April 2018

Traveling Chic Boutique: When Life Meets Style

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Owner of traveling chic boutique, Brody kenneweg thinks of all things wonderfully pink for spring!

Blouses, dresses, slacks, skirts, shorts and skorts, coats, sweaters, tees…what to wear, what to wear?! At its core, deciding what to wear is purely about feelings: home alone with a bottle of wine and a new novel, a business lunch, a beach day, date night, sushi and a show with friends. Making a misguided selection from your wardrobe can diminish the experience.

Brody Kenneweg, owner of Traveling Chic Boutique on Hilton Head Island believes comfort is achievable, regardless of the occasion or event. “I love comfort more than anyone in the whole wide world. Even going to a nice dinner, I don’t mind dressing up, as long as it’s comfortable.”

Kenneweg’s Coligny Plaza boutique is her philosophy come to fruition: when life meets style. She understands comfort, and every brand has been put through the proverbial wringer before she will bring it into her shop. “You sell the best of what you believe in, and I believe in comfort, quality, and cost effectiveness,” she said. Testing every brand and its limits, she doesn’t always follow the instructions on the tags when doing so (she would suggest you do, however). Customers can be assured that everything she sells will stand up to real life and look fabulous.

The result is a collection of classics that are thoughtfully gathered with Kenneweg’s customers in mind. “When I am buying for this store, I look at pieces I think I would like and my mom would like,” she said. “Bridging that gap, I am finding brands that suit us both. Some may be better for her, some may be better for me, but you can shop for both here.” The cuts are timeless, the quality is exceptional, and the finished collection ranges from elegant to whimsical, and unmistakably comfortable.

Taking her time with each decision, Kenneweg is focusing on being mindful every step of the way. “I asked myself, what is my niche? It is comfort. I’m going to spend twice as much time looking at everything before I buy it, because I want to truly stand behind it and believe in it. I know who I am, and I’m bringing in the things that match that.”

Sourcing their uncommon collection, Kenneweg has found several headliners that give customers a very good feeling. “These are the things that when people put them on, it’s a yes. Without fail, yes.” Designer Melody Tam’s Jade and Joy Joy lines are two of those brands. “I promise, if you put on a pair of their shorts, you’re going to want another,” she said. “I have one customer who I order an extra pair in her size for in every color, because I know she’s going to want every one. They’re lined, and they fit like a million dollars. The style and cuts are classic, and prints are fun.” Last year’s flamingo print was hot, hot, hot. The boutique’s THML pieces are also an all-lined collection and are easily the shop’s best sellers.

Yumi Kim is one of those designers that gets into your head with her beyond-comfortable, beyond-stunning collection of maxi and cocktail dresses. With positively yummy florals, it is easy to imagine grown women twirling like little girls in their favorite frocks. “I advise customers not to take Yumi Kim into the fitting room until they have looked at the price [which is a bit higher than the usual Traveling Chic ticket], and don’t put it on unless you’re somewhat okay with that number,” Kenneweg said. “Because if you put it on, you will want it. They’re extremely comfortable and made really well.”

Girl Squad
Sarah Smith, Brody Kenneweg and Jaclyn Taylor present an array of fashions to spruce up your closet for spring.

The Kendra Scott Jewelry collection has also impressed Kenneweg’s customers. In addition to their lovely, more classically-inspired pieces, there is plenty of color in her fashion jewelry. “I’m impressed with the quality, and she stands behind her products,” Kenneweg said.

Growing her business in all directions has been a part of Kenneweg’s attentive approach. Keeping within the borders of their original Coligny home, Traveling Chic Boutique moved the shop’s location, and now she and her team are sharing a wider selection of goodies, and have created a bright spot to hang out for a bit, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the beach. Kenneweg also expanded her Traveling Chic Boutique footprint, purchasing an existing location in Charlotte, where she is finding her natural penchant for relationship building a winsome fit, where life meets a little more city style.

Taking a bit of creative license, Kenneweg is thrilled to be adding some home accessories and gifts to complement her shop’s clothing and accessories. Carefully selecting lines that fit the shop’s aesthetic, customers are finding wood-wick soy candles, greeting cards, cute little whatevers…and dish towels. “I’m a dishtowel hoarder,” she said. “I got it from my mother; she has three times as many as I do. We love a good dishtowel—funny ones that make me laugh, and they have to dry well.” There are also plans for a new line of bath products. “Stay tuned. That’s my new niche. I’m looking for it. I’m testing and trying. It will have great quality—clean and classic.”

Philanthropy is an integral part of Kenneweg’s life and business, and with the support of Traveling Chic’s customers, contributions to local charities are collected via donation jars displayed behind the shop’s counter.

She is also an advocate for mental health awareness. With mental illness affecting a family member, she supports the efforts of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that has helped her family navigate some of the hurdles associated with this often-hidden disorder. “Awareness is a big part of what I want to be involved in,” she said.

When not running her businesses, arranging Traveling Trunk deliveries (yes, customers may enjoy a Stitch Fix-approach to shopping with deliveries of Traveling Chic style), she is applying her unique brand of alchemy to her life and business. “Evolving the business and keeping to who you are—working at it and the constant change—that’s what makes you relevant. That’s what keeps people coming back.”

What to wear, what to wear?! Brody Kenneweg knows just where the sweet spot is when life meets style, and with her Traveling Chic Boutique team, makes everyone oh so comfortable.

Traveling Chic Boutique is located at Coligny Plaza, 1 North Forest Beach Drive, A-9, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 295-9003 or visit travelingchicboutique.com.

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