April First Friday Recap
Written by Brandi Jackson
All we can say is WOW! What an amazing night and an unbelievably packed house! First Friday began at 5pm and by 5:20 there was nearly a line out of the front door! We are absolutely thrilled with the momentum our First Friday’s have been gathering over the past few months. We cannot thank all of our clients, friends, guests and the community enough for their support.
What is First Friday? Every month, Clayton Gray Home, as well as some of the other businesses along Kennedy Blvd, stay open a little bit later. We invite our customers/friends to visit our shop in a casual social setting. There is always a signature cocktail and yummy appetizers that tie in with the theme of the night. Typically First Friday runs from 5pm — 8pm. This past First Friday was such a success that we had visitors until 10pm! Every month offers a different pairing and theme. In the spirit of “shop local” we pair up with other businesses in the area to bring clients together. This month was our lovely neighbor Malindy Elene, a couture Bridal Shop. Making our name in the community is just as important as it is to give back. We feature a different charity each month which includes : sponsoring a donation drive, offering gift cards when you make a donation or donating a portion of the sales for the night to the charity de jour. It is a great way to learn about the charities in your area so you can find your philanthropist niche.
A true Tampa landmark was represented by our other guest and charity of the night: Tampa Garden Club. Venue Manager, Britton Cisneros, was on hand to talk to guests about the many facets of the TGC. Did you know that TGC is a 501c3 organization? Monies raised by the Tampa Garden Club help to fund beautification projects around our community as well as providing education on conservation of our environment. In addition to helping keep Tampa beautiful, the TGC itself is the jewel of Bayshore Blvd. An amazing event venue with an unbeatable and gorgeous location, the inside of the Tampa Garden Club is undergoing a metamorphosis. A newly updated lounge/bridal area and dressing area make you feel like you have stepped inside the Ritz. A part of the face of South Tampa for decades, the Tampa Garden Club is a classic that never goes out of style.
On this evening, shoppers were greeted at the door by a beautiful wedding gown from our neighbors, Malindy Elene. Owner, Megan Bubalos’ passion for bridal beauty and couture is evident in the fairy tale atmosphere of her store. True elegance and sophistication surrounded by unsurpassed customer service makes your bridal experience at Malindy Elene one of a kind. We were thrilled to share this night with her and her clients.
For the second month in a row, we had a celebrity bartender to help us out. Nick Peterson, known for his Bachelor Pad-Season 3 win, is an amazing supporter of the Tampa community. Actively involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Give Kids the World, Nick has been amazing in supporting Clayton Gray Home and our focus on local businesses. Easy on the eyes and soft on the heart, you couldn’t ask for more! If you do want more, Nick is a certified personal trainer offering bootcamp, single session, duo and small group sessions. Contact him at CPTPeety@gmail.com .
From yummy cucumber cocktails to veggie shooters, cucumber sandwiches (featured recipes from the Tampa Garden Club recipe book) and brownies that looked like potted plants — our guests were sipping, nibbling and shopping happy! Raffle drawing every 30 minutes kept the air filled with excitement while everyone checked their tickets. Shoppers took advantage of our special event discounts on items for the night and 20% of the sales were donated to the Tampa Garden Club. As our guests retired for the night and bid us ado, we sent each one home with a recipe book from the Tampa Garden Club and an adorable succulent plant all ready to make it’s home in their garden.
Plans are already underway for the May First Friday. It will be even bigger and better than ever. If you haven’t attended a FF yet, you definitely don’t want the miss this one! Stay tuned for more details posted to our facebook page and save the date for May 2nd. The only place to be on the first Friday of the month is Clayton Gray Home!
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