Two Southerners don’t lose their Hilton Head style.
Story By Lisa Allen
Those with an artistic eye acknowledge that Hilton Head Island fashion has a certain “look.”
And even for those who move far North, that influence doesn’t go away.
Two Southern-inspired jewelry lines, one by Selina King, and the other by Ginny Lovelace, are turning old pieces into “Hilton Head new,” and capturing attention around the country along the way.
Creative expression always has — and likely always will — surround King.
Her mother owned Crystals N Things on Hilton Head Island, where King grew up. Her father was a jeweler.
King’s sister moved to New York City and she followed shortly after high school to attend Parsons School of Design where she earned a degree in fashion design and business. She spent several years representing fashion photographers, moving in the circles of high fashion, shooting for Elle magazine and others.
Today, she and her husband, Gavan Daly, travel between New York, California and Hilton Head. Daly, whose family started the local headlining bluegrass band Lowcountry Boil, is a tattoo artist.
King stepped out on her own in her early 20s, selling vintage clothes at New York’s flea markets. She soon was supplying that look for celebrities, magazine models and boutiques around the country. But she realized jewelry was her passion.
“I took apart jewelry and reassembled them into something new. My friends wanted to buy my creations,” King said. And that was the beginning. She did her first trunk show on Hilton Head. Soon, she had a devoted following in her hometown.
King went back into fashion styling in New York for a few years, but the death of a close friend made her reassess her direction. Jewelry called to her again.
“It’s in my blood. I’m drawn to accessories. I’m good at this. I don’t want to be an ordinary jeweler. My goal was to make it myself,” she said.
She designed her pieces to fit her nature-loving customers.
“I wanted to design pieces that capture day-to-day life on Hilton Head,” King said.
Locally, her work is featured at Birdie James at Shelter Cove Towne Centre.
After successful shows around the country, King is ready to launch her collection to the rest of the world.
She wants her pieces to be comfortable and wearable.
“I want my customers to feel beautiful when they put on one of my pieces,” King said.
She said succeeding in New York has proven that. Like the song says, “she can make it anywhere.”
“It’s the pace. It pushes you. We’ve proven that we can make it in New York,” King said. “You aren’t in cars all of the time. You can meet people and make contacts like nowhere else.”
“I make a product that can be passed on. There are a lot of details that determine whether it endures and wears well. You have to love it. I’m always creating.”
King and Daly, who have been together for 22 years, visit Hilton Head often.
“I miss the simplicity of the life. We have a little house there. I miss jumping in the car and going to the grocery store. Up here it takes scheduling. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for the great community of Hilton Head.”
Coin collection made into art
Growing up in Augusta, Ga., Ginny Lovelace watched her father, Thomas Pinckney, revel in his lifelong collection of coins from around the world.
For birthday or Christmas gifts for his daughter, Pinckney made pieces of jewelry out of the coins. As the years passed, Lovelace’s father started to ask his family what he should do with his extensive collection. Lovelace who was complimented often on her coin jewelry, had an idea.
“I don’t know anything about jewelry,” Lovelace said. “I don’t even wear a wedding ring. But I loved the coin necklaces. I thought, I’ve been in marketing all my life, maybe I can do something with Daddy’s coins.”
That’s how Thomas Pinck Coin Jewelry came to be, just two years ago. Lovelace hired a young jewelry artist, Michelle Hishmeh, and they started designing dozens of pieces.
The jewelry is on sale at J Costello Gallery in Red Fish restaurant on Hilton Head.
“The surprise was the consignment pieces,” said gallery owner Judy Costello. “People bring us coins that have sentimental value and we incorporate their coins into Thomas Pinck designs. That is something that really resonates with people.”
Lovelace, who now splits her time between Toronto and Hilton Head, also has a presence in a boutique in Kincardine, Ontario, a Canadian resort town on Lake Huron.
“It’s cool to be in two resort towns on water. People are looking for something unique,” she said.
Of the dozens of Thomas Pinck designs, 10 to 15 are particularly popular. The beaded pieces employ raw emeralds and sapphires.
“The longer you wear them and add your skins oils, they become more brilliant. They’re richer. I saw a person wearing one of the pieces from across the room and it was just stunning,” Lovelace said.
Lovelace’s father died in April and she’s grateful she can carry on his passion, albeit in a new form.
“The story really is my dad,” she said. “He sourced all of the coins. This has been something that has connected us. As I sell the pieces, I’m saving his history. I feel like I’m preserving his work. It was fate and karma. It was my dad’s idea and my mom’s idea. I’m just the dummy in the middle.”