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See What She Likes (Her Customers Do!)

“It kind of snowballed,” explains Nickie Gentry, owner at Divine Designs and Delights. Upon entering her glamorous shop, you might find that statement surprising. Gentry smiles and says, “I started by making wreaths.”

In a short time, she moved from selling wreaths one-by-one to opening up her own shop to display the wreaths. That wall of wreaths has transformed to an elegant space full of jewelry, clothing, homegoods and gifts.

The black and gold wallpaper immediately catches your eye. The space is striking, with tall, gilded mirrors and light-filled windows. You can imagine holding a glass of wine and shopping with a friend.

For many, Gentry herself is that shopping friend. “Once, I had a customer come in crying. She had a rehearsal dinner and a wedding to attend but, nothing to wear,” recalls Gentry. “We calmed her down, dressed her and she went out the door ready for the rehearsal dinner. And she even had a wrapped gift for the couple under her arm!”

Gentry waves her hands and laughs, “We used to say last-minute gifts but now it’s last-minute everything.”

This means you’ll find fascinating jewelry, with strong shapes and bold tones alongside buttery soft tops. In the very back rows, styles are arranged by team colors for the Va. Tech and University of Va. fans. Moving toward the front, shelves are sorted by color for easy mix-and-match looks.

“I just go with my taste,” Gentry explains as she considers the inventory in her store. “I go with what I like and it seems to work.”

For those hoping to make the most out of Christmas, the nearby seasonal shop St. Nic’s bursts with holiday charm. A forest of Christmas trees fills the room. Each display showcases a holiday theme like winter wonderland, rustic holiday, candy land and The Grinch.

Plush ribbons tie together the two stores, as both offer exceptional, complimentary gift wrapping.

The real charm of the experience isn’t in the brands Gentry carries or the customer perks. It’s her own eye for aesthetics. Those wreaths that started it all? They’re still her number one sellers. And that snowball? It rolled up into something both delightful and divine.

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