A Lifetime Treasure Hunt

Antiques & Garden Collectibles Shop at The Greenery Celebrates 10 Years

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By Laura R. Wilson

Ruthie Edwards remembers riding in a car as a young girl with her grandmother and mother and when either one would see a sign reading ANTIQUES they would do an immediate U-turn in the road to go in. “I was indoctrinated at a young age,” jokes Ruthie in her bold southern voice. Years later Ruthie and her husband Berry were driving down a road just outside of Ridgeland and another antique stop was made. This time it was for a circa 1873 church building with a sign that read, “For Sale.” The Edwards bought the church for $600 and had it barged to Hilton Head Island—which was quite a sight!

How did this all happen? Well, Berry and Ruthie Edwards came to Hilton Head on vacation in 1973 and instead of returning home with a few souvenirs, they fell in love with the island life, bought a landscape business and soon a historic church building. The church was originally used for office space and a garden shop. The building filled a need for many things without any specific purpose until there came a time when it just wasn’t being used much at all.  Ruthie felt the building deserved better and came up with the brilliant idea of opening an antique store.

Renovations were made on the building. While scouting for antiques in Maine, Ruthie received a referral from friend Ginger Craig—Lisa Kiggans. Wonderfully creative and talented, Lisa began a collaboration with Ruthie with the two of them working towards the opening of what is now known as the Antiques and Garden Collectibles Shop at The Greenery.

“Ruthie is a fabulous interior designer and antique buyer and our instinct was to open a store similar to one we knew in Atlanta,” relays Lisa, with a big smile. “My passion is visual display work and merchandising. This shop lets me get my creativity fix daily because I love changing things up. It’s an eclectic mix of antiques, gifts, home accessories and European garden planters (designs consisting of live plants, both green and floral, planted in a variety of different vessels) for interiors,” describes Lisa. Previously, Lisa had managed a flower shop for 10 years. Before floral design, she was a visual merchandiser for Parisian’s Department Store in Savannah. Together, Ruthie and Lisa and the fabulous staff (all women) at the Antiques and Garden Collectibles Shop have made this historic building come alive with the beauty it holds within.

When you walk in the door of the shop, the exploration begins and the visual is truly enchanting: high white ceilings; dark timbered lighted rafters contrast with the old white painted wood; a white wrap around balcony; and several beautiful hanging lights...mesmerizing! There is openness to it all and a feel of home. “Regular customers come in to be inspired,” relays Lisa Kiggans.

Another observation made about the staff at the Antiques and Garden Collectibles Shop and The Greenery, is they LOVE what they do. What a refreshing atmosphere! How marvelous it is to go to work every day and truly love what you do. Sharon Rogers says of her work in the shop, “We love making folks smile.”

Now celebrating 10 years of the Antiques & Garden Collectibles Shop at The Greenery, we have to ask: what is a secret to the success? Ruthie attributes the shop’s successes to the women working at the Antique Shop and to Lisa Kiggans for being such a team player. The admiration and respect between Ruthie and Lisa is mutual. Lisa recalls her first buying trip with Ruthie and seeing Ruthie’s vision. When asked how she finds such stunning antiques and collectibles, Ruthie said finding the right piece is like a treasure hunt. Whether traveling to large shows in Atlanta, Brimfield, Mass., and Round Top, Texas, or vacationing in Maine, life has been a lifelong treasure hunt for Ruthie, and her treasures are now enjoyed by many.

The Greenery’s Antiques and Garden Collectibles Shop is located at 960 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island.

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