The New Fantasy Garden Collection

I am so excited to finally announce our collaboration with 125 year old jewelry company CINER and the Spring collection we have designed together, The Fantasy Garden.

Because CINER has been around for so long (over a century!) I became used to seeing their name and mark on one-of-a-kind vintage pieces I collected, like these fabulous giraffe earrings. The quality of their pieces is always unparalleled. Through a friend visiting Charleston, I came to find out that CINER was still manufacturing and producing their beautiful line out of their New York City showroom and factory. So, I flew up from Charleston, SC for a meeting with CINER V.P. Kris Ciulla and owner Pat Ciner to learn more. Needless to say, we all had a lot in common and it was absolutely magical to see their showroom and production facility where so many of my favorite vintage pieces had been born. We decided to come together to produce our own capsule collection with me pulling designs from their archives and refashioning them into a modern, whimsical collection with a candy colored color palate. And so our collaborative collection, The Fantasy Garden was born:


The Fantasy Garden Collection is available exclusively through our website, our store and


On my two visits up there I say down with Pat and Kris and curated this collection of pieces which is a combination of Southern, botanical themes, one of their classic Ciner bees and an element of fantasy – the unicorn (based on a vintage brooch they once produced):



Ciner has remained in the same family for all 125 their business as been operating. Pat Ciner, left, the third generation of the Ciner family, remains at the helm of the business which is celebrating its 125th year in 2017. It was such a pleasure working with Pat and her team:



Their showroom is filled with beautiful pieces, new and old – a virtual treasure trove of costume jewelry complete with vintage advertisements dating back to the 40’s and 50’s.


Behind their showroom is a full manufacturing facility with jewelry artisans who paint enamel, cast, and set stones by hand.




Below, a member of the Ciner team dedicated to polishing pieces during production works on a design.



We are thrilled with how the collection turned out! You can see it and shop it here. The wonderful combination of southern botanical influences and elements of fanciful creatures. All behind-the-scenes photography by Lydia Hudgens.

Best Coast

I am a pretty big fan of the East Coast and grew up here all my life, but I have to say a recent vacation to California had me rethinking where my loyalties lie. Also: NO HUMIDITY is a pretty nice feature coming from the southeast. My husband and I decided to take a West Coast trip for our tenth anniversary (he’s never been!) and I was in dire need of a real vacation – not just a work trip. At Candy Shop Vintage, we go from the busy Holiday season – if you work in retail then ya’ know, to market in January to producing and shipping all of our spring wholesale orders in January/February plus running the store and website in between. It is just a whirlwind from late October to March and it can often feel difficult and guilt inducing to take some real time off. Nothing like some laid back California vibes to cure you of that! Something about the architecture there – particularly the 1950’s and 60’s era apartment buildings and homes is just RIGHT to me. And it is literally ALWAYS sunny. These are just a few we saw on Beechwood Canyon Drive where we were staying, a neighborhood I love – and one of the few walkable roads in Los Angeles:


Love this regency style entrance of this apartment building called “The Olivia”


This retro gem called “The Monroe” is really fun.


Though this building has some “cold war era” vibes, I love the name and the font it’s in.


And yet there are still some cozy, sweet family homes in the hills like this one.

We ate breakfast our first morning there at low key Beachwood Cafe at the top of Beachwood Canyon Drive. It was an easy walk from where we were staying and the food is fresh and filling. It has a great updated vintage vibe. This is my first trip to LA where I actually have NOT seen a celebrity. I did randomly run into my old friend Pete in The Beachwood Cafe and he informed me Jason Segel walked in about five minutes after we left. Devastating.


The Beechwood Cafe: cute, local vibes & great breakfast.


Typical LA breakfast? Black coffee, green juice & water. And my Sarara Couture purse we just started selling at Candy Shop On Cannon.

After a good breakfast we ventured up the hill for the obligatory Hollywood Sign shot (it looks mini in this photo – promise it was the real one) and a visit to The Griffith Observatory which has the most incredible panoramic view of Los Angeles and of course featured heavily in La La Land. You kind of have to navigate the traffic and hoards of of tourists doing the exact same thing you are but it really is worth it for the view. And the even had a VINTAGE CELESTIAL JEWELRY exhibit waiting for me in The Observatory (what?!).


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24 Hours in Savannah

Savannah, Georgia has long been considered Charleston’s “sister city,” a rival in Southern, urban historic beauty. While it’s only two hours from Charleston, I’ve visited less than a handful of times, and only passing through. This time was not different, but I was determined to at least scratch the surface and pave the way for future visits on our way back from Florida last Thursday.


We stayed at The ANDAZ (owned by Hyatt) in Downtown Savannah and really enjoyed it. The location was excellent, the staff were super friendly and it has a fun lobby bar, a nice pool and great restaurant where Daphne and I enjoyed a Southern style breakfast buffet yesterday morning. (Girl loves a breakfast buffet!) Across the way was a city park with a fountain for kids perfect for this steamy weather we are having, plus the waterfront, shopping on Broughton Street and lots of restaurants were also just a few steps from the front door.



We met some friends who recently moved to Savannah for dinner at The Wylde, a beautiful waterfront restaurant overlooking the marsh. It has a perfect view and excellent cocktails and a really well-priced, daily rotating seafood menu and some of the best fish tacos and cocktails I’ve had in the south. Highly recommend this spot which felt like a real local haunt, and not a tourist stop!



We woke up on Friday and enjoyed the hotel pool then walked to Paris Market for coffee and shopping. With everything from taxidermy, to home goods to fresh macaroons and candy, it was just perfection.



We drove up the street to check out some local antiques shops before lunch, towards Ardsley park which is an adorable, quiet residential neighborhood that reminded me a lot of Wagener Terrace, where I live in Charleston. Daphne and I, appropriately hit up an antiques market called Two Women and a Warehouse where I found some fun inspiration for my Candy Shop Vintage windows…


For lunch we went to The Grey, housed in a former Greyhound bus station, predominantly a dinner spot they do serve day drinks, a small lunch menu and daily blue plate specials in the front bar area… I’ll be sharing my drink in the next cocktails edition on Cannon for sure!



Finally a stop on my way out of town was Emily McCarthy’s beautiful home and design shop. She and I have been “insta friends” for awhile and I’ve always admired her taste and style. I loved stepping into her world for a bit and picked up some goodies to bring back to Charleston!


Next trip to Savannah I really want to see some of the historic homes – Savannah style – and walk around more. Have you been? Do you have any Savannah travel tips and recommendations?

My Favorite Charleston Oyster Spots

Today happens to be one of my new favorite holidays, National Oyster Day! Charleston is rife with good oyster-eating spots so I thought I would share a few of my favorites, each with its own recommended oyster dish…


#1) The Ordinary  at 544 King St, Charleston, SC – Best for: raw oysters

My number 1 oyster spot, this upscale seafood hall right down the block from our Charleston shop has some of the best seafood on the East Coast and is famous for its oysters, incredible raw seafood towers and wide selection of rums. And with daily “Oyster Hours” from 5PM – 6:30PM with half priced oysters I frequently find myself boomeranging to their bar when I get off work. Also, check out the amazing rum infused cocktail they mixed up for us recently.

#2) Leon’s Oyster Shop at 698 King Street, Charleston SC – Best for: the char-grilled oyster appetizer

A perfect no-reservations hip oyster spot on the Upper Peninsula. For non seafood lovers they also have excellent fried chicken and other non-seafood options on the menu. But my absolute favorite dish of theirs has to be their buttery char-grilled oyster appetizer and they have a great private label rosé called “Oyster Shed.” He he.

#3) The Darling Oyster Bar at 513 King Street, Charleston, SC – Best for: oyster shooters

The Darling is a well designed, fun filled new addition to King Street. Always busy and serving up great cocktails along with their trademark oyster shooters, this is a fun place to start a night out with a whimsically designed interior.

#4) The Wreck of Richard and Charlene at 106 Haddrell St, Mt Pleasant, SC – Best for: fried oysters

This local friend seafood spot has a water view where you can see the shrimp boats docking and dolphins jumping. It is a low-key, cash only establishment and the best place for fried oysters in Charleston.

#5) Bowen’s Island at 1870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston – Best for: DIY oysters

Off-the-beaten path on the way out to Folly Beach, this casual seafood spot is known for throwing a big pile of steamed oysters down on your table. I used to think opening oysters was dirty business but having lived in Charleston almost ten years I have come to fully appreciate and enjoy the satisfaction of popping them open by hand. It is not fancy but it has an incredible sunset view.


Rhode Island Sweet Spots

While my family and I were on vacation in Florida last week, I asked my friend Lizzy of The Connoisseur of Cute to take over the @candyshopvintage instagram for a couple of days and share her favorite Rhode Island haunts through the her whimsical and colorful lense. While I travel to RI frequently and have posted my own mini travel guides, it was great to see it through someone else’s eyes. Here are the spots she shared in case you missed out on her adorable Instagram posts:

One of my personal favorites, Allie’s Donuts – an amazing local donut shop with signature, brightly colored donuts, full donut cakes and more!

The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center is located in Roger Williams Park in Providence – totally lush and beautiful! And love her matching pants : )

How precious is this bakery – Sweet Indulgence – located at 2202 Broad Street in Cranston, RI

Yes please to this fruit topped custard French toast from Modern Diner in Pawtucket, RI!

Some perfect vintage finds from Lizzy’s RI vintage hunts – she recommends checking out Stillwater Antiques in Greenville, RI and Rhode Island Antiques in Pawtucket.

Almost no trip to RI is complete without visiting the stunning historic mansions of Newport, RI, many of which are open for tours and are located along Cliff Walk.

Rhode Island is famous for its beautiful beaches (and sunsets!) Narragansett beach is a favorite and open to the public daily.

Lizzy’s posts have inspired me to do a little more exploring this summer beyond my usual spots (although Allie’s is something I never miss out on!). Thanks again for taking over for us – make sure to keep following along with Lizzy @theconnoisseurofcute. xo

Instagram Takeover With The Connoisseur of Cute

As some of you know, Rhode Island is my other favorite coastal state, where much of my Candy Shop Vintage jewelry is made and where I go with my family on vacation every summer. Not too long ago I stumbled across Lizzy Colley’s instagram account @theconnoisseurofcute whose bright, playful and often vintage inspired photos always brighten my day. I loved seeing Rhode Island through her eyes so much, I asked her to take over the Candy Shop Vintage Instagram this weekend and share some of her favorite spots. So follow along with the hashtag #connoisseurforcandyshop and @candyshopvintage starting this Saturday…

Holiday Events

Holiday events are upon us! This weekend we are ready to party in Charlotte, NC with Brandshop where I will actually by DJing their launch cocktail party starting at 5PM this Thursday, December 11 at Laca Projects, 1429 Bryant Street. For more details go hereThey have rounded up some fabulous brands and cutting edge designers (listed below) and we will have some popular Candy Shop Vintage items in their pop-up as well, like our French 75 Cocktail Bracelet

And back in Charleston on December 19th & 20th we will be heading on over to Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant for a Candy Shop Vintage Trunk Show. Hours will be  10-7 Saturday the 19th and 12-5 Sunday the 20th. Perfect if you are a last minute gift buyer like me!

The Costume Jewelry Collector’s Conference

Two weeks ago I was fortunate to attend a very fabulous, inspiring conference in Rhode Island called The Costume Jewelry Collector’s International conference. This is a bi-annual event (with smaller meetings on off years) where high-end costume jewelry collectors and dealers from all over the map come together for a weekend of selling, trading, learning and making. I only recently learned about the group, helmed by Melinda Lewis (who wrote one of the best books on vintage costume jewelry that’s ever been published) and Pamela Paschal Wiggins who are fabulous, dedicated ladies who know their vintage costume jewelry and own some of the best of it! I attended this conference with another designer, Justin Giunta behind Subversive Jewelry as I knew his talent for assembling his luxury statement pieces would put him in a position to appreciate a unique experience. We stayed in Downtown Providence in one of my favorite neighborhoods – Federal Hill. Its new England charm is enough to make me painfully homesick for the Northeast every time I visit – so I soak in as much as possible each visit I make to RI:

Everyone at the conference was dressed fabulously! This woman came from Canada to attend with her husband and literally had a different amazing vintage outfit and coordinated vintage jewelry for almost every hour of the conference. I loved seeing all her wardrobe changes…

I was fortunate to kick-off the weekend with a class with Wendy Gell – a designer who rose to fame in the 1980’s for her sculptural, over-glued cuffs (or “wristies” as she calls them), hair pieces, earrings, and pretty much anything else you can glue things on. She was so sweet and taught us, over several hours, her step-by-step intricate gluing technique. LOVED meeting her and will be following up with an interview with her in the next few weeks.

Her creative process is so different than mine – she starts with raw materials and assembles them organically. I start with an idea and figure out how to execute it and what materials I need to do so. It was good for me to have to be a little more freewheeling in my approach and less rigid. So much fun, although I think I inhaled enough glue fumes to last a lifetime.

I thought the lobster as a centerpiece was in keeping with being in New England for the weekend. It got me craving lobster and later that day I ordered a lobster roll for lunch.

Here are a few of my fellow classmates glueing away. It did take a fair amount of patience (and a few hours) to let the glue dry enough to keep working on our pieces. Wendy can do this in her sleep but we definitely struggled a bit more.

The conference provided us with plenty of “jewelry education.” One of my favorite speakers was Kris Brandriff who was kind enough to take me to lunch (and on an emergency post office run!) the first day of the conference. She is a native Rhode Islander and helmed the Quality Control at one of the most incredible vintage jewelry houses – Trifari – for a decade who once operated out of Rhode Island. Here is a picture from one of their factories – I love how elegant everyone looks while assembling jewelry. Bow ties and all!

Justin and I also had a chance to take in a little local culture and visited the RISD museum, which has both a wonderful permanent collection and had a great temporary exhibit by contemporary artist Martin Boyce – really worth seeing if you are in Rhode Island this fall/winter.

Probably the best part of the conference was the shopping. Tables upon tables of jewelry from dealers who know their stuff! I got some really beautiful pieces there – some of which can be viewed and purchased at Candy Shop Vintage in Charleston.

The “finale” evening of the conference had a 1960’s “Glam to Groovy” theme – and involved these wild centerpieces on ever table. We definitely had fun with the theme and it came as no surprise that a group who loves to collect big, bold pieces of jewelry also likes to party. There is something so fascinating and wonderful about people who collect a lot – or in some cases too much – of anything. Where there is passion, there is education, fun, and always an opportunity to learn more than what you already know. I felt really lucky that my career landed me amongst such a passionate, entertaining group of people for a weekend. Looking forward to the next one!




Rhode Island Round Up 2015

We got back from vacation in Rhode Island last week and I am suffering a little bit from what is probably the post vacation blues. As some of you know, much of the Candy Shop Vintage jewelry is produced in Rhode Island.  It also happens to be one of my favorite areas of New England and for such a small state has so much to offer – beach, city life, seafood, natural beauty… the list goes on. I even did an extensive mini-guide to Rhode Island on this blog last year, so I am going to try not to repeat myself too much as we discovered a few more local gems this summer. I started my trip this year attending an old friend’s wedding in East Hampton and happily found I could make my way over to Rhode Island easily via the Montauk Ferry to the The Block Island Ferry. Each ride was less than an hour and though we experienced some rain and choppy seas en route, it was a beautiful way to travel, even on a grey day and afforded me an opportunity to mediate on the traumatic events of the previous week in Charleston from afar.

For the first week we rented a house via Airbnb that is on a beautiful salt water river called the Narrow River, technically in North Kingstown but bordering the coastal sea town Narragansett. My daughter Daphne had her own little beach to play on just steps from our house… The water in Rhode Island is coooold unlike the bath-seawater on the South Carolina coast in the summer. Almost too cold for my taste but very refreshing!

We were also a short car ride to the Narragansett town beach (which is absolutely beautiful), as well as a hop skip and jump away from a walk along the Naragasett sea wall that runs along the rocky part of the coast and is considered one of the best “free attractions” in Rhode Island.

We ate dinner at one night at The Coast Guard House Restaurant which flanks the sea wall. When you are sitting inside, surrounding by windows on all sides, you feel a bit like you are on a ship.  Great sea food and amazing view.

My husband took this hilarious photo of me “working” on the new deck outside the restaurant where you can relax in Adirondack chairs and take in the view on the rocks just above sea level. This was a great addition to the restaurant since last summer and a quieter option than the sometimes rowdy local bar on the roof.  For the record, I was only booking our hotel in Providence for the end of the week, I do know how to shut down on vacation, even though it can be difficult : )

Probably one of the best new spots we discovered on this trip was the Matunuck Oyster Bar. For the life of me, I do not know how we missed this in the three years we came prior but it is hands down the best seafood in Rhode Island.  They do not take reservations so you can often expect to wait 45 minutes to an hour to be seated, but it is absolutely worth it. The local oysters were perfection and I had some amazing grilled tuna entree both nights we ate there.  You can sit outside or in and the restaurant sits on a quaint little cove where I imagine they gather most of their fish from. They bill themselves as “Pond to Table.”

After a week on the river, we spent the weekend in Watch Hill, a town I covered extensively in my post last year. One of its most charming features it it’s Flying Horse Carousel a classic, brass-ring-grabbing ride that happens to be the oldest in the country. Our daughter Daphne was simply too young to ride last year but this year could not get enough. Starting at $1 a ride you could literally spend all day there until you have to bribe you child to move on with ice cream!

Our last night in Watch Hill we went with our hosts to The Ocean House, a beautifully restored hotel above the center of town. I visited The Ocean House in high school and danced in its then dilapidated basement bar. The Ocean House 2.0, lovingly restored and brought back to its glory days by a local businessman is simply perfect. I cannot imagine a better spot to enjoy a glass of wine or lobster roll on the entire East Coast!

We ended our trip in Providence, R.I. staying at our favorite Providence Hotel, The Dean. This hip, easy hotel is centrally located and has some great features, like old school gated elevators, a lobby coffee shop and two bars and a restaurant on the ground floor. It is extremely comfortable, quiet and very well priced. They also provide valet parking if you have a car with you though you can easily walk (or Uber) to much of the city from where it is located. My white Charleston Rice Beads were the perfect go-to accessory for exploring Rhode Island this year!

Daphne and I had to take a photo in front of their painted wall.  She was a great little traveler, although after a week away she informed us she was ready to “go back to my home” in Charleston.

If you have some time to kill on an afternoon in Providence, this local cafe The Duck and Bunny is one of my absolute favorites.  It has a glamorous, intimate interior as well as a charming outdoor garden where you can just as easily have tea and cupcakes as you can a pre-dinner drink.

My husband and I also wanted to try our one of the true, local Italian gems that Providence has to offer that we’ve neglected on previous visits. Driving by Joe Marzilli’s Old Canteen in a former 1920’s speakeasy, their neon sign caught my eye.  We had a great dinner there – you cannot get more local than this place.  In fact we might have been the only non Italian-Americans in there. Also, did I mention the entire interior is done in shades of pink? Enough said.

We also spent an afternoon at the RISD Museum on Benefit Street which has an incredibly well-rounded, world class art collection, from Egyptian artifacts to Matisse to neons (my personal favorite) by Alejandro Diaz (below) and Dan Flavin. Sadly, their student exhibit was closed for the summer as I would have really liked to see that work. Fun fact: legendary costume jewelry Kenneth J. Lane is a RISD graduate.

We spent one afternoon with Daphne at her own version of a museum, The Providence Zoo. She had her face painted (very artistically I thought!) as a tiger and had fun growling at everyone we passed. The Providence Zoo is a perfect size for toddlers but I wouldn’t say it has an overwhelming number of exhibits.  We were in and out in under two hours, including a farm themed petting zoo. I noticed on our way out there were swan shaped paddle boats available for rent (!!!) in a nearby park – a must add to the list for next year!

We also managed to explore the quaint town of Bristol R.I. one afternoon, a short 30 minute drive from Providence.  Everything was decked and ready for their famous, annual July 4th Parade, which from the looks of the preparations is pretty spectacular. We did not have nearly enough time to spend their on our last afternoon, but we were so taken with it we were thinking of renting our vacation house there next summer…

Our last night in Providence or #PVD as it is hashtagged we got a babysitter and walked around downtown. As much as I should walk more in Charleston, I just don’t.  Walking is such an amazing way to appreciate a city, and you often find things you would not otherwise notice when you are driving, like this fantastic mural in the downtown Providence former “Jewelry District.”

We were even able to watch the sunset from one (possibly the only one) of Providence’s rooftop bars and it was a perfect note to end on.