The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 15 - January 25, 2012


Shop chic at Chelsie Danz

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Photo by Louise Bolger | sun
Danielle Rudmon and Bernadette Hudak
in their Bradenton boutique.

Downtown Bradenton is on the verge of a renaissance and the heart of the change is along Old Main Street. Although Bradenton's renaissance may not be a European cultural movement, there are trends that do provide some of the same character.

The Jennings Arcade on Old Main Street in one of Bradenton's historic buildings has been renovated in recent years and has the feel of a European gallery. At the end of the main level is a set of double doors that open on to a hip new boutique with an interesting name.

In June of last year Bernadette Hudak and Danielle Rudmon, who are mother and daughter, opened Chelsie Danz a trendy fashion boutique. Hudak, an Anna Maria Island native, always had a passion for fashion, working in local boutiques and selling jewelry at fairs and festivals. But the dream of her life has been to open her own clothing boutique and name it after her two daughters.

First impressions count and the first impression you get of Chelsie Danz is as you walk down the hall toward the open doors leading into a bright and sophisticated space decorated with black and white and glitter. The shop has been carefully staged to showcase their one of a kind inventory right down to the zebra stripe motif on chairs, wrapping paper and shopping bags.

Of course the clothes, jewelry, purses and accessories are the real stars of the shop. Hudak and Rudmon carry limited quantities of their items, so it's a safe bet you won't find someone else in your dress at the next cocktail party. Some of the lines they carry are Joseph Ribkoff, Elana Kattan, Joyous & Free, Barbara Lesser, Lynn Ritchie and VO Jeans.

Chelsie Danz's purses are also one of a kind hand crafted Blue Elegant and their designer inspired shoes are handpicked and aren't reordered once they sell out. Since jewelry is a real love of Hudak you'll see some very unique pieces, all of which are in the $20 to $40 price range. There are also an assortment of scarves and Shelley Kyle organic scented candles and lotions.

Hudak and Rudmon try to cater to the mature woman who needs special and unique items. They like to help women "get out of their circle" and try different combinations and fashion accents. All sizes are carried and anything can be ordered. With spring coming, they will be adding new lines including cruise and resort wear. Rudmon calls Chelsie Danz Bradenton's little secret and points out that there isn't anything else like it in Bradenton.

Chelsie Danz's owners like to think of their shop as classy but affordable, filling a need in the community. I think of it as charming and appealing to the eye with two very enthusiastic women who understand style and have a flair for fashion.

Chelsie Danz

Jennings Arcade
417 12 St. W. (Old Main Street), Suite 120, Bradenton

Tuesday and Wednesday:
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Visa, MasterCard, Discover


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Investors stay away

Investment Corner

As a group, individual investors are voting with their parking spot for capital, and they voted for safety during the first 11 months of 2011. In fact, according to data from market research firm Trim Tabs, the investing public at large put eight times more money into checking and savings accounts, which pay little if any interest, than they put into stock and bond mutual funds. Even more astounding, the pace of favoring safety over potential accelerated toward the end of the reporting period.

This leads us to examine the underlying tone behind this decision. Obviously, most investors have grown weary of being frustrated with the below average and very volatile stock returns of the last decade. Apparently, they are also fearful of the potential for bond prices to decline if interest rates rise significantly. In summary, they are staying away from the two most popular asset classes of the last 30 years.

Is this a glass half empty or glass half full story? I suppose both, depending on your outlook. I lean toward the fact that the investing public, as a group, is historically wrong at every major trend turning point. When investors favor safety, it has generally been a better time, in hindsight, to have taken risk. Now, that doesn't mean take undue risk, but owning investments which fluctuate in value when most want the opposite has been a good idea.

I remember in the days after the stock market crash in 1987 being hung up on as I called on investors as a brand new stockbroker (yes, we were still called brokers back then). No one wanted to hear about the great buying opportunity that was upon us, although it turned out to be just that – a wonderful opportunity.

Back in 1982, after a difficult decade for equity investors which started in the early 1970s, Business Week and Newsweek magazines prepared issues declaring the age of equity investing dead and gone. Of course in a few months, August of 1982 to be exact, the greatest bull market ever for equities began and ran for about 18 years with only brief interruptions, the aforementioned 1987 crash being the most significant.

I have no idea what the future holds, but when a group of investors acts in an extreme manner of fear or greed it gets my attention. In this case I think the extreme fear is a sign that in time, and with patience, a bit of risk taking will be rewarded. Again, I'm not referring to excessive risk, just not being excessively scared.

Owning high quality dividend paying stocks can provide yields much higher than treasury bonds or certificates of deposit at the present time, and have proven over time to be great investments that provide a growing income stream and capital appreciation. Of course, with stocks being stocks, patience and discipline are required to get through those maddening moments which come around every few years. And, you don't have to put all your investment capital into equities, even 20 – 40 percent can have a significant impact on your portfolios success.

In a few years, I'll probably be writing about the excessive optimism investors have for equities and how perhaps safety is more important. I'll bet the Dow Jones Industrial Average will probably be a lot higher than it is today. Do you want to get excited at the end of a trend, or the beginning?

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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