The minute you open the doors, your imagination takes you onto the pages of an authentic J. Peterman catalog, where romantic prose and memories join together and breathe life into secondhand retail stores.
When family treasures that have left the physical world only to show up in strange new places, it is there we remember. It is why so many are enchanted with consignment, vintage, and secondhand shops, for they have existed as far back to the Renaissance era.
One-of-a-kind, it's a hit or miss, and when you find that special something, it's like striking gold.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a little black dress, a Harley tee shirt, or a vintage glass doorknob, I found a place that collects all the treasures. Located in Downtown Cape Coral and tucked away in the back; all you have to do is look for the bright green painted walls, and there you will find it, welcome to “Flip Flops!”
The prices are tempting since you can pay a fraction of what something new costs. And if you're sentimental, there’s a bonus, a little something extra that comes with the whole shopping encounter, and that’s the secret that remain with castaway items.
Shopping there is like browsing through history, traveling through time, and if you're lucky, you may stumble upon a treasure from your past, something familiar that you can buy and take home. Just like I did on one of my visits when meeting with the owner Dana about writing a story for my blog.
As I walked around sizing up everything, I spotted a pair of short white boots and instantly recalled the importance of fashion to a 12-year-old girl back in the 60s. Watching those dancers on the TV show Hullabaloo inspired every young girl to own a pair, thus turning that corner, from wearing oxfords and saddle shoes.
I committed the grave mistake of violating consignment-shopping-101 by not purchasing them on the spot. However, on my return visit, there they were still waiting for me as if they knew I would be back.
That was lesson consignment-shopping-102 don’t make the same mistake twice. Whether I wear them or solely admire them from afar, they exist, if only as a reminder, of what a pair of boots can offer, in the flash of a memory.
Flip Flops checks off all the boxes. It offers a variety of unique quality items, prices are very reasonable with additional discounts on different days, and for me, most importantly, it presents a satisfying experience. The fitting rooms alone are a nostalgic sanctuary. And if you’re a newbie at frequenting these types of stores, consider this,” they let you explore and recreate your sense of style with a unique form of self-expression.
Be bright, be daring, and become eye-catching!
Finding a string of pearls to a pink lamp calls out to me, from across the aisle. Every gem you run across hanging on a rack, sitting on a shelf, and tucked away in a display case has a past and can tell a story.
As you browse the store, there are racks of clothing items that line the walls and aisles. There are bags, accessories, books, jewelry, pictures, knickknacks, furniture, and collectibles for everyone’s taste. You can peruse the unique collection of houseware and home goods suitable for everyday and holiday use. Even Martha Stewart, I feel, would approve of serving her favorite recipes on the dishes.
You will find that men are not excluded at Flip Flops while I found a great assortment of ties. And like every woman who carries a purse that somewhat defines her, "EVERY TIE KEEPS THE SECRETS OF A MAN’S SUCCESS.”
So, if you feel the urge to take that trip down memory lane, start in the attic. You may find that that old pocket watch of your grandfather’s that he wore with the hanging chain and those Thanksgiving pilgrim salt and pepper shakers that your mother put out.
And if you come up short on the hunt, don’t despair, since there is always that secret barn to explore, at Flip Flops.
So, who is behind this shopping experience? That would be the owner and operator, Dana Esposito who I had the pleasure of her company on my visits to Flip Flops where I asked her some questions.
1- What do you most enjoy about operating your business? I love meeting new people as well as seeing and reconnecting with my regulars. Many become like family to me. It's always gratifying when I see someone get excited about a find or comment on how cute our store is. Then, of course, there's the rewarding feeling I get when we donate to those, in need whether it's the homeless or the many organizations that provide care and resources to those in less fortunate circumstances.
2-What seems to be the most popular items that your customers like to buy? We have such a diverse group of customers which, I love. It would be boring if everyone were similar and shopped for the same things. Coastal items are always a hit as we live in the Sunshine State, but it's certainly not all that we offer.
3-What things are you passionate about outside of your business? Besides my business, I am passionate about my children (12 and 17) and their day-to-day experiences and athletic endeavors. It sounds cliche, but they are truly my pride and joy! My other passions include playing rugby, advocating for mental health, and giving back to the community. Most recently, I along with two other local women, organized a fundraiser, a Bike Run for a missing Cape Coral mother, Lauren Dumolo, to raise money for the Crime Stoppers Reward and hiring of a Private Investigator. I continue to be amazed at the support we received from our local businesses and the personal donations and services in the community for the fundraiser. However, I'm not surprised because just like in my business, the Cape Coral community takes care of one another.
For more information on Flip Flops and Dana's fundraiser for finding Lauren Dumolo you can contact her @ (239) 984-5515
By Jill Modell-Dion the creator of Aging Creative who also, lives in Cape Coral Florida.
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