The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 17 No. 34 - June 7, 2017


Island Charms – perfectly charming

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air


Island Charms owner Lauren Collins and
daughter Claire Collins.

Worldwide travel opens the door for new experiences and knowledge. It's always exciting to unpack the treasures you bought along the way among your favorite pair of jeans and dirty laundry. A new shop owner on the Island has taken the travel experience to new heights, learning about the things she loves from countries she's visited.

Lauren Collins opened Island Charms in January of this year in one of Pine Avenue's historic homes within the Green Village. She wanted a shop that showcased everyday designer items that reflected what she liked to bring home from her travels. And indeed, the handpicked pieces she carries are beach casual, sophisticated and unique and artfully displayed in this bright open 1913 cottage with pale blue walls and rustic display tables.

Collins is originally from Georgia, but she lived in a variety of cities as her husband's job required. Residing for years in London and New York City exposed her to beautiful pottery and glassware, adding to her personal collection and educating her for a future shop.

Whiling living in Tampa, the family started vacationing on Anna Maria Island and eventually purchased a second home on Pine Avenue. When the decision was made for Collins' husband to semi-retire it didn't take long for them and their three children to move permanently into their Anna Maria Home giving Collins the opportunity to finally open the shop she always wanted right across the street.

Island Charms carries coastal pottery and hand blown glass in addition to designer and handcrafted jewelry. Collins has a background in selling jewelry, so adding this element to her shop was a natural for her. Currently some of her beach jewelry comes from a designer in Connecticut she met while living there and a designer, Deepa Guranni, discovered by one of her daughters. She also continues to carry Kobel jewelry.

The pottery pieces which Collins identifies as "affordable but elegant" have lovely coastal designs with fish, turtles, lobsters, starfish and more. Two of the glass and pottery designers she carries are Vietra from Italy and Richard Bramble, whom she discovered in London. There are wonderful pieces perfect as a gift for your hosts' beach house or to be shipped home before you leave the Island.

You'll also find scattered around Island Charms beach accessories like sunglasses, straw hats and bags and designer aprons. If you happen to be there on Thursday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., not only will you be offered a refreshment, but you can take advantage of their discount table.

Helping Collins manage the shop is Jeanette Taft, who has a special touch with customers, and her two daughters, Claire and Meghan, when they're home from school. Island Charms has had a great start, and Collins is planning on building her inventory always on the lookout for special items as well as adding some local artwork and photography.

So, the next time you're on a trip, follow Collins' lead and take home more than just the dirty laundry. You never know where it might lead – Island Charms – perfectly charming.


501 Pine Avenue
Anna Maria
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

"Thirsty Thursdays:" 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

All major credit cards accepted

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