PINELLAS PARK – Two new businesses moved into the two mixed-use structures the city built in the United Cottages area, a cluster of small homes located between 57th and 58th Streets N. along 75th Terrace, last year.
MyDirndl, a German and Bavarian import shop, and Hoeft Music School moved into 5721 75th Ave. N. and 5741 75th Ave. N. respectively.
The businesses, both established prior to moving into the United Cottages, held their ribbon cutting ceremonies on Feb. 19.
The structures, built to serve as business incubators, with living space for the owners on the second floor and a storefront on the first floor, previously housed a sign shop and art gallery.
They moved in last summer, but both left within a few months, said Tim Caddell, a spokesperson for the city.
Bobbie Floerchinger, owner of MyDirndl, said the area was the perfect place to finally give her online business a brick-and-mortar presence.
“Plus, it’s set up to live upstairs, with a bedroom, bathroom and a kitchen,” she said.
For newlyweds Michael and Kendall Hoeft, this is their first home together.
Each has taught music in various settings for years. But their new home in Pinellas Park is ideal for the music school they’ve started together.
“I’m an artist and I’m a small business owner,” Kendall said. “This was perfect.”
And she applauds the city’s efforts to rehab the United Cottages area and the attempt to turn it into a haven for artists and eclectic shops.
“They’ve opened their arms to us,” she said.
“The city has been pretty great,” Michael added.
Floerchinger, originally a mortgage banker, founded MyDirndl as an online-only business in 2005. The shop specializes in traditional German and Bavarian souvenirs and clothing imported from Germany and Austria.
“These are not clothes you’re going to find if you go to Macy’s,” she said.
The Hoefts met at Harborside Christian Church in Clearwater in November 2012, and were engaged and married by the end of 2013. The couple bonded over their mutual passion for music.
Michael, a Countryside High School graduate, grew up playing drums. He teaches drums, bass and guitar, and assists with small recording projects. Currently, he attends St. Petersburg College, where he’s studying architecture and recording arts with the goal of becoming an acoustician.
Kendall, who earned a degree in music from Clearwater Christian College, teaches a variety of instruments, including piano, violin, viola and voice. She previously taught music at Calvary Christian School and got her start as a music teacher at Seminole Music and Sound when she was 16.