Souvenir shop trades on city's charms
Mountain View might not be a San Francisco or New York, but apparently the place has enough charm for a tiny souvenir shop. It opened downtown Thursday, and sells mostly T-shirts.
Owner Tina Ambrogi said she was inspired to rent the vacant shop at 705A West Dana St., previously a saltwater taffy store, after she learned there were no Mountain View T-shirts available and decided to design her own.
"I was just going to start peddling them out at the farmers market," Ambrogi said. "Then I saw that this place had a for rent sign in it about month ago so I figured, 'Why not? I'll just open up a store and sell the shirts.'"
She's got plans to sell more soon, such as postcards, calendars, posters, local art work, baby clothes and pet-related products.
Her T-shirt designs include a play on Google's search engine, with the words "Mountain View" in place of the Google logo and the words, "We have what you are searching for," in the query box.
A Google-themed shirt seemed perfectly fitting to Ambrogi. When people ask where Mountain View is, "I say, 'It's where Google is,' and they go, 'Ok.'"
Another shirt is inspired by the logo from the city's 1950s downtown movie theater and there's one inspired by a street sign with the city's population on it.
Ambrogi has an apparent interest in the city's history, with shelves made from orchard crates, local history book for sale and a poster on the wall she found on Ebay illustrating the location of the city's most popular businesses and buildings in the 1980s. She wants to reproduce historical images on calendars, posters and postcards.
"I'm calling it the General Store so I'm not limited to what I can sell in here," Ambrogi said. "It's going to be ever-changing and hopefully grow into something pretty cool."