In 1984, that had the funny-looking building on I-275 and Dale Mabry. A research analyst at the time, she was harboring an entrepreneur deep inside, along with a love for sewing, lace, embroidering and fine linens. So she bought Marks 66 gas station on a busy corner in South Tampa and opened Villa Rosa Distinctive Linens in 1985. Sure, not everyone can pony up the cash for some Yves Delorme French linens, but the store today is much more than high-end fabrics, with all kinds of collectibles and one-of-a-kinds, like Gasparilla Christmas ornaments hand-painted onto goose eggs ($22, see photo at right), womens aprons made from discontinued fabric swatches, and baptism gowns. You can spend $20 or $200 with equal ease and not feel self-conscious either way.
Gift this: Frankincense, gold (leaf) and myrrh, starting at $35 (left). If nothing else, its a very wise(men) gift.
3001 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-831-6189.
Photos by Wayne Garcia