Occasionally, I’ll ask the St. Pete Rising target audience, “What do you think Downtown St. Pete is lacking?” For a while, one of the most famous answers become, “a men’s shop”.
The first shop specializing in menswear opened approximately two years in the past. But not each person has the same style or charge factor. Downtown desires a diffusion of menswear services. And nowadays, with the help of certainly one of Downtown St. Pete’s most popular girl’s boutiques, any other men’s save has finally opened.
Matter of Fact is a joint challenge among Matthew Baker and Amanda Henderson, proprietor of Ashe Couture. “The fashion of Matter of Fact will be for the ordinary St. Pete gentleman, whether you’re grabbing a drink at Intermezzo or having dinner on Beach Drive,” says Matt.
The store is located at 1029 Central Avenue and contains shirts, shorts, swimsuits, backpacks, hats, wallets and extra from brands like Herschel, Billabong, Vissla, Kenny Flowers, and RVCA simply to call a few. But Matt wants Matter of Fact to be extra than just a shop for guys.
“Whether you’re taking part in a handcrafted beverage at our complimentary bar, live track, beer or wine tastings, or beard product demonstrations from neighborhood providers, I want each journey to my store to deliver something exclusive,” says Matt.
Matt is a lifelong resident of Florida unless you count short stints in Boulder and Indianapolis. He grew up in Vero Beach, a tiny seaside town throughout the state, wherein he explains, “the attire changed into usually shorts, sandals, and maybe a tucked in the collared blouse in case you are feeling formal.”
When Matt was younger, he turned into constantly a bit extra interested by apparel and became frequently informed he seemed extra prepare than the maximum of his other guy pals. He by no means in reality notion an awful lot of it even though.
After graduating from FSU, Matt got a workplace job and worked his way up the company ladder until he turns out to be Director of National Accounts. In the returned of his thoughts, he’s usually wanted to start his own business enterprise but never had the self-assurance to interrupt off on his very own.
It took a massive occasion in Matt’s existence to gain the courage he had to open his personal commercial enterprise. “About a yr ago I eventually determined to come out as gay to all my buddies. That probably explains my proclivity towards style after I changed into younger,” laughs Matt.
“The wonderful response and guide I obtained from all and sundry was pretty life converting for me. A byproduct of that guide become a surge of confidence in myself.” And that self-belief is exactly what Matt had to take the jump into business ownership.
The idea for Matter of Fact turned into born out of a conversation among Matt and Amanda, who’ve been buddies for nearly 10 years. Matt remembers, “Amanda noted she couldn’t matter the number of instances someone approached her to open a guys’ garb store. She explained she had the realization a way to do it, but no longer the time to make it work.” That’s while the lightbulb went off in Matt’s head. He had the time, but not the understanding.
As the months went by means of, discussions grew to become more and more serious until Amanda and Matt determined to make it happen. The commenced planning the idea by way of discovering brands, save layouts, pricing, and extra. And as success might have it, the parcel subsequent to Ashe Couture opened up, so they jumped at the possibility.
Today, Matter of Fact, a curated men’s shop, opens their doorways to the public. And the timing couldn’t be higher. A few months in the past, 930 Central Flats commenced leasing their 218 flats about a block far away from the shop. Another 368-unit condominium tower, Icon Central, placed blocks away will begin pre-leasing in June.
Downtown has always had its truthful share of girls’ boutiques, but guys’ clothing has constantly been ignored. Some shops had a rack of menswear nestled in the back nook, but there had by no means been a committed guys’ store (no longer counting consignment shops).
Two years in the past, Gray Space debuted in Downtown St. Pete, in the end introducing men’s garb to the downtown retail scene. Then Sartorial Inc opened, specializing in men’s formal wear