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FiFi Ruffles, Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Boutique open in downtown St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG

Mom quits her day job to open girls boutique

A children's clothing store is near the top of the wish list of St. Petersburg residents, according to research cited by the developers of the Shops at St. Pete. One local mom agrees and isn't waiting until 2014 for the reincarnated BayWalk to open. Kim Woitkowski recently left her longtime job at a payroll processing company and has opened a girls boutique called FiFi Ruffles at 439 First Ave N. Now her 20-month-old daughter, Sophia, comes to work with her each day at the cozy shop next to the Princess Martha and across from the Open Air Post Office. The store is filled with clothing and accessories that Woitkowski finds on the Internet, buys from wholesalers and even makes herself. "I carry a lot of things that aren't available anywhere else in Tampa Bay," she said. She is also buying from four local women who created their own line. Prices range from $8 to $70, with many items in the $25 range.

Resort-style shop fills void downtown

The new Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Boutique, at 400 Beach Drive NE, Suite 161, aims to make swimsuit shopping less painful, possibly even fun. Its wide selection of contemporary and retro suits along with a variety of cover-ups "offer solutions to the hazards that typically plague swim and resort wear shopping," according to owner Desiree Noisette. The look and feel of the store resembles a spa for a reason. "We want women to feel comfortable and relaxed," Noisette said. The location is key to her business plan as well. "The city has a lot of tourism but no swimwear or resort wear stores. The hotels don't have them anymore," she said.

Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer

FiFi Ruffles, Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Boutique open in downtown St. Petersburg 11/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 2:41pm]
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