VENICE — Like so many businesses, COVID-19 interrupted plans for the sale of a prominent downtown business in 2020.

With recovery underway, Simone Killoren, Scarlet Macaw’s previous manager and employee since 2015, acquired the store June 1.

She purchased the business from Peggy Matsko, the original owner. Matsko had opened the location in the 1990s.

It was started in the 1980s in Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda before opening a second location on Venice Avenue in November 1993.

Keeping Scarlet Macaw Resort Wear a family owned and operated business was important to both Matsko and Killoren.

“I grew up running around the Scarlet Macaw of Fishermen’s Village — hiding in the clothes racks and watching my aunt Peggy work. It is very exciting to purchase a business I grew up loving,” Killoren said. “It is a staple on Venice Avenue and I don’t intend to make any major changes. Our very loyal customers continue making the business a success as they have for almost 30 years.”

With new cash registers she will continue working toward a shoppable website and the store will remain largely unchanged.

The small crew is family-like and the store features brands people have grown to love — which will remain hanging front and center.

Killoren decorates a majority of the hand-painted shirts and sweaters sold at The Scarlet Macaw. However just because it is called a “small business” does not mean that the workload will be small.

Graduating from the College of Charleston in 2011, Killoren played roller derby for the Lowcountry Highrollers. With her husband, she started a small business making custom Adirondack chairs.

Relocating from South Carolina to Venice in 2015, she began working with her aunt at The Scarlet Macaw.

Killoren spends most of her free time with her 2-year-old son Julien and husband Damien Killoren and their two large rescue dogs.

The Scarlet Macaw Resort Wear is at 225 W. Venice Ave., call 941-483-3500


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