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:



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






Kountry Kitchen With Love Stuart, FL


Best Key Lime pie ever


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






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!




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.


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?


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!


See the full story here!

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.




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.



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


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.


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.

A Mad Fantasy Tea Party

This past Monday we had a spring tea party to launch our new Fantasy Garden Collection, a vintage inspired capsule collection and collaboration with New York based jewelry company Ciner. I don’t know if it is the recent release of Beauty & The Beast, spring in general, or the fanciful nature of this new collection but I have had a tea party craving for awhile now. Talented Charleston-based illustrator Daniel Velasco did our invites and we purchased teacups that doubled as party favors for all the guests and turned Candy Shop Vintage on Cannon Street into a tea room for the afternoon.


Thanks to Ooh events, we were able to squeeze in seating for 18 people down the length of the store. We served Charleston grown tea from The Charleston Tea Plantation in three flavors – Charleston Breakfast, Peach and Earl Grey. Frampton’s Flowers provided some beautiful fresh ranunculus for us in shades of pale pink.


Out tiered tea towers were brimming with homemade goodies from local bakeries and caterers – Hamby’s, Sugar bakeshop and scones from Wildflour:



And one of the best details were the beautiful, hand painted unicorn macaroons from Mercantile & Mash:







11 12


The centerpiece of our new collection, The Unicorn Fantasy Necklace:



Our floral selfie wall was also a lot of fun:



As were the unicorn horn party hats from Meri Meri party:



I only slept about two hours the night before but still had a blast:





Thanks to all who came and contributed to a magical afternoon in Charleston!

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 cinerny.com.


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.

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:


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.


Happy Halloween From Charleston!

Happy Halloween from Charleston, SC (where it is a balmy 80 degrees out – seriously, I am ready for some real fall weather!). Today is the last day to play “Guess The Number of Candy Corn” in the champagne glass (below). The closest (or exact) guess wins a $100 gift card to Candy Shop Vintage that can be used online and in store. If more than one person guesses the correct number then they both get a gift card! Comment on this blog post with your best guess and your email address! Winner is announced tomorrow.


This year my daughter Daphne asked me to dress as a rainbow unicorn with her. I figure that the number of years she wants to wear matching costumes are going to be limited so I should jump on board. It is pretty cute wearing a matching costume with her (although she shed some of her unicorn accessories for a pony ride in the park because it was just so hot!).



And for some adult treats, don’t forget to check our our One-of-a-Kind Vintage section where we’ve just added some fresh vintage treats!

The Queen of 80’s Bling: An Interview With Wendy Gell

I found my first pair of Wendy Gell earrings in a dusty antiques mall in rural South Carolina. They stood out among a lot of run-of-the-mill vintage jewelry, with details like hand cut leather flowers and high quality Swarovski stones. They were signed on the back and I bought them at the time for my One Kings Lane shop where they were listed for just a few hours before they sold. I was intrigued by the handmade, sculptural style combined with the exquisite quality. I started researching her pieces on Etsy and Ebay and finding interesting tidbits about her designs and career online- she was one of Oprah’s favorite designers and had even been interviewed on her show, she created pieces for runway shows and held licenses to many Disney characters and designed lines around Disney movie releases like Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Her opulent, over-the-top pieces were collected by celebrities including Princess Diana and splashed all over the pages of VOGUE in the seventies and eighties.


Last year, as part of the CJCI Conference in Rhode Island – I had the opportunity to take one of Wendy’s workshops, learning how to make some of her trademark, over-the-top wrist cuffs or “wristys” as she calls them using her everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach.


A few of Wendy’s original, handmade designs

As the conference was in New England, I thought using a giant lobster as a centerpiece was appropriate – it looked fabulous but the process was definitely labor intensive and involved a lot of glue!


Make-your-own wristy, starting with a raw, brass cuff


My finished lobster wristy

As you can imagine, spending time with her was a lot of fun and we decided to do an interview with her for the Candy Shop Vintage blog about her prolific career.

How did you get started in jewelry design? 

I was a songwriter working in New York City, part of a singing group called Gell & Gellman and we had nine records but no hits. When my business partner got married and moved away and I had to find a new way to make a living. I started driving a cab and one day went down to Canal Street which, at the time, was filled with hardware stores and where a lot of old junk went and I found these brass bracelet bases outside in a box. I bought them and just started making jewelry with them. A guy at one of the hardware stores showed me how to use a glue gun, which I had never heard of, and I was so excited because you could glue things and make them stick as fast as your imagination can go. Of course you have to use other kinds of glue to really make it stick but the glue gun is just for placement. So I got started like this at my kitchen table.




Some vintage Wendy Gell Earrings


A vintage Wendy Gell Bracelet

How did you market you designs and get them out there for people to see? 

I was living in the Village and I took my “wristys” around in a wine box to different stores and got my first account. Shortly after that, I had a bold moment and called Vogue and asked for the accessories editor at the time, named Madeline Parish. I told her who I was and that I was interested in showing her my jewelry. She’d already seen my jewelry around town and liked it very much so she took a meeting with me and we got along fabulously well. Madeline and I then worked together for years – she would tell me what the trends would be before the issues came out and I would do special projects for them. All through the 80’s I got great press – VOGUE in several countries, serious publications like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Eventually I moved out of my apartment up to an office 37th Street where the industry was. At one point we had around forty employees.


Some of Wendy’s Press coverage including German Vogue, Harper’s and Cindy Crawford and Oprah Winfrey both wearing her earrings.

How did some of your editorial press jump to Television coverage?

It was July, 1986 and I had just returned from a tour of California for Nordstrom and the Disney Stores. I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was get on another plane. But Oprah’s producers called me and said that she had a show out there that was about to go national and she collected my jewelry and said I really ought to come out and do an interview. I didn’t know at the time that she was about to become the biggest thing ever!

Who were some of your other well-known clients?

Princess Diana was given a Jessica Rabbit pin by The Disney Company when the Movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit opened. She loved it and started buying my jewelry. Bill Clinton also purchased a cherub pin from someone at one of his rallies and gave it to Hillary Clinton. Cher also collected my jewelry as well as Lauren Nyro, one of my favorite songwriters at the time.


Wendy Gell for Disney Jewelry and Accessories

Tell me about your partnership with Disney

I was doing the Pret-a-Porter trade show in New York City and a women approached me and asked me if I would be interested in acquiring the Disney license and be able to work with the characters in my designs. I flipped out and levitated to the ceiling and when I caught my breath and told her I would love to! It turned in to a major project and we spent a fortune on models and molds. I got to do Roger Rabbit, Dick Tracy, Wizard of Oz, Phantom of the Opera and all of the other characters… I was called The Queen of Disney Licensing. We produced these pieces – jewelry and accessories – for five years and they completely sold out.





We closed the company in 1991 and after living in my house in Connecticut for a number of years I moved to the West Coast, to Oregon about thirteen years ago. I now work out of my house – I have a studio in my house that is my workshop – filled with beads and components and stones and pearls just spilling out the back door. I take orders and do a lot of commissions – I do a lot of cherub pieces for people’s weddings and have an active Etsy shop and e-commerce site. I make a lot of one off pieces for collectors and bring my jewelry classes around to different conferences and institutions around the country. I’d love to do something in the LA area next. I am also doing a series of paintings and have an art show coming up in Ashland in May.

Wendy Gell’s designs can be purchased on her website and in her Etsy Shop and various vintage pieces of hers can often be found from other people scrolling through Ebay and Etsy. I purchased one of my favorite pieces of hers last year after her class, an enormous cockatoo wristy. 


My favorite Wendy Gell piece from my personal collection, with a cockatoo made out of minerals accented with blown glass leaves and Swarovski crystal stones.

Neighborhood Sidewalk Sale & Sample Sale!

Tomorrow, our Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood in Charleston where our Candy Shop Vintage shop is located is having a neighborhood wide sidewalk sale featuring discounts and specials at all the neighborhood shops:

We’ll be hosting our first sample sale at the store with tables of discounted jewels out in front of the shop. If you don’t live here, not to worry! Add us on Snapchat and shop remotely:


Happy hunting!

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:


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!