April First Friday Recap

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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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