Well, folks, officially we are here. THE HOLIDAYS. Can you believe it!? Exactly where in the Sam Hill did this year GO!? That means it is time to get your shopping hats on, get your final lists in order and get your asses out there and SHOP LOCAL, TAMPA!! Or, just shop online in your jammies - whatever works for you. We’ve got a new shop for you to focus some shopping on this time around and I think all you Tampa lovers out there are really going to get down with this blog entry.
We’ll start at the HB Plant Museum and gift shop at University of Tampa. This is THE perfect place to visit, take a tour and pick up some local gifts for outta towners and locals. When you think of Tampa … you think of the minarets at UT, right? So, why not go straight to the source? Since 1933, the Tampa Bay Hotel has been home to the Henry B. Plant Museum and The University of Tampa. The building, renamed Plant Hall, is a National Historic Landmark. The Henry B. Plant Museum holds the distinction of accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Its mission is to interpret the history and lifestyle of America’s Gilded Age and the life and significant contributions of Henry Bradley Plant to the development of Florida and Tampa Bay. Original furnishings and artifacts and a dynamic self-guided audio tour immerse visitors in the opulence of the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel and its rich history.
If you’ve got family in town for the holidays, a trip to the museum is going to be THE perfect thing to do. Whether you are old and crotchety, young and hip, family oriented or a plain Jane/John, this place is hands down the coolest building in the city and anyone who visits gets a little awed by the old building. During December, you can pick up tickets online for $15 each and check out the Victorian Stroll. There are lots of Discount Days, Senior and Youth ticket options, so check out their website before going to get the best deal. The Victorian Stroll is a Christmas lovers dream! The building is decked out in trees, garland and fancy ornaments, giving you and your visiting fam a glimpse into what it might have looked like back in the day. They also serve complimentary cookies…so, there’s that.
The Museum gift shop carries one of my FAVORITE coffees in town. Ground locally JUST for the museum, Naviera Coffee, a staple in the Tampa Bay community since 1921, it is a medium roast ground, with a blend of Colombian, Mexican and Costa Rican beans (we’ll call them Costa Colexican beans). The store offers a wide variety of specialty gifts for all occasions and many items in the shop are made by local artisans and businesses in Tampa (that’s one main reason we love them). The other MAIN reason we love them is that you can find Hogan Made GLITTER Minaret tees here! That’s right…you heard me … GLITTER. Shiny, glittery, sparkly Minaret tees (I like to call them Glitterets). So, clearly, you can see the shameless reasons we love the H.B. Plant Museum Gift Shop!
Thanks to Hogan Made’s super-secret connections around town, we have recently been picked up by the Visit Tampa Bay retail store, Unlock Tampa Bay, in downtown Tampa. This is unofficially our OFFICIAL announcement. Visit Tampa Bay is NOT just a store, and that is why we are so honored to be a part of the retail side of things. Providing visitors and locals with all KINDS of fantastic resources on how they explore Tampa is just a smidge of what they do for us, but let’s keep our focus on shopping, shall we? The store itself is beautiful! With an open and airy feel, high ceilings and a simple, but beautiful décor allow you to browse the many fabulous products they carry without distraction.
Let’s check out their shirts…I know … I know … WHY would I want to give props to any other shirt company in town when I design and print the best Tampa tees around? Well, I’ll tell you. I really don’t consider it competition because, a) we all have our own designs and styles of tees and b) it’s OK to like more than one awesome tee company (as long as you like us the best)! If you like tees like I do and you like beer, you’ll have to check out Hop Cloth products at the Visit Tampa Bay Visitor Center and Gift Shop. They truly do have some of the best beer shirts in the state. They would make any craft beer lover a fantastic gift! For the more touristy gift, the vintage Tampa postcard-turned-mural tee for $23 is an awesome gift for your cousins from out of town that haven’t visited in so long you forgot what they looked like. This will be a good way to guilt them into coming down next spring. And, since we are all inclusive and love is love and all that good, fuzzy stuff, check out the Tampa Bay Pride V-Neck tee for only $19! You can get yourself all prepped for the Tampa Pride Parade, too.
But what about other stuff, Hogan Made!? Is that ALLL they have is shirts? No. There are TONS of awesome gifts here ranging from very inexpensive children’s gifts (kiddy clothes and books) to locally roasted coffee, adorbsy Tampa ornaments, stuff for pups, beer lovers, locally made art and jewelry to super tasty locally canned yummies (say…for Bloody Mary fixins). You can even check them out at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park at their pop-up shop. If you're a risk taker, I suggest doing the shopping FIRST, then ice skating...you know just in case you have to have a holiday trip to the ER.
This store has been curated to my exact standards of awesomeness. I LOVE that they use local artisans to fill the store and I LOVE that the items are reasonably priced. If you haven’t been downtown to this shop, GO. I am not asking. I am telling you to GO. You will not be disappointed. So, pull up your shopping pants (you know…the cute ones you always wear with your favorite Hogan Made tee) and Shop Local, Tampa!