Sustainability is vital to ensure our environment, economy, and civilization are prosperous. How do we do this? Of course we recycle, up-cycle, and we educate, but we still want to look great and be fashionable as we do good to our planet. Thankfully Scott Durfee and George Medeiros, together known as Spathose, have created a line of wearable sculpture out of palm spathe found right here in Downtown St. Pete. Their gorgeous pieces are found in exclusive locations including The Dali located at 1 Dali Blvd.
What exactly is spathe? You have seen it in heaps on the side of the road and it may even be found right in your backyard. Spathe is the wood-like bract that surrounds the flower of the palm. We’ve all seen it, those giant brown “things” that fall out of palm trees.
When Durfee and Mederios, who have been business partners for over a quarter of a century, moved here to St. Petersburg from Philadelphia in 2003, they were a bit appalled by the way Floridians decorated for Christmas. Particularly they were less than impressed with those light up palm trees some folks stick in their front yard to seem “festive.” (I too, have never quite understood those goofy little things.) This is when they knew they had to decorate differently. After noticing the giant spathe on the side of the road all the time, together they rescued and respected this material by creating Christmas decorations out of it (genius!).
Friends in the neighborhood visited their home frequently, as they were involved in many neighborhood associations, and people began to fall in love with the art they began creating for the holidays (I’m sure they fell in love with Durfee and Medeiros too because they are the perfect blend of an eccentric riot).
They are way more than just Christmas decorations now. Spathose grew to a fine organic art company in 2003. From designing unique sculptures out of natural material, to producing fabulous wearable sculpture, Spathose is “saving Florida landfills one accessory at a time.”
I had the chance to hold and inspect some accessories up close when I visited their studio. The quality of the pieces were impeccable, the designs were flawless, but the evolution of their initial idea was what got me completely hooked. I don’t see spathe as those giant brown “things” on the side of the road anymore. I will always think of the art Spathose creates when I see palm spathe now. Let’s just say, they have us all in the palms of their hand.
Although they still do create large pieces of organic art, you’ll find cuff bracelets, dapper bow ties, classic neckties, and even purses for sale on their website. Their pieces are also found locally at The Dali, Cozette’s Boutique, Jackie Z Style Co., and more. Along with browsing online, you can even schedule an appointment to shop at their home studio, but don’t let their three cats distract you. George joked around during our interview and said, “Millions of years from now when they find our pieces, they’ll see cat hair and be able to recreate cats!” You know what that means? Spathose is quite the cat’s meow.
These guys are an inspiration because they work incredibly hard and put their heart and soul into each piece they create. When you visit the studio or shop locally, be sure to tell them that Downtownstpete.com sent you, you won’t be disappointed!
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