BROOKSVILLE — Typically, clothing on sale will attract shoppers off the sidewalk. Art, not so much. So, clothes hound Terry Babor and her art photographer daughter, Allisa Babor, have paired the two at Swap-n-Swap/Roots Creative Co., which opened this month in downtown Brooksville.
"I like to find a bargain," said Terry, who has put together essentially a 700-plus-square-foot closet full of gently used, name-brand clothing from kids through juniors and adults, women's and men's, gently priced.
As for Allisa's contribution, the younger Babor said, "There are so many talented artists here. It's hard to get your art out. And I had all this wall space."
Consider as well, ensconced right next door is Young & Co., a boutique of artsy clothing, some of it worn previously, now creatively upscaled. That shop, also featuring local art, makes shopping on Jefferson Street a twofer.
At Swap-n-Shop, customers are invited to consign clothing items in a swap with an item from the heavily laden racks. Outright consignments are accepted by appointment, the consignors setting their own prices.
Having had a long-term plan to open a boutique, Terry figures she's been buying clothing for a couple of years, "everywhere and anywhere." As for where, "I'm not going to tell you my secrets," she said, adding, "It has to be a bargain for me to buy it, and it has to be in mint condition."
Counting some 300 pairs of ever-popular jeans in the juniors room, Terry admits, "I've overdone it." Brand-name denims sell for $30 to $45, compared to original prices up to $100. Juniors clothing also ranges through myriad tops, purses, shoes and boots.
"Surprisingly, I'm selling more men's (clothing) than anything," Terry said.
Especially enticing, from an overstocked vendor, is a rack of men's new sport jackets and suits, some with Jos. A Bank labels, $25 each. Menswear also includes athletic team, T- and dress shirts.
The mother of three daughters smiles brightest as she steps into the women's room, with its fair crunch of dresses.
"I just love to find an adorable dress," she says.
She pulls out an Anne Klein, a Sherri Hill, a Stacey Tyler, casual, to stepping-out, to formal.
"I have some $400 (dresses) for $99, some (others) less than $30," she says.
As for pricing, Terry researches by brand a garment's original manufacturer's price, then marks it down considering wearability and demand.
In her art enclave, Allisa, 22, showcases her own mostly landscape photographs, art-quality printed, and features botanical watercolors by Gary Duquette, whimsical pen-and-ink watercolors by Lee Middleton, paintings on wood by Judy King, textured oils by Courtney Hartle and jewelry by Samantha Gwen. All art is original, all artists local to Hernando County. Artists and makers establish their own prices.
The boutique is eager to add more artists, Allisa said..
Allisa got her first camera in eighth grade and has been making money at her craft since age 14. Her class yearbook at Springstead High School, for which she served as editor and graphic designer, earned national honors.
After a semester at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Allisa decided, "I wanted real-world experience rather than the classroom." In her capacity as a professional photographer, she snaps permanent memories of weddings, engagements, reunions, births and other celebratory occasions.
The challenge, she said, of opening a new business, is making connections to clientele.
"Even though you want to, not everybody's a client," she said. "You have to keep reaching out, getting involved with the community.
"I think we should be making people happy at the end of the day, and yourself, too," she said.
Contact Beth Gray at email@example.com.