By Carol Tisch
Every day is a love-in at Dianna Allaman’s Tortoise and Pearl, a Burns Court refuge for those who eschew cookie-cutter clothes, gifts and home accents in favor of a hippie aesthetic. The New Jersey native describes her artisan wares as a “collection of things I love, whether vintage or handmade.” Indeed, she crafts jewelry and designs charming garments of repurposed vintage textiles and second-hand clothes.
“My customers zero in on a particular item and ask, ‘How did you do that?’ The question baffles me, too,” she jokes, then suggests that her talents are attributable to her dad, an inventor, and mom, a fashion model.
A former fashion and interior stylist, Allaman says her passion now is helping clients discover their style. “My job is to open them up to freedom in the way they dress,” she says. “And my joy is finding that perfect person for one of my designs. It’s like a Cinderella story when someone tries on a dress that looks like it was made just for them.”
TORTOISE AND PEARL, 539 S. PINEAPPLE AVE., SARASOTA, (941) 735-7602
Get Dianna’s Look
Describe your style: “I like the grab-and-go look—a slightly disheveled hippie aesthetic. I always have vintage pieces in my outfit, and I love to layer and mix patterns, color and texture, but in an unexpected way. That’s where the fun comes in.”
What this town needs: “More creative stores like the ones in Burns Court. If you are going to have a store today, add something new to the retail scene. People come to Burns Court looking for something unique and handmade.”
Can’t live without: “Flea markets, antiques and crafts shows, and exciting new shopping districts. My new bliss is Brooklyn: I love its creativity right now. The idea is to constantly train your eye to discern between the ordinary and extraordinary.”
Read more Sarasota shopping and fashion news here.