by Max Marbut
When Brandon Shalton opened his Kara Bazma dress factory at the Landing in September, he had just two designs and a few fabric choices. The biggest seller was the classic “little black dress.”
Since then, Shalton and his designers have been inspired to add more than 30 cocktail and evening dresses available in more than 100 different fabrics and colors to the fashion line.
With two designers on staff plus Shalton, new creations are added to the inventory every month.
Each dress is custom-made to each client’s measurements using software developed by Shalton. The dresses are sewn in the shop and most are completed and either picked up or shipped within 48 hours.
To show off the new products, Shalton is converting the front of his shop into a retail boutique and a location for fashion shows. He’s added Kara Bazma to the list of First Wednesday Art Walk stops and will host the first show in the new boutique May 4.
“Shopping in our showroom will be just like shopping in New York or Chicago. Jacksonville is really getting excited about fashion and we want to be a part of it,” said Shalton.
Burro Bags founder Christopher Williams (above) commissioned local artists Matt Abercrombie, Shaun Thurston and Jesse Whitaker to create murals to decorate the new Burro Bar at Adams and Ocean streets. He’s keeping the décor hidden behind some recycled billboards while the work is being done.
Formerly London Bridge Pub, Williams said the new venue will serve beer and feature live entertainment. The main room is being divided into two sections to allow patrons who just want a drink to have their own space separate from the area with the stage.
The venture is a partnership between Burro Bags and Ian Ranne, Marianne Purcell and Matt Hume from Lomax Lounge and Shantytown Pub. In addition to 20 beers on tap, the bar also will serve draft root beer.
Burro Bar will debut May 4 during First Wednesday Art Walk and Williams is planning a Cinco de Mayo celebration the following evening.
Covering events in the Realty and Building communities in Northeast Florida.
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