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By Steve Steiner
Executive Editor 

Wild at Heart Now Open for Business


Last updated 9/23/2020 at 8:21am

Steve Steiner

Theresa Wilson smiles as she greets one of the first customers into her shop, Wild at Heart, on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The opening of the boutique, at 145 S. Central Ave., downtown Bartow, is the culmination of a long-held desire of many years.

For years Theresa Wilson had a dream, to open her own store.

"Rick and I talked about it for years," she said of the numerous discussions between she and her husband. But there other matters that took precedence, such as a family to raise. On top of that she helped her husband run his multiple operations, including a farm, other business enterprises, his NASCAR career, and more recently, his campaign for the Polk County Board of Commissioners District Two seat. For her, it was a dream deferred.

No longer. On Tuesday her dream became reality. Wild at Heart opened Sept. 8, at 145 S. Central Ave., downtown Bartow.

"When the location opened up, when it became available, it was our time to do it," she said. Wilson called her location the sweetest spot on South Central.

Steve Steiner

Rick and Theresa Wilson at the entrance to Wild at Heart, on opening day, Tuesday, Sept. 8.

One of the aspects Wilson strives for at Wild at Heart, is stocking the boutique with as many articles of clothing, accessories, gifts and other goods that are those made in the U.S.A., and where possible, locally. She pointed out a thin, delicate necklace crafted by a local artisan.

There is a theme to Wild at Heart, acknowledged Wilson.

"I want it to reflect me: ladylike, but cowgirl," said Wilson. With that she pointed to a statuette of a woman astride a horse, waving her hat in the air. Next to the statuette was a recently taken photo of Wilson riding a horse. The statuette and the photo were similar to each other.

Want to go?

Wild at Heart is located at 145 S. Central Ave., downtown Bartow.

Hours are Tue-Fri, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m .; and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Phone: 863-800-3427

Facebook page:

Author Bio

Steve Steiner, Executive Editor

Steve came out of a two-year retirement to helm Following a career in journalism/advertising/public relations --- at one point being a partner in an advertising/PR agency --- he shifted professions and focused on food service and hospitality before returning to journalism. As a journalist, rose from reporter to sections editor to managing/executive editor with newspapers in North Carolina, Mississippi and Florida. He is enjoying restoring a quality news site for his adopted hometown. Send him your story ideas.


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