by Taylor Shelby
Charleston, South Carolina
September 15, 2005
In the side wall of the store, there is a doorway that is cut into the next building over. This is called the "powder puff gallery." This is still part of the store, but it has different items. Most of the stuff in here was clothing and various things related to that. Most of it was pretty horrific (there was a clear, plastic mini skirt that was $112 – yech!), but they did have some cute things in there as well. My favorite thing in the store wasn’t actually for sale; it was just being used as a prop. It was like one of those old-fashioned wire-dress forms, but made with wicker, and it was stuffed with ostrich feathers. I know it sounds weird, but it looked wonderful. There were also some home décor items in this part, like artwork, and my mom found this gorgeous hand-woven rug that she bought for $35. It was a deal. We were very lucky because when we were there they had everything in the store 50% off.
Now, my favorite thing about this place wasn’t what they had for sale, but the buildings that they were located in. The man at the counter told us that the place was almost destroyed by a fire 7 years ago, and what we see now is largely restoration. It looked beautiful. The walls were all exposed brick, some of it painted and distressed, which gave the place a warehouse-y feel. In contrast, the ceiling was a fabulous grouping of pressed tin tiles and fans everywhere. There must have been 15 ceiling fans in the place. They were very luxurious. It was so interesting how the two styles complimented each other. The powder puff gallery also had beautiful stained glass in the doors and windows, so make sure you look up and see it.
I’m really glad that we went in here. If for nothing else, the building is a must-see.
From journal The Lost Town of Bell Buckle