Years in Tampa Bay
Lived here for five, owned Gray Space for two.
Owners/buyer/manager - we do it all :)
What do you do?
We own and operate Gray Space, a men’s lifestyle boutique in downtown St. Pete.
Why do you do it?
When we started Gray Space we did it because there was a need in the marketplace and Jamie has a keen eye with clothing and fashion. Two years later, we continue because it's fulfilling to introduce products that excite people into continuing (or starting) a ‘shop small’ lifestyle.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
A few years back we recognized a clothing disparity for men downtown. While there were stores offering formal wear and resort wear there was nothing that spoke to the active and casual St. Petian. So, we set out to fill the ‘gray space.’
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
I think it would go for any small business owner - that there’s no such thing as “off the clock.” Between marketing, seeking new brands, building and upkeeping the website - even when we are not at the brick-and-mortar store, we are 100 percent drumming up new opportunities to build Gray Space and our business.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
Having a vision in mind and reminding yourself that it takes hundreds of steps to bring some visions to fruition. Specifically when you are self-funding your project, knowing that the biggest dreams and goals don’t happen overnight.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
I read this by Mary Schmich once, and it stuck with us, “Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.” We believe deciphering opinions from feedback is your best tool, especially in the beginning stages of your business. Stay true to your vision, hold value to feedback and caution to the opinionated.