Find locally made goods and funky gifts at The Merchant and get style advice at International Plaza

The Merchant is a funky new "general store" that carries locally made goods and fun gifts, from chocolates to barware.[Photo by Jennifer Schultz]
The Merchant is a funky new "general store" that carries locally made goods and fun gifts, from chocolates to barware.[Photo by Jennifer Schultz]
Published August 16

NEW SHOP SPOTLIGHT: THE MERCHANT
Lovers of locally made goods and fun gift items will be delighted to know a new shop specializing in those has opened on the 600 block of St. Pete's Central Avenue, in the former Strands of Sunshine. The Merchant has a different vibe than that shop; they call themselves a "funky urban general store." And that description fits. Among the industrial lighting fixtures (for sale), woodburned cooking utensils with cheeky sayings and St. Pete-centric merch, there's also a chocolate counter featuring locally made Prittie's Chocolate (don't be scared to try the ghost pepper caramel) and jars of colorful candy sticks a la Olsen's general store on Little House on the Prairie. And so much more, like grow-your-own-veggie kits and a fully loaded barware section, where you'll find a wine-tasting trivia game. And while everything isn't made locally, owners Jennifer and Kevin Schultz have roamed the country to curate the shop. They have lots of in-store events planned, including the monthly third Wednesday wine and chocolate pairing. Check them out at 633 Central Ave. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. merchantstpete.com.

SUMMER STYLE: GET YOUR STYLE ON
In the world of fast fashion and changing trends, even the most stylish among us could use a little help navigating what to wear. Enter the Get Your Style On event at International Plaza. Four stylists will be available to book appointments for a complimentary styling session today through Saturday, and guests will also have the opportunity to tap them for personal shopping sessions and fashion advice on all the upcoming trends so they're ready for fall. The esteemed stylists, Linda Zipkin, Laura Hunt, Nikki Platt and Valerie Romas, have years of fashion experience under their belts (pardon the pun). Can't make it this weekend? Another round of sessions will happen Aug. 23-26. Book your appointment at shopinternationalplaza.com/summerstyle.

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