Joseph Sigismondi worked in security for years as an employee for others.
Now he sells pre-owned clothing out of a storefront in downtown New Port Richey and is self-employed.
“I love being my own boss,” he said. “It’s very stressful, though, not knowing if I’m going to have a sale or not, but it’s very exciting at the same time.”
Sigismondi, a Hudson resident, is owner of Sigi’s Place, a store in rented space at 6214 Grand Blvd. Sigi’s Place opened February of this year.
In the shop, you can find “gently used” clothing, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle and Hollister. Sigismondi said he tries to cater to youths in the area, and he says that all prices are $10 or less.
From Security to Clothing Sales
Sigismondi says he began working in private security in the late 1990s. Sigismondi said he was then hired by Burns International Security in 1998 and was contracted to perform armed security at the Tampa area home of George Steinbrenner, then-owner of the New York Yankees baseball team. He said he patrolled the grounds, worked the gate, monitored the closed circuit camera system and performed other tasks.
In October 2001, he was hired onto the Yankees’ payroll and continued to perform armed security at the Steinbrenner home.
“I kept the crazies from entering the property, or anybody that was displeased with the boss at the time,” he said.
Sigismondi said he stayed on as a security officer at the house after Steinbrenner died in 2010 and his wife, Joan, remained. In October 2011, Sigismondi lost his job.
“Not the type of person to ever look for a handout, I decided what better time to go into business for myself,” he wrote in an email.
Sigi’s Place was born with the help of Sigismondi’s brother Eric, who is a father and talked to Sigismondi about how he spends a fortune taking a kid clothes shopping.
After talking about ideas for days, the concept of Sigi's Place was born. Eric helped Sigismondi draw up a business plan for the shop. Sigismondi bought used clothing for stock.
Working in Downtown
Sigismondi considered opening a shop in Port Richey, but he chose New Port Richey as the location for his store.
“The town was so quaint,” he said. "I thought it was a nice town."
There have been challenges since moving in. Business has been “like a rollercoaster” with customer levels peaking and falling.
He still thinks the city can do things to bring people downtown. Two important actions it can take are letting people know it’s safe and informing folks of parking on and near Grand.
The lease for Sigi's Place is up at the end of the month, and he has not negotiated a new one yet.
However, "Now that people know that I’m here, I don’t want to get up and move,” he said.
Sigismondi, 40, is currently pursuing a degree in criminal justice at St. Leo’s University. He says he loves downtown New Port Richey. He likes the free movies offered in Sims Park seasonally, a couple of which he sponsored.
What does his store add to downtown? People have something to do, he said. They have somewhere to shop.
About Sigi's Place:
- Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, closed
- Address: 6214 Grand Blvd.
- Phone: 727-264-8811