CARROLLWOOD VILLAGE - Myriam Castellano has returned to her business roots with La Joya Boutique's new location.
After having locations in South and Central Tampa, the store is back in Carrollwood Village, where Castellano started with a one-room showroom for clothes.
La Joya, which sells women clothes, jewelry and accessories, reopened in mid-May at 4526 W. Village Drive in a 1,500-square-foot space with several rooms of casual and dress clothes, jewelry and accessories. A kitchen makes it possible to have wine and cheese parties and Castellano hopes at some point to add special services like a massage therapist.
"I was at Bay-to-Bay and MacDill but it was very small; I was sharing space," Castellano said. "Now I am just two blocks from my home."
Castellano lives in Carrollwood Village with her husband of 43 years, Norman Castellano, a local physician. They have a grown daughter and grown son and four grandchildren.
The 65-year-old store owner said she has always liked clothes and jewelry and started working toward having her own business in 1993 when she did trunk shows at local country club.
The new store stocks tops, slacks, capris, jackets, purses, sunglasses, scarves and other items. Comfort is a priority with the selection of merchandise. Jewelry is displayed with the outfits and a separate room glitters with gold and silver pieces.
La Joya is "like a little jewel. When you walk in, it is a jewel you didn't know existed," said Castellano, who originally came from Cuba at age 10 and went to Plant High School.
Many pieces are mix and match, with prices under $35 a piece and sizes ranging from 0 to 16. The most expensive clothes are about $150 and jewelry goes up to about $300 for some necklaces. Some jewelry is bought from artisans through a guild and are one-of-kind pieces.
"You can get in here and get something cute to wear from under $100," Castellano said.
Beach Park resident Mary Ann Smith has been a customer for more than five years, buying clothes and jewelry regularly.
"She has wonderful taste; everything thing she picks out, I like," Smith, 73, said. "She knows her customers."
Smith said she particularly likes the Bulatti jewelry, which is high-end costume jewelry.
Castellano said she happy when she makes others happy with their selections.
"I love the business. When I am in here, I forget to eat," the owner said.