Inside OE’s Holiday Bazaar
Over our relaxing and refreshing Thanksgiving break in Tampa we attended Oxford Exchange’s first annual Holiday Bazaar. We strolled through the upstairs loft where a few dozen local vendors were displaying their products to shoppers. The entire place was a blaze with holiday spirit and the calming but refined sense of enlightenment that OE has become known for.
Dira-made to create-
Since opening it’s doors last fall, OE has gotten ink on a national level from the likes of Elle Decor, Garden & Gun, and Vanity Fair. Not to mention the countless locals that are fired up about finally having such a place in the heart of South Tampa. It’s impossible to pin point one thing about Oxford Exchange that makes it so special. Everything is amazing from the carefully curated gifts and products available in it’s Shop or the inspiring collections of books in the Bookstore or the cuisine thats offered inside it’s glass ceiling cafe or the full scale Interior Design services located upstairs. (Check out Oxford Design’s Instagram account for some serious design eye candy) OE gets it right on so many levels that we could post about it everyday for the rest of the year and not come close to scratching the surface of what this place has to offer.
A pair of found barstools curated by the Design team. Retails for pair was $350.00
Originally built in 1891 as a stable for the Plant Hotel, 420 West Kennedy Boulevard has gone through several transformations in its 122-year history. In the 1920s an arcade of shops ran through the center of the building from Kennedy to Grand Central, a feature that is echoed in the current design. More recently, housed within the brick walls was an insurance company, photo studio, and dentist’s office. If you have lived in Tampa long enough you may have visited Oxford Exchange in a few of its previous forms.
While on a visit to London, Tampa businessman Blake Casper found himself drawn to the architecture, feel, and use of English shops and clubs. Sensing the potential for these kinds of multi-use spaces in his hometown, Casper began to conceive a place where people could meet, mingle, work in solitude, or simply pass a few moments outside of their hectic lives.
For the adventure of launching this novel concept, Casper assembled a team of architects, engineers, designers, and craftsmen to transform the old building into a state-of-the-art complex: Smith-Dalia Architects in Atlanta; EWI Construction in Tampa; Project Manager James Brearley; and Interior Designer Mary Beth Courier. Then came the team that would bring the building to life: Dave and Susan Ward of Buddy Brew Coffee, and Abigail St. Clair of TeBella Tea Company came on board; Executive Chef Erin Guggino began to develop the menu for the Restaurant; Allison Casper Adams created the Shop, Alison Powell devised the Bookstore, and both started filling a warehouse with finds. You can read more about the history of creating Oxford Exchange here.
Main Lobby at OE
What was created is a modern day creatives clubhouse that empowers it’s members to find inspiration in everything around them whether it be the food, the ambience, the store, the patrons or the books. Oxford Exchange has truly created a location that gives Tampa a “Sense of Place”.
The Life + Style Guild was included in a special blogger event hosted by OE and they sent us home with some goodies to share with you. As part of the new line of candles from 7th Ave. Apothecary we are proud to offer a Giveaway of the signature scent they created exclusively for Oxford Exchange, Teak & Cardamon. Believe us when we tell you it is divine! It smells so good that we were more than slightly tempted to keep it for ourselves.
Leave a comment on our Facebook Page for a chance to win this exclusive gift.
Just visit our Facebook page for more photos and post a comment with your favorite shot for your chance to win. One lucky reader will receive this signature scent from 7th Ave. Apothecary for Oxford Exchange and L+S Guild. The Winner will be announced December 30th.