CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Savvy Chic has graced a demure but stylish storefront on Quarrier Street as part of the local fashion community for just over a year. But owner Deborah Patton's vision is bigger than just a retail shop.
The store acts as the hub for all her creative, entrepreneurial fashion endeavors.
Patton has been doing what she coined "thrift-tiquing" since she was 14 years old.
She began by hunting for treasures with her grandmother in antique stores and thrift shops, always keeping an eye out for something unique and interesting. Although her career path took her into the high-tech field, when her husband's job relocated them to Charleston, she decided it was time to pursue her love for style.
Inside Savvy Chic, shoppers can expect to find the fruit of Patton's years of passion and experience: high-end fashion at frugal prices. Patton defines the "savvy" part of her store's moniker as "being smart, knowing your price point and hunting down the fashion you want inside that budget."
She said savvy customers will go to Nordstrom, or page through the fashion magazines, pick the style they want, and then come to her shop to re-create that look within their own budgets.
"When people find us, they're excited to find we're not cookie-cutter retail. We have everything, from J. Crew to Chanel, at price points everyone can afford."
The one-of-a-kind blend of new boutique styles, consignment pieces and vintage clothing and accessories keep the store interesting and fresh, Patton said. They receive new merchandise weekly from many sources, including consignment clients from six states.
Patton's daughter Danielle, on hand for a recent interview, normally resides in Atlanta. She acts as one of Savvy Chic's buyers, sourcing merchandise and sending it back to her mother.
Patton also has scouts in other states and personally travels twice a month on buying trips to place like Dallas, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., assuring customers that they will find outfits unique in Charleston.
"Once they find us, they come back," said Patton of the loyalty inspired by finding something outside the usual retail fare. "We keep it interesting."
But a unique shopping experience isn't the only draw. Patton also offers a personal shopping service for clients who don't have the time or inclination to shop on their own. Currently, she shops for roughly 18 customers. If someone is interested in the service, they can call and set up a consultation.
Another of Patton's fashion services is something she called a "closet revamp." It's a two-hour free service where she will come to your home and sort through your closet, organizing it into four categories: donate, consign, keep or buy, a category for items she is willing to buy outright.