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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May Events

It’s spring in Charleston which means events galore! This is always my favorite time of year – the whirl of of socializing before the summer heat descends and everything slows down. This Saturday, I am excited to participate in this year’s annual Makers + Shakers events at Cannon Green, just up the street from us in Downtown Charleston. It runs from 5-7PM and includes some of my favorite fellow makers and shops including Blakely MadeCeladon HomeCitrine SwimCharleston Artist Collective, Goldbug , FlowershopHARTSuite 33 Charleston and 42 Pressed.

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Then, Saturday at our shop at 9 Cannon Street we are hosting a trunk show for Savannah designer Sunshine XOXO maker of these fab denim jackets. Select from her collection of one-of-a-kind vintage jackets or bring your own to customize! During opening hours 10AM-5PM.

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Save The Date – April 19th!

Spring has spring and so have all of the spring events! We are excited to be launching a few pieces to celebrate the Kentucky Derby in April. Look out as we release one new piece each week next month! We will also have a selection of vintage hats and headpieces available at Candy Shop On Cannon in Charleston starting the Monday after Easter and we will be popping up for a Mint Julep infused celebration at Garden & Gun Fieldshop in The Dewberry Hotel on Thursday, April 19th so save the date! More details and information to follow.

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Galentine’s Day Party Tonight!

We are really excited to be hosting two other fabulous jewelry designers for trunk shows tonight at Candy Shop On Cannon in Charleston. We have carried local designer Hart Hagerty’s famous tassel earrings for awhile now and can hardly keep them in stock! And, returning for a second trunk show after being a successful guest designer at our Holiday Sip ‘N Shop earlier this year, is Mary Kent Hearon of The Heart Knot! We could not think of two more perfect girls to have with us for a Valentine’s Eve event, so come join us at Candy Shop Vintage (9 Cannon Street in Downtown Charleston) from 5-8PM this evening for shopping, sweets and champagne cocktails. If you bring a friend, you both get 20% OFF anything in the store (trunk show items excluded).

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ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

Hart Huguet Hagerty creates timeless statement pieces that blend her love of Asian aesthetics and the bohemian side of her hometown Charleston. In addition to luxe, one-off jackets, Hart is known for her tassel earrings: the perfect “everyday statement earrings” featuring a featherlight tassel, chic silhouettes and rich colors.

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After majoring in Chinese at Vanderbilt, Hart lived in Shanghai for 5 years, working as a fashion editor and trend researcher before launching the line in 2013. Hart was a travel curator and contributing writer for Vogue‘s and Travel + Leisure’s Shanghai city guides. While Hart now lives in a classic Charleston single house, China will never leave her. She uses her Mandarin skills to work directly with Chinese artisans and suppliers to proudly produce her earrings in small batches in Shanghai, where she returns to annually to get her fill of greasy jianbing, wild Bund nightlife and tone-deaf karaoke.

 

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Mary Kent Hearon weaves her beautiful and chic statement necklaces from French twine, all hand sewn and in the shape of a heart. When I met Mary Kent we were fast friends and I purchased a necklace of hers last year and it is one of my go to’s. Her bright, warm and creative energy is infections and we think this is the perfect time of year for her to show off her designs, which now include cast and plated pieces as well as woven. From Columbia and a SC native, she is rarely in one place for very long – regular jaunts abroad keep her occupied and inspired.

Hope to see you tonight! xx

Charleston Beauty Spots

I moved to Charleston ten years ago and since then the city has grown exponentially. However, my go to pampering spots have more or less remained the same and I find myself giving newcomers the same list over and over. And in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and self love (because you certainly don’t need a Valentine to pamper yourself!) I thought I’d share some of my fav go-to Charleston beauty spots. All accessories, ours and all clothes from local Beckett Boutique!

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HUSH Skin Salon – 10 Exchange St. Ste. 302 (843) 793-8799 I met Zach from HUSH skin salon when he worked at a larger practice in Mt. Pleasant. But when he moved his practice downtown I quickly followed him. He is the master of keeping your skin fresh and bright – my favorite service of his is probably his dermaplane facial. And going to his office just feels like hanging out with a good friend!

Charleston Glow – 708 S Shelmore Blvd #103 (843) 277-0924 I am not a huge spray tan person but I also look like I crawled out from under a rock in the winter with my Irish skin, so every now and then I like a little bit of a glow. Charleston Glow BlushPro Studio is all organic. They have express options and the girls who run it are super sweet, plus parking is a breeze.

Urban Nirvana Day Spa My favorite location isucked away in South Windermere (West Ashley) this intimate, full service day spa as accessible and cozy with a full menu of spa services. My favorite are their body scrubs. You really feel like you are getting away from everyday life in there and it is less than ten minutes from Downtown Charleston. They also have a location Downtown in the Wentworth Mansion in in Mt. Pleasant off of Long Point Road.

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HAIR

Dry Bar – 556 King Street, Charleston (843) 872-3570 I was thrilled when they finally decided to open a location in Charleston. Once my go-to for New York Blowouts, they now have locations nationwide and the Charleston Dry Bar is a hop skip and a jump from our Cannon Street Shop on Upper King. Also great for large groups!

Salon Vari Olivia Banks at Salon Vari on Spring Street weaves magic with hair. She is a triple threat with cut, color and styling. She has hosted a few braid bars at in store events and I continue to see her regularly to keep my locks fresh.

Patrick Navarro Patrick is truly one of my fav people in Charleston. He gives a killer cut and color but he is in very high demand and splits his time between New York and Charleston, so if you can catch him, jump on it!

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SLATE Salon – 615 Johnnie Dodds Boulvard, Mt. Pleasant (843) 813-7757 n Erica at SLATE has been my colorist for over five years, recommended by fellow blond Jessica of Bare Beauty. She is great with blondes but has a tight schedule so book in advance!

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NAILS, FITNESS & MORE

East Bay Nails – 334 E Bay St, Unit N (843) 724-0856 East Bay Nails is the closest thing I have found to a walk in New York Style Nail salon. It can be hit or miss until you find your favorite nail tech, but when you do, stick with them. Also, even though they are Downtown, they are in a shipping center so so parking is easy.

Mylk Bar – 920 Houston Northcutt Blvd. (843) 388-5877 Charleston’s first eco-friendly nail salon with and equally Instagram friendly interior.

Exhale Pilates – 360 Concord Street #1 (843) 813-6191 A wonderful Downtown Pilates class done on machines only, which I much prefer. And a little bird told me they are working on a second location. Well located on the water off Concord Street.

Redux Yoga – 137 President Street Unit A (843) 723-2313 The perfect hot yoga class that is a combination of relaxing and invigorating.

MUSC Wellness Center – 45 Courtenay Drive(843) 792-5757 I am not a gym person but this is a more wholistic approach to wellness owned by The Medical University of South Carolina. Even if you don’t want the commitment of membership you can pop in for a day rate. They even have an indoor pool, racquetball courts and indoor track plus a great selection of classes and camps.

Candy Shop Vintage X Beckett

Shop girl is a term I hear thrown a lot in retail. “I’m a shop girl. I need a shop girl. I just want my own shop! As someone who did not initially set out to own a brick an mortar shop I have been both overwhelmed by how hard it can be but sometimes pleasantly surprised about how wonderful it can be. Wonderful, because it puts you in the fabric of a community in a more personal way, hard because it can be hard to connect socially with other retailers you admire, and even find time for your friends and social life. That said, while Charleston may be home to so many national retail chains these days, some great locally owned shops are very much holding their own and thriving. One of them is Beckett Boutique – a sophisticated women’s boutique right in the middle of King Street, with a soothing feminine and sophisticated color palate.

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When they asked me to shoot some photos for their blog I was flattered and thrilled. And when I went to pull some outfits for our shoot, I found it hard to narrow down. I also loved how much they appreciated my whimsical aesthetic and ended up finding that some of our accessories from Candy Shop On Cannon as well as my jewelry designs fit in perfectly with the Beckett collection. And who doesn’t love a good French 75?

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So was born a fun little shoot in downtown Charleston, featuring some of their new arrivals like this fab ruffled seersucker skirt) paired with our new Rosé Statement Earrings and one of Susan Alexandra’s Watermelon Totes. You might even get a preview of some Candy Shop Vintage gems that are coming soon!

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See the full story here!

Join us for Girl’s Night Out on 2/13!

We are so excited to be hosting trunk shows for two of our favorite jewelry designers at Candy Shop On Cannon on Tuesday, February 13th in Charleston… come meet Hart Hagerty of Hart Studio and Mary Kent Hearon of The Heart Knot.

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We will be serving champagne cocktails and other Valentine’s sweets and treats from 5-8PM at 9 Cannon Street. If you come with a friend, you can each take 20% off any of your Candy Shop Vintage purchases (this excludes our trunk show items). Hope to see you there for a sweet evening!

THANK YOU.

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From the bottom of our hearts, thank you not only for a wonderful year and gifting season and supporting a small and growing local business, but especially for supporting our campaign to raise money for the MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund. This season we were able to raise $2,130 through the sale of our limited edition Charleston Rice Beads in Kelly Green. Thanks to all who gave or received these as gifts this season. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We are excited for a new year and have lots of sweet things in store both at our shop and online.  And I am personally grateful for the support of every single one of our customers, near and far who appreciate what we are putting out there. See you in 2018! – Deirdre Zahl

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