COLUMBIA, SC — Mollie Hobbs discovered pretty quickly that sitting behind a computer screen at a bank was not the career she wanted.
The 2011 Wofford graduate had a passion for fashion that was stoked during her studies abroad in Milan, one of the great fashion hubs of the world.
So less than two years into her desk job, Hobbs teamed up with a former classmate and friend, Kensley Mincey, to open Copper Penny at 610 Harden St., in Five Points. It is the first franchise of the Charleston-based retailer that sells a range of mid- to upper-end women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.
“We’re excited to be here and to be open,” said Hobbs, standing behind the counter of the warmly lit boutique with an open floor plan that rang up its first sale Wednesday.
The store caters mainly to the 15- to 35-year-old crowd, offering a mix of designer jeans and T-shirts, as well as cocktail dresses, and mix-and-match skirts and blouses. But Hobbs hopes it’s a store that women of all ages can shop.
“We just want to make people feel good about themselves,” said Hobbs, who also teaches part-time at the nearby Pure Barre Columbia fitness studio.
The boutique features designers, including Diane Von Furstenburg, Trina Turk, Sam Edelman, Jack Rogers, Citizens of Humanity and Virgins Saints & Angels.
The first Copper Penny was opened in Mount Pleasant by the Vaigneur family in 1987. Since then, it has grown to six company-owned stores, all along the S.C. coast and including Copper Penny Shooz. The franchising system was rolled out this year, and the Columbia store is the first to open.
“We felt it was the right time and jumped at the opportunity to bring Copper Penny to Columbia,” Mincey said in a release.
Dianne’s on display
If you’re feeling sentimental for Dianne’s on Devine or simply need some restaurant equipment, clear some time on your schedule next Tuesday.
An auction is set for from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2400 Devine St., the site of the restaurant that closed this spring after nearly a quarter of a century of bringing fine dining to downtown Columbia.
The restaurant’s owners will sell a range of items, including kitchen and bar equipment, furniture, decor, and small kitchen and dining wares.
But bidders also can score unique items, such as the restaurant’s hanging windows that were in the bar area and its baby grand piano.
The auction is being hosted by Alliance Auctioneering. For more information, go to AllianceAuction.com.