When smoke damage from a fire in November destroyed all of Binjara Traders’ inventory, the store’s owner, Cleon Dixon, was determined to look at the near tragedy in a positive light. The silver lining of the fire is now emerging in the form of a new store, called Sahara.
Binjara Traders reopened three weeks after the fire in a temporary space located at 362C John Ringling Blvd., across the street from the store’s old spot, at 327 John Ringling Blvd.
The original plan was to move back to the old location once repairs were complete, but the Dixons have been so happy with the new location that they’ve decided to not only reopen the original Binjara Traders in its old place but also open a new store, Sahara, in Binjara’s temporary location.
Sahara will carry much of the same merchandise that they sell now, which includes clothing and accessories with a relaxed feel. Although Binjara Traders has traditionally carried mostly Asian and Indian merchandise, the new store has more of a North African vibe.
Dixon, who is originally from Australia, travels around the world to find unique clothing, jewelry and accessories to give her stores an authentic touch.
“I want people to feel like they’re not just going into a clothing store when they come here,” says Dixon. “I want them to feel like they’re having an experience.”
Once renovations are completed in two weeks, Binjara Traders will move back to its original location, at 327 John Ringling Blvd., and the name of the new store at 362C John Ringling Blvd. will be changed to Sahara.
Location: 362 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands Circle
Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m., Sundays
Date established: The store’s name will be changed from Binjara Traders to Sahara in about two weeks.
Owners: Arch and Cleon Dixon
What makes them unique: The store carries items imported from around the world, which aren’t available anywhere else in the area.