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.

Vintage Pop Up at The Restoration

One of my favorite places to grab coffee in Charleston is the The Restoration Hotel in Downtown Charleston. They have a perfect little coffee bar called Rise downstairs, right next to their signature boutique, The Port Mercantile.

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The Port Mercantile is filled with all kinds of southern and southern inspired goodness – cookbooks, jewelry, Krewe sunglasses, chic beach bags and of course our Charleston Rice Beads.

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All month long, in addition to our Charleston Rice Beads, we have curated a beautiful selection of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.

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The thirteen piece collection, hand picked to compliment your fall wardrobe, will be available at The Port Mercantile through the end of September. They are located at 75 Wentworth Street, just off King.

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If you live here or are just visiting, make sure to stop in and see it! In addition to Rise, The Restoration’s rooftop restaurant, The Watch also has one of the best views in the area of Downtown Charleston and a great place to grab a cocktail after work.

Solar Eclipse Sale

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the solar eclipse arcing over the US this coming Monday. A friend of mine posted this article, half in jest and half seriously of what not to do during a solar eclipse. Interesting that they have always been considered negative omens.  Let’s hope that is not the case! SO, starting now, until 3PM on Monday you can take 20% OFF any order on our website with the code MOONPIE (because who doesn’t love a Moon Pie?!) in honor of Solar Eclipse weekend. My daughter doesn’t even have school Monday – it really is a national holiday. And buying some jewelry hardly counts as a big decision, right?

MOONPIE

Skinny Dipping in Charleston

It’s rare these days that a new retail store opens on King Street in Downtown Charleston that isn’t a national chain, so when I heard about Skinny Dip: The Charleston Edition, a collective retail concept that already found its sea legs after launching successfully in Nantucket I was immediately intrigued. And after drinks with one of the founders and designer behind accessory line Beau and Ro – Sara Rossi – I was totally thrilled to be invited to be a part of it. The brand collective shop represents both emerging and established designers from around the country in one, chic space – brands like Society Social, whose beautiful furniture makes the upstairs “local vibes” section feel both homey and luxurious, Ellsworth and Ivey, founding partner Taylor Ivey’s lifestyle brand, and Kiel James Patrick to name a few.

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The second floor of Skinny Dip Charleston’s King Street retail space bedecked with furniture from Society Social.

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Founders Sarah Rossi and Taylor Ivey – how cute are they?!

Plenty of Charleston based designers and brands will also be represented – you can find our Charleston Rice Beads upstairs as well as Lauren Lail’s beautiful vintage inspired line Library, colorful tunics and dressed by Escapada, even Shep from Bravo’s Southern Charm’s quirky line Shep Gear and many more. You can even relax and have a glass of wine in their upstairs bar run by Rudi’s – a satellite location from their Old Village wine shop in Mt. Pleasant.

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Artist Meredith Hanson hand paints a mural of Rainbow Row in Skinny Dip Charleston at the hard hat opening.

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The official opening party is this Friday, April 7th where I am also DJing but the store is open for shopping as of Tuesday, April 4th. There are so many goodies in there you definitely want to be one of the first to check it out. Congrats to the Skinny Dip team for all of their hard work and looking forward to celebrating on Friday!

Holiday Events and Trunk Shows

Our trees at Candy Shop On Cannon are already trimmed and we have a few Holiday events and trunk shows lined up over the next few weeks. Of course you can catch us at our Charleston store at 9 Cannon Street Tuesday-Saturdays 10AM-5PM but we will also be at these fun events and trunk shows:

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The Holiday Sip ‘N Shop

Shop local businesses and enjoy specials at local restaurants in Cannonborough/Elliotborough in Downtown Charleston.

When: Neighborhood wide shopping event from 5-8PM on Friday, December 2

Where: Candy Shop Vintage at 9 Cannon Street and participating Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood businesses in Downtown Charleston, SC.

 

The Junior League of Columbia Holiday Market

Holiday market and fundraiser for the Junior League of Columbia, SC.

When: 9AM-5PM starting Thursday, December 1 – Sunday, December 4 

Where: Cantey and Goodman Buildings at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, located at 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29201.

 

The Gibbes Museum Holiday Trunk Show

The Gibbes Museum holiday trunk show. Shop from a variety of curated local vendors after their Wednesday evening program.

When: 6-8PM on Wednesday, December 14

Where: The Gibbes Museum in Charleston, SC

 

Gwynn’s Holiday Trunk Show

Holiday Trunk show at Gwynn’s in Mt. Pleasant with our Charleston Rice Beads, Candy Shop Collection jewelry and vintage jewelry as well as other featured local vendors.

When: 10AM-7PM on Saturday, December 17th and 12-5PM on Sunday, December 18th

Where: Gwynn’s at 916 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC.

 

Better together: Charleston Holiday Gift Sets

If you are looking for that perfect Charleston gift this holiday season, look no further. We’ve compiled some of our favorite local items in gift sets. Ordered together, our four gift sets can also be customized with an add on gift note. And the best part? They come gift wrapped so you can send straight to the recipient without so much as having to curl a ribbon! But hurry up, as quantities are limited (available online only)…

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Charleston Cocktail Napkins Gift Set $85

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Color Charleston Gift Set $40

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The Charleston Academy Gift Set $95

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Set of Charleston Guest Towels $65

First Ever Candy Shop Vintage Sample Sale

In less than two weeks, there will be neighborhood-wide Cannonborough/Elliotborough sidewalk sale in Charleston where will be hosting our first ever SAMPLE SALE. We’ll have a table full of $5 vintage jewelry as well as a table of discontinued Candy Shop Vintage designs, samples and more. We’ll be serving One Hope Champagne and homemade Whisky Sours all day so come join us from 10AM-5PM:

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If you don’t live in Charleston we’ll be snapping all the sample sale goodies starting at 10AM, so add us and follow along, user name candyshpvintage and it there is anything you’d like to purchase you can snapchat us with your email address and we’ll send you an invoice.  See you there!

Vintage At The Restoration Hotel

Last Thursday marked the launch of a collaboration I did along with Seeline Vintage with the The Restoration Hotel and their boutique, The Port Mercantile at 75 Wentworth Street in Downtown Charleston. The Port is located adjacent to the lobby of their beautiful hotel, but far from a typical hotel gift shop, it is a well curated trove of unique designer items including many Southern brands. They approached my friend MK Quinlan of Seeline to do a month-long pop-up shop but wanted to accent her great vintage clothing collection with some jewels and accessories – so that is where I came in. Not to mention, it is always fun to get to work with friends.

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MK is pregnant, and chicly managed to camouflage her growing bump in one of her gorgeous vintage gowns while I opted for one of her vintage cocktail dresses – a floral, Emanual Ungaro wrap dress I purchased from her while we were setting up our shop. Shopping while you are trying to make money is always one of the pitfalls of pop-up shops! We had a small launch party last Thursday but the curated vintage collection of clothing and jewelry will be up until the end of the month if you can get there fast enough! Even the first night, our one-of-a-kind pieces were flying out the door…

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We both tried to select vintage pieces that complimented the earthy, rich tones of the store as well as spoke to the season… think spring garden cocktails, summer evening dinner parties and weekend jaunts…

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A crown jewel of my collection for the port was the chunky, gold Egyptian Revival cuff pictured below. Designed by Elizabeth Taylor for AVON in the early 1990’s it looked like it had never been worn and was in it’s original packaging when it came into my possession. It lasted a mere 24 hours, but at least I have this photo to remember it by… (sniff, sniff…)

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I also worked with century old jewelry house CINER in New York to re-manufacture some one-of-a-kind vintage designs from their archives for this curated collection. All of their manufacturing is still done in house in the center of Manhattan and they were able to quickly turn around some incredible pieces pulled from their archives that emulate the season – from under-the-sea fantasy pieces like this dolphin cuff to the elegant rhinestone butterfly choker. If you are in Charleston are able to make it by The Port Mercantile at The Restoration Hotel this month, do not miss out on this special collection!

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We loved seeing all our friends join us at the opening for whisky sours and pimento cheese crackers. Lindsay Fleege (pictured below) did a fabulous job with her firm Gray & Co. promoting our event! Lindsay used to do PR for CHANEL in New York and her own jewelry collection is seriously incredible.

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The sweetest grandaughter/grandmother duo in town to celebrate my good friend Cator’s wedding…

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Interior Designer Sidney Wagner peruses the vintage racks

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Lindsay & Ellie of Gray & Co. PR

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Our most stylish customers…

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Helping Anne Elkins of The George Gallery find some statement earrings

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Vintage shopping is the prefect girls night out activity!

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HIGH_FIVE

Thanks to all who came out! It was so much fun. Be sure to visit before we pack up shop on May 31st!

New Retail Hours at #CANDYSHOPONCANNON

You asked and we answered.  While our Cannon Street Storefront started out as more of a “retail showroom” model we are excited that the Charleston community has added it to it’s growing list of favorite local stores. In order to make shopping easier this fall and holiday season, we are expanding our retail hours to 11AM-6PM Tuesday-Friday and 11AM-5PM on Saturdays.  Happy shopping!

A Vintage Trunk Show Curated by Garden & Gun

I am excited to announce I’ve collaborated with Garden & Gun Magazine to curate a special, online trunk show of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. We’ve selected pieces that had an interesting history, were collected in the South or emulated the magazine’s deep appreciation of Southern sport and culture.

All pieces are available for purchase online on candyshopvintage.com through February 28th.  You can read more about the collaboration and learn about upcoming Candy Shop Vintage trunk shows on their blog today. Enjoy!