Charleston’s fashion scene just got savvier thanks to Sarah Cobb and her new boutique, MOSA. Cobb says her goal is to offer clients sophisticated, on-trend styles and fresh takes on classic looks. In fact, many of her lines are unique to the Charleston area and stand out from what is typically seen around town.
Cobb grew up in Pittsburgh, earned a marketing degree from Penn State and spent time in both Atlanta and New York. She came to Charleston eight years ago and has spent the past 10 years in retail, most recently as the senior recruiter for Abercrombie & Fitch on the East Coast. After frequent trips to Boston, Miami and points in between, Cobb is happy to be in one spot again, getting to know her customers.
Located on King Street by Blue Bicycle Books, MOSA opened for business in October 2014. The space is beautifully simple. White walls, ceilings and floors lend the elongated room an open, clean, minimalistic feel, while exposed brick and gray rugs add warmth and comfort. Even the fitting rooms exude an air of repose. Cobb has outfitted them with everything she thinks a fitting room needs: a favorable mirror, lighting that flatters, a nice rug and a good chair.
But what makes customers feel most at home is the shop’s lounge area at the back, with its cushy wingback chairs—and the booze on tap. “I didn’t want anyone to feel like they didn’t belong here,” she says. “That’s why I came up with the idea of serving beer, wine, mimosas and champagne—so people would feel comfortable, hang out and maybe try on a new style they didn’t think that they would like.”
MOSA has two beers (one local) and a white wine on tap. The shop also offers red wine, champagne and, of course, mimosas. (The store takes its name from the tree.) Customers purchase a card at the counter, which they load with credits toward drinks.
Throughout MOSA, fashions are displayed in an uncluttered way, so the customer sees everything. On the racks, MOSA carries edgy everyday wear for women and men. Cobb says she didn’t want to limit her store to “dress-up” attire; instead, she includes casual tops that can be dressed up as needed. “Anything I buy,” she says, “needs to have a sophisticated feel to it. And it has to be of good quality. I like basics that you’re going to keep in your closet year after year—I don’t want anything to be so trendy that you’d buy it this season and never wear it again.”
Women will love Cobb’s brands, chosen for their quality, aesthetics and price points. They include Bardot, The Coverii, Velvet, Knitz, Paper Crown and denim by BlankNYC. For the boys, MOSA carries casual shirts by Iron and Resin, Stone Rose shirts and blazers, and Original Penguin hoodies and shorts.
Cobb remarks that MOSA is not unlike a mini department store, carrying everything from leather coozies and handmade candles to fedoras and artisan jewelry. Lingerie and swimwear, leather bags and MOSA trucker hats—they’re all there.
So far, MOSA’s selection of affordable and unique jewelry has been hot, like the multi-colored selection of mini-cross necklaces from enewton design, guitar-string bracelets by Chapter Three, and Leighelena bracelets, which are made from the skin of creatures such as lizards, stingrays and crocodiles.
Quirky cufflinks can be had, too, including a pair made from golf balls recovered from the 17th hole at a Florida golf course. You can even buy the art right off the walls.
Stay up-to-date on future events, such as trunk shows that feature regional artisans, by following MOSA Boutique on Facebook, Twitter (@shopmosa) or Instagram (mosaboutique).
Kelly Rae Smith is a freelance writer based in Charleston. She can be reached at email@example.com.