Island outfitter finds a way to keep up with the ‘rona and the sun, while honoring local artists

May 8, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – It’s not often you see Capt. Sandy Melvin without a buff around his neck or on his face. The soft tube of material we call a “buff” style neck gaiter not only can protect your face from the sun when you’re out fishing, it can also protect people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gasparilla Outfitters is now selling buffs they create in the store, and the design opportunities are endless. They not only have fishing-related themes, but now several local artists have their work shown on the buffs for all to see.

“We love that we can showcase local artists and make something fun, while providing these face shields to help make the community safer,” said Robin Melvin, Sandy’s wife and proprietor of Gasparilla Outfitters/Special Effects for Women. “They even help screen you from the sun, too!”

The gaitors are washable and dry in about 15 minutes. Local artists featured include Judy Ikenberry, Greg Albritton, Daniel Godwin, Melanie Cameron, Maria Sax Bone and many more.

Check out the online store at, or call the shop directly at 964-0907.

If we have to wear a mask, why not be comfortable and have some fun with it!

These same designs can be found on other products, so don’t forget to check the web site.