Vol 8 No. 20 - February 6, 2008

Chapae’ – a unique boutique

Pat Slusser owner of Chapae’

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

A little bit of France on Anna Maria? Well not exactly even though most people think Chapae’ is a French word, at least those of us who don’t know French, it is actually a composite of owner Pat Slusser’s deceased husband’s name Charles and her maiden name initials. French or not this little boutique is chock full of one of a kind items hand picked by Slusser to appeal to the taste of all the world’s visitors.

Slusser, originally from Ohio, moved to Florida in 1989 with her husband. When he passed away in 1994, she continued to work at Manatee Community College and dreamed of one day having her own business. After battling some health issues of her own, in 1997 she decided that the time was right for her to take the plunge and become an entrepreneur.

One day while exploring Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach she found the perfect little retail space tucked back away from the street that would eventually become her first boutique location. On Feb. 7, 1998, Chapae’ The Unique Boutique with a little bit of everything opened for business. What she learned on Bridge Street she applied to another shop on Longboat Key and her original location in Bayview Plaza on Anna Maria. Ultimately she expanded into her second Bayview Plaza location when it became available to purchase.

Slusser has stocked her boutique with all kinds of wonderful clothes, accessories, greeting cards and year ‘round Christmas ornaments. Men can purchase Hawaiian shirts and straw hats, the children’s corner is packed with hand knit sweaters and hats, Hawaiian shirts and dresses and Wildthings Snap on T-Shirts, which will charm everyone’s child and grandchild. In between there are treasures of all types, sandals, a large and varied jewelry collection, casual and dressy clothes for women, beaded evening purses, hats and even eye glasses. One of the most unique items are hand designed and decorated cotton jackets with matching purses, a collector’s item for women with a passion for stocking their wardrobes with one of a kind items.

For Chapae’s 10th anniversary celebration on Feb. 7, Slusser will be hosting “10 on the 10th” customer appreciation day. Any items in the store purchased for $50 and under will receive a 10 percent discount and items purchased over $50 will receive $10 off.

Slusser is grateful to Ron Coffey, her husband of six years, her three children, three grandchildren and former colleagues at Manatee Community College for their help and support of her endeavors. She is especially fortunate to have had a wonderful staff helping her both past and present and would like to thank Jean Ehlis, Mary Vicari, Grace Stafford, Betty Phillips and Trudy Mahoney.

Chapae’ may not be a French word, but it is the little unique boutique that could, and it plans to keep chugging along for many years to come with Slusser at the controls. Stop in and wish her happy anniversary.

Bayview Plaza
101 South Bay Blvd. #A4
Anna Maria
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some evenings in season
Master Card, Visa, Discover accepted


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