Limited Edition Charleston Rice Beads & Happenings

A new Charleston Rice Bead Necklace in a 5′ length is now available online.  This is a limited edition piece for summer and we will be contributing $10 from the sale of every necklace online to The Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.  They are available here.

Also, if you are looking for things to do in Charleston this week, consider visiting The George Gallery tonight night for Imagining Eliza, a group show featuring ten artists.

Per my friend MK who helped organize the fundraiser:

Eliza  Pinkney was queen bee of Charleston back in the late 1700s and is responsible for introducing indigo farming to South Carolina. She was the first woman inducted into the South Carolina Women’s Business Hall of Fame and was generally just a total bad-ass. Her over 200 year old sack-back gown, thought to have been worn to the court of King George II, was given to the Charleston Museum in the 1940s and is in desperate need of restoration. Though we have her dress, no portraits of Eliza survived the Revolutionary War—we have no clue what she looked like! With this in mind, we’ve asked ten all-star artists from across the South and beyond to paint their own versions of an Eliza Pinckney portrait, inspired by her history and legacy. Proceeds from the sale of these works will go towards Eliza’s dress’s restoration. 

Then, this Wednesday I am SO excited that my good friend Sally Benedict whose beautiful ladies hang in my shop in Charleston is launching her new stationary line in collaboration with my fav Charleston paper shop, also on Cannon Street, Mac & Murphy you do not want to miss this:

If you are local, our Summer White Charleston Rice Beads are also available at Candy Shop Vintage at 9 Cannon Street – you can pick to wear to either of these fun evening events!


Some Thoughts On Charleston

I moved to Charleston seven years ago from New York City. While it was never a exactly a sleepy southern city, I have witnessed its explosive growth and development, particularly in the last three years. Charleston has grown rapidly and been put on the map, over and over again, as one of the best, most beautiful destinations in the country and a world class culinary mecca. There has been a feeling of palpable excitement in the air as Charleston accelerates into its unknown but exciting future.

I’ve often felt this is almost a ridiculously idyllic place to live, so beautiful some days that it’s almost as if nothing bad could ever happen in a place this nice. I feel lucky to live here, lucky to own a home here, fortunate to have launched a business here doing what I love. I’ve enjoyed Charleston’s hospitality, tasted its amazing food again and again and have tried to give and show the same to our friends and family who visit. When I travel other places, telling people I live in Charleston has often felt like disclosing that I am actually related to someone famous. It gets a visceral, universally positive response – everyone either loves Charleston or has heard that it is amazing and wants to go as soon as possible.

But last week all of that temporarily came to a grinding halt. Our community known for its openness, ease and hospitality was struck, suddenly, violently and seemingly out of nowhere. In spite of all the worse stereotypes of the South, they are not often uttered about Charleston, even though there is room for improvement in the city’s diversity and race relations. But something much worse than any one could have conjured up in their wildest, darkest imagination happened.  It did not seem real last week, and it hardly seems real now. 

image via

My husband is an Episcopal Priest at Grace Church in downtown Charleston. When we heard this happened in a church, no less, the blow was especially painful, especially close to home. We had just shared a church service the Sunday prior with the neighboring A.M.E. Church and heard their spirited pastor deliver a message about the power of one to do great good. We consider our church, as many do, one of the safest places to be and one where racial divides do not exist – a sanctuary. A place where you would never have to worry about someone flying off the handle, becoming violent, or doing the impossible – killing.

Nearly a week into this crisis, however, a second story has begun to unfold. It is one so beautiful that it even trumps the cultural renaissance and staggering growth Charleston has been experiencing as of late. The love and peace that has flowed and flowed through Charleston and out of this crisis is overwhelming.  Every few hours for days after this terrible event I have read a new story that has brought me to tears -  particularly the forgiveness of the victim’s families. “We welcomed you Wednesday into our bible study,” said the Felicia Sanders, the mother of the youngest victim, “Tywanza was my hero, but as we said in Bible study, we enjoyed you but may God have mercy on you.”  The aid funds for the families were set up quickly and efficiently (learn how to contribute here), the church bells rung in unison from every church in the city and beyond this past Sunday morning at 10AM, and the diverse “unity chain” across the Ravanel Bridge brought thousands of residents out to stand for peace. Prior to this crisis, there was a sense that all this was possible here, but a there was lack of urgency and understanding on how and when to begin to implement it. 

I think about one of my favorite movies – the Grinch that stole Christmas – of a dark, despicable, damaged character who came down from the mountain to destroy a community. He was so sure he would rob them of their obscene happiness he was actually gleeful in his pursuit of destruction.  And when he got there, even his interactions with the sweetest and youngest of them didn’t deter him from his mission. But what he finds when he looks down the mountain – after he has taken seemingly everything from them – is that where he expects there to be anger and despair, he instead sees love and hope.  He hears their bells ringing and voices singing and sees their hands clasped in unity. This is our Charleston community right now. As the Mayor of Charleston observed, “if that young man thought he was going to divide this country… he miserably failed.” Now more than ever, I feel lucky to be a Charleston, S.C. resident.


Father’s Day Love

When my friend Morgan of BURU – a fabulous online clothing boutique for fashion forward mammas – asked me to share a little about my husband for Father’s Day for her online magazine, I couldn’t help but think back to this adorable photo shoot we did with Gray Benko last year. These photos really captured the essence of my husband John and daughter Daphne’s silly and loving relationship.  In honor of Father’s Day I shared a little more about Daphne’s special Daddy as well put together a great little Father’s Day gift guide for all the moms out there… Head on over to the BURU blog today and check it out! 

And thanks again to Gray for these photos we will treasure forever – they really captured a special moment in time and the very brief moment our poodle, Birthday, was actually small!

We Have A Winner & Our Next Trunk Show

First things first… I arrived at work yesterday to find a yellow crane swinging perilously close to my brand new awning. This is all part of the ongoing Cannon Street beautification project by the Charleston Parks department who are making the sidewalks on Cannon street wider and more pedestrian-friendly. They are also adding bike racks and other much needed improvements and I am all for it. But I didn’t get a heads up on the exact day/time this would land on my doorstep, so unfortunately I’ve had to suddenly close shop for two days until completion and will reopen this Thursday June 4 at 11AM.

Next I wanted to announce the winner of our recent giveaway, a pair of new teardrop Charleston Rice Bead Earrings that are not yet for sale. I loved all the entries, they were chic creative and adorable. But in conversing with my assistant we determined the ultimate winner to be Paige Johnson, who creatively printed out some “paper” Charleston Rice Beads to share since she does not yet have her own.  Congrats Paige! Please email us your mailing address at

A couple other of my favorite giveaway entries are below. I’ll be doing another summer giveaway soon so please be sure to follow us on Instagram @candyshopvintage for a heads up!

Finally, we are excited to be having a Candy Shop Vintage trunk show at Fleur Boutique in Raleigh, NC this week.  Our trunk show will be up for three days total during store hours and feature our new Candy Shop Collection pieces, our Charleston Rice Beads, and even some one-of-a-kind vintage pieces – please stop by if you live in the area!


*NEW* Charleston Rice Bead Earring Giveaway

I am gearing up for a fun, Spoleto-filled weekend in Charleston and just got my first samples of our new, Charleston Rice Bead teardrop earrings, not yet available online.  I thought I’d give one of the first pairs away (below, in shiny gold).  All you have to do to qualify to enter is to share a photo of you wearing yours or even just a picture of your Charleston Rice Beads on their own on instagram using the hashtag #lovemycharlestonricebeads and you will be entered to win. Make sure to tag @candyshopvintage in your photo or caption so I can see it.

You can also email me your photo to if you don’t use Instagram or you have a private account.  Ends at midnight, Sunday.  Happy weekend!

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!