LOUISE BOLGER | SUN
Nanette Almeter owner of Irene's
Resort Wear, has taken the vision of her
great aunt Ireneto new heights.
If you believe that who we are is predetermined through the genes passed from generation to generation, then you'll appreciate the story of Irene's Resort Wear in Holmes Beach. Sixty years ago, when Anna Maria was still a baby, Irene Cassady closed her West Virginia shop and opened Irene's Resort Wear in Holmes Beach. Like her mother, Mattie, she too had retail in her blood and treated her new shop like a baby growing it right along with the island she loved.
After Irene's death, her nephew and his wife Bob and Nina Boyers took over the business. They eventually passed it on in 1990 to their daughter, Nanette Almeter who has taken great aunt Irene's vision and service principles to new heights.
Irene's has come a long way from being one of the few ladies' shops in Manatee County stocking a little bit of everything for her customers. Under the sharp eye and guiding hand of Almeter, Irene's now carries high end fashions and accessories including Joseph Ribkoff, Brighton, Tribal, Onex and more. The stunning display of Mary Frances evening bags shines and sparkles like a jewel case, and the abundance of jewelry will impress even the fussiest buyer.
Almeter calls herself an old fashioned retailer, but there's nothing old fashioned about her inventory. She has recently added a line of comfortable and funky summer and classic linen dresses, as well as a new line of hand painted, leather bags and accessories from Anuschka. These are singularly unique handbags, wallets and small purses that come with a history of the company and the name of the artist, and they make unusual gifts.
Irene's prides itself on personalized service, something hard to come by these days, and don't forget the sale loft overflowing with discounted inventory for the bargain hunter in all of us. Also, keep an eye out for specialty trunk shows before the end of season and Irene's big Easter sale.
Irene's is the kind of shop when you can find an outfit for a formal affair or a day at the beach, and much of it can be viewed at the many charity fashion shows Almeter participates in every year. The Bradenton Opera Guild, St. Bernard's Church and the Key Royale Club are just some of the fashion shows, in addition to other community events, that Irene's either participates in or donates to.
To celebrate Irene's Diamond Anniversary, Almeter invites everyone to an all-day anniversary party on March 23. There will be refreshments, gift certificate raffles and sale opportunities. For more details check out Irene's ad in this paper. She wants to thank her supportive and accomplished staff and all of her loyal customers.
When I asked Almeter what Aunt Irene would think if she were alive today, she said she would be very proud at how beautifully her baby had grown. I'm sure Aunt Irene would also be grateful that a fourth generation of her family is still taking care of her baby. Irene's Resort Wear, a family legacy and iconic island business still going strong at 60.
IRENE'S RESORT WEAR
5308 Marina Drive Holmes Beach
Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
All major credit cards accepted