Elizabeth Baldwin says fashion and retail are part of her DNA. It’s no wonder she recently opened Scraps of Magic, an online store specializing in tween and teen girl’s clothing. She remembers playfully threading herself in and out of the clothing racks of her father’s department store, Baldwin’s, when she was a small child. Elizabeth’s father had six successful department stores in North Carolina and Virginia. She loved to help out in the gift-wrapping department and watch her five older sisters work. Despite being decidedly old-fashioned, her father wanted his daughters, including Elizabeth, to be involved with the family business. He wanted to create a lasting legacy for them.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s father passed away from a heart attack when she was just ten years old. Soon after, Baldwin’s Department stores began to close, one after another.
Fast-forward to another lifetime, and Elizabeth now lives in downtown Charleston, with her husband and ten-year-old look-alike daughter, Maya. For years, the idea of opening a brick and mortar clothing store was percolating in her mind, but the circumstances never seemed quite right.
As her daughter entered her tween years, Elizabeth noticed it was hard to find age-appropriate clothing for Maya. As she puts it, the clothing market for tweens and teens was “seriously lacking because the clothes were either too mature, or way too little girlish.” Motivated by a mother’s love of fashion and her daughter, she found the drive and passion to solve this problem
Scraps of Magic is a website with age-appropriate and high-quality fashion for tween and teen girls. The designs are fun, colorful, and comfortable, and include swimsuits, dresses, rompers, shirts, pants, and leggings. Elizabeth hand selects each brand and article of clothing on the site, paying particular attention to the feel and quality of the fabrics.
Elizabeth picked the name for her business, “Scraps of Magic,” based on a poem by her favorite poet, Brian Andreas. A portion of the poem reads,
“These are little scraps of magic and when you paste them together you get a memory of something fine and strong…Sometimes it takes till you’re 40 to see it though.”
With age, comes wisdom and the realization that you had that magic within you the whole time. Elizabeth believes there is something strong and capable in all of us, and has used this drive to push through the challenges of opening her own business.
“My daughter, Maya, is the reason for the business,” Elizabeth says. “It’s important for her to see me working and trying something new, that she sees my success and some failures too.” Just as Elizabeth helped her father when she was young, now Maya helps her mom with inventory, photoshoots, and even selecting the clothing. Elizabeth adds, “Everything I do at Scraps of Magic, I do for her.”
What makes Scraps of Magic truly unique is the concierge and delivery service available for Charleston locals. Not only does the site have free shipping and free returns, buyers can also choose “free delivery” at checkout, and Scraps of Magic will bring it to your home the same day. Instead of tackling the annoyance of traffic and shopping with kids, you can stay home, and Scraps of Magic brings the merchandise to you. They also deliver to vacationers staying at hotels in the Charleston area. “If you’re not sure what size you should get, I can bring you a couple of sizes to make sure it’s a proper fit,” Elizabeth adds.
As Elizabeth gets her business off the ground, she has found a sisterhood of sorts with other local women entrepreneurs in Charleston. She has been pleasantly surprised to discover a supportive network that offers training on marketing, website management, and social media. “What I like about Charleston,” she says, “is that it’s a city, but also a small town.” For now, she’s having a ball being the boss, being goofy with the tween and teen models, and being a positive role model for Maya.
One of the taglines of Scraps of Magic is, “It’s not just about the clothes.” Instead, it’s about the connection between mothers and daughters, providing a concierge service to save moms precious time and effort, and the passion to find clothes for girls in this age range. Also, just as Elizabeth’s father wanted so many years ago, now Elizabeth hopes to leave a lasting legacy for her own daughter.