IF YOU’VE GOTTEN MARRIED or bought a wedding gift in Charleston in the last 15 years, it’s likely you already know Jeffrey Bannon and his namesake store, Jeffrey Bannon Ltd. As he celebrates the store’s 15th anniversary this year, Bannon is feeling reflective. “I’ve been very fortunate that I get to do what I love in life,” he says.
Bannon has an origin story like so many others who now call Charleston home. “I was running a business in Washington, D.C., and every time someone sweet and nice came in, they were from the South. I needed a change in my life, so I put my dog in my convertible and started an eight-city tour,” he says. When he got to the Holy City, he just stayed. “This is an incredibly welcoming city filled with warm people. It was an easy fit for me.”
Bannon is sophisticated but down-to-earth, making him an easy fit for Charleston, as well. Drawing on his education and experience as an interior designer, he created a store with a carefully curated selection of fine china, linens, furniture, home accessories, stationery and invitations. “I like to say we have everything for the bride except the dress,” he says.
Jeffrey Bannon is well known for being a one-stop lifestyle store for hostess gifts, baby gifts, wedding gifts and beautiful home goods. “We carry designers who are true artisans. We make it easy for clients to register for so many beautiful things all in one place,” he says. “We carry china and crystal, but we also carry things like everyday tableware, throw pillows, luggage, lamps, mirrors and furniture.”
In addition to dozens of high-end designers, Bannon carries the full product lines of Michael Aram, a designer known for tableware that reflects nature, and William Yeoward, known for fine hand-cut crystal. The store also represents the full catalog of Royal Limoges and Mottahedeh, a designer known for luxury ceramic reproductions of historical designs.
Having access to this much variety means customers (and anyone who wants to buy themselves gifts they always wanted but never got) can mix and match table elements to create a unique look.
“Bridal registry has changed over the years,” Bannon says, “It’s not as formal, but people still want quality. In a world where everything is generic and disposable, younger generations still want things that will last. It gives me great joy to see people from 10 or 12 years ago tell me they still love the things they got as wedding gifts.”
Bannon credits the store’s longevity to a reputation for outstanding customer service. In large part, service means guiding brides, or couples, through gift selections that they’ll have and enjoy for a lifetime. Some stores hand you a scanner at the door, but Bannon pulls out his client’s choices and sets the table so they can see how it looks. He can do that because the store is one of the few places left that keep tableware in stock.
Bannon mixes Manhattan style with Lowcountry charm, and he loves a beautiful table setting. “We’re lucky in the South. There are people who hold to tradition,” he says.
Listening to Bannon, I can tell his love for a beautiful table isn’t just about tradition. He values the social experience and understands how a thoughtful table setting honors the people who share the meal. It’s clear he has a big heart for the community. “Sitting down together helps us have the conversations we need to have right now,” he says.
While Bannon is devoted to the online experience, he also offers a personal experience. He says: “People are craving personal attention right now. Some of my customers come in once a week just to see what’s new.” And to have an uplifting interaction with Bannon and his staff, I suspect.
Jeffrey Bannon Ltd. is open for regular business hours in the Windermere Shopping Center. Bannon and his staff are happy to help guests create registries in person, but brides and couples can also create registries and design invitations online. The store also offers online
shopping and global shipping. *
Robin Howard is a full-time freelance writer in Charleston. See more of her work at robinhowardwrites.com.