

We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In A Maxi State Of Mind

Do you have a special event and can't decide what to wear? 
You will feel like a million bucks in this divine

I love how it is gathered in just the right places making this a very interesting skirt! Not to mention my all time essential feature...pockets!

This Tropical Chiffon Maxi is also a beautiful choice for a cruise or special event.

Step out of the ordinary! As Coco Chanel once said "Life is too short to wear boring clothes."  
: )

Monday, May 18, 2015

That Electric Yellow Skirt!

Hello!  The shop has been crazy busy, and we launched our online store with Shoptiques at the end of 2014. Anyone who sells online knows that it is as much a full time job as running a boutique. The biggest challenges we found were taking great photos and driving traffic to our site....

and that is why I had to tell you about our Neon Pleated Chiffon Skirt!

On April 12th, our retail location was affected by a fire in our building, and we were temporarily closed for a month. As you can imagine we were promoting our online store like crazy trying to generate income to pay our staff. 

One day, out of the blue, a stylist from Shoptiques called us to let us know that our electric yellow skirt skirt was featured on Mimi G's Style blog and phone calls were coming in fast and furious...could we order more? Mimi G had linked the beautiful photographs of herself wearing this skirt to our online store!
It was like the angels were looking down on us! We sold over 40 skirts that day and have a wait-list for our next order of 40! So thank you Mimi G : ) This skirt will be available online the first week in June.

 Be sure to

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Our Downtown Is Blooming!

A lot has happened since my last blog post, so we had better get down to the business of getting caught up!

We moved a few doors west of our prior location on Tarpon Avenue in August of 2013. You know what they say, location is everything, and in our case this most certainly was true. Our new shop is bigger than the last, and has great bones with an exposed brick wall, pressed steel ceilings and large windows. Oh I do love these historic buildings! 

The blue carpeting had to go, however, and I was hoping to find original wood flooring hiding underneath...

It was underneath alright. Buried below layers and layers of all sorts of flooring. I decided not to open a can of worms by ripping it up, and opted for a very economical option...plywood! What do you think?

We created an office and a storeroom by building a wall with 100 year old barn wood and antique French doors at the rear of the space.

My office is quite small, and I didn't fancy feeling boxed in, so I put this fantastic mural on the back wall. 

Now everyday I get to work in Manhattan!

While watching a State Farm ad, I noticed these cool clothing racks and shelves in the background and had something similar custom made.

The keyhole that used to frame a doorway at our first location, has been made into a large mirror, perfect for photo opportunities and trying on hats!

What has really been exciting is that the Historic Downtown continues to improve and has oodles of new businesses. 

Sherry Wendt, was instrumental in the clean up and beautification of Hibiscus Street. You know that little street that a year ago looked like a derelict alley behind the Greek Orthodox Church? Well, look at it now!

It looks really lovely and there are still more improvements to come with new awnings and hanging flower baskets. Hibiscus Street is home to Stiltskin Studios, CCC Timeless Treasures, Carmen Muniz Professional Organizer, E.M. Wallace Auctioneers & Appraisals, Staging Beautiful Homes, and coming soon Gallery Of Fun Finds.

I promise to take you out and about soon to introduce you to all of the other new businesses sprouting up, in and around the downtown.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

I can't believe that a year ago I was frantically packing up all of my merchandise, at Mad Hatter General Store's first location in Palm Harbor, to occupy a historic building on Tarpon Avenue. When I first peeked through the large glass windows, this is what I saw...

...and said to myself, "I have to have that space!"

When I look back at the photos I took prior to moving in, I realize how many improvements the City Of Tarpon Springs has made to our downtown. Things were looking a little bleak back then...
The addition of planters, benches, flags, and new street-scaping has really jazzed up our little downtown!

It wasn't long before that empty space was full of merchandise...

and window displays enticed passing traffic to come in a take a look.

The hard working Merchant's Association put together some great events, and the street swelled with people...

I love Tarpon Avenue at night! I wish the street was closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday nights, to create a safe, family friendly downtown.

I'd like to welcome Mamma Lane's Coffee to the neighborhood! Their coffee bar is now open and offers a full coffee menu, smoothies,  pastries and yummy baked goods that they have flown in from around the country. They will sell yarn & offer knitting classes soon. What a great concept!

In the past year we've seen a few new businesses open their doors. Zante's Boutique and Pack n' Ship are new to the mix. Currents is now open for lunch, which really makes me happy :  ) Nana's Meatloaf....Mmmmmmmm. 

It's been a fast a furious year and I'm ready for the next!

 Don't know about you, but I'm here for the long haul.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do You Do What You Love?

The thing I've enjoyed most about working at Mad Hatter General Store is meeting people and finding out what makes them tick. 

It fascinates me in particular, to learn what hobbies and interests people have, and what they do for a creative outlet. The range of talent I'm seeing is impressive, from woodwork to needlework and everything in-between. Wouldn't it have been just grand if we all had done what we really enjoyed doing for a living, no matter what that was, instead of following the herd and doing what we were expected to do? 

So much wasted talent I say! I've always believed that if you do what you are passionate about, the money will follow. People love to be around others who have enthusiasm, and want to be part of it.

I recently met a young woman who was definitely born in the wrong era. She shyly brought her hand-stitched garments in for me to have a look at, and I was literally blown away. How could someone this talented be unknown? 

Her eye for texture and tone, combined with her love of silk and lace magically transform material into ethereal, romantic, simply gorgeous garments. Picture yourself on a white steed galloping through the forest with your long, golden hair flowing behind you. 

Now imagine what you might be wearing.

Robin's Wing Art Wear is now proudly offered at Mad Hatter General Store. Life was meant to be fun! Don't pay attention if anyone told you otherwise  :   )

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Flavor Of Tarpon Avenue

I have to admit that I love spice, whether it be the delicate blend of a good curry, the robust laugh of someone thoroughly enjoying the moment, or anything that adds interest to life in general. There is nothing like character, diversity, originality, ZEST! What a bore life would be if we were all the same. It saddens me that America is morphing into a generic country. Strip malls, chain restaurants, budget retailers...BLAAAAAAAAAA

What I absolutely love about Tarpon Avenue, and the Sponge Docks, is that somehow this area has been unaffected by all of that. The rich history of the working sponge and shrimp industry is still apparent, original buildings are still standing, and many family owned businesses are still in operation, some in their 100th year! Time stood still here, and I can tell you, that I like it. There is something comforting in familiarity and routine. I enjoy watching Tarpon Avenue come to life each morning. The locals pass by with their daily meat and groceries from Acropolis Meats & Deli, Scooter Guy buzzes up for his daily caffeine fix at Undergrounds Coffee House, and the same guys are sitting in front of Toula's Trailside Cafe each morning, reminiscing about old times or just getting away from the wife. 

There is more to Tarpon Ave. than meets the eye, and one only has to explore the shops and restaurants here to realize that. Yesterday I was chatting with Manny, from Red Rose Antiques, and was surprised to learn that he spent 45 years working in the Garment District in New York City designing gowns & wedding dresses. Manny not only sells antiques at his shop, but does alterations and dress designing, as well!

Wouldn't this beautiful tea set from Red Rose Antiques make a wonderful Mother's Day gift?

Artist's Faire Art Gallery & Gifts is home to 25 local artists, and also houses the Chamber Of Commerce.

I was quite taken with this original painting titled "Wild Parakeet" by Heather Risley.

Feeling Bookish? Back In The Day Books is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of some of the large book retailers.

"While the focus of the store is selling books which are collectible, rare, out of print, fine 

bindings, etc., we have plenty of affordable books for the everyday reader. We have 

worked hard to recreate the atmosphere of the bookstores of yesteryear. With all of the 

changes in the bookworld we like to think that we are carrying on a tradition by allowing 

the browsing of actual books in a brick and mortar bookstore (we even have an exposed 

brick wall). We hope to become a destination for the travelling bibliophile." The owner 

and operator of the store, Boe Rushing, has been dealing in books full time since 2001, 

after practicing law in Florida for eight years. Cozy up on the large leather couch 

surrounded by wood, brick, and books, glorious books!

If food is your fancy, Tarpon Ave. has some of the best dining that I have experienced not only locally, but can honestly say I've had meals here that top anything that I've eaten in fine restaurants in Chicago, Scottsdale, or Boston. Currents for fine dining and Manolo's Bistro are open evenings and reservations are suggested. Zante Cafe is open for lunch and dinner, and not only has excellent Cajun and Mediterranean food, but has one of the most unique decors I've ever experienced. A must see! Toula's Trailside Cafe and Danny K's Alley Cafe are open for breakfast and lunch. I have read that Danny K's Rueben On Rye is to die for, and I have died and gone to heaven eating Toula's blueberry, cream cheese french toast.

Menzer's Antiques is home to artist Melissa Menzer, who takes everyday objects and turns them into works of art.

Tarpon Antiques & More has many beautiful lamps, statuary, ceramics and glassware.

Tarapani's Department Store sells fine art & antiques, has been in operation for four generations, and is in it's 100th year. 

Robert Held Glass featured at Tarapani's.

Tarpon Ave. has the largest selection of antiques in our area, and many of the shops specialize in one thing or another, which makes for really interesting shopping.
Antiques Forever specializes in signed Navajo and oriental pieces. Carters Antiques has a huge selection of fine jewelry and better quality costume jewelry. Court Of Two Sisters has an upstair area full of consignment furniture. Finders Keepers Sells ladies fashions and accessories as well as antiques. Unique Designs Salon not only does hair, but has an eclectic mix of antiques, and everything for every taste and every budget. Faklis Department Store sells shoes, luggage, does shoe repair and offers orthopedic services. Judy at Global Folk Art has baubles and beads from around the world, offers printing services, and sells for others on Ebay.

Whew, and that's not all. Tarpon Ave. has a barber, three hairdressers, a real estate office, an insurance agent, Suntrust Bank, a bicycle shop, Tranquil Hues Boho Boutique, Tarpon Springs Historical Society (free admission), nightclubs with great live music, a glass blowing studio about to open as well as an artist's co-op.

 Last but not least we are very excited that we have a new tavern opening soon! Tarpon Tavern, opening June 2012, is an old world craft beer tap house and wine bar located on the Pinellas Trail one half block north of Tarpon Avenue. Great food and live entertainment inside, as well as outside in the cobblestone courtyard.

In his most recent Sundance catalogue, Robert Redford writes: ""The key to our future may lie in our past. This can apply to today more than ever as we lose more and more remnants of past times in America that are erased by globalization, real estate development, and the corporate and industrial push for more growth. These staples of early American life: the local post office, the general store, and mom & pop landmarks are now mostly memories."

Let's all support our local businesses, and keep the jewel that is Tarpon Springs thriving for many years to come.