We had the honor of being invited to visit Pixie Lily’s design studio in Charleston, South Carolina over the weekend. Though Savannah will always be my favorite city in the South- Charleston, our sister city, comes at a close second. We of course jumped at the opportunity when Pixie Lily’s owner suggested we come visit to see all the new things they had to offer. We decided to make a day of it- do a little shopping 0n King Street and Mount Pleasant and then proceed to eat our way through Charleston.
The Pixie Lily studio was as enchanting as their owner, Leda Jackson. With their soft pastels and vintage styling, it was exactly what I pictured. We have always carried their layette gowns and things- but hadn’t yet ventured into their toddler and seasonal apparel. We were in love. The classic styles and detailing were just what we needed at sara jane children’s boutique.
It already felt like Leda and I were great friends since I have spoken on the phone with her for the past 4 years or so, but it was great to get a face with a name. She had so much passion for how a child should dress. Her knowledge about the children’s retail market was endless. We look forward to visiting again soon and are so fortunate that we were able to visit with each other even if it was just an afternoon.
Leda and some of her sweet bubbles for the Spring
Next we made our way around King Street to do a little shopping. We popped our head into several local shops before we headed to lunch at one of our go to restaurants while in Charleston- Husk. You know you have me when the food is described as “upscale Southern”. Nothing better than some sweet tea, shrimp & grits, and warm buttered biscuits. Their building is one of my favorites, with the double decker porch and gas lanterns. I’ve never had a bad meal at Husk.
After lunch, we decided to take a trip to Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island. They are my favorite part of Charleston. Sullivan’s Island reminds me a bit of Tybee but with more historic large homes on the water. Everything seemed a bit laid back at Sullivan’s Island.
Before we knew it, it was time for our dinner reservations at Hall’s Chophouse. My husband recently went to Hall’s and had been dying to bring me back. Since he had been raving about it for months, I figured it couldn’t be AS good as he said. We first sat down and was greeted by their owner, Bill Hall, who came by several times during the night. We had several waiters throughout the night, all with specific tasks, and they made sure we had exactly what we wanted. The food was fabulous- steak was suburb, along with the lobster mac n cheese, loaded mashed potatoes, and warm whiskey bread pudding.. but it was the customer service that had us talking about it all the way home to Savannah. Mr. Hall even chased us down King Street to give us a hug and thank my husband for coming back to visit. It’s the customer service that we will drive all the way from Savannah to experience again.
I think customer service is what differs locally owned businesses by those “chain” or “big box” businesses. Not saying that corporate businesses don’t care about their customers- I worked at several corporate jobs before opening my own store. But it’s different. It’s Leda’s passion for designing children’s clothes or Mr. Hall’s passion for his restaurant. It is love for their job and you can see it in how they interact with customers and how much they care about them. I hope to portray this in my store.
There are often times when I’m late night perusing Facebook and I get so excited that one of my customer’s had their baby or even when I spot a sara jane children’s boutique outfit on a child at church. As I’ve said before- my customer’s are my friends, my neighbors, my family. As our business grows, I can’t express how much I cherish experiences like the ones I had in Charleston and how important they are to learning the best ways to run a business.
Until next time.
Sara Jane Stroupe
owner sara jane children’s boutique