St. Petersburg has a strong passion for local shops. In fact, there is a small team dedicated to representing these businesses and artists to create a more diverse economical environment in the area. After hearing a small snippet of Ester’s story, I knew she had valued information that needed to be shared to the community. I personally took on this story because I felt that the Tampa Bay Area didn’t fully understand the reasoning of spending a couple more dollars locally compared to saving a few bucks at a popular franchise. I wanted people to know that those couple of dollars mean the world to start up enterprises.
Whim-So-Doodle, at the time, had been a local shop in the Tampa Bay Area for 26 years. The family business had touched the lives of many people through art, companionships and experimentation. Their motto that hung boldly on the wall of the classroom was, “Come as strangers and leave as family.” I had been involved in their art community for over a year and could personally vouch for the statement that is now engraved in my mind. I wanted to record the event not as a tragedy, but as something that ended in beauty and respect.