WALLINGFORD — Like its owner Angiee Betancourt, Stravaganxxa is often changing and growing.
The shop at 182 Quinnipiac Ave. sells Colombian jeans, jewelry, custom-made gift baskets, drinks like coffee and cholado, waffles, custom embroidery and most recently homemade face masks.
Betancourt, originally from Colombia, opened the store in 2018 and has continued to add more services little by little. Soon, she hopes to expand into selling shoes and more clothing too.
Stravaganxxa’s name comes from Betancourt’s family calling her “extravagant” with her unique style of dark clothes and long nails.
The Meriden resident designed the logo and marketing for the shop herself, featuring an “xox” with bold red lips in the center.
“The lips (are because) I love bold colors for my lips,” Betancourt said.
Stravaganxxa embodies Betancourt’s creativity and myriad of skills. Her touch can be found in the self-made recycled wood drink bar and display case in the shop, and in the chairs made from metal barrels.
She also runs a cleaning service, and a remodeling business with her mother called Leath & Daughter Home Improvement and has years of experience in construction and in the medical field.
Besides clothing and merchandise, Stravaganxxa serves a variety of drinks and freshly-made waffles. On the menu are smoothies, milkshakes, coffee and more.
One of the most popular drinks is cholado, a common Colombian dessert made with ice, strawberry syrup, passion fruit, soursop, mango, pineapple, banana, strawberry jam, condensed milk and a topping of milo, a Colombian chocolate powder. Betancourt said she gets the fruit right from Colombia.
“For Colombian people, they always go far for the colada, it's hard to find here,” Betancourt said.
Betancourt also serves obleas, fruit bars, and snowcones. The waffles come with your choice of fruit and sauces, and can be served in a cone to-go.
The Colombian coffee is authentic, ground by Betancourt, and made fresh to order.
Betancourt also creates custom gift baskets, often to celebrate birthdays, holidays or anniversaries. The gifts are a mix of whatever the recipient loves, from candy to perfume to themed clothing, plus special touches like flowers and balloons.
“The clients always want something different,” Betancourt said. “I just make whatever they want.”
Up with Downtown Wallingford, a group that helps promote and connect businesses downtown like Stravaganxxa, said that the shop being downtown helps grow foot traffic and exposure to everything that area has to offer.
“Increased foot traffic, particularly to the lower downtown area is welcome, and helps build on the new train station, the success of Arles & Boggs restaurant, American Steamed Cheeseburgers, and the new Divine Arts & Crafts,” Mary Ellen Crawford said, on behalf of the group.
Anyone interested in one of Betancourt’s services, including face masks, can contact the shop at 475-343-8043 or on Facebook, at Stravaganxxa.