The gift store that keeps giving

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Boca Boutique

At Boca Boutique, gift giving has been raised to a fine art.

The creation of interior designer Dixi Robertson, this special store is named for the designer’s French bulldog, Boca, and filled with unique designs. 

“Boca is a bit of a diva,” laughs her owner, explaining that Boca enjoys spending much of the day lounging on her small pink couch.

The 3,000-square-foot emporium, located at 6969 S. Tamiami Trail in the Gulf Gate district, will soon celebrate its first year in business. 

Curated furniture pieces, pillows, cookware, and whimsical decor items greet the shopper at the front of the store. Among the offerings on display: designs in glass (created by local artists), accessories for the desk, complimentary decorative items, useful wine and bar accessories, china pieces, and beautiful furniture in various styles ranging from contemporary to classic. 

A large area next to the furnishings is devoted to the heart of the home — the kitchen. Statues of brightly painted roosters, pretty tea towels, cookware and tempting delicacies such as organic coffees, chocolates and olive oils are waiting to be discovered. And sets of packaged cocktail and dinner napkins in a wide array of designs and colors make a welcome, well-priced small gift. 

Surprisingly deep, the store appears to unfold into a series of mini boutiques beyond furnishings and home goods. 

“The price point here is really good,” Robertson said. “We want to be the home goods, clothing, skin care, jewelry, specialty pet and gift items — the everything store for this special area.”  

Her motto is “wellness begins at home.”

“I carry unique, special items that are mostly American-made,” she said.

Boca Boutique

Dog and cat lovers will be delighted to discover a vast array of decor items paying homage to their pets. There’s also a large selection of leashes, collars, bowls, and treats for four-legged friends.

Luxurious skin-care products stand alongside a collection of greeting cards, bags, totes and jewelry designed by local artists in sterling with gold and semi-precious stones at a variety of price points. 

“I’m very interested in supporting local artists in the community,” said Robertson.

A selection of women’s dresses, hats, shirts, pajamas, and lingerie lies beyond the jewelry. 

Those with a passion for pickleball, tennis and golf will find a selection of gift items for men and women. A special area of gifts for baby as well as a small collection of items for guys are found in the back of the boutique. 

Getting personal 

In addition to managing the boutique, Robertson also offers personalized interior design services. She specializes in meeting the needs of newly relocated clients who now call the Siesta Key, Gulf Gate and Palmer Ranch areas home. 

Her $175 fee includes a one- to two-hourhome visit. When meeting with her clients, Robertson discusses style, color preferences and items that they treasure. She then designs a plan for each room and focuses on colors, tiles, lighting, and furniture. 

When the designer locates new pieces, she sells them to her clients at retail price. 

“Some projects are large, and others just need a refresh,” she said. “I help them to mix their old treasures with things that work here. Light fixtures, lamps and the right chandelier can change everything. The right rug and even new throw pillows can refresh a room. 

“People are often amazed at how adding only a few new things can change the entire look of the home.”

Home sweet home 

Like many of her clients, Robertson and her husband, Gary, vacationed here for years before moving to the area from eastern Canada. She spent the earlier part of her career in the financial world as a private wealth management advisor before pursuing her passion for interior design — entering the field by focusing on kitchen and bathroom remodels. Her financial background serves her well as a business owner and in her design consultation. 

Having seen clients make the costly decision to ship every piece of their furniture to a new Sarasota home, only to find that those pieces don’t work in their new space, Robertson decided to add pre-move design consultation to her services. 

“Moving fees can be very expensive,” she said thoughtfully. 

A pre-move consultation, she explained, would include a video tour of the current home. In advance of the move, Robertson will either visit the new residence in person or view it by video. In consultation with her client, she will then create a design plan for the new home. 

“The Siesta Key region calls for a lighter, more casual design approach. It’s more open with lighter, brighter colors,” she said.

Robertson adds new items regularly, creating new vignettes that mirror the season and upcoming holidays. She is also planning sip-and-shop evenings and welcomes inquiries about in-store, after-5 p.m. events for small groups of under 10 people, such as book and mahjong groups.  

Boca Boutique is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitbocaboutiquesrq.com or call (941) 529-1000.

Jane Bartnett
Author: Jane Bartnett

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