Walking into Scarlett’s Home Decor & Gifts in Summerville, South Carolina, is like dropping by to have a glass of wine with your girlfriends—that is, if your girlfriends are talented interior designers with keen eyes for beautiful things.
Rather than offering cookie-cutter décor that you could find at any big-box retailer—ornovelties typical of any Lowcountry gift shop—the store brings in an ever-changing, curated selection of items you won’t find anywhere else in Summerville and likely even the surrounding Charleston area.
“We hand select, touch and feel every single product that comes into our store,” said co-owner Mary Conover. “We even go as far as interviewing dealers to make sure that the items we stock are unique to Summerville and won’t be seen in any other nearby shop.”
You will find beautiful artwork, unusual home décor pieces, kitchenware as charming as it is practical, furniture, clothes, jewelry and accessories. You’ll also discover pieces from local artisans and artists, including handcrafted wooden American flags, Brazilian cherry and maple rolling pins and cutting boards, fine art photography, and handpoured soy-based candles in tantalizing scents, like lemongrass and sage, and eucalyptus and spearmint.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect hostess or baby shower gift or the finishing touch for your mantel, you’re sure to find here. The store also stocks a variety of sought-after Christmas collectibles and ornaments by Byers’ Choice and Christopher Radko. Whatever you choose, make sure you take Scarlett’s up on its complimentary gift wrapping.
So much thought has been put into every item—and how each vignette is arranged—that it’s hard to believe Conover and her business partner, Lorrie Griffith, had no prior retail experience before Scarlett’s.
Following a career in finance, Conover found herself contemplating retirement. Instead, she enlisted the help of her best friend of more than 20 years and opted to pursue her dream. “The store and its concept were Mary’s brainchild,” says Griffith.
At first thought, one might assume that Scarlett’s Home Decor & Gifts is named after a loved one or family pet. Instead, the name is a nod to the heroine from their favorite movie, Gone with the Wind. “Scarlett [O’Hara] had grit, just like us,” says Griffith. “Without that we would have never taken on this adventure.”
And what an adventure it’s been. Scarlett’s will celebrate its one-year anniversary at the end of September. By mid-October, the 1,200-square-foot store will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with a mailbox for letters to Santa. Each letter will receive a personalized response—another example of the high level of customer service that sets the store apart.
This seemingly limitless level of customer service extends beyond the four walls of their store, since customers can also shop online. Conover and Griffith also offer additional services, including home and office staging, home and office decorating, and custom ordering.
“People don’t buy things that they don’t like, but a lot of times they don’t know how to pull it all together,” says Conover. Rather than filling a client’s home or office with all new items, they instead mix in a few along with pieces they already have. “We really enjoy repurposing old items that still have plenty of life but could use a facelift.”
For those interested in acquiring new skills, Scarlett’s hosts special in-store events twice each month. Past events have included wine tastings and classes about how to use chalk paint or how to make your own hand-stamped greeting cards.
With fun happenings and new inventory being added regularly, you’ll want to stop by often. Scarlett’s Home Decor & Gifts is located in the Sawmill Village shopping center and is open seven days a week.
Ashley McGee is freelance writer and marketing professional living in Summerville, South Carolina. Visit her at ashleyrmcgee.com.