Retailer Spotlight: Natalia Castillo and Escapada Living

Today, we are chatting with the owners of one of our favorite Candy Shop Vintage retailers Escapada whose bright colors and patterns already have us dreaming of a tropical vacation even though it is only the end of November. You can find some of our Candy Shop Collection pieces as well as our Charleston Rice Beads in their Escapada Signature Store in Mt. Pleasant, SC. We asked the owner and founder Natalia Castillo about Inc. Magazine’s second fastest growing company in South Carolina and the travels that inspire her prints and patterns.
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Natalia Castillo, CEO and owner of Escapada Living at home

1) I know you like to travel a lot to find inspiration for your colorful prints. What are you top three favorite travel spots? What is next on the list?

Yes, I love to travel! My favorite destinations are Brazil, Bali, and the French Riviera. Brazil is such a unique, vibrant country – the culture and lifestyle are full of energy, and my favorite cities there are Rio and Buzios. Bali’s natural beauty is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. From the beach to the rainforest, everything is bright, colorful, and tropical. Finally, the French Riviera is where I was first inspired to create the Escapada Living brand, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. With its beautiful coastline and chic style, its effortless elegance is hard to beat. “Escapada” means “escape” in Spanish, so it’s no surprise that those beautiful destinations have served as the inspiration for the brand!For my next trip, I’m heading to Peru with my niece – specifically Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. I have some family in Lima, and it’s a wonderful up-and-coming city that’s growing really quickly. With its vibrant colors and rich culture, Cusco is another incredible source of inspiration. Many of the people there still wear traditional Peruvian garb, which is full of amazing colors, textures, and details. I visited Machu Picchu years ago, and I have a feeling this time it will be completely different. Back then, everything was totally unregulated – you could wander around anywhere, and it was totally free to visit. It will definitely be interesting to see it again now, and I’m so excited to share such a special place with my niece.

 2) Did you always envision going into brick and mortar retail or is it something that happened organically?

It was always my plan to have a brick and mortar location that worked as an extension of the Escapada Living brand. My career actually began as a buyer for Macy’s department stores, so I’ve always been passionate about brick and mortar, and I had experience with retail in that format. I love having our own store, and it’s truly a place where the Escapada Living brand comes to life. It’s incredible to have the opportunity to connect with customers, hear their feedback, and see them interact with the brand. It makes my day when I see a happy customer get really excited about their new purchase!

 3) What are the other lines you carry outside of your own Escapada designs?

Our Signature Store is full of brands that complement Escapada Living and hang well with our line. We carry clothing lines like Tori Richard, Julie Brown, Just Madras, Gretchen Scott, THML, and Barbara Gerwit. For jewelry and accessories, we’re proud to sell several local brands, including Candy Shop Vintage! Our customers love the Charleston Rice Beads collection, and we also carry pieces from Hart Studio, The Tiny Tassel, Sangria, and more. Our store has completely different inventory than our website, so it’s been really fun to tailor its selection to fit our local customer.

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The Escapada Signature Store

 4) What is your most popular print?

We initially introduced our Jungle print for the summer 2017 line, and it became an instant favorite. It’s a fun, abstract palm print with a playful, hand-painted feel and lots of movement. We’ve created a few versions of it in different colorways, and will feature it in our upcoming resort 2018 collection as well. That collection will be available starting in December – just in time for a winter getaway!

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Our Charleston Rice Beads paired with a tropical Escapada ensemble

 5) Have you ever thought about venturing beyond apparel design into other products? What is next for Escapada (maybe for Spring 2018)?

I’d love to create an Escapada Living home collection with pillows, blankets/ throws, placemats, napkins, etc. Customers always tell us that our brand makes them smile every time they see it, and I think a home line would be a natural next step – extending that happiness beyond the closet and throughout the rest of the home.

For the immediate future, we’re thrilled to debut our new plus size collection for resort/spring 2018. This line, called Escapada Living Curve, features our best-selling styles and prints in sizes 0X-3X (numeric sizes 14-24). It’s been available to our wholesale retailers for a little while, but this is the first time that it will be sold on our website and in our store. Those new sizing options are truly an instance of “ask and you shall receive.” Customers kept telling us they were looking for more sizes in our clothing, and we couldn’t be happier that we’re able to fill that need now.

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An Escapada model in a summery Escapada dress wearing our Summer White Charleston Rice Beads wrapped as a bracelet.

 

Join Us for Small Business Saturday

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and we are celebrating at Candy Shop On Cannon. We’ve had almost three wonderful years in our shop and are really looking forward to three more! Tomorrow is a day to kick back, toast, maybe eat some doughnuts or drink a whisky sour. We will be offering 25% OFF storewide plus coffee and doughnuts in the morning and whisky sours all afternoon. Join us for the fun at 9 Cannon Street in Downtown Charleston!

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In case you can’t make it, or you don’t live here you don’t want to miss our on our whisky sour recipe – it can be found here in our blog archives. Mix up a few pitchers and you will be the toast of the party!

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Thank you to everyone who supports Candy Shop Vintage year round. We are extremely grateful to our friends and customers! xoxo

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A Vintage Guide to Palm Beach

Outside of Charleston one of my favorite coastal cities in the South is Palm Beach. I have been visiting Palm Beach regularly each year to catch up with my best friend who practices equine medicine there during the winter. Each time I visit, I find a new special place – a cocktail bar, a vintage clothing shop or a great pizza spot. Like Charleston, parts of historic Palm Beach are immaculately groomed and picture perfect. But it also has its funky local gems – particularly in West Palm Beach and especially when it comes to vintage shopping. All in all, it is a great mix – a small but growing city with history, elegance and whimsy. Worth Avenue is one of the most famous streets for shopping in America and there are no shortage of beautifully restored hotels to visit, dine at, have a cocktail or stay awhile. So, on a recent trip for a Junior League Holiday Market, I decided to also shoot my own vintage guide to Palm Beach and share some of my favorite spots for shopping, drinking and eating – all with their own vintage charm.

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It was a lot of fun working with Erica J. Photography who was very patient with my obsessive location scouting, and especially Palm Beach Vintage who loaned me some fabulous outfits and accessories (all of which are available on 1st Dibs) that paired well with each spot we chose. And of course, the jewelry can almost all be found on candyshopvintage.com so most of our vintage guide is shoppable!

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Vintage polka-dot two piece 90’s Carolyne Roehm from Palm Beach Vintage, Palm Beach Sunnies from us, Vintage Born To Shop Brooch, Vintage Floral Earrings and Vintage Buckle Bangle all Candy Shop Vintage

Where to Stay

The Colony Hotel on Hammon Avenue is one of the coolest vintage spots anywhere. It is quintessentially Palm Beach with bright pops of color on the inside and soothing coastal pink on the outside and just steps from Worth Avenue. It was built in 1947 and recently redesigned by Carleton Varney who helms Dorthy Draper & Co.

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It is an explosion of pattern and color and each room – even the hallways – have their own floor to floor color schemes. There isn’t a corner or room of the hotel that isn’t covered Varney’s unique, whimsical touch.

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Vintage 80’s Philippe Venet Paris Shift Dress from Palm Beach Vintage with a gold Candy Shop Vintage Poodle Pendant and Charleston Rice Beads in Cinnamon,

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A Fabulous 80s Judith Lieber Bag from Palm Beach Vintage paired with our French 75 Cocktail Bracelet.

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Vintage Pink and Green Ombré Chiffon Gown and hot pink Christian Louboutin mules from Palm Beach Vintage. Vintage Cocktail Ring, Vintage Kenneth J. Lane Bow Earrings and Unicorn Fantasy Necklace from Candy Shop Vintage.

Other historic hotels in Palm Beach to explore are:

The Breakers – A larger scale, grand luxury historic hotel founded in the late 1800’s that is more a full scale resort than just a place to stay. It is right on the ocean and you can visit their spa, dine and drink without leaving the property. The most well known and dramatic hotel on Palm Beach Island and home to HMF, a great cocktail bar and lounge.

The Brazilian Court – A luxury hotel opened in the 1920s with a Mediterranean design. On site restaurant, Cafe Boulud and James Bead nominee helmed by famous French Chef Daniel Bouloud.

The Chesterfield – Also located in close proximity to Worth Avenue, it was originally designed as a European Bed & breakfast and has grown into an intimate luxury hotel registered with the Palm Beach Preservation foundation as a historic landmark. Also home to the chic and delicious Leopard Lounge and Restaurant.

Vintage Shopping

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The Church Mouse just off of Worth Avenue is kind of the ultimate church resale shop. Staffed with volunteers the proceeds from the store go to outreach programs for Bethesda by the Sea, an Episcopal Church in Palm Beach. This is not your average second hand store, it is over 4,000 square feet and packed to the brim with an ever rotating designer clothes and accessories, china, art work, furniture and more. Open seasonally.

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Just a few blocks from The Church Mouse is C. Orrico the official Lilly Pulitzer outpost of Palm beach and nested in the back of C. Orrico you will now find a shop within a shop – House of Lavande – a treasure trove of vintage and vintage-inspired jewels. And when I say treasure trove, I mean drawer and drawers and more drawers so carve out some time before visiting these two gems.

Stroll down Worth Avenue, just a short walk from C. Orrico and it looks like every shop is having a contest for who has the best awning. Most of the luxury boutiques can be found on Worth as well.

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Vintage tassel purse from Candy Shop Vintage

But I did stumble upon this funky, high end boutique called KIOSK I have never seen before that had a great mix of unique clothes and accessories – some vintage, some new.

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And the most incredible spot on Worth has to be Betteridge Jewelers a fine jewelry store with estate jewelry to make your head spin. My sapphire engagement ring is actually from their Connecticut store and I have received endless compliments on it over the years.

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On your way off the Island, don’t forget to hit Classic Collections of Palm Beach – an upscale designer consignment shop with all of the gowns, bags, shoes and jewels you can imagine. Not for the faint of heart (or wallet). From there, it is fun to head to West Palm Beach to shop some funkier spots, first stops being on Northwood Road.

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You can pop in for a coffee at Harold’s Coffee Lounge which has a truly excellent ice coffee to fuel more of your vintage shopping adventures.

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80’s Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche dress from Palm Beach Vintage, Iris Apfel Brooch from our Sweet Finds section and Half Moon Clutch from Beau & Ro

Which you will definitely need to take in everything at Diane’s Boutique (below) an adorable vintage shop filled to the brim with colorful goodies. The owner, Diane McKinnie is so nice, it is like shopping in your best friend’s closet. And though most things don’t have price tags, she is sure to give you a good deal when you are ready to check out.

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Just up the street is the Palm Beach chic furniture mecca Circa Who. Don’t worry, they sell online but it is much more fun to meander around their warehouse in person. They recently added a second room with other vendors, including some great vintage clothing dealers.

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1960’s Mod LaJeunesse Handbag from Palm Beach Vintage.

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1970’s Oscar De La Renta Cotton Voile Dress and Yves St. Laurent 80s Suede belt both from Palm Beach Vintage. The Reeves Doorknocker Earring in Green Opal from Candy Shop Vintage.

And don’t miss Northwood Antiques and Design across the way, with curated vintage furniture and art. About a fifteen minute drive away is another road in West Palm Beach famous for antiques and vintage shopping – Dixie Highway – also the home of Palm Beach Vintage. Louise, the lovely and chic owner of Palm Beach Vintage has had her vintage boutique there for decades – and at one point even had a location in New York.

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She is now nestled on Dixie Highway in her flagship store amongst other fantastic antiques and vintage shops like D. Brett Benson an incredible vintage and estate jewelry shop and Palm Beach Regency, another over the top Palm Beach Chic vintage furniture dealer. These are don’t miss spots, but Palm Beach Vintage was the first and main attraction for me with its immaculately curated and ethereal selection of clothing and accessories.

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Just playing a little dress up in this 1970s Frank Usher Cocktail Dress.

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And this subtle 1970s Main Street Leopard Print Rain Coat paired with some Vintage Glitter Resin Bangles and Palm Beach Sunnies from Candy Shop Vintage.

Where to Eat & Drink

An afternoon can easily spent on Dixie Highway alone, all you have to do is park and walk up and down to hit all the shops, one after the other, along the way. But when it is time for a bite to eat, their is an equally fun vintage style diner to be found just up the road from Palm Beach Vintage. It has a wonderful retro vibe complete with astro turf and all. My friend MK of Seeline Vintage sent me there on my first trip to Palm Beach and it did not disappoint. There is even outdoor seating – great for brunch or lunch!

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Vintage Christian LaCroix Sequined Floral Skirt from Palm Beach Vintage paired with our Charleston Rice Beads in Gunmetal and a One-of-A-Kind Black Resin Bangle.

Other places to eat and drink in Palm Beach:

Palm Beach Grill – Contemporary dining with an old school, moody loungey feel. You literally cannot order a bad thing off the menu here, especially not the cedar plank salmon, the shoe string fries or the Key Lime pie which is (almost) the best I have ever had.

Pizza Al Fresco – Venture down an alley off Worth Avenue and find a twinkly old world European style courtyard with al fresco dining. The pizza hits the spot after a long flight or drive.

HMF at The Breakers – Sort of the living room of The Breakers, this open air, Mad Men style bar and dining room offers cocktails and light bites to eat. The waitresses dress in black cocktail dresses and pearls – how chic.

The Leopard Lounge & Restaurant – Mirrored walls, leopard print, woven fans, marbled ceilings and great cocktails. Plus a live lounge singer – need I say more? I am sure the food is good too, but does it even matter?

Cafe 155 at The Colony Hotel – A bright, happy grab and go breakfast and lunch spot inside The Colony Hotel (though you can enter from the street). Take you food to go or sit under the Palms and the grand columns in front of the hotel.

Cafe Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel – A restaurant by famous french chef Daniel Boulud. I have only had a drink here but have heard their brunch and dinner here is amazing.

The Polo Bar & Restaurant at The Colony Hotel – A throwback and an ode to the local Polo scene in Palm Beach (& Wellington). Not to be confused with The Polo Bar in New York, this decidedly more old school restaurant and bar offers poolside dining at The Colony, live music late at night and sit down dining inside. Decorated with palms and polo players with pillars painted to look like martini glasses – this is a true hidden gem of Palm Beach.

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Thanks to Erica for the beautiful photos and helping me put this together and to Palm Beach Vintage for her true Southern hospitality. Hope you visit some of these magical spots next time you are there. xo

All of the Holiday Sweetness in One Place

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Every year we get a lot of questions – what kind of sales are you doing, what kind of events you are having for the holiday season. So here they are all in one happy, sweet place. So save the date(s) for some great sales, fun events and merriment in general:

Gifts That Give Back

Our first and most important holiday special is our Kelly Green Charleston Rice Beads promotion. We teamed up with I Heart Radio’s Y105 in Charleston to create a special color in our popular Charleston Rice Beads this season. $20 from every Kelly Green Necklace and $10 from every Kelly Green Bracelet go to benefit the MUSC Shawn Jenkin’s Hospital Project in Charleston, SC. You can read more here, or shop them directly here.

Black Friday  Friday, November 24

There will be one special for Black Friday and it will be a Buy One Get One at 50% OFF (!!!!) any of our Charleston Rice Beads. It will be one day only and it will exclude the Kelly Green Rice Beads we are selling to benefit MUSC Children’s.

Small Business Saturday  Saturday, November 25

There will be and in-store (in Charleston) only promotion. 25% OFF everything in the store one day only. There is no online special but if you can make it into the shop, you get a free Whisky Sour and I promise they are good. Also, a lot of our neighbors like J. Stark and Mac&Murphy are having their own Small Business Saturday specials and events so check them out.

Cyber Monday  Monday, November 27th

As it is Cyber Monday, this is an online only special (our shop in Charleston is closed that day anyway). There will be 20% OFF site wide – that means everything. Code will be sent out first thing Monday morning on the 27th and be valid for one day only. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Junior League of Columbia Holiday Market  Thursday, November 30th-Sunday, December 3rd

We will be popping up on Columbia, SC at the Junior League of Columbia Holiday Market. Last year it was so busy and I was so tired driving back to Charleston I accidentally put diesel fuel in my car and had to get it towed most of the way home. This is very bad for your car, by the way, I will not be doing that again. But we are very excited to be back this year!

Neighborhood Holiday Sip N’ Shop  Friday, December 8th 5-8PM

Cannonborough/Elliotborough in Downtown Charleston is hosting its second annual Holiday Sip N’ Shop. Neighborhood stores and business will be open until 8PM offering libations and specials. We are doing a “Draw a mystery discount” of up to 50% OFF at Candy Shop On Cannon, a free braid bar, complimentary French 75s and a Beauty Counter Pop-Up.

That covers it for the rest of our holiday events! Make sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter at the bottom of the page for reminders and other treats in your inbox this season. xo

A Gift That Gives Back

I am excited to share that we are bringing back our popular Kelly Green Charleston Rice Beads for a limited time this season. $20 from the sale of each Charleston Rice Bead Necklace in Kelly Green and $10 from the sale of each Charleston Rice Bead Bracelet in Kelly Green will be donated to the new MUSC Shawn Jenkin’s Children’s Hospital Campaign in Charleston, SC, thew new state of the art facility being built in Downtown Charleston. You can also visit their website and donate directly there and learn more about their mission and building project. Any one who has children in Charleston or has had the unfortunate experience of having to visit the MUSC Children’s Hospital, long or short term, knows what an incredible place it already is. But this new building and its facilities will continue to elevate the level of services they are able to provide to children around the country. We will be promoting this campaign in partnership with I Heart Radio and Y105 Charleston.

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Each necklace and bracelet comes in one of our Charleston Rice Bead bags with an insert card printed with a lovely illustration by local artist The Town Serif with a description of the partnership on the bag. This makes a great gift for any Charleston lover who also wants to contribute to the community. They will be available until Christmas or until we run out of inventory!

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