Not every shop welcomes new customers with champagne. But at The Brass Belle Boutique, Owner Emily Brazeale personally greets customers, inviting them into her apartment-turned-boutique off Lafayette Square with a cheerful smile and a cold drink, to explore her home full of girly clothes and glitzy gifts steeped in southern sass.
“I always offer the customers a mimosa or a water at the door, and I often have cookies too,” Brazeale revealed. “I just want the space to be fun and friendly when customers come in. Like a social event, instead of just shopping.”
Brazeale opened The Brass Belle in a renovated downstairs apartment at the corner of Charlton and Abercorn Streets on June 6, 2016. Originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, she grew up working in small boutiques and, after pursuing a degree in fashion marketing from the Savannah College of Art and Design, decided to open her own shop.
“I’ve been working in retail since I was 14, and I was always interested in sales,” Brazeale explained. “I knew I wanted to own my own store eventually—and I didn’t think I’d be opening a store right now—but everything just kind of fell into place!”
While fellow students were worrying about finals and graduation, Brazeale was getting the final touches of her boutique ready.
“The name Brass Belle was inspired by Steel Magnolia,” she said. “I really wanted something with a hard element and a soft element, and that’s what we came up with.”
Steel Magnolia is a term in the South that describes a woman who embodies traditional femininity, as well as bravery, endurance and strength of character. With that strong southern belle in mind, The Brass Belle was created.
Inside the store, guests will find cute clothing, locally made jewelry, wedding gifts and home goods. Most of the products can only be found at The Brass Belle, which definitely makes it unique in Downtown Savannah and a must-stop for anyone who adores girly things. The boutique is also unique in the way it features a wedding gift registry and offers an array of “lifestyle” products, such as pillows, china dish sets, serving dishes and more.
Over the next three years, Brazeale hopes to expand her downtown store, acquiring more space so the boutique’s products can be separated into different categories: lifestyle, clothing, wedding and so on.
Expect to see some community and charity events at The Brass Belle in the near future. In August, they’ll host a “back to school” kickoff with Armstrong University and St. Vincent’s Academy. They’ll also host an event in October for Breast Cancer Awareness, as well as a Christmas event in December and a Valentine’s Day event in February.
“I want to be super involved in the community, entertain and have fun, all while supporting local charities,” said Brazeale.
The Brass Belle is located at 201 E. Charlton St. Store hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. For more information, check out their Facebook page.