Persona to aing its doors afterwards about four decades in city Gainesville, accouterment to the funky-fashion conscious.
Going arcade at Persona, a accouterment bazaar in city Gainesville, is like walking into the pages of a arbiter on appearance history. On one wall, there’s a cottony atramentous Victorian-era jacket, a white applique dress from the 1900s, and a drapey bells dress from the 1970s. There are cottony top hats and saddle shoes, a brace of Yves Saint Laurent bobcat heels from the 1960s, and a case of apparel adornment from the 1920s.
Not aggregate in the abundance is vintage, however. On one arbor a Forever 21 shirt hangs aing to a double-knit polyester shirt from the 1960s. Contemporary cottony shirts — repurposed from saris — adhere throughout the shop, as do bright T-shirts with bounded artisan Milan Hooper’s beastly prints.
In one word, Persona is eclectic. What all the accoutrements has in accepted is that it’s been anxiously best by the eye of the beholder—in this case, that of buyer Nava Ottenberg.
“People consistently ask me area I get this stuff. It’s dealers, travel, acreage sales,” Ottenberg said. “But it’s aloof accepting the eye to acquisition it. That’s why anniversary best abundance is so different. It’s all about the eye of the picker.”
Persona has absolutely set the accent for alone and best accouterment locally, but now, afterwards 38 years, the appearance mainstay is closing on Oct. 31. Aggregate in the abundance until again is 50 percent off.
“It’s aloof time to do article different,” said Ottenberg, age 64, who has lived in Gainesville for 39 years with her husband, a artist and music teacher. Their two developed sons alive in New York City and Atlanta.
“People consistently say, ‘It charge be so abundant fun to accept the store,’” Ottenberg said. It has been, she added. “But we formed really, absolutely adamantine over the years.”
Persona opened in August 1980, on University Avenue. The aboriginal buyer was Harriet Roth. Ottenberg formed with Roth until she bought the business from Roth in 2002.
From its beginnings, Persona has specialized in apparel rentals. It started aback the Hippodrome gave them their apparel afterwards shows. Again they started accepting apparel from food in Jacksonville and warehouses New York. They’ve had aboriginal Warner Bros. costumes.
“Things came from all over,” Ottenberg said. “We would go on affairs trips.”
When food closed, such as Silverman’s Department Store, they would aces through extra merchandise.
Unlike abounding city stores, Persona has survived for abounding years.
“I’ve been through recessions, the banal bazaar crash, the ups and downs of city and University Avenue,” Ottenberg said.
Part of her adaptation tactic has been afterward the market, and affective to altered locations. Afterwards a decade in the aboriginal location, Persona confused to the Sun Center, area business boomed. In the mid-90s, it confused aback to University Avenue, and in 2006, it came to its accepted location, on Southeast Second Place, area it occupies a bend amplitude in the Union Street Station Building.
The accepted area has been Ottenberg’s favorite.
“The amplitude is beautiful, there’s a lot of accustomed light, and I adulation what’s accident to downtown,” she said.
The area has additionally helped allure a advanced ambit of customers, from out-of-town visitors to students, longstanding bounded customers, and bodies who already formed at Persona and stop aback in on their visits to Gainesville.
Danielle Lee, 29, apparent the abundance through her mother, who in her 20s, modeled Persona clothes. Now Lee, who works at Dragonfly, and lives in the Union Street Station Building, is a approved customer.
“I’ve shopped on and off with Nava for at atomic 10 years,” she said. “Every time I get paid, I go amusement myself. I feel like article is consistently ambuscade that I find. That’s allotment of the fun.”
Lee still has the aboriginal account she anytime bought in Persona — a Balenciaga scarf. Recently, she purchased a Gucci handkerchief there. She additionally has brought her 9-year-old niece to the store, who enjoys attractive at the best items (not aloof clothes) that the bazaar sells. Her niece begin a kaleidoscope, an old cafeteria box and an R2D2 figurine.
“It’s been a generational affair in my family,” said Lee. “It’s apricot that it’s closing.”
Lee said that she’s additionally enjoyed watching Ottenberg advice appearance bodies for specific events, like weddings or themed parties.
“She wastes no time in whipping out what she has,” Lee said. “It’s so abundant fun to be in there.”
Ottenberg has consistently had a aftertaste for best clothing. Growing up in Israel, she acclimated to don her father’s 1940s flannel shirts, cutting them with jeans and Go-Go Boots.
She advised at an arts academy in San Francisco in the 1970s, area she able a boho aesthetic. Appearance is cyclical, she explained, so in the 1980s, clothes from the 1950s were trending, admitting in the 1960s, clothes were the 1920s were in. Young bodies now like clothes from the 1980s and 1990s, such as bright windbreakers and absolute denim shorts. Clothes from the 1960s are additionally popular, she added. That’s one of her own admired decades for fashion.
“I lived it. I dressed it,” she said, abacus that she additionally brand pieces from the 1930s and 1940s.
After the abundance closes, Ottenberg affairs to booty some time off, but will abide to accomplish her own band of adornment and participate in art shows.
“I’m activity to be added accurate to my life,” she said. “I’m activity to abide to be artistic by accomplishing art, teaching and designing, but not according to the rules set by accepting to survive as a business.”
Ottenberg is additionally admiring that the business demography over the atom — alleged Simple Living — continues the bequest of alone shopping. The kitchen and ablution store, started by Gainesville built-in Kyle Hanna, will “bring a bazaar access to kitchen and bath,” Hanna said.
It’s slated to accessible at the end of November.
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