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New Family Business for Carole and Charlie Crist

May 27, 2015 - 12:45am

Carole designs the clothes and Charlie hustles the clientele at Goddessey Boutique, the new business venture for Florida's former first couple.

Certainly the former governor gave Goddessey a flying start.

The Crists set up shop right where they feel comfortable, right where their friends could find them, at 300 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg -- in the same space that housed Charlie Crist's campaign headquarters when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2010.

And guess who the store manager is? Why, it's Katie Bohnett, Charlie's former director of scheduling.

It pays to have a gargantuan email list left over from the old campaign days. Anyone on the list probably made the cattle call and got one of Charlie's emails over the weekend.

"I am reaching out to you today to share some exciting news with you," Charlie writes, calling the addressee by her first name. "I am proud to announce that my wife, Carole, has opened a beautiful beach and resort wear boutique in our home of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida."

He said the preview was last Tuesday, response has been "just wonderful," and the store will sell "beautiful beach and resort wear for the chic & fabulous ladies of Tampa Bay."

Save up, you middle class ladies. Goddessey's lines include items sold at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. That beaded strapless top is $185; the tailored, black cocktail dress, $375. On the other hand, you can pick up a black eyelet coverup for $49.

Here's the exciting news in the email: a discount for first-time early birds!

"Please join me in welcoming the boutique to the neighborhood," says Charlie, "and if you mention this email you will get 25% off your first purchase." Wow, that gets you the cocktail dress for $281.25.

Don't forget, the former Carole Rome knows how to do this stuff. She redesigned and once ran the family costume business in New York. She invented a slogan: "Where Fashion Meets Halloween." She designed figure-flattering costumes, including a red goddess dress. A sequined child's devil outfit became a top seller in those days.

Now, Carole tells friends, she wants to design her own line. That's next on the horizon.

Besides marketing for Carole, what's next for Charlie? Probably something besides emails. But nobody is saying.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith 


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