September 2017

Eliza Bleu: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina’s newest boutique experience

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Have you ever thought about how your appearance impacts other people? Is how you present yourself to the world part of who you are on the inside? Does the way you dress reflect how you feel about yourself? Lydia Davis believes the outer and inner go hand in hand, and her new boutique, Eliza Bleu, located at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, is a conduit for her larger mission: to instill confidence in women and do so affordably.

As a former teacher and athletic trainer, Davis has had broad exposure to young females, watching them grow through the teen years, go off to college and come back. “These high school girls taught me the power of personal relationships and the true meaning of being your best self, day in and day out. It was here that I realized I needed to marry the necessity of strong and powerful mentorship with my second love: clothes! And just like that, Eliza Bleu was born.”

Davis first began noticing a gap in what the girls were learning in school and what they need to know to develop into successful, confident young adults. “It amazes me how they only feel validated in their confidence and appearance if they look exactly like everyone else—as opposed to dressing in a way that is best for their body shape,” she said. Davis is not afraid to say, “That looks cute on you”; “You need another size”; or “Let’s look for something else.” For this entrepreneur, it’s not just about making a sale. “I want them to go out and feel confident in who they are. We call that ‘being an Eliza,’” she said.

But the fun doesn’t end with teens. Eliza Bleu aims to attract women of all ages with the same message. “We are connected emotionally to how we think we appear to others,” Davis said. She sees daily dressing as an opportunity to look in the mirror and say, “I’m going to have a positive day and leave a positive impact on others.”

Prior to opening the physical location at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, Davis dipped her toe into fashion by starting an online clothing store and hosting fundraising events for college sororities and other organizations. Expecting her first child (a boy!) in October, she saw the need for a central location and birthed her boutique July 1.

Handcrafted jewelry

Eliza Bleu fashions, both in-store and online, are edgy with a boho/Lowcountry feel—perfect for locals and visitors alike. Styles are thoughtfully selected to be up to date without being too short or too tight. “The goal is a nice fit that allows women of all ages to be comfortable and feel young without being overly exposed,” Davis explained (think flowy tops, cold shoulder sweatshirts, cute shorts, lightweight sweaters for fall and accessories to complete the look). Sizes range from extra small to large, including denim (Angry Rabbit jeans, size 0-16). You will also find fashionable game-day pieces in area team colors (a throwback to Davis’ athletic interests) including Avanti sandals with interchangeable disks that can be monogrammed, if desired.

If you are in the market for a fun, statement T-shirt or gift, Eliza Bleu has your number. In keeping with her desire to encourage and support other women, Davis carries handcrafted jewelry, soaps and gift items produced by women locally and regionally.

The relatively small space (600 sq. ft.) lends itself to a boutique experience without the inflated price tag associated with many specialty clothing stores. Again, the object is to make getting dressed pleasant and personal so that you go out into the world feeling fabulous, not only about what you are wearing, but about who you are and what you can contribute.

Owner Lydia Davis and her English Bulldog, Lily.

Part of being an Eliza is giving, and Eliza Bleu is setting the bar high by sponsoring a different philanthropic campaign each month. In August, for example, the store collected school supplies from donors and filled backpacks, which they gave away to area students in need. This month, they are encouraging customers to contribute their pocket change. At the end of September, Davis will cash the coins in for quarters and distribute them at area laundromats as a random act of kindness. In addition, she continues to offer opportunities for organizations to host philanthropy boutique events, in-store, online or at an off-site venue, donating 20 percent of the proceeds to the cause (10 percent if off-site).

Stop by and discover how you, too, can like what you see in the mirror and be a beacon of light in the world. Dare to be different. Be an Eliza!

Eliza Bleu boutique is located at 13 Harbourside Lane, to the left of the Neptune statue at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. Store hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. For more information or to shop online, visit Call (843) 802-2399 for further assistance.

Who is Eliza?
Eliza Lucas Pinckney was an American business pioneer (1722–1793) who single-handedly launched the indigo industry in pre-Revolutionary era South Carolina. Determined to make the highly prized tropical crop flourish in the Carolina soil, Pinckney carried out several experimental plantings in the early 1740s. These plantings finally yielded enough new seeds to make the plant, used in the textile industry for its distinctive a deep-blue dye, a viable crop in the region. Within a decade, South Carolina planters were exporting thousands of pounds of it annually, and the crop became a staple of the Southern economy. At the same time, she taught a group of slaves to read and write and instructed them to set up schools for the children on the plantations and pass along their knowledge.

Eliza Bleu aims to reflect the values and drive of this strong, forward-thinking woman who made her mark on the world by daring to be different and showing compassion to her fellow man

#BeAnEliza: “Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
—Colossians 3:12-14

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