Rhodes Boutique and Rhodes Home & Gift elevate the Lowcountry lifestyle with timeless elegance

by ELLEN URIBE / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

With a long-established retail presence in the picturesque coastal city of Charleston, Caroline Rhodes has been making her mark with two unique and beautifully appointed namesake shops—one customer at a time.

Rhodes Boutique and Rhodes Home & Gift, located a mere four shops apart in the centrally located South Windermere Center, have been a favorite shopping locale for visitors and locals alike, encapsulating the very essence of life in the Lowcountry. With a mission to enhance the aesthetic experience of relaxed living, these establishments offer a meticulously curated selection of timeless apparel, accessories, home décor and gifts that cater to a diverse clientele.

“My customers are like extended family, and I firmly believe in offering them extraordinary service,” says Rhodes, who has established a well-rounded and experienced team of professionals who do just that.

Wiley Marshall, the company’s general manager, notes, “We think about our ladies by name when we’re buying at our markets throughout the year and about all the occasions they need to dress and buy gifts for.”

This personalized touch extends to the staff’s diverse ages, backgrounds and interests, ensuring a selection that is both relevant and distinctive. The result is a collection that resonates with women from their early 20s to their 70s, embracing the spectrum of occasions and celebrations life in the Lowcountry offers.

The company was first launched as a retailer that specializes in embroidery, and it’s still an essential and highly sought after service that engenders a sense of pride in the staff. “Embroidery is a beautiful tradition here,” says Ali Guy, the company’s marketing director. “There are so many classic things that we monogram—towels for a wedding, gowns for a christening, wedding handkerchiefs for a mother or in-laws. These become keepsakes and are kept in families for generations.”

Frannie Lee, manager of Rhodes Home & Gift, expresses the joy derived from customers’ pride in wearing Rhodes’ apparel or gifting items from its large selection. She emphasizes the importance of feeling excited during life’s special and everyday moments, an ethos that permeates the extensive offerings at Rhodes.

“I do all the design and displays,” says Lee, who started with the company as a sales associate. She is also a color wheel analyst and has become an enormous asset to the company and its clientele. “I love helping our customers find just the right colors,” she says. “Our home store is really timeless, and we offer so many things you can pass down and love forever. We also have a lot of merchandise that brings pure joy to your life.”

Rhodes Boutique boasts a captivating array of widely popular brands, including Hunter Bell, Celia B, Oliphant, Jude Connally and Hammitt, as well as cherished local brands such as Victoria Dunn and Brackish. The boutique is a haven for fashion enthusiasts, offering everything from black-tie gowns by Shoshanna, Theia and Halston to jewelry and bow ties to children’s books and baby gowns. The beautiful selection spans across apparel, jewelry, shoes, accessories, children’s gifts, loungewear and more.

“Regular trunk shows and events such as ‘Restyle Your Fur’ provide unique opportunities for patrons to repurpose heirloom furs into contemporary styles, seamlessly blending the old with the new in a celebration of heritage,” says Guy.

Rhodes Home & Gift, on the other hand, caters to home and gifting needs with renowned brands such as Simon Pearce glassware, fine china by Ginori 1735 and Royal Crown Derby, Matouk luxury linens, Schumacher wall coverings and Nest fragrance, among others. A display wall of china and glassware welcomes visitors, stunning them upon entry, while styled beds and tables showcase new inspirations regularly. The store is a treasure trove for those seeking fresh and unique finds, with customers returning weekly to discover something new and delightful.

“Our merchandise in the stores is built to last,” notes Lee. “We offer wedding and gift registries as well. I work with all of the brides. We all love showing them what their china, fine linens for bedding and table can be, as well as all of the beautiful décor that they can add to their registry. We guide them in making selections they can blend with their family heirlooms and use for years to come.”

The shops make it easy to find the perfect gifts for almost any occasion from Rhodes’ extensive collection. “We have something for everyone no matter what kind of event you are attending. It’s a one-stop, one-of-a-kind shop,” says Lee.

For Rhodes, the commitment to honoring traditions extends beyond fashion and into the home. The establishments recognize the importance of preserving a lifestyle that reflects the historical essence of the area, ensuring that it continues to thrive in the years to come. In a world that often rushes forward, Rhodes stands as a testament to the enduring beauty and grace found in traditions, celebrating the rich tapestry of life in the Lowcountry. *

Ellen Uribe is an award-winning journalist and a communications expert. She is a sought-after speaker, participating as a moderator and panelist at numerous industry events, conferences and broadcast outlets. She has contributed to Vanity FairPalm Beach LifeThe New York TimesChicago TribuneWomen’s Wear Daily and Time Magazine.

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