Name brands at prices you’ll love

If you’re looking for upscale fashion at a fraction of the price, Encore Boutique and Consignment is a store you want to stop at.

Encore Boutique is the only upscale consignment store in Land O’ Lakes. Owned by Julie Taylor since 2008, the boutique offers shoppers the ability to buy name brand items without paying name brand prices. The merchandise is constantly changing since people bring in items for Taylor to consign. This keeps customers returning to see what new things are for sale.

“We have some shoppers and consignors who have been with us for seven years,” Taylor said.

Inside the small boutique you’ll find a variety of items from dresses, pants, bags, jewelry, shoes, belts, and other accessories. The store follows the latest trends and does not accept clothing that is deemed outdated. Taylor says she doesn’t accept everything. Items needs to be cleaned, pressed and hung on hangers before she’ll even look at them.

“I’m very particular and consigning with me isn’t for everyone because of that,” she said. “My feeling is that if I wouldn’t want to buy it, why would someone else?”

Consignors have the option of having unsellable items returned to them or donated to local charities. The main charities Taylor donates to are Hospice Life, Dress for Success, and Shriners. If the items do sell, consignors are paid by check once or month or a given store credit.

“We have a diverse group of consignors,” Taylor said. “Some like to make money on their clothes and others are shoppers who simply like to recycle their clothes because they’re tired of wearing the same things.”

If you’re in the Land O’ Lakes area, be sure to make a visit to Encore Boutique and Consignment.

MOSI manager uses musical talent, science knowledge to teach kids as a STEAMpunk

Daniel Lattimore uses his degrees in biomedical science and psychology to stay in tune with the people he works with every day at the Museum of Science and Industry.

“Being here at MOSI, I’ve noticed that the world is ever advancing,” Lattimore said. “As a STEAMpunk — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math  —we are kind of able to provide the stepping  stones to guiding into advancing … our jobs as STEAMpunks is to connect people to that technology.”

More often than not, you hear Lattimore before you see him. He plays a 3-D printed fiddle and always draws a crowd. Lattimore goes by the name Dr. Tempo while wearing a lab coat covered in musical symbols.

“It does help that my background was in violin for about 6-7 years,” he said. “So, that was something I was happy to bring to the table.”

Lattimore appears quiet and unassuming, yet possesses confidence that is immediately noticeable. In his role as manager, he takes care of any problem or situation promptly. Fellow STEAMpunk “Dr. Why” admires him.

“Boss or not, he’s a great friend and a great guy,” he said.

Lattimore enjoys his role as Dr. Tempo as much as overseeing a group of mad scientists throughout the museum. He takes both jobs seriously and knows how to do each of them well.

“Over time, I kind of saw a vision between wanting to be this bridge between our management and our STEAMpunks,” Lattimore said.

He’s a musician, boss, scientist and friend. Good show, Daniel, good show.


Donations help USF assistant professor raise money to adopt her son

Christa Haring, a research assistant professor at the University of South Florida, is a new mom. Last year, she adopted her son, Carter, who was born with Down syndrome and a cleft palate. To Haring, he’s perfect.

“People with Down syndrome are guileless,” she said.

Carter’s adoption story is full of twists, turns, and a few miracles too. In just over 60 hours, friends and family donated the $12,000 needed for the cost of his adoption. From all over the country, 587 people rallied to make it happen and, ironically, Haring was the last to know.

“It just happened in a way we didn’t expect,” Haring said. “The second night we were in the hospital, we had $12,000 and we needed $18,000. On the last night—the night the money was due — people were texting me things like, ‘congratulations, congratulations!’ And I just sat there sobbing.”

Perhaps it does take a village, as the old saying goes. Haring has people around her giving unyielding support every day, including those she works with at USF.

“I think that Carter was never, ever, ever supposed to belong to one person, and I believe that with all my heart.” she said. “He has multiple moms and siblings. Carter’s story is just about people who saw something bigger than themselves and saw something better than all of us.”

Carter will have four surgeries over the next five years to help repair his cleft palate. Haring will have a whole army supporting his recovery after each operation. Just like a USF Bull, Carter is strong, brave, and, above all else, adored by his many fans.