“My father worked with the (U.S.) State Department as a diplomat,” she said. “Then, I married a diplomat.”
Nine years ago, White was inspired by her houseguests from all over the world to create her own collection of jewelry and silk Kantha shawls. The shawls are recycled and altered saris from India and can double as tablecloths and other home decorations.
“When I was having to go out all the time and entertain in a professional capacity at the embassy, I had to come up with a [wardrobe] recipe,” White said. “My recipe was different colored pants, a black jacket and a lot of jewelry and a different shawl.”
White has trunk shows twice a year to sell her goods.
“I’ve done shows in New York, London, Amsterdam and the first one here in Atlanta in early November,” she said.
White’s jewelry designs include materials like Afghani turquoise, jade, sponge coral and bone.
“It’s a real global mishmash,” she said. “There are components of everything from all over the place.”
Another unique business, Oli and Ve, an olive oil and vinegar tasting boutique owned by Debra Hardee and Suzanna Davidson, opened in Buckhead in October following the opening of the Roswell location in the spring.
“We offer extra virgin olive oils imported from all over the world,” said store manager Alexis Yost. “Then we have our balsamic [vinegar] from Modena, Italy.
She said they carry fused and infused olive oils, and specialty oils like white truffle, almond and walnut.
People can taste all day, Yost said, and anyone can host parties and there are specialty gift sets for the holiday season.
“The whole point is we want people to try it and have fun with it before they purchase,” she said.
And Lee Bradshaw credits the inspiration of her Buckhead store, Half Baked, to her grandmother Virginia Huggins and mother Norma Bradshaw for making casseroles throughout her childhood.
“It’s from growing up in the South,” she said.
She offers specialty casseroles every day, including poppy seed chicken and sweet potato casseroles for the month of December.
“We also offer gluten-free casseroles, an organic vegetable casserole made with quinoa and a low-fat beef and rice (one),” Bradshaw said. “Everything is local, fresh and as natural as we can get it.”
She said Christmas orders should be put in by Friday if there is a particular casserole people want. She also sells wine, cheese straws, banana bread and local jellies.