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Savannah meets New York City with holiday pop-up store

  • Party Crown Star by artist Trish Andersen (Photo by Chia Chong)
  • Rebecca Gardner - Portrait by Chia Chong
  • Blushing Light Bulb to cast a flattering glow from your own fixtures. (Photo by Katelyn Whelan)
  • Sugarplum Party Crown Darling by artist Trish Andersen (Photo by Chia Chong)
  • Rebecca Gardner - Sugarplum Popup - St Regis — Elizabethan ruffled pet collar by installation artist Ashlee Young. Photo by Chia Chong
  • Rebecca Gardner - Sugarplum Popup - St Regis Snow Queen ornament
  • Rebecca Gardner - Sugarplum Popup - St Regis - Party Crown Angel — Photo by Chia Chong

From her chic “Santa’s workshop” on Lincoln Street, event designer Rebecca Gardner launched her holiday initiative, Sugarplum Pop-Up, where Savannah artisans found and crafted fine goods and quirky holiday-themed goodies, which are sold both online and at the St. Regis New York.

“It’s a very special kind of retail venture. You won’t find this stuff anywhere else,” said Gardner, who’s lived between New York City and Savannah for 15 years.

Gardner is founder and creative director of Houses &Parties, an event and interior design firm in Savannah and NYC.

Gardner partnered with iconic hotel St. Regis New York to create a “Babes in Toyland”-themed pop-up gift shop where the goods are sold. The shop will be open today through Dec. 24 at the hotel’s Cognac Room.

Sugarplum Pop-Up launched Nov. 1 at Rebecca-Gardner.com.

Although Sugarplum Pop-Up is Gardner’s first retail venture, Gardner’s primary goal isn’t retail. “It’s to spread some joy,” Gardner explained.

Gardner and her Savannah-based employees spent the last year collecting vintage pieces, tabletops trinkets, baroque applique stockings, and candy houses for Sugarplum Pop-Up.

Local artists also created unique pieces for Sugarplum Pop-Up.

Installation artist Trish Anderson made party crowns out of found objects. Like many of Gardner’s full-time employees, Andersen splits her time between Savannah and New York and frequently collaborates on parties worldwide with Gardner, most recently in Tokyo.

Gardner says most of her employees “live back and forth on a plane. Savannah is so loved that are a lot of young people who are making the extra effort to have the best of both worlds.”

Gardner believes there is a growing group of people, including herself, who are working in New York and living in Savannah.

“The direct flights have become a gathering point for this energetic group who digs the balance of the complimentary cities. For me, it’s the best of both worlds,” she said.

Savannah native Katelyn Whelan designed and developed the e-commerce site for Sugarplum Pop-Up, as well as the Blushing Light Bulbs, Mrs. Heaton’s Cheese Straws, Mr. Heaton’s Roasted Pecans, and the Sugar Mice.

“I have been working on this project with Rebecca from the very first creative pitch,” said Whelan.

Whelan, whose specialty is a marketing and visual communication design, is also House &Parties’ design manager.

“It has been incredible to work with such a creative team and see our vision finally come to life,” Whelan continued. “From the packaging of the pecans, to the patches on the stockings, to the hand-blown tumblers, every product in this shop has been carefully designed and curated for a truly special shopping experience.”

Gardner added, “We want to sprinkle some fairy dust for the holidays.”

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