Jan 2, 2009
South Tampa boutique echoes eco movementBy Sharon GinnTampaBay.com

South Tampa, FL — Jennifer Dutkowsky has spent much of her life in western Massachusetts, where recycling is a reflex and shoppers go out of their way to search for organic, eco-friendly or all-natural products.

“People are very earthy, very crunchy,” she said. “You can’t go up there without experiencing the whole eco-friendly lifestyle.”

She landed in Tampa after graduate school and has found it to be “a little bit behind” in that department.

After nearly two years of working as an analyst for a big company, Dutkowsky, 26, wanted to try working for herself. She opened green-themed Why Not Boutique, a women’s clothing and gift shop, on Nov. 24 at 3217-A S MacDill Ave.

The store is in a trendy shopping area (the so-called Palma Ceia Business and Design District) and eco-friendliness is nothing if not of-the-moment. But Dutkowsky said it still has been scary to open a new store — even one furnished with “recycled” consignment items — during a severe economic downturn.

“I left a full-time job where I was getting paid,” she said with a laugh. “If I can make it now and pay my bills now, I can pay my bills when the economy is going great. Cycles go up and down.

“My theory is that going green … is not always going to be trendy. It’s going to be a way of life for people who choose to make it a way of life.”

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