April 2013

Gifted Hilton Head- Jewelry and Accessories on-trend, only the beginning

Author: Kitty Bartell

Like sweet grass fronds woven into baskets by the gnarled hands of a Lowcountry artist, Meredith Taylor has woven herself into the fabric of Hilton Head Island. Her affinity for the area has made her a natural when creating Gifted Hilton Head, her shop in the Village at Wexford, where understanding the wishes and wants of her clientele comes as naturally as the thick summer breeze blowing through the live oaks.

“The first time I came on the island, it felt like I’d found home. It’s like my place in the world. The marshes and the birds—I’m in love with the natural beauty of it. The friendliness, the whole island feeling—it’s the best place in the world,” Taylor said. Feeling the vibe, having a desire to grow her Pittsburgh-based gift business, and a great deal of experience to back her up, she opened what is now one of Hilton Head Island’s favorite spots for locals and visitors to find gifts for any occasion as well as gifts for themselves.

With many years as a buyer for large department stores, and as a gift sales rep visiting every imaginable kind of gift and jewelry store, Taylor has quite possibly seen it all, and has gained an understanding of how important selecting the right merchandise is to make people want to come back again and again. And they do come back. With an extensive variety of merchandise, Gifted Hilton Head always seems to have something new, and Taylor is perpetually on the lookout for the perfect additions to the inventory that will wow her customers.

Jewelry and accessories are the hot tickets right now, and there is no shortage of excitement around what Taylor is bringing to her shop. Alex & Ani bracelets have made their way south and are creating a big splash at Gifted Hilton Head. “These bracelets are the hottest, hottest, hottest,” Taylor said of designer Carolyn Rafaelian’s Rhode Island-based company’s Alex & Ani’s creations. With their wire design, they are perfect for stacking and, “the more you wear, the better they look,” she said.

Alex & Ani bracelets are made of recycled materials and have a patented expandable wire bangle that accommodates virtually all sizes. Each bracelet has a small charm and a story about the charm’s meaning and power. Whether treating yourself or giving a bracelet (or several!) as a gift, a special message is conveyed. The seashell charm is meant to connect the wearer to the ocean and to the water’s energy… hmmm, a little like Hilton Head; the pineapple charm expresses a sense of welcome and good cheer… hmmm, a little more like Hilton Head, and there are so many more designs that speak to every imaginable occasion and personality. “The idea is you build a story on your arm by stacking all the different charms and all the different bracelets,” Taylor said.

Another very special find, exclusively at Gifted Hilton Head this spring is the bag inspired by the Heritage plaid ribbon. Made with finely crafted woven bags from Bali, adorned with Heritage plaid ribbon, a kilt pin, and tournament-inspired decorations, it’s a new way to get ready to party for the PGA tournament. In true accessory-girl fashion, the bag also comes with another ribbon and adornments to change the look after the island’s premier event.

Another exciting accessory event at Gifted Hilton Head this spring is one that makes Taylor veritably ooze with joy. “I am absolutely thrilled beyond thrilled to carry Spartina,” she said. “We’re going to have everything they make.” Creating a Spartina boutique—a shop within a shop—will fulfill many wish lists for visitors and locals.

Spartina is the madly-loved Hilton Head-based creator of high quality bags and accessories with their beautifully-designed 100-percent linen fabrics and genuine leather trims. Even the names of the patterns roll off a Southern tongue slowly with a Hilton Head charm: Veranda, Fiddler’s Cove, Martinangel, Harbor Light, Sailor’s Watch…

Taylor understands personally just how special Spartina bags and accessories are, having carried them herself for a long time. “It wears like iron,” she said. “The linen is so well-treated for dirt and stain resistance, and the leather is so high quality. I am such a fan of the line.”

As the jewelry and accessory trend continues, Gifted Hilton Head is finding a way to keep up while weaving a collection of gifts around and through its selection that offers something for everyone and something for every occasion. With something new (and local): Spartina, something on-trend: Alex & Ani, and something you won’t find anywhere else: The Plaid Bag. “Somebody else might have it, but they’re not going to do it the way Gifted Hilton Head does it,” she said. Part of that mantra includes an always attentive staff, and always an offer to beautifully gift wrap anything purchased in the shop.

“We’ve made a warm and welcoming store. I want people to feel comfortable,” Taylor said. Having a heart for Hilton Head Island has given her an intuitive advantage when spotting trends or selecting classic gifts that suit the coastal vibe of her very special home away from home.

Gifted Hilton Head is located in The Village at Wexford, 1000 William Hilton Parkway, Suite 21, Hilton Head Island. Their hours are 10 a.m.-6p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (843) 842-8787.

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