12 Years of Custard (part 4)

Posted by tara kirkland on

Hello All! Picking up from the last entry, if you haven't read it, please go here.
Part 4
(Photo with Halo Models for our first advertisements about opening a second location in Greenville, SC)
(Angel Couch)
I want to say it all started with a trip to my former hometown, Asheville, NC where I first laid eyes on what I still call my "angel couch"... but it was a lot more than the couch that opened the door for Custard Greenville...
When I first laid eyes on that couch I said to myself, I wish I had a second store to put that couch in... and of course, I walked away... because I didn't have a second store, nor did I have room in my first store, or my home for the most lovely of couches.  Then, The Lion King came to the Peace Center in Greenville, SC and my mom drove down from NC to see the show. She called me afterwards and told me how I really should think about visiting downtown Greenville, and that it had changed a lot since I was a kid. Bo grew up in Greenville and his parents still live there, but every time we were up for visits they were always quick, because in retail, holidays are busy, so there's not a lot of free time for exploring.  
(This was Midtown Artery's former space - a few months after this photo was taken it became Custard's second location.)
(Front of Midtown Artery on South Main Street, Greenville, SC)
My mom's suggestions and thoughts about how Greenville would make a great second home to Custard kept replaying in the back of my mind, so Bo and I decided to go up and check it out.  We put the Army Navy Store in our GPS because that was the one store Bo remembered being downtown, and drove up to check it out. I love that the Army Navy Store has been in Greenville for generations and the owner Jeff, is awesome! If you haven't been, definitely pop by, and check out his vintage selections, foam cut on the spot, and the best pocket knives anywhere!
While we were checking out the west end of Greenville we drove by a place called American Grocery. I was so taken in by their style, their name and sign, the menu font, the napkins... I knew we needed to have dinner there.  That night, midway though dinner, I knew we were Greenville bound. I felt like any city that could support such an awesome modern, farm to table restaurant like AGR, could certainly support our concept of unique, handmade and small batch items. Of course, I make it sound simple, but we shopped around while we were in town, and researched a good bit to make sure that Greenville needed Custard, long story short-
We went home, I purchased the couch.
(Me peeling the tape for the classic Custard stripes)
Sadly, almost all the photos from when we first started working on the Greenville store are gone! I only have the one above... all the rest are lost to weird technology issues... remember when we used to develop photos? Anyway, after checking out several locations we signed a lease a few doors down from AGR and away we went!  Our building's owner and I have the same last name, and although we are not related as far as we know, I still took it as a good sign!
(Me on the Couch - Photo by Chelsey Ashford)
(Bo and Leah at work in a newly finished shop)
(Inside View circa 2012)
(In 2016 we changed the shop around, doubled the jewelry selection, added some home goods, and more local and regional pieces. Here I am right after we set up the new cases, which I love! They are from one of the first department stores in the United States.)
(Cuff case, and one of the few surviving photos)
Custard's Greenville location has been though many ups and downs, much like when Savannah first opened.  It took us a while to find our footing, get in touch with the locals, and make friends. Not everything is easy all the time, and you have to be willing to put in the time and effort and make changes, even if they are hard to do so. But in the end, it's worth it!  September will be our 8 year anniversary in Greenville, SC and we are so happy to be apart of the community here.  
(Outside view of new sign)
Other fun things about Greenville:
(Bo and myself at a rained out Greenville Drive Game)
After I opened the Greenville location Bo and I eloped and he officially joined team Custard! Originally he was just going to do all the dreaded office work and maintain the website, but honestly, he's amazing in the store. Bo is always so helpful and kind, and I love working with him.
(Bo at work to find our friend Brad's photo as the desktop background... I also once changed it to a photo of Leah's bruised knee, as well as several other odd images)
(Bo and a mascot mouse that was walking the streets of Greenville...?)
One of the things I love about my job is the amount of cool people I have met, become friends with, shared stories with, and spent time with, and gotten to know over time. I have plans for a journal with nothing but images over the last 12 years, but wanted to make sure I included a few here too.
(Both photos are of Clarka Wickliffe)
I met Clarka by chance at the shop, and she has a bone structure that WILL NOT QUIT!!! Plus she's kind, and down to earth, and was willing to let me take her photo from time to time... so she became the first model for Custard's Greenville location. Check her website out HERE.
(always trying new things with the photos for work, this was part of an entire underwater series of jewelry photos)
(Our first write up for Greenville)
(Location for a Renegade Vittles Dinner, former owners of AGR and current owners of an awesome speakeasy called Vault and Vator)
Pretty cool event and experience for the shop.  We were a pop up location for an underground supper club, and the theme was, CUSTARD. We had a great time in the shop, and the dinner was amazing.
(across the street from the shop is MAC, Bo is here during an Open Studios event)
(Photo of our ad display at the Greenville Airport)
(Babies can wear Custard too! Our friend MB's daughter is down for a visit and try on headbands)
(me working my selfie game)
(Manchester, my dog for 16 years, and our shop dog from 2008-2019)
(One of my favorite window displays of all time, using recycled textile shuttles from a mill here in the upstate)
(One of the coolest guys I know modeling this unisex cat sweater, Jamarcus Gaston)
(Me and our newest member to team Custard, Azra the great, you can find her on IG here and she came from Renegade Paws Rescue
That's all folks!
Until next time!
Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting!
If you feel inspired to write something nice about your Custard shopping experience past or present- please do- we would love to hear from you!

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