TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — It is not your average souvenir store. From the moment you walk into the Florida Shell Shop, you know you’ve arrived at a very special place.
From small ones to big ones, you'll find all sorts of seashells there. This time of year, the handmade shell Christmas trees are a top seller.
Some shoppers come in looking for the perfect gift.
“I love it! It’s exciting because there’s everywhere to look and there’s something for everyone in here," said Caroline Rough, from Pennsylvania.
The family-owned business first opened in 1955 and is the oldest shop on Treasure Island.
The shells come from local Florida beaches, as well as exotic locations around the world.
“The sand dollars are worldwide. They're different species. There's the Mexican sand dollar, we actually call these Atlantic and you can still find these in the Gulf," said Patrick Elias, owner of The Florida Shell Shop.
No this is not your typical souvenirs shop, though you will find those too. Artist Kate Sampson likes to go there to get inspiration and supplies.
“A lot of what I do is seashells. I make a lot of beach scenes. I also make wreaths and I make a lot of beach scenes with those too,” Sampson said.
No matter what you are looking for, you will leave there with something unique.
“Authentic things to take home, not your standard coffee mug or T-shirt,” Elias said.