‘Sip and Shop’ during happy hour at Local Luxuries
Key West Local Luxuries owner Barb Grob (rhymes with globe) has an eye for fashion, judging by the ecstatic female shoppers that grin and praise the store’s merchandise.
“I have shopped all my life and opening this store was a natural progression from the art jewelry world,” said Barb.
Barb is most well known for her handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories for women. Some jewelry she crafts herself, other trinkets she acquires from artists on her “treasure hunts” (24 countries, so far).
“Buying from local artists and finding crafty ways to get the goods back to Key West cuts out the middle men and keeps the costs down,” she said.
Local Luxuries also stocks clothing, lingerie, purses made from faux pony hide and … exotic pearls.
“I get them from the family who owns the farms, as well as the only two pearl museums in the world,” said Barb.
She pulled out a glimmering necklace of baroque pearls that goes for $4,000 at Bloomingdales that she sells for $900. Knowledgeable on the gem, she’s happy to educate shoppers, too, explaining the difference between high-end and low-end pearls. She said it’s all about the thickness of the nacre, which creates the shiny smooth surface; the more nacre the more valuable the pearl.
Local Luxuries has a brilliant collection of eyewear made or designed by Barb, including a line of Local Luxury-branded specs. They are optical quality, flex-hinged, 400 UV, polarized and made of exotic woods like bamboo and sandalwood — so they float if they get dropped in the water.
Local Luxuries shoppers flock to the Sparkle Specs display case. Custom designed by Barb, they are regular glasses she converts to jewelry by exchanging the traditional stems, for bejeweled chains, using amazing bits and pieces from her 20-plus years in the art jewelry career. She said they stay on better than flex hinges and never wear out, or cause headaches from being too tight.
Most recently Barb added a lingerie collection to the store, a hard-to-find commodity in Key West. It sells both the Waycool and Hanky Panky lines.
The shop hosts a “Happy/Pretty Hour” from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Guests sip Barb’s homemade Sangria while they shop.
“It’s a great chance to socialize and get gussied up, before heading out for the evening,” Barb said, “or a nice way to get together with the girls and do something fun and relaxing that won’t break the bank.”
Local Luxuries is located at 515 Fleming St., Key West. The store hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and by appointment on Sunday and Monday. The phone number is 305-304-9001.