Walking into RMC Boutique feels like walking into a close friend’s living room.
The sofa’s pink, there’s a soy candle burning and Rosa Carpenter, the fashionable owner, is there to make you feel welcomed. RMC Boutique is locally-owned store and the only beauty bar boutique in Downtown Savannah.
Last year, Rosa found the East Bay Street location, right on Emmet Park. She fell in love with the 1832 building. But it had housed a law firm for over 30 years and renovations were necessary so that the cubicle-packed area could become the open space it is today.
The original boutique is the central figure inside the 2,600 square foot space, but now a hair and beauty salon, skincare spa, tanning salon and body-sugaring studio have been set up in the former offices. Rosa and her partners even offer special events in the boutique, from birthday parties to bridal showers, where girls and women can get pampered for their special days.
“We’ve brought back the beauty of the building,” Rosa said.
Roots Southern Salon
Roots Southern Salon, owned by master cosmetologist Susan Renfroe, opened in the boutique this past November. Ever since, she has been offering clients their top services with a gorgeous view of the Savannah River.
“We do a lot of interesting stuff – you know, between SCAD and ole’ Southern Savannah hair,” Susan said. Roots does everything from girls’ haircuts to full-on special events pampering.
The cosmetologist’s primary inspiration for her hair and beauty salon was her grandmother, whose reputation as a hard-working and self-sufficient woman influenced Susan ever since she was a young girl. Roots Southern Salon is her dream come true.
Satori Skincare & Apothecarie
Right next to Roots is Satori Skincare & Apothecarie, owned and operated by Miranda Taylor. Taylor is an aesthetician and aromatherapist educated at the Atlanta Institute of Esthetics. She has worked for over nine years in renowned spas and now handcrafts her own products for skincare and aromatherapy, sold at the boutique. Miranda’s services and work ethic stem from her belief that spa treatments should be relaxing and renewing for both mind and body. Usual services, such as facials and couples’ massages, are offered, but clients can also receive detoxing body wraps, reflexology foot massages, aromatherapy classes and sessions of guided meditation.
Tanologist Kathee Hall’s Bare Tan recently joined the ranks of the beauty bar boutique. Kathee provides flawless spray tanning for all her customers, using only organic and anti-aging products that won’t clog pores. She’s a firm believer in natural-looking tans, without harmful exposure to sunrays. Bare Tan offers cruelty-free mink eyelash extensions, competition tanning, custom tanning and tanning services for brides, bridal parties and any other special occasions.
Another recently added stop in RMC Boutique is Jessica Mock’s Southern Sugaring, which has been running for two months. Jessica learned sugaring early in her career, and now she’s introducing it to the downtown area.
“Savannah’s been really supportive and it’s exciting,” Jessica, a Kansas-native, said. “Everyone’s loved it so far.”
An ancient method of hair removal, sugaring is more natural and much less abrasive than other depilatory processes. Water, citric acid and (lots of) sugar make up a paste. She massages this paste onto the skin. In Jessica’s words, sugaring is the complete opposite of waxing: there’s no burns, no ingrown hairs and no rawness; sweet and simple.
RMC Boutique reflects Southern chic at its finest. Just inside, Rosa has set up a table with varied sweets and freshly infused water for any visitors. To the left, shelves display gorgeous arrays of jewelry, from statement necklaces made from colorful stones to simple, wire bracelets.
Mannequins and hangers feature chevron prints, florals, lace, skirts and t-shirts and rompers all in one place. Rosa’s fashion philosophy is that comfort is the ultimate trend. She delights in helping her clients feel confident in whatever suits them best. Visitors can be as young as 12 and as grown as 85, but they will always find something.
A one stop shop, RMC Boutique is also a unique store because it offers such a wide selection of articles designed and crafted by Savannah and Georgia locals: a military wife who makes trendy headbands, a local artist who creates her own collections of greeting cards, a crafter of fine wire jewelry, and a printmaker who embellishes prints of Savannah scenes, leaving no two exactly the same. And customers, be they local or visitors, see them as a piece of this historic city.
All photos by Nicolette Kay.