Congratulations to Scottie Ash! Much has happened at the South Carolina State Museum since its doors first opened more than 30 years ago. Renovations, expansions, new exhibitions ... only one of its current team members has seen it all since the beginning.
Scottie Ash was hired as the museum store manager six months before the State Museum’s grand opening on Oct. 29, 1988. She still remembers the date and how the area that would become the store looked “like a dark cave with nothing in it” when she was first hired.
With a blank canvas, Scottie planned how the store would look, saying, “I got to plan it from the carpet up to the lighting because there was nothing there. So that was kind of fun!”
She also was able to name the store, still known today as “the Cotton Mill Exchange,” to pay tribute to the historic building — once a mill, now a museum. Ever since that opening day she has overseen the museum’s store, using her expertise in fashion merchandising to decide what would be sold. In other words, you can thank Scottie if you have ever bought anything at the Cotton Mill Exchange. But as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end,” as Scottie will be retiring from the museum later this spring.
Fondly remembering the good times, she says, “The eclipse we had back in 2017 was the most fun I’ve ever had.” Difficult times came with two moves during museum renovations, to which she says, “The only thing worse than moving a house is moving a store.”
She’s proud of the museum store, which she built from the ground up, and the team of hard-working staff and volunteers who have helped over the years. She attributes their dedication as part of the reason why the Cotton Mill Exchange has garnered the word-of-mouth praise and reputation as a place where visitors could always find a piece of South Carolina pride.
The entire staff of the museum wishes her the very best and can’t thank her enough for all the years of hard work at the South Carolina State Museum!
The Cotton Mill Exchange at the State Museum
The Cotton Mill Exchange offers a surprising array of unique items from beautiful linens and jewelry to decorative items for your home or office, gourmet food, and more. The 4,000-square-foot museum store features a spectacular range of unique gifts and food products representing the Palmetto State.
This spring shoppers can find wonderful options for graduation and wedding gifts, as well as a special selection for items related the current exhibition, “Bindings and Betweens: South Carolina Quilts,” including coffee mugs, puzzles, notecards, and more.
Plus, when you shop locally at the Cotton Mill Exchange, you help support the mission of the South Carolina State Museum. Guests are invited to shop at the museum on-site and online at SCMuseum.org.