Sharing The Love: Summer Hostess Gifts

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and the kick-off to summer – otherwise known as houseguest season. Being a host is hard – but being hosted can be even harder. Whether you’re visiting a friend out at the beach for the day, tagging along for an afternoon barbecue, or crashing with someone for an entire weekend, being someone’s guest can often be navigating some very murky waters of etiquette.  How early do you arrive? How late do you leave? When do you pick up the check? Some of those things just take experience and good intuition but one thing is for sure – the worst houseguest can be forgiven – even invited back – if they bring a great gift:

1. DINNER GUEST: These sweet macaroon trinket boxes, at $12 they are less than a good bottle of wine and will last longer.

2. OVERNIGHT GUEST: A turquoise Charleston Rice Bead bracelet is an affordable token of affection with a great story behind it. Leave it behind on your pillow with a thank you note or even order one online after you leave and ship it directly to your hostess with a Candygram.

3. WEEKEND GUEST: These embroidered pink elephant cocktail napkins along with a bottle of your favorite spirit are the perfect contribution to your farewell round of cocktails with your hostess.

4. WEEKLONG GUEST: Being a guest for more than a weekend means one thing – your host is a veteran. Contribute something that can become a permanent fixture in their home and that can be put to use like these whimsical Charleston linen guests towels. 100% heirloom linen and 100% washable.

5. FOR THE LITTLE ONES: Until we have Charleston Rice Beads for kids, you can grab one of these adorable Color Charleston books at Candy Shop On Cannon for just $12 whimsically illustrated by my talented friend Mary Mac and hand bound with red thread.  Also available on her website.

6. LOANER VACATION HOUSE: When someone loans you their house – whether for a week or even just a night –  it’s appropriate to spoil them a bit with something special that only they can enjoy, like our Crescent Necklace – new for summer – in Pool Blue. It’s still just a drop in the bucket compared to the money you would have spent on rent or a hotel. And don’t forget to make the beds before you leave.

Brilliant Brazilliance

Every now and then you stumble upon an interior so perfect you want to cry. My friend Andrea of The Glam Pad recently alerted me to this fabulous retreat decorated by Leigh Olive Mowry of Olive Interiors. Could you die?

The drama of the back wall is amplified by the classic Brazilliance Wallpaper, a perfect compliment to the immaculate black and white marble floor and pops of hot pink and gold. Also, I love how they didn’t try to hide the ventilation system and instead made it stand out in a glossy black – it almost looks like it is part of the architecture:

Last year I wallpapered a mobile room divider in my office with Brazilliance from Society Social so I could be sure to take it with me when I moved and we had fun using it as a backdrop in our Holiday shoot with the pink tree I bought when my daughter was born. What says holidays in the South better than hot pink and green?

Even the outdoor details of this Olive Interiors retreat are pretty much to die for.  To see more, hop on over to Andrea’s fabulous blog, one of my absolute favs! You’re welcome.

White Out: Our Summer Breastplate Necklace

With summer on the way it seems like the right time to start thinking about incorporating white back into our wardrobes. White in the summer – especially in the South – is a no-brainer. While I love the vintagey opal stones I chose for our Breastplate Necklace we also thought it would look great for summer set with milky, white glass stones. I showed this to Grace Atwood, the girl behind my online style/DIY and all things fun blog, The Stripe and she fell in love. Grace was kind enough to post about our recent New York trunk show so I gave her one of my new, white Breastplate necklaces as a thank you I love how she incorporated it into her whimsical Cinco de Mayo look:

And if you check out her full post on The Stripe you’ll see that she also has a new recommendation for a delicious sounding West Village taco spot to go with it. And what’s better than an outdoor taco spot when the weather warms up? Our breastplate necklace, now available in white, will also be available soon in turquoise for summer wear:

A Rawther Fancy Tea Party

It’s almost Mother’s Day and this time last year I was just coming out of the really difficult phase of both early parenthood and early business owning.  While neither of those roles ever becomes significantly easier, with a year gone by I feel like I’ve really had the chance to watch both “babies” flourish, my adorable daughter Daphne and my not-so-new business. One of the highlights of my Spring so far was spending time with Daphne on home turf of New York City for the first time. It was so great to see New York through her eyes – she was both overwhelmed and intrigued.  She loved being surrounded by so many people and could spend literally hours exploring just one city block.

I decided to take her to do something special – even though Daphne is still very young (she just turned three) she is just old enough to attend “A Rawther Fancy Tea Party” hosted in the Eloise room in the Plaza hotel. We have been reading Eloise for months and I thought this would be a great way for her to connect the dots with what we had been reading and for us to spend time together so I made a tea reservation for the two of us. The Eloise room in which the “Rawther Fancy Tea Party” is held did not disappoint. Filled with there tastefully branded line of teas, plates saucers and other goodies and decorated in their trademark pink, white and black colors it was primed for a magical experience.

I wondered if Daphne would actually drink any tea – she never has before and doesn’t like when things are too “hot.” However, our waitress (who had the demeanor of a patient preschool teacher and an innately warm way of communicating with the “guests”) showed Daphne, without being at all condescending, exactly how to prepare her cup of tea and it was a huge hit. There was also pink lemonade served, another favorite.

Now I should probably mention the tickets to the Rawther Fancy Tea Party are $50 (for both adults and children). Having just been to Disneyworld, this didn’t seem unreasonable, but also wasn’t inexpensive.  I was curious what kind of experience we would have given there was not going to be any champagne involved. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it felt like we got our money’s worth and more.  I don’t like measuring experiences in terms of how much they cost but in hindsight, I think I think the price was extremely fair, for the lovely, personalized nature of the Tea Time. Daphne’s face when they brought over the tower of tea time treats was pretty priceless and there was even fruit to balance out some of the unhealthier sweets. Plus, I was actually starving having skipped lunch and found this was more than enough food for me and her to share. You can see a lone husband in the back of this photo – Dad’s are definitely welcome too:

The tea time had some structure to it, there was the sense of everything briskly moving along, which is a relief when you are an adult sitting in a teeny tiny toddler chair. After everyone neared the end of their tea and snacks, the sweet wait staff apologized on behalf of Eloise who “could not be there with us” and passed out paper so that we could each write her a letter she would later respond to. Daphne enjoyed this part and I helped her compose her letter to Eloise which the guests were then able to place in an ornate little wood mailbox just outside the tea room.

We were then dismissed and there was a store time, lasting about fifteen minutes which gave the parents a little breather and as you can see helped the kids burn off some of their post tea-time sugar high. They were good about wrangling the kids without being to strict and for the most part, everyone sat there and listened.

At the end of the hour, after store time, we were dismissed but not before all the kids were given Eloise gift bags that included some fun little treats, including a hard-cover Eloise etiquette book, which seemed very fitting.  Daphne was thrilled with her goody bag and even more thrilled when we passed the Eloise portrait for the second time on the way out of the Plaza, posing for it and looking a lot like Eloise herself!

In typical New York fashion, we were simply too bushed at the end of such an extravagantly fancy tea to even think about negotiating the subway home. And it being rush hour, our only option back to our hotel turned out to be a rawther expensive car service so maybe that’s something you should factor into your tea time budget. Nevertheless, it was an experience I will always remember – a perfect little mother-daughter outing if you are in New York and looking to for a wonderful, Mother-daughter outing or even a Daddy-daughter date! Happy Mother’s Day!

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

Still haven’t picked up your mother’s day gift yet? Here are a few ideas from Candy Shop Vintage. All can be found in our retail showroom at Candy Shop On Cannon and some can be ordered online. If you are interested in any of the gift sets below and aren’t local, please contact us to arrange shipping.

1) A signed copy of Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits book on everything from cooking to houseguest etiquette to the perfect number of people to have for dinner, served up with their trademark tongue-in-cheek humor. Combine it with one of our shiny gold strand of Charleston Rice Beads.

2) A pair of our shiny gold Charleston Rice Bead stud earrings and a macaroon trinket box to store them in. To sweet to pass up!

3) A gorgeous Dazzle my Tassel scarf by CHRISU perfectly paired with out Charleston Rice Bead 5′ Necklaces in Shiny gold or Turquoise

4) An embroidered Linen Charleston Guest Towel/Hand Towel from our collaboration with Lettermade

5) This stunning vintage one-of-a-kind rhinestone collar necklace and French Jardin CHRISU scarf that couldn’t be more perfect for spring!  Contact us if you interested in having any of these items shipped or come visit us through Saturday at No. 9 Cannon Street in Downtown Charleston!

Now Open: Candy Shop On Cannon

We had SO much fun last night opening #CANDYSHOPONCANNON the new Candy Shop Vintage retail showroom located at 9 Cannon Street in Downtown Charleston.  It was the perfect way to ring in a new chapter of Candy Shop Vintage retail with lots of friends there to celebrate.  Thanks to all who came out and supported!  Here are a few photos of the space thanks to Clay Austin:

Obviously I was super excited.  I have been working some long, late nights to make this happen and pull it together and it was great to be able to show it off! Having all of my vintage pieces and all of my Candy Shop Collection pieces in one place, as well as our Charleston Rice Beads is a bit of a dream come true, and the location is pretty much perfect – just off king and steps from one of my favorite dining spots – The Ordinary.

We had a beautiful table of treats, most of which were donated by our Cannon Street neighbors, Sugar bakeshop as well as some colorful and stunning flowers courtesy of STEMS from down the street:

My husband stood on a chair at one point and captured this great shot of the room mid-party:

And my friend Joel Finsel of Astral Cocktails served up French 75′s and whisky sours, my personal favorite vintage cocktails:

My daughter enjoyed no less than five mini cupcakes and a host of other sugary things, (thanks for the photos Jess!):

And I loved seeing all the photos shared by other party guests.  If you come visit the shop, make sure to hashtag us #candyshoponcannon so I can see your pics! Retail hours are 11AM-4PM Tuesday-Friday and 11AM-3PM Saturdays.  Otherwise, we are by appointment, just contact us to set one up if you are unable to come during those times!


The Candy Shop Vintage Retail Showroom

I’ve been running Candy Shop Vintage for a number of years now without a brick and mortar storefront. I love selling to other stores and have carefully curated a wonderful selection of specialty boutiques and stores that carry our Charleston Rice Beads as well as my Candy Shop Collection designs. Still, I’ve always fantasized about a jewel box of a shop one day. I also love collecting and selling vintage and I constantly struggle with not having a single place to showcase my vintage collection. I had not planned on opening a retail store so soon, but the most perfect little 1940′s storefront in Downtown Charleston became available and I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab the keys give it a shot!

So, I am excited to announce that the new home of Candy Shop Vintage is 9 Cannon Street, just off King Street in Downtown Charleston! Some Charleston folks might know this as the former headquarters of Stitch Design. They’ve moved their offices further Downtown, but I can’t think of a better team of creative talented people to leave some vibrant creative energy behind. Really, the space did not need much improvement as it was already a great mix of modern and vintage, but I’ve still spend the last month adding some personal touches like new floors (blue of course!), installing an awning, painting the walls and picking furniture and displays.

I’ve even designed some new packaging to go along with our new location. It’s been a lot of DIY around here (I’ve killed off a few brain cells with paint fumes and Goo Gone!), but it makes the project all the more special and personal.

I’ve been working out of the space as well and I can’t say it hasn’t been a lot to juggle, but the end result will certainly be worth it.  I have always loved Cannon Street, populated with great, locally owned businesses like Mac & Murphy, Sugar bakeshop and Indigo & Cotton. It’s really an honor to be in on the same block as them. I’ve had some visitors who know I’m here already…

… but it won’t officially be open to the public until Friday, April 24th. Regular hours will be 11-4PM Tuesday-Friday and 11-3PM on Saturdays. Outside of those times, you will be able to make a showroom appointment. If you’d like to attend the opening fete, check out the details below and shoot me an email at And if you don’t happen to live in Charleston you can always keep visiting Candy Shop Vintage here online!

Charleston Rice Beads for a Good Cause

For the month of April, Candy Shop Vintage is proud to be supporting one of our favorite non-profits: LEARN Horse Rescue. For each Charleston Rice Bead necklace in turquoise purchased on, we will donate $5 to LEARN.

This organization rescues, rehabilitates, and retrains horses with the ultimate goal of finding them the perfect home. There were over 200,000 unwanted horses in the United States at last count, and rescue facilities only have the capacity for about 33,000. At LEARN, horses are trained to realize their full potential and recover from any sort of abuse or neglect they had in the past and once again become happy and healthy.

I grew up riding whenever I could and am probably going to be dusting off my old riding boots again soon, so join me in supporting this cause by purchasing a Charleston Rice Bead necklace in one of our most popular colors! xo

Save the Date for a New York Trunk Show On April 18th

I am very excited to be returning to New York next month for a short visit. My friend Patty Tobin who I met doing trunk shows at Bloomingdale’s last year has her own beautiful line of fine fashion jewelry made with semiprecious stones, will be hosting me for a for a Candy Shop Vintage trunk show at her beautiful flagship store in Chelsea on Saturday, April the 18th.

I’ll be bringing a selection of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, my own designs and of course Charleston Rice Beads.  This is the first time I have offered them in New York City, bringing a little bit of Charleston back to my home state.  And, speaking of taste I will be shipping up some of my favorite Southern goodies for guests to sample at the event.  Be sure to save the date!  Details below.