MEET THE FOUNDERS

Discover their history and what inspires them at Magnolia Emporium.

Plus, meet some of the other team!

Randolph James of Magnolia Emporium

RANDOLPH GARETH JAMES

Co-Founder & C.O.O.

Randolph was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida.

A former commercial model/actor, he has appeared in campaigns around the world and has lived an adventurous life. Randolph is known to have a keen ear for good music, something that seems to be in the blood, as part of his family is deeply entrenched in the music industry and relatives who are Grammy winning multi-platinum recording artists. 

The one thing Randolph has always been passionate about is design, something which he began doing as a teenager.

His work over the years has afforded him the ability to live and work in exotic cities around the globe and numerous countries including Japan, Philippines, England, and even Mexico. Travel, love of color, design, and fond memories of his family's European antiquities firm ultimately fueled his inherent desire to create beauty.

 

For over 30 years now, Randolph's clients have ranged from nurses and teachers to legendary music moguls, Oscar-winning actors and even royalty.  All are treated to his warm generous spirit, infectious laugh and his impeccable sense of style.  He doesn't bring a trademark genre of his own but chooses instead to listen to what a client wants, whether spoken or unspoken. 

 

Randolph recognizes the beauty in all colors and styles.

This helps to guide him in choosing many of the 'Unique Gifts' and 'Home Décor Products'.  His passion for art aides in choosing many of the artists that come to Magnolia Emporium and to join their 'Art gallery'.

He is also the Art Director and curator for The Galleries at Eight Eleven.

Robert Naylor

ROBERT B. NAYLOR, M.Ed.

Co-Founder & C.F.O.

Robert was born into the Paiute - Shoshone 

Native American Tribe in Fallon, Nevada.

 

As the son of a naval officer, he moved around frequently.  Those places included Hawaii, Norfolk Virginia, San Francisco, Connecticut, and Batavia, NY just to name a few.

By day, he is a Master's educated elementary teacher challenging young minds with science and by night, he is our CFO.

Robert was previously the manager for several special needs adult group homes in upstate NY.  While managing the group homes, Robert handled the day-to-day operations, worked one-on-one with the physicians, in-house team of nurses, and assistants for his clients' medical needs and care. 

At Magnolia Emporium, he often has the difficult and sometimes dangerous task of telling Randolph what he can and cannot spend every day, which has garnered him the title of CF-NO! 

You can also find Robert often answering emails, checking customers out at the register, and on market trips to help restock the store.

In design projects, he works one-on-one with Randolph and customers to help locate just the right item or an entire collection. 

Thelma Griffith

THELMA J. GRIFFITH

Co-Founder & Curator

Born and raised on a large farm in Bristol Virginia, the little girl who loved to pick cherries out of a tree and churn butter, grew up to be a society favorite in Palm Beach, Florida.

Thelma has spent decades devoted to charitable causes and in between has showcased her talents as a decorator for many celebrities and VIP friends.

She provided the name for Magnolia Emporium and helps to curate the many items. Thelma also oversees many of our South Florida design installs.

 

She also happens to be Randolph's mom and at 79, is just getting her second wind.

Louise Diane

LOUISE DIANE

Branding & Company Muse

As an international world-class model/Actress for over 60 years,

this 100% Italian beauty helped provide us the iconic look and branding we needed.

 

Our logo design was inspired by the years Louise spent as a house model for The Marchese di Barsento aka Emilio Pucci.

Louise has also been an icon in her own right as a published author, business owner and long time Ford Model.

 

She also happens to be Randolph's beloved Godmother. 

Now in her eighth decade, she is more in demand than ever!

Carey J King

CAREY J. KING

Sale & House Photographer

Born in Charlotte, NC and a graduate of the School for Performing Arts, Carey has the venerable task of photographing the various products at Magnolia Emporium.  You can also often find Carey behind the register, helping out.

His talents far exceed the average young man.  Widely praised for his photographic skills both here and in NY, Carey is also an accomplished vocalist and a budding artist.

Carey is also the beloved son of Randolph & Robert.

Ashley Matthews

ASHLEY E. MATTHEWS

 Sales & Personal Assistant

Born in Charlotte, NC and attended the School for Performing Arts. Ashley began her education at CPCC for Anthropology. While studying for her degree she had a delightful new addition, her handsome son Jake.

She decided to take a break from her education and spent the next 18 years dedicated to raising her talented son, who is now attending Davidson College on a well deserved scholarship.

While raising her son, Ashley went back to her first love as a painter, a journey she began when she was 13.  Her artistic abilities expanded to include jewelry making, weaving, embroidery and many other artistic endeavors. Ashley also has a strong knowledge and love for gemology.

Now on a new life journey, she is making her debut at Magnolia Emporium. You  will find Ashley showcasing her artistic abilities, assisting customers, deeply entrenched in the latest design industry news or as the personal assistant to Randolph James and Galleries 811.

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