Ybor's eclectic new gift shop Orange Blossom Trading Co. showcases local artists and makers

Orange Blossom Trading Co., a gift shop carrying the creations of local artists and makers, is the latest addition to a mini arts hub on the western edge of Ybor City.

Orange Blossom has settled into the corner storefront of the circa 1900 building off East Henderson and Nebraska avenues. The building is also home to LAB Theater Project and Coastal Film Lab. 

Christopher CurryOrange Blossom Trading Co. is filled with unique, locally-made art and wares.“Gift Shop, Art Stop, Corner Store” reads the slogan in Orange Blossom’s storefront window. Step inside and a colorful array of merchandise - jewelry, paintings, prints, clothing, candles, soaps, custom-designed sneakers, woodwork and more- captures your attention. Co-owners Chelsea Glade and Ash Dudney curate the shop’s selection, which features the work of 25 local vendors.

“Every vendor that you see is a local business,” Glade says. “We really want to do as much as we can to support local businesses and make it as affordable as we can for everybody to be in the store. We have art. We have jewelry. We have candles, taxidermy, soaps, tees, some food products. We have baked goods, plants, everything you can think of for gifts. We want to reach local customers and also travelers looking for cool souvenirs from the area, some unique stuff that you can’t just get anywhere.”

There are paintings and postcards by Sara May, a Tampa artist who paints with the brush in her mouth after being disabled by Multiple Sclerosis. Christopher CurryTampa artist Sara May, who holds the brush in her mouth to paint after being disabled by multiple sclerosis, has work on display at Orange Blossom Trading Co.Tampa artist Dylan Perry created specific pieces for the store, like paintings of Ybor’s iconic lamp posts and roaming roosters. Near the front window, there's a display of crochet stuffed animals made by Land O’ Lakes artist Beth Folchetti, aka “Mama Crochetti.” Ybor City’s Wild Rooster Trading Co. has candles, stickers and other small-batch goods on sale. 

Orange Blossom’s owners are also two of its artists. Glade, an experienced wood-burning artist, has a selection of her work for sale. Dudney is a milliner, or hat maker, who owns ‘Til Death Hat Co., an old-school custom hat and boot shop just up the block on Nebraska Avenue. 

Making the move to Ybor

Glade spent years selling her art at local markets. The humorous, sometimes irreverent, messages on some of her artwork built a following. Eventually, she opened a brick-and-mortar store in the Lutz area that featured many of the same artists and makers found at Tampa Bay’s outdoor markets.

Dudney opened the brick-and-mortar location of ‘Til Death in late 2023. He approached Glade about partnering on her gift shop concept in a vacant storefront near his Ybor shop. Glade agreed. She says Ybor’s eclectic art scene, popular weekend markets and new residential development make the neighborhood a perfect fit for the shop.

Some of the future residents new development brings in will be Orange Blossom’s neighbors. The second phase of the Canvas GWX townhome community will be built on the lot across Henderson from the shop.

“A lot has changed on this block in the last year or so and a lot more will change in the next two years,” Glade says. “They’re doing all kinds of development. Luxury townhomes are going right across the street over here. It will be interesting to see how it changes over the next couple of years but we’re excited to be in this corner of Ybor that is up and coming and has a lot happening.”

Joining the Ybor arts community

Christopher CurryChelsea Glade Before opening the shop, Glade put her art skills to work on the vacant storefront that formerly housed a pest control company. The walls were a hideous shade of bright blue, she says. To fix that, she covered the walls in wallpaper and, in a decorative tribute to Ybor's history and culture, stained the wallpaper a dark brown, the same shade as a cigar wrapper.

Orange Blossom opened its doors on April 17th. The next day, the shop, along with neighbors LAB Theater Project, Coastal Film Lab and The Commodore, an improv comedy venue around the block that the organizers of Ybor’s Countdown Improv Festival opened in late 2023, were all part of the first spring installment of the Ybor Arts Tour.

“We had a lot of people come through,” Glade says. “They were excited to see a new business in the area, a really cool new local business.”

For more information, go to Orange Blossom Trading Co. 
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.