Don't monkey around here
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Kandi Kerekes and
Stella Rose show some of the whimsical items
available at Three Island Monkeys.
What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys, you have no idea until you visit the Island’s funnest gift shop which also happens to be one of the newest.
Kandi Kerekes grew up with monkeys, not real ones of course but monkey collections starting first with her grandfather and then passed down to her mother. So when she decided it was time to do what she always dreamed of and open her own gift shop she knew exactly what to name it.
Three Island Monkeys opened in August 2009 on Gulf Drive in the city of Anna Maria, with Kerekes vowing to fill her shop with good quality, reasonably priced and most of all, fun stuff. She has succeeded in all three areas with the help of her sense of humor and artistic eye. Although trained to be an architect and interior designer, she gravitated toward a different type of artistic endeavor and for 18 years had a popular business selling hand painted tiles and furniture on Anna Maria.
Many of the items in her shop including wall plaques, painted crab traps and small furniture pieces were created by Kerekes, but she also carries a collection of items from over 30 original artists, many of whom are local. And that’s not all, she has stocked her shop literally from ceiling to floor with a hodgepodge of stuff I guarantee you you’ve never seen before.
To list all of Kerekes’ inventory would take more pages than my publisher would allow, but just to name a few: hand screened T-shirts by Tim Bailey, handmade silk scarves by a local artist, children’s handmade aprons, bamboo Anna Maria Island cutting boards by a local artist, kites, fun cocktail napkins and greeting cards, computer monitor animal screen wipes (you’ve got to see this), Todd and Rosie's sea glass jewelry ,as well as other unique jewelry by local artists. And let’s not forget fish and bird fans a flyswatter clock complete with a rotating fly, a doggie corner with T-shirts, collars and hand painted bowls, and my three favorite items – rolling salt and pepper shakers, flip flop wine coasters and animal slap bracelets (you’re just going to have to go into the shop to find out what this is).
Three Island Monkeys carries some beach supplies and is continually adding inventory based on customer requests. Gift wrapping is available for most items. And if you lucky, Kerekes’ sidekick, Stella Rose, will be happy to show off the trophy she won at the Sun’s Dog Custom Contest in October.
Kerekes and her monkeys have been visiting and having fun on Anna Maria Island since she was 10 years old. In these times, who doesn’t need an infusion of fun? Three Island Monkeys will make you feel like you stepped right into the barrel with the monkeys while it’s rolling downhill. Fun stuff at every twist and turn.
Three Island Monkeys
The Sun Plaza
9801 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.