The French 75 Cocktail Bracelet

Thanks to Country Living’s December issue this year (and how fun is that cover?), our French 75 Cocktail Bracelet is getting a celebratory boost this month. This bracelet was inspired by a Martini charm necklace once sold at auction as part of famous socialite Bunny Mellon’s estate. I thought it was so enchanting and charming, that I’d create my own “Cocktail Bracelet” featuring the ingredients to my favorite, vintage champagne cocktail – The French 75. My friend Ashley highlighted it on her blog a few years back (where you can also find the recipe) and the bracelet has continued to build in popularity since. 01

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Because it is a bit labor intensive to make, the price point is higher. We assemble the bracelet chain, clasp and tag ourselves and have it individually plated along with the four gold charms. After plating, the charms are attached to the bracelet along with the lemon, sugar cube and the tiny bottle of gin. The sugar cube is actually handmade from polymer clay rolled in glitter and the gin bottle is hand cast resin. I designed the gin bottle labels myself but because they don’t die cut labels that small, we cut them out by hand with an exacto blade, apply them to the gin bottle charm, and voila!  We also have a Mint Julep version here. Because of the labor involved, we have a limited number of these available, so if you want one for yourself or someone else this Christmas, better snap it up now. And if you miss the boat, you can always make French 75s at home – they make a great New Year’s Eve cocktail!

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Fall/Winter Lookbook

Two weeks ago we launched our Fall/Winter Candy Shop Collection pieces, along with some fab one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that are going quickly! Because we were pressed for time, we shot the Lookbook in my house in Charleston and around town. I worked in collaboration with my friend Stacy’s new store on King Street, Small by Hampden. Hampden Clothing, her main retail store is one of my favorite stores in Charleston (and maybe anywhere) but sometimes the price point can be intimidating. Small, just a few doors north of Hampden at 324 King Street is a scaled down version of Hampden that is refreshingly intimate and more affordable but just as hip. We pulled some fab pieces from her (the hot pink Ulla Johnson dress being amongst my favorites) to pair with our holiday jewelry and worked with Jesse Volk, one of our talented, go-to photographers. Here are some of our favorites – enjoy!

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YOU CAN VIEW THE FULL LOOKBOOK HERE and SHOP THE NEW COLLECTION HERE

A Charleston Pajama Party

A few weeks ago I got this lovely invitation from my friend Jackie of Leapfrog PR to the opening of the new Lake store on King Street in Charleston. Lake Pajamas is a wonderful nostalgic-feeling pajama brand. As the name suggests, their pajamas feel and look like something you should wear sitting on a dock sipping coffee in the morning on vacation. I was personally thrilled about this because 1) it is always exciting when a new, local retail store opens, especially one backed by a small, relatively new women-run business (the owners are from Savannah, GA) and 2) who doesn’t love a slumber party? 01

Like any good slumber party, there were cocktails, games and of course pajamas! I was never as one for beer pong, but I can definitely get down with Prosecco Pong.

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By the way, I am IN LOVE with my new Picnic Pocket PJ’s shown in this photo, they are so chic and comfortable and also happen to look great with our Holiday Merlot Statement Earrings.

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There was even a Tarot Card reader, taking questions from all the guests…

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And these AMAZING vintage fortune fish, which really brought up wonderful, childhood birthday party memories.

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The interior of their shop is both beautiful and soothing. Designed my my insanely talented friend Olivia Brock it feels just as much like a place you want to lounge in as a place you want to shop. And there were plenty of elegant touches, like a custom, hand painted Nine Fair Backgammon board.

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Such a fun night! Congratulations to the LAKE ladies on a successful opening and adding another beautiful, local shop to the Charleston retail scene!

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Feeding You Scoop On The Sale Trifecta

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Before you sign off for 24 hours of food coma later this week, we thought we’d give you our lesson plan for the next few days. That is Birthday the poodle, sitting politely for a treat, one of his greatest (and only tricks). And in case you couldn’t tell by the fact he looks like a cardboard cutout, black dogs are hard to photograph! Nevertheless, in his honor we will be having another Black Friday special this year.

BLACK FRIDAY:

Begins: Midnight Thursday, November 22nd
Ends: Midnight Friday, November 23rd
Sale: Buy One Get One 50% OFF on ANY of our Charleston Rice Beads – yup, this includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets & rings. The 50% will automatically be deducted at checkout off of your lower priced item. NO CODE NEEDED.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY:

Begins: 10AM Saturday, November 24th
Ends: 5PM Saturday, November 24th
Sale: This is an IN STORE ONLY sale at our Charleston, SC retail store. Take 20% OFF any in store purchase all day at Candy Shop On Cannon (9 Cannon Street) and enjoy sips and sweets while you shop.

CYBER MONDAY:

Begins: Midnight Sunday, November 25th
Ends: Midnight Monday, November 26th
Sale:  20% OFF Site Wide with code MONDAYFUNDAY

 

Halloween Happenings

Halloween is coming and we are hosting our annual “Count The Candy Corn Contest”. The jar below at our Charleston shop is filled with a certain number of candy corns. Take a guess how many in the comments below (or on our Instagram post) and the closest or on-the-money guess wins a $100 gift card to Candy Shop Vintage (valid online or in store). Winner will be announced on Halloween!

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Here’s a close up of the jar. (HINT: it is probably more than you think!)

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Also, we recently decorated the Charleston store windows for Halloween. I found this great, vintage style Palm Reader sign that flickers on and off in a creepy way. An unanticipated side effect of our window display has been people coming into the shop and asking for… actual palm readings!

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So, to remedy their disappointment I  figured – why not? We should offer some pre-Halloween Palm Readings in the store! So, we’ve decided to put together a fun Halloween kick-off cocktail party next Thursday, October 25th at Candy Shop Vintage in Downtown Charleston. We will have Halloween cocktails and treats, draw a discount and free palm readings by Angie of the psychic chakra spa from 6-8PM. Space is limited so RSVP if you want to come to contact@candyshopvintage.com with your name so we can add you to the guest list!

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Also, if you live or are traveling anywhere in the New York area this fall – particularly before Halloween, consider checking out The Great Jack-O’Lantern Blaze, an event put on in Historic Hudson Valley where I happened to grow up. It is an interactive display of THOUSANDS of carved Jack O’Lanterns, assembled together in surreal sculptures – everything from national landmarks to animals to a full graveyard (this is headless horseman country after all…). If you are coming from the city you can easily hop on the Metro North train to get up there (although you do have to buy tickets in advance here and they sell out quickly). It is kid friendly (i.e. not too scary) but thoroughly enjoyable and frankly incredible for adults.

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My favorite part was definitely the tunnel of celestial pumpkins you walk through on your way into the park, all with flashing or changing lights inside. Truly magical!

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Sweet Fall Reads

While I am over here patiently waiting for the weather to get cooler, I wanted to share a few good books that you should add to your fall reading list for when it is eventually possible to curl up by a fire. The first is sort of a shameless plug, but for a fantastic book. My friend Ingrid Fetell Lee just released her new book, Joyful, on the aesthetics of joy. A book ten years in the making and highlighted in her recent Ted Talk, she explores the connection between our surroundings, visuals and our feelings of joy. You can also follow along on her blog The Aesthetics of Joy. I would say, the timing of this book release could not be better – we all need a little extra joy these days, and it will truly change the way you look at the world.

JOYFUL

 

The second book, The Devil in The White City is a little more in keeping with Halloween month. It is currently being adapted into a movie (with Leonardo Dicaprio as the lead) and follows the story of Daniel H. Burnham, the chief architect of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and Dr. Henry H. Holmes, America’s first true serial killer.  It is a study in dark and light – the hope, impossible achievement and ingenuity that went into building the famous fair (where the Ferris Wheel was first invented) contrasted with the details around Dr. Henry H. Holmes victimization of those who found themselves crossing paths with him. I could. Not. Put it down. My life basically got put on hold for a week while I read it, I can’t believe it took me this long to even discover it (it was released in 2005.)

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Below are some actual historical photos of the fair. “The White City” was a city built specially for the fair in less than two years, by tireless crews working around the clock. It was designed by a committee of famous architects and all torn down when the fair was over. Every building was stylistically different, but all were painted white for a unifying and dramatic effect.

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And the first Ferris Wheel, considered America’s answer to the Eiffel Tower (debuted at the French World’s Fair several years earlier).

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Being a shop girl myself, I thought it was high time to explore this little novel written by Steve Martin (the actor) At times it can feel a little dated (Land lines! Answering machines!), but in a charming way. Mainly it is a quick bit brilliant read – both a love story and a tribute to the growth we experience in romantic relationships, even when they don’t work out. It was already made also into a movie (with Claire Danes and Steve Martin playing the leads) five years after it’s release in 2005. The movie popped into my head a couple of weeks ago and I realized I’d never actually gone back and read the book. Both are fantastic!

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Hope you add some or all of these to your must read list this fall! And feel free to leave any further book suggestions in the comments.

Carolina Blue for The Carolinas

I lived in Charleston over ten years and throughout that time, watched several hurricanes clip us and dealt with what looked and felt lite catastrophic levels of flooding (we almost lost a car just parked on the street to a freakishly heavy overnight rainstorm!). Thankfully the water would always quickly recede, but I felt the panic each fall when hurricane season began, wondering if this would be “it”, waffling on weather to board up the shop or evacuate. When Hurricane Florence was barreling towards the East Coast Charleston collectively held it’s breath until we knew we were well out of harms way, but it was heartbreaking to see the way it raked the North Carolina Coast, reeking havoc on coastal cities like Wilmington and its surrounding beach towns and caused inland flooding in towns like New Bern, NC. The news loves to cover the storms relentlessly in the heat of the moment, but quickly loses interest in the aftermath. We did some research into organizations that were assisting heavily in the clean up efforts in North Carolina After Florence and consistently came back to Direct Relief. Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Because you are able to earmark your donations for a particular relief effort, we have decided to donate $25 from the sale of each of our limited edition Carolina Blue Necklaces to their organization. This is a color that has been requested over and over again so we figured what better time to release it than now? You can shop them here.

We love you North Carolina! Get well soon.

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Charleston Neutrals: Fall 2018 Inspiration

Charleston is famous for its color palate – pinks, yellows, greens, blues, violet, there is even an official paint color called Charleston Green. But if you spend some time in Downtown Charleston, you will also come to appreciate the neutral palate in between the bright rainbow palette. One of my favorite buildings Downtown is City Hall on the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets. It is all marble, stucco and wrought iron but not a splash of color to be seen. The marble staircase cascades down on each side of the entrance and the Spoleto kick-off party is held here every season. The blacks and greys are like a soothing palate cleanser in Downtown Charleston.

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Another favorite is one of the houses on the Battery, down towards White Point Gardens with these curved, elegant iron balconies and painted in a clean, crisp slate gray. Blacks and greys are this as much a part of the Charleston architectural landscape as pinks and yellows, but not appreciated nearly as often.

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So this season we are also offering our Charleston Rice Beads in the same, elegant slate grey found on some of the more stately, Downtown Charleston buildings:

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And of course, as we do every fall and winter, you can also purchase them in lacquered Midnight (Black). How beautiful is this old, painted garden door Downtown?

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For a pop of color, and by popular demand we decided to introduce a festive shade of red. While bright red usually feels much more New England to me, it does jump out at you like on this great front door on Queen Street. So you can purchase your Cranberry Red Charleston Rice Beads here, now until the end of the fall/winter season.

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And how about this festive combination of red, grey and gold together? Bring on the fall and the holidays!

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La Habana

Havana, Cuba (or La Habana in the vernacular) has been on my bucket list for a long time as I am fascinated in equal parts by its political history and its time-capsule-esque character. Traveling even further south in August, perhaps not always on my bucket list… but the way our schedules worked this summer, last month turned out to be the perfect time for my husband and I to finally explore Havana as a nice last hurrah of summer.  After our Thrift Store Adventure down the Florida coast, we parked a car full of antiques at the Ft. Lauderdale airport and flew off to Cuba. It wasn’t an impulsive trip – there was research and planning involved and after seeing my friend Grace’s incredible trip (you can read her really helpful Cuba Travel Guide here) I was inspired to finally pull the trigger on ours.

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Even so, I felt a little out of my depth and also per Grace’s recommendation worked closely with the organization Cuba Educational Travel to execute our first Cuba adventure. After what we learned on this trip, I would totally feel confident winging it more next time and planning things more independently, but this gave us psychological security with the big details – like securing our visas (more on that here), arranging our accommodations, and coordinating all of our transportation. But more than that, through them we saw a side of Havana I don’t think we would have seen otherwise – and got a more local, and in depth perspective on the city via our fantastic guide who was with us nearly the whole time and helping our trip to run smoothly. We actually started referring to him as “the fixer” as he seemed to possess an innate ability to get cabs (the old cars are always breaking down) procure cigars and secure dinner reservations. It is important to remember, however, that it was and still is a communist country. Therefore Cubans are all on a government wage – less that $20 American Dollars a month. The US Government has also not allowed trade between our two countries since 1960, which has to a large degree economically paralyzed a country whose proximity to the United States could otherwise be a huge economic and trade advantage. It also means the vintage American cars that Havana is so famous for are quite literally stuck in the 50s and 60s, because they are built and rebuilt over again as a result of the lack of new automobile inventory and parts. This definitely contributes to the romantic perception of Havana and its famous aesthetic,  but is also disheartening because it represents both a desperation and a resourcefulness that is characteristic of day to day life there.  All to say, remember that this is far from an affluent country and you will feel silly and disappointed if you are looking for a polished and glamorous experience, But, what you get is far more interesting and beautiful.

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Our first stop was at La Plaza de la Revolución, the one of the largest city squares anywhere, where most of Cuba’s political rallies take place and from which the various government ministries are run. The contrast of the colorful American vintage cars with bleak architecture the many-stories-high Fidel Castro and Che Guevara sculptures is striking. This was our sweet guide who was absolutely incredible, and even if he was sick of us after four days of non-stop hanging out, never showed it.

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Also an important stop is the Museo de la Revolución which is, as it sounds – a museum of the Revolution. In the old presidential palace, the building is dramatic and beautiful and the narrative of the exhibits give an interesting window into the story Castro’s revolution.

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So much of the architecture and interiors you see are breathtaking and have this air of faded grandeur. Some of the washed out, Caribbean colors actually reminded me of historic Charleston. But, as mentioned – August – sooooooo hot. Especially because exploring old Havana on foot is the most interesting and fun way to do it, I would suggest going in a cooler month. Charleston summers only had me somewhat prepared to handle the Havana summer heat.

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Those last two photos are the interior and exterior of the Ambos Mundos Hotel where Earnest Hemingway famously wrote part of For Whom The Bell Tolls. You can stay there and you an also tour the room he had. We actually stayed in local accommodations, which I highly recommend called a “Casa particular” which is a private home owned by a Cuban family who rent out rooms – like a bed and breakfast. It was in Vedado, a suburb of Havana that was not very touristy but still had a lot of color and character. And in that neighborhood, through our guide we were able to tour a beautiful and privately owned Mansion from the 1920s which was pretty jawdropping.

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Though a bit gritty, another major highlight was going out to the beach one afternoon in Tarará, a gated resort town with crystal blue water. We were definitely the only non-Cubans there and you can drink mojitos on the beach in actual glasses and watch people swim-dance to really loud Cuban rap music that was being played by a DJ on the beach. Kind of heaven!

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Music is everywhere and radiating from everything. We even took salsa lessons. A single salsa lesson will really only prove to you how little rhythm you actually have, but also give you enough of a desire to learn more. Against the advice of our guide, we went to the touristy Buena Vista Social Club. It was fun but I suspect a much better version of a this type of  thing is The Tropicana Club, which is more like a dinner club with elaborate performances and music. We started to get anxious towards the end of our trip that we did not have enough cash so we were afraid to splurge on this. You cannot. Get more. American Dollars. Anywhere in Cuba. You can’t use American credit cards and will have no access to your American accounts. There are no exceptions to this so I recommend bring more in cash than you even think you’ll need.

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Two final spots I would not miss were also where we had our two best meals. One was at La Guarida, a restaurant on one of the upper floors of an old, shelled out building. You walk up these marble stairs into this quaint romantic restaurant that was featured in the movie Like Water for Chocolate. The food was really, really good (for real, because we did not find that to be the case in general) and the view of the street from our balcony seats was incredible. There is also a fantastic bar on the roof that overlooks the city that you can have a drink at without even going to the restaurant. But the best part is (though there is no photo to prove it since we were tech free on this trip) we sat next to Donald Glover who was eating at the next table! Apparently in Havana to film a video with Rihanna, kind of magical as Atlanta is one of my favorite shows.

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The second spot was less of a restaurant and more of a mixed use space that evolved throughout the evening. Fabrica de Arte Cubano (or The Cuban Art Factory) is an old factory building (run by the Cuban government) that consists of multiple bars and restaurants as well as areas to eat, drink and dance. It houses a number of rotating contemporary Cuban art shows. You can go for a drink, then dinner and spend all night there into the early morning. Havana really does not sleep.

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We were only in Cuba four days and really mostly in Havana, but somehow it felt like time slowed down. I think this had something to do with not using our phones (another great reason to travel there – you will truly unplug!). If I could end with a few thoughts and suggestions about traveling to Cuba they are as follows:

– Bring plenty of American cash. Then bring even more.

– Cubans do not have direct access to things we take for granted – toothpaste, toiletries, make-up, even socks and underwear. Bring extra toiletries with you and leave them with your hosts or whomever wants them. Bring host/hostess gifts if you go to someone’s house. Anything you can offer will be much appreciated. 

– Tip often and well. The tourist economy is essential to Cuba and it has definitely been negatively impacted in recent years. Plan for this in the amount of cash you bring.

– While not an affluent country it is incredibly safe. You can walk on any street at any hour of the night and feel totally secure!

– Stay local – the Casa particulars are a wonderful experience, often nicer than hotels and help support Cuban families.

– The tap water is not safe to drink, but also don’t worry too much about getting sick. We were absolutely fine, we just stuck to bottled water and ate everything that was served to us.

– Dance and don’t feel silly. The sheer amount of music and dancing makes you realize no one is looking at you, no one cares, everyone is just enjoying themselves

– Hop in a cab and go to the beach – they are beautiful! It is worth the ride!

– Turn you phone off! Even if you can get service here and there, why do you need it? If ever there was a place to disconnect and be in the moment, this is it. 

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Florida Thrift Store Adventures

If you don’t follow @palmbechthrifters (Ambie Hay) on Instagram, you are definitely missing out. And if you don’t live in South Florida it can be painful to scroll by all the treasures they find in your Instagram feed from several states away, knowing that even if you could figure out how to get the amazing vintage rattan dining table they posted for $50 home from West Palm Beach, it would likely be gone by the time you even tried. So, when my husband and I recently planned a vacation to Cuba (flying out of Fort Lauderdale), we decided to drive down the coast from Charleston and hit up some of their famed Florida thrift shops along the way. We certainly didn’t hit every one on the list and we opted not to rent a U-Haul as the expense of a round trip Uhaul trip was steep and we don’t actually *need* that much more stuff, but, in hindsight I might need a do-over. Having no truck might have been a mistake. Anyway, sharing some highlights of the trip and our favorite stops along the way:

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VERO BEACH

Vero Beach was ur first stop on the way down the coast. If you are looking for a couch, the Indian River Habitat Restore  had the most impressive inventory fabulous, floral Florida couches I have ever seen. There was also an amazing old Florida breakfast spot called Kountry Kitchen With Love that was the perfect place to fuel up for shopping. It had one of the best slices of Key Lime and Coconut Cream Pie I have ever had! (pictured below).

Habitat ReStore 4580 N US Highway 1, Vero Beach, FL  32967

Kountry Kitchen With Love  1749 Old Dixie Hwy, Vero Beach, FL 32960

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Kountry Kitchen With Love Stuart, FL

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Best Key Lime pie ever

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About an hours drive South of Vero Bech Stuart was a treasure trove of vintage furniture spots. We found a gorgeous wool rug (not small) several lamps and an occasional table. We were not, on this trip, shopping for much in the way of jewelry or clothes but there are definitely treasures of that variety found at some of these stops as well.

Human Society – Treasure Coast 1099 NW 21st Street, Stuart, FL

Treasure Coast Hospice Shop 2160 Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL

Bloom Again Consignment 137 SE Monterey Rd. Stuart, FL

Habitat for Humanity Restore 2555 SE Bonita Street Stuart, FL

House of Hope 2525 SE Federal Hwy Stuart, FL

And, just outside West Palm Beach in the JUPITER/TEQUESTA area, there were a few final stops that are worth adding to your list:

Our Sister’s Place 580 U.S. 1, Tequesta, FL

Pennies for Heaven 400 Seabrook Rd, Tequesta, FL

Habitat For Humanity of Palm Beach County Thrift Store 1635 N Old Dixie Hwy, Jupiter, FL 33469

Goodwill 1280 W Indiantown Rd, Jupiter, FL 33458

 

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There were a number of other places we had planned on stopping at in West Palm (World Thrift, Habitat Restore) but by then we were officially out of space in our car and it was time to check in at our hotel in Palm Beach, a vintage treasure in it’s own right, The Colony Hotel. With floating pink swans and bikes to rent for a leisurely tour around the Island, it was the perfect bookend to a full day of treasure hunting. Likely, there will be a sequel to this adventure because my best friend just purchased a new house outside of Palm Beach…unfurnished!

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