By Damaris Hay
Like its name, items at B1 Lifeshop are meant to evoke mindful living.
"B1 means be yourself, be singular — each person is different from another," says B1 Lifeshop co-owner Ben Abounassif, whose true passion is art, and the store doubles as an art studio, with some of his own pieces available for purchase, including large-scale paintings and three-dimensional painted cubes. His business partner is fashion designer Bertha Zayas. Her halter dresses, necklaces, bracelets and palazzo pants all can be had at the cozy store.
Open since September, B1 is outfitted with women’s and men’s clothing, home accessories, jewelry, tote bags and artwork. Items range from $3.50 for a box of decorative matches to $2,900 for artwork. B1 is also an outlet for emerging artists, Zayas says, enough so that the owners needn’t rely heavily on the usual retail trade shows. "Give me a unique list of designers to sell any day."
Currently, the store carries jewelry designers Alexandra Hunt, who works with semi-precious stones wrapped in gold, Marta Arias, a Colombian artist who combines sterling silver and semi-precious stones and Elsa Deraser, who makes necklaces and rings with recycled wire. Offerings include a line of cheeky T-shirts and underwear by Funky Urban, brightly-colored dishware by Pop Ink and aromatic reed diffusers by Voluspa.
The owners say the name of the boutique, B1, could easily describe their business relationship, as
well. "He does the accounting, I do the cleaning — whatever needs to be done," Zayas says. "We just do it."
B1 Lifeshop, 6900 Biscayne Blvd; 786-517-1333
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