Just a month before their one-year anniversary, RMC Boutique moved out of their home on the popular shopping street, Broughton, and settled into a 2,400 square-foot studio on East Bay Street that overlooks River Street.
“I found the Bay Street, River Street location and I absolutely loved it,” said Owner Rosa Carpenter. “I couldn’t complain with the building – it was built in 1832 and it’s got original hardwood floors and high ceilings.”
The space, which is three times bigger than her previous shop, houses a variety of trendy, Southern-chic clothes and accessories. After securing the space in July, Carpenter’s family came in to help with the renovations of the “1950 lawyers’ office,” removing walls, ceiling tiles, layers of carpet, painting and bringing in furniture and décor to get it up to her standards.
Creamy peach-colored walls adorned with artwork by local artists greet customers as they walk into RMC’s living-room complete with a pink sofa, black and white armchairs, a faux mint fireplace and white coffee-table, both of which show off some statement necklaces.
Look past the register, beyond the tables filled with Chloe & Isabelle bracelets and colorful fringe and pendant necklaces.
There’s an alcove with two tables full of clutches and leggings. Four white dressers line the side walls filled with tribal-printed and chevron-patterned clothes. And in addition to the chandeliers’ light, there’s a huge window, right in the middle of the back wall with a view of the Savannah River and Hutchinson Island.
“It needed a lot of work but I felt that in order to make it your own, you have to put a lot of love, sweat and hard work into it,” said Carpenter. “I can’t complain with the outcome – I tripled my space and I get a great view of the Savannah River.”
And it wasn’t even a fashion or interior designer that put it all together, just a girl who learned how to work with the skills she gained while working in logistics in the military and the supply and inventory department at Gulfstream.
“I can incorporate a lot of what I learned in the business world now,” said Carpenter.
In 2011, after working in corporate offices, she decided to use her skills to manage something she loved, an online jewelry store, called RMC Jewelry.
“I worked my way from the website, home parties and festivals to brick and mortar,” she said. She kept her office job while the shop got going. After a year of looking for a storefront in the Historic District of Savannah, she was able to open her first store, but not without the support from her family – a family that includes in-laws who moved from California to Savannah to retire and lend her a hand.
But she wanted something better – a store by the river.
When Carpenter’s leasing agent told her they’d signed someone else for lease, she wasn’t bothered; she’d already been looking for a new store.
That’s when she found her current spot at 316 E. Bay St., right behind Emmet Park. Her shop is on the second floor of the River Street building, but customers can only access the store by crossing the bridge off Rossiter Place.
RMC Boutique, located at 316 E. Bay Street, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (912) 335-2389 or visit rmcboutique.com.