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New Gift Shop Features Southern Flare

Indre Palencia is the owner of Cotton Belle, a new southern-inspired gift shop in Walterboro that features the works of local artists and of Palencia herself. . Photo by Heather Walters.

By Heather Walters

Cotton Belle is a new gift shop in Walterboro that is featuring handmade designs by local artists and a variety of gardening gifts.
Store owner Indre Palencia moved to Walterboro two years from New York. Since then, Palencia says she has found a lot of beauty in the Southern lifestyle, particularly in pieces of cotton. This inspired the name of her new store.
“I became very good friends with a woman here who has cotton fields, and I think they are so beautiful,” she said. “I remember thinking that I had never seen anything so pretty.”
Palencia hand-paints and designs some of the furniture and accents on sale. The store, however, also features the products of local artists who may be juried into the S.C. Artisans Center, she said. These products include some hand-made designs, original soaps, chalk paints and iron works. Offering gifts that are on the side of southern vintage, the store also features some unique items from other parts of the country, such as handmade baskets from Arkansas or items from “up north,” she said.
“I do a lot of searching on my trips, for items with curves and some objects that are unique to other regions,” she said. “For example, I have an apple-picking ladder, which is something you wouldn’t necessarily find here. Walterboro needs a gift shop so I became very focused on that and on offering true gifts that are local,” she said.
Particularly, the store also has items designed especially for gardeners. From soaps and after-gardening lotions to gardening tools and unique seed labelers, Palencia wanted to offer a lot to this segment of the local market, she said. “Gardening and the art-form of it are very important around here,” she said. “I want to celebrate that.”
The store opened March 1. However, a grand opening is dated for April 15. On this day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the store will feature food and prizes. Normal operating business hours are Wednesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It is located at 428 S. Jefferies Boulevard, next to Dairy Land. When asked about how she chose the location, Palencia says she wanted to be in a busy location for locals and tourists. She also plans to use social media to showcase featured products but says she wants to solely sell items in-store. “I believe in the value of a storefront,” she said. For more information on her store, visit her Facebook page or follow her on Instagram using “@cottonbellehome.”

Heather Walters (1389 Posts)