Culture vultures already know that Sarasota is a must-do. But it’s perhaps less common to make a trek to Sarasota just to shop. And that’s a shame, because a recent jaunt to the charming Main Street and St. Armands Circle shopping districts revealed a plethora of mercantile destinations that were not only unusual but also imbued with a sense of family — the perfect ambience for holiday shopping.
Throughout the coming holiday shopping days, we’ll be highlighting the shops we visited. Earlier this month, we wrote about the amazing creations of jeweler Todd Alan. Today, we’re reporting on…
Dream Weaver Collection
I wish Nanci Rand were my grandmother. In actual fact, she’s not much older than I am, so that wouldn’t be mathematically possible, but I kind of think anyone would want a grandma like Nanci. Chic and petite, she projects a no-nonsense warmth and a savvy sense of style that seem just right for Dream Weaver Collection, the St. Armands boutique where she works.
The store, she tells us, is for “people who have the courage to be different.” And that it is. Curated with an expert eye by owner Joan Morgan, who calls the collection “art couture,” the styles come from a wide range of designers in a wide range of prices: smart basics from the Canadian company Sympli; bold graphics and flowing fabrics by Alembika, a label founded in Israel by a designer and an anthropologist; dramatic statements by the European designer IGOR; gorgeously gradient hues by Zonda Nellis; and striking lines in black and white by New York-based Mi Jong Lee. The jewelry here makes a statement, too, made by artisans from Santa Fe to the Netherlands.
These are emphatically not clothes for the woman who shops for sweater sets at Talbot’s. No, this shop is for someone who’s seeking a wardrobe as unique as she is. My husband and I immediately thought of our friend Amy, a performance artist-turned-employment counselor who sports asymmetrical curls, fabulous eyewear and jewelry she makes from old typewriter erasers. Yup, we thought, definitely Amy clothes — the kind of thing a woman like her could carry off with élan, whether going to a gallery opening or a corporate office.
Or an improv performance. By the time we’d finished chatting with Nanci at Dream Weaver, she knew a lot about us and we knew a lot about her — including the fact that she’s a member of Florida Studio Theatre’s Early Bird Special Improv Troupe, in which the median age is reportedly 63. She invited us to a performance. We want to go — because, well, wouldn’t you?
Dream Weaver Collection, 364 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, 941-388-1974, dreamweavercollection.com