October’s Featured Retailer: The Skinny Dip

Skinny Dip Charleston opened late this spring with a frosé infused party on the second store of their newly renovated bi-level store at 345 King Street, a fabulous fête that was featured in Town & Country. Bringing New England flair to King Street, his retail brand collective founded by two girls who know what it is like to launch their own start-up fashion brands (Ellsworth and Ivey and Beau & Ro respectively) and the retail struggles that can entail. The Skinny Dip concept launched in Nantucket and decided to move south and add a location at the split level retail space on King Street. We have been selling our jewelry with them since they opened, first in their “Local Vibes” section upstairs and now downstairs – and they are killing it! I chatted with owner and co-founder Sara Rossi (pictured below, left with business partner Taylor Ivey) for a bit more behind the scenes look at our featured October retail partner:
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Skinny Dip was born somewhat organically as a way to showcase your own brand (Beau & Ro). Can you elaborate on that? 
My business partner Taylor and I were each designers before we opened The Skinny Dip, I own Beau & Ro Bag Company and she owns Ellsworth & Ivey.  I grew up vacationing each summer on the island, and the way that little girls dream about their Nantucket weddings, that’s how I had dreamt about opening a store on the island. Two years ago we decided to take the leap and open a retail space together, but when we found the perfect space on the docks it was 2,000 square feet and far too big for just our brands. Our solution was to invite brands from other innovative designers who you can’t find on Nantucket. It turned into an incredibly unique and collaborative collective style  boutique with an ongoing events calendar and a strong focus on story telling and educating consumers on the brands, the designers and inspiration behind each company in the store.

 

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Skinny Dip Owner & Co-Founder Sara Rossi in front of her Bo & Reau display on the first floor of their Charleston store.

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The first floor of Skinny Dip Charleston located at 345 King Street.

What inspired you to choose Charleston once Nantucket became a successful platform? 
There were the obvious reasons including strong tourism, wealthy locals and a great college town. We also heard from a lot of our brands in our Nantucket store that there was a need for a retail experience like ours on King Street. When we found the 2-floor Boone’s Bar location it just felt right. We saw the potential for a unique, experiential retail environment with a wine and coffee bar, outdoor space and lots of Instagramable moments. We have been overwhelmed with the local support from customers and local brands and businesses who have reached out to collaborate and work with us, all reinforcing that Charleston was the right choice!

 

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Upstairs and the “Local Vibes” section at Skinny Dip in Charleston (345 King Street).

Do you find it hard to juggle managing a product centric brand and a retail centric brand? 
Not as hard as you would think. I really re-focused Beau & Ro once we opened The Skinny Dip to be very synergistic with the store and The Skinny Dip customer. I design a lot of the collection specifically for the Nantucket and Charleston markets. At the end of the day both businesses hinge on creativity, collaboration and being scrappy!

 

What are some of your favorite brands/products that have come through Skinny Dip?
Candy Shop Vintage, obviously!… I am very lucky to not only get introduced to amazing emerging and established brands but also the designers and founders behind these brands. We just got a bunch of new fall brands in for fall in Charleston! I am currently obsessing over Birdies, a new slipper brand out of San Fransisco that has rubber soles so they can be worn outside. Unemployed Denim is the definition of cool, the designer takes vintage denim and adorns it with patches. I just bought myself one of her vintage denim jackets with angel wings on the back.

 

What is your favorite thing about Nantucket that Charleston doesn’t have? 
Charleston and Nantucket are actually surprisingly similar — great restaurants, beautiful beaches, cobblestones, historic preservation, strong female business owners to name a few. One thing that Nantucket has that is completely unique to the island is it’s isolation. Being 30 miles out to sea, it is never an easy task to make it to island, so people always arrive with a sense of gratitude and happiness. Whether you’re pulling into town on ferry past all the boats in the harbor, or walking through the cutest airport in the world (that’s not official, but I would bet on it) it’s hard not to have a smile on your face.

 

What is your favorite thing about Charleston that Nantucket doesn’t have? 
Chicken and waffles (just kidding, sort of). I love the permanence of Charleston. When I first started spending time in Charleston this past spring I described it as  “Nantucket in real life, aka with an apple store”.  It has so much of the charm of summering on Nantucket, but we all get to enjoy it year round!

 

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The outoor patio upstairs at Skinny Dip Charleston where you can take a shopping break and enjoy a glass a frosé.

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Rudis Caffe e Vino located on the second floor of Skinny Dip Charleston.

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Myself, artist Sam Malpass and Sara Rossi at the party for Sam when she completed the octopus mural upstairs.

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Skinny Dip owners and founders Sara and Taylor celebrating the opening of the Charleston location.

Skinny Dip has quickly become more than just a retail space. You can find our Candy Shop Vintage jewelry on the first floor, grab a snack or glass of frosé at Rudi’s Cafe E Vino on the second floor of the store or pop by for any of the free events happening weekly at the store. Definitely save the date for the next Girls night out that I will be DJing as #CANDYCAT on Thursday, October 27th featuring a Sail to Sable Trunk show, a manicure bar by Mylk and hair braiding by The Dry Bar Charleston.

Blog Love

Candy Shop Vintage has been spotted adorning the ears, wrists, and necks of several of my favorite bloggers in the past few months. I love seeing the different ways that everyone styles their CSV pieces!

Mary Summers of So Then They Say has such effortless style. The Lucky Elephant Earrings pair so well with neutral layers and a bold, red lip (and have I mentioned how much I love her hair?!)

Adorable Grace of Stripes and Sequins has featured her Charleston Rice Bead bracelet on several occasions. She says she wears it everyday, it is a great go to piece.

And fellow Charleston dweller, Chassity from Look Linger Love has also featured her Rice Beads several times. This week, she wrapped her coral Charleston Rice Bead necklace around her wrist as a bracelet to which compliments her gorgeous Loeffler Randall perfectly…

Have you styled your Candy Shop Vintage pieces on social media lately? Tag @candyshopvintage and #candyshopvintage so we can spread the love!

It’s Wedding Season

In Charleston it sure is wedding season. June seems to be the peak of wedding mania, and with our city being the epicenter of destination weddings, everywhere you turn you see a bride snapping photos with her wedding party on a picturesque street. Coincidentally, I just wrapped a bridal photo shoot last week, featuring our Rose Gold Charleston Rice Beads.  Here’s a sneak peek… our Charleston Rice Beads make fabulous bridal party gifts and are just perfect for a Charleston destination wedding:

Paige Winn did a wonderful job shooting our “wedding party” and I had a great team of hair (Bailey Bial) and make-up (Amanda Rose), flowers from Flower Shop and the gorgeous dresses were designed and handmade by Charleston-based Evelyn’s Alterations & Design.  Evelyn has been doing my own vintage alterations for years and we recently moved into a shared space together in Downtown Charleston – and it has pretty much been a match made in vintage heaven!

And, I was excited to find out that our Gold Charleston Rice Beads from SWOON in Charleston are also featured in this season’s issue of Charleston Weddings, currently on stands as well as on their website. Lovely styling by Ayoka Lucas:

It’s been a little while since my own wedding (7 1/2) years to be exact, but all this bridal business is making me want to go back and plan it all over again!

The Candy Shop Collection

We are SO THRILLED to finally be able to share The Candy Shop Collection with you, a ten piece collection of vintage inspired jewelry all made in the U.S.A. We’ve spent a lot of time researching a place to have jewelry made – the old school way, when things were made in America by talented artisans and manufacturers who valued quality over quantity.  So, last summer we partnered with a factory and model makers in New England to produce this launch collection of fun, whimsical pieces inspired by vintage styles we’ve collection and sold over they years.

Our Egyptian inspired jewelry can be worn as a set or separately, were inspired by 1970’s Egyptian revival jewelry and the over-the-top glamour of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, reinterpreted with a bright, fun and modern color palate.

Each piece, from the dramatic statement earrings with custom resin stones to collar necklace and the oversize cocktail ring features the scarab beetle, traditionally worn by Egyptian Kings and Queens to symbolize their wealth and power. The scarab emerged as a classic design element in Egyptian inspired jewelry and is still considered a symbol of luck and good fortune.

The Kissing Scarab Pendant Earrings come in two colors, a bright rich pink and turquoise. The resin is beautiful and almost “glows” when worn because of its translucent quality.  Here’s a great shot of them from The Glitter Guide (photo by Olivia Ray James):

And of course, who can resist a colorful Scarab Cocktail Ring served up with a little Prosecco?

Our Featured Piece

Every few weeks this year we are going to feature one of our vintage pieces and offer a little background on its origin and the designer to help you brush up on your own vintage jewelry knowledge. Our current vintage piece is a gorgeous “rustic chic” necklace made by Carol Dauplaise:

Carol Dauplaise was a jewelry designer who worked for the famed Miriam Haskell for almost two decades. In the late 1970’s she left to start her own label and produced jewelry under her own name as well as under the label “Dauplaise II,” a more affordable, lower tier line.

This particular necklace was part of a series of wood jewelry the designer made in the late 1970’s under the more sought-after Dauplaise label.  This necklace is signed on its vintage clasp and has the distinctive Dauplaise gold metal disc beads placed in between the wooden disks.  It’s long serpentine design makes it wonderfully chic but also slightly rustic and the quality is excellent.  This is a true collector’s item and a wonderful piece to add to your jewelry collection or even just to admire!