Robin Putnam is the owner of The Tulip Tree located in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Ocean Isle Beach is located in Brunswick County, NC. The weather is mild during the winter and the summers attract many families who vacation there year after year. Robin said, “Our beach is so pretty and at low tide, it is still quite wide. You will see amazing sunrises on the east end of the island and you just can’t beat the colors of the west end at sunset.” She went on to say, “The people are very friendly and welcoming. As a full time resident, I am learning just how tight-knit the community really is!”
Robin was a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years. A former flight attendant for Piedmont Airlines and US Airways, she met her husband, Mike, when he was hired as a pilot for Piedmont back in 1984. They were married in 1987 and have two daughters, Tori and Kendyl. Once the girls were both off to Wofford College, Robin started writing a continuing article called “Robin’s (Great Big Empty) Nest” for the online publication, Damsels and Divas. It was a tongue-in-cheek look at her life since she and her husband had become empty-nesters. She also volunteered a lot and dabbled in several at-home type jobs like Mary Kay and Southern Living at Home. Robin even worked for a while as an interior decorator and conceptualized a new jewelry business, uncovering her entrepreneurial spirit.
As time went on, Robin started thinking about one day opening some kind of shop. She knew she wanted to be in Ocean Isle Beach and that in order to be successful, she would have to come up with something that would be a good fit for the community. Robin said, “It surprised no one more than myself when I decided to open a clothing store, but there was a definite need for this kind of boutique here. There are only a handful of boutiques in our immediate area, and they are wonderful shops, but The Tulip Tree Boutique is different by design.”
The Tulip Tree carries clothing and accessories for women and children of all ages. Some of their more recognized labels are Vineyard Vines, Fresh Produce, Splendid, Level 99 Jeans for women, Le-Top, Rabbitmoon and Zutano but they also have lines that are not as well-known. The store prides itself on representing lines that are mostly made in the USA and scouting out the best boutique labels that cannot be found in department stores. Robin stated, “I am very selective. To my knowledge, you won’t find our labels in any other area shops.”
When Robin was presented with the opportunity to carry Dune Jewelry, she knew it would compliment her other lines. She exclaimed, “Dune Jewelry is an absolute perfect fit for my boutique in particular! Our customers are at the age they really take their beach time seriously, and they will love being able to wear not only a reminder, but an actual piece of the beach year round.” Robin continued, “The quality of the pieces is undeniable, and the craftsmanship is spectacular! I couldn’t place my first order fast enough, and anticipate many more to come!”
The Tulip Tree Boutique hosts a Girls’ Night Out on the third Thursday of each month from 5-8pm year round, and most of the events revolve around a local charity. A few of those: Relay For Life, Pretty In Pink, Wings Backpacks Full of Blessings. There have been, and always will be others. Robin said, “It is very important to me to give back, and my customers feel exactly the same way, so we get a lot of support in doing so.” Robin is also very passionate about Paws-Abilitybecause she has a really soft spot for animals, and said they do such a wonderful job in her area finding foster and permanent homes for animals in need.
Robin has many favorite local businesses. For waterfront dining, she suggestsSharky’s and Pogies. Some other popular eating spots are Pelican’s Perch, Backstreet Cafe and Fibber McGees. She thinks Surf and Java has THE best coffees and teas but they are also a surf shop….how cool is that? For sweet treats, Robin said to stop into the Seaside Bakery which also specializes in wedding cakes. Her favorite shop for home gifts and plants is Shady Oak. And if you are looking to pamper yourself, she recommends the Coral Tree Spa, Sunset Massage Therapy and Hair Du. She added, “Just let me say that when you are in the area…ask a local…we will steer you in the right direction!” Robin also talked about NC Coastal Concierge and said it does a fantastic job of taking care of things for homeowners who don’t live in the area as well as VIP guests who visit.
The Tulip Tree Boutique is a great compliment to the other boutiques on Ocean Isle Beach. Robin could not be happier with her decision to open the store and settle there. Kendyl has two years of college left, but is the buyer for the children’s section and is working in the boutique this summer. Her daughter Tori is now graduated and moving on to a career as a magazine editor but is staying in the area. Robin exclaimed, “Life here just keeps getting better and better!”
The Tulip Tree Boutique
6778 Beach Drive SW
Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina 28469