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Ask anyone and they’ll tell you: Sarasota is revving its engines for the future. With more growth, more jobs and an increasingly youthful cultural footprint, what started as a quiet little beach village has become a full-blown city looking to pass along its entrepreneurial legacy to the next generation. These six young millenial locals are looking to define the experience of this future and undoubtedly shape our hometown in the years and decades to come. WRITTEN BY JOHN WITTE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN


The Prodigy

BRI DINE, THE DAILY DOSE JUICE GARDEN, AGE 18 Bri Dine is a born contender. She spent her high school years as the engine room on an eight-person crew team, and she’s always liked the thrill of the tournament. But her newest sport is The Daily Dose, a downtown Bradenton vegan café that specializes in cold-pressed juices and healthy salads. Dine started the business with an investment from her aunt and now manages every aspect of the operation. With help from the nonprofit organization Realize Bradenton, which focuses on bringing fresh, youthful ventures to Manatee County, Dine is now serving a solid clientele of downtown regulars and suburbanites who make the drive to Dine’s shop just for the healthy juices they can’t get anywhere else in town. “I liked the competition. Honestly, I like to win.” Maybe that’s what it takes to start your own vegan juice bar, in a city that’s never had a similar business, at the age of 17. But Dine is anything but naive: Possessed with a world-weary manner and a businesswoman’s eye for detail, Dine carries herself like a true professional. She hopes The Daily Dose is just the first wave of healthier food options in Bradenton. She sees a city full of potential, and a cadre of peers that would like to stay in Florida, if only they knew the culture would grow along with them. Dine wants to make Bradenton’s energy kinetic. Like the clean cut of a scull through the shimmering green of Sarasota Bay, her establishment is full of straight lines and polished white surfaces. It’s an expression of a particularly forceful personality and a sense of confidence that would be enviable at any age. The Daily Dose Juice Garden, 536 13th St. West, Bradenton, 941-741-2383, @juice.dailydose

The Salesman

DONALD CARLSON, TWEEDS SUIT SHOP, AGE 27 “I like to sell suits.” Step into Donald Carlson’s shop and ask him what he likes to do for fun and that’s the only answer you’ll get. It’s easy to find him, since his storefront is a matte black moving truck, customized within an inch of its life. He might even be down your street as you read this. Once Carlson slides open the loading door for business, the crisp exterior reveals a stylishly modern storefront. “Open for business” is a permanent condition for the Sarasota native. Something of a vintage specimen, Carlson’s art is the tête-à-tête, and his paintbrush, the firm handshake. But this traveling salesman pushes a product with a bit more panache than encyclopedia sets or vacuum cleaners. The Tweeds experience includes a session for consulting, measurement and—after the suit has been ordered—Carlson contacts a local tailor who perfects the garment’s dimensions. And he’s been busy: He’s already investing in a second truck, to remain stationary at the Siesta Key mall. “It takes about 30 minutes to get dressed in the morning,” he says of his striking pinstripe wool suit. Carlson’s clothing looks great, but he’s selling a lifestyle. The ritual of donning one’s armor in the morning, of knowing that you stand out in a crowd; Carlson wants to sell these ideas not just to an older crowd that already believes in them but to his peers in Sarasota. He wants his generation to start dressing for the jobs they want. If you ever find yourself in the same neighborhood as his mobile boutique, you may find his pitch irresistible. Tweeds Custom Suits, tweedssuitshop.com, 941-343-7606, @ tweedssuitshop

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The Visionary


Like the Pevensies in C.S. Lewis’s classic Chronicles of Narnia series, you might not set out looking for adventure when you head north on Orange Avenue, amidst the concrete facades and chain-link industrialism that one will find north of Fruitville Road. But a step into Kara Nelson’s Fixxation Boutique feels like nothing short of a passage into the magic wardrobe. Amongst the kitschy LPs and local designer goods, you’ll find Nelson—ethereal, focused and eminently interested in helping you find the clothing that will make you feel more like yourself, not less. Fixxation is a brick-and-mortar boutique that specializes in what’s come to be known as “slow fashion” by only including brands that eschew the potentially harmful methodologies associated with mass production in favor of labor equity and ecological sustainability. Nelson only includes brands that meet these criteria, and she also endeavors to include products from as many local artisans and designers as possible. In addition, she offers yoga lessons and is working to integrate a juice bar into her space. “You should be yourself, but I think you also need to manifest what you want to see in the world. You should express yourself. That’s what fashion means to me.” The daughter of an inventor, Nelson cycled through interests in architecture and clothing design before deciding to open her own storefront. Her ambitions for Fixxation are a total evolution of the people who come into her store. She wants, through sheer force of will, to bring her community’s greatest attributes— self-possession, beauty and health—to the fore. When it comes to Fixxation, fashion is pure magic. Fixxation Boutique, 1108 North Orange Ave., Sarasota, fixxationboutique.com, @fixxationbtq

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The Realist

TYLER FUSHIKOSHI, FUSHIPOKÉ, AGE 26 Tyler Fushikoshi had a quiet lifestyle growing up. Maui isn’t a big town, and most of the fun you have in Hawaii happens with your friends, roaming outdoors and staying out until the sun sets. Here in Florida, the water’s different, and so is Fushikoshi. The boy has become a driven, practical man. Starting on the back-of-house cookline as a teenager, Fushikoshi proved himself time and again, eventually becoming one of the Caraguilo brothers’ most trusted managers. When they encouraged him to move on and start his own business, he took the advice to heart. Now he’s got his own restaurant, with his own food concepts. He’s got a hard eye for what makes businesses work—and he made damn sure that there was a market for his Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls before pulling the trigger on his new idea. “I used to sit on a bench and watch who was eating what. I wanted to see what people were getting for lunch.” He saw an opening in the lunch market for innovative, healthy food that appealed to young professionals who work downtown. Fushikoshi has seen the business grow bigger, month by month. As Sarasota’s real estate development boom has pushed the downtown population to new heights, FushiPoké’s market has grown proportionally, putting the restaurant at the forefront of Sarasota’s rapidly developing young professional culture. But Fushikoshi’s poke bowls, full of raw seafood and crisp veggies, are just as fresh on the weekends as they are on a Tuesday lunch break—and the fresheyed restaurateur plans to be a part of Sarasota’s growing downtown scene for a long time to come. FushiPoke, 128 North Orange Ave., Sarasota, fushipoke.com, @fushipoke

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The Works

ALYSSA GAY, ALYSSA GAY CONSULTING, AGE 25 In 1941, Italy, Germany and Bulgaria finally completed their conquest of the Greek peninsula, forcing George II, the king of Greece, to evacuate to Egypt. Their occupation of democracy’s ancient birthplace would last until the last days of the Second World War. In the ensuing chaos, Alyssa Gay’s grandparents made an escape of their own—to the east coast of the United States, where they reinvented themselves as restaurateurs. Serving fine Mediterranean cuisine until the 1980s, when they retired, like many Americans, they moved to the sunshine and sandy beaches of Florida. When Alyssa came along, she picked up more than just a taste for roasted lamb (her favorite dish)—she picked up their self-reliance and entrepreneurial spirit. Now in its second year, Gay has spent her postcollege years building a business of her own. “We used to joke that even though it was my grandpa who did all of the cooking, they used all of my grandmother’s recipes.” In her business, Gay likes to play both with setting the menu and being the chef. She runs a full-service operation for fellow entrepreneurs to have the dfreedom to run their own business. Alyssa Gay Consulting is a full-service digital marketing agency, providing local Sarasota businesses with a set of advertorial content, social media management, SEO analytics and marketing campaign strategies that would be impressive even for an organization with more than three employees. In her previous jobs, Gay learned to respect what she calls “the organic power of social media,” and decided to carry on the family tradition of going her own way. The clientele that she’s passionate about are the ones that reflect her own family history: small business owners, local treasures and people trying to do something special all on their own. Alyssa Gay Consulting, 941-920-3340, alyssagay.com, @alyssagayconsulting

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Dylan Patterson thought she’d like Dallas. The Palmetto native had always wanted to live in a bustling city and, like many young people, she yearned to leave her home state. But Dallas is crowded, and it’s hard to find things to do outdoors. Worst of all, it’s landlocked. Patterson’s home office is packed with inventory—stylish, sustainably produced swimsuits, designed by Patterson herself. Always armed with a notebook and a pen, Patterson is perpetually prepared for inspiration to strike. Particularly enamored with mid-century clothing design, she has drawn up an entire line of beachwear updated for the modern era. But she sees her business as more than just an act of individual expression: She takes great pride in responding personally to her customers over the social media platforms she uses to take orders. She sees this flexibility as a part of her larger ethos. “I guess my parents knew what they were doing when they named me.” Dylan is a Welsh name, meaning “son of the sea” or—big reveal—“born from a wave.” By the time Patterson had finished her first year in Dallas, she already had plans to return to Florida and start a line of swimwear. The clothes, made from recycled, sea-born plastic, share an origin with Patterson herself and are something of a notebook of the return to her native land. The swimsuits, for Patterson, are meant to produce a similar effect for the women who buy them. She wants a renaissance for women’s sense of selfconfidence. She wants her customers to feel like they’ve finally come home. SRQ Born From A Wave, bornfromawave.com, @bornfromawave

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Profile for SRQME

Winds of Change  

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you: Sarasota is revving its engines for the future. With more growth, more jobs and an increasingly youthful cu...

Winds of Change  

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you: Sarasota is revving its engines for the future. With more growth, more jobs and an increasingly youthful cu...

Profile for srqme