Julie Robinson, owner of Airlie Moon,
at Airlie Moon’s 20th birthday party last night
Sometimes it’s the businesses who have been around the longest that tend to slip to the back of your mind, but that’s not the case with Airlie Moon. Even after 20 years in Wilmington, a mere glimpse of their sea glass hued treasures through their storefront window at Lumina Station is enough to make your heart flutter.
When I asked owner Julie Robinson what it feels like to reach the 20-year benchmark the day before the store’s 20th birthday party (last night), she admits, “Surprising! Not that I didn’t think I could do it, but time has gone by so fast. Wow. 20 years?! How can that possibly be?”
Julie credits most of her success to her “fiercely loyal customers who have embraced us along with an incredible staff who are more like family” including several employees who have been with her for close to a decade.
“And, there is no way to explain how important my parents’ role has been in building this business. I am just so grateful that they believed in me enough to explore this venture.”
Julie and her mom Linda in 1999 when Julie was pregant with her first son.
The lovely ladies of Airlie Moon – Julie’s mom Linda is front & center and always so stylish!
When you think of going to Airlie Moon, you might imagine their seashell Christmas trees or seaglass windchimes, cashmere toppers or their bohemian jewelry, but there are several signature designers who have been on the shelves at Airlie Moon from the very beginning. R. Wood pottery, Josh & Albert rug company, Thymes fragrance and Bella Notte linens are all go-to items for their loyal customer base.
(Tip: The Thymes Frasier Fir candles have just arrived and there is a Bella Notte two-week trunk show kicking off this weekend with a 20% off sale storewide!)
As for the moment when Julie felt like they had “made it” or at least that Airlie Moon would have longevity, she says she never really reached that point. “I never take it for granted since I’ve always felt that at any moment it could all go away.”
Around the time the recession kicked hit in 2008, Julie’s father became ill and although everything changed very quickly, she feels they were able to bounce back by taking on more design clients and by focusing on customer service.
“Well, in 1994 when we started out there wasn’t really internet shopping. I can’t say it has affected us dramatically. Customer service is key and even more so now that we are competing with so many online shops. It’s all about making our customers experience here at the store as great as it can possibly be.”
Julie has also found social media to be a valuable tool to interact and expand Airlie Moon’s customer base. To celebrate Airlie Moon’s birthday, Airlie Moon has been counting down the days with their “Twenty Days of Giveaways” social media birthday campaign.
(There are still 12 days left so follow them on Facebook
and/or Instagram for a chance to win!)
Airlie Moon customer Sally Pope says (via Airlie Moon’s Facebook) that her favorite purchase is her Greg Eavey painted china cabinet that she she took home in 1995. “It is my favorite purchase, but my MOST favorite thing I’ve gotten (at Airlie Moon)? That would be love, family & friendship.”
After enjoying eye candy, reuniting with old friends and making new ones at Airlie Moon’s birthday party last night, I was reminded of a post I saw from their customer Kathy Ross:
“Airlie Moon reminds you that the coast really can leave an imprint on your soul.”
Julie + Jess
We had the best time trying to help each other decide which color
cashmere topper to get – decisions, decisions!
L: Shari Clements looking pretty and festive in shades of berry.
R: Beautiful Julie Robinson with her signature shades of blue.
Jewelry from Local Designer Suzi Drake of Whistlepig Workshop
Focus on the Coast Publisher Laurel Maultsby with Brook Dorosko
Nan Howard + Marla Doster
blondes in black
Libby Stevens showing a customer their Instagram prints
(take away gifts for party guests)
To see all my photos from the
Airlie Moon 20th Birthday Party,
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WHQR 30th Birthday Party
@ Union Station
WHQR Public Radio hosted their big 3-0 with an epic birthday party by transforming Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station Ballroom into a carnival complete with big-top stripes, games, stilt-walkers and even cocktails garnished with cotton candy!
WHQR Birthday Celebration board members – the talented, creative folks who brought this carnie birthday to life!
The Vintage Event “Prohibition Night”
St. Thomas Preservation Hall
Historic Wilmington Foundation hosted their fourth ‘Vintage Event,’ fundraiser to realize their mission to protect and preserve the irreplaceable historic resources of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear Area. Guests enjoyed a speakeasy vibe among friends with live jazz from the Doug Irving Trio and auction.
L: Wearing a vintage 1920’s fringed flapper dress from Lane Patterson’s collection
R: Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Executive Director George Edwards
Pat Kusek of Kusek Financial Group with Melanie Frank, co-owner of Kindred Spirit, event producer.
L: The beautiful Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography
R: He even had the right tie pin on, “thanks to Boardwalk Empire.”
I was the lucky lady between these two handsome gents (Kyle Dore and
Michael Vinson of Bloke) sporting their signature accessory of the night – suspenders!
I spy some lovebirds on the dance floor – Pat & Walter!
L: Post-speakeasy last call cocktails at Manna
R: Laura Trivett of Historic Wilmington Foundation.