A fourth generation member of the Southeastern Galleries family, Randolph Cooper grew up immersed in his great-grandparents’ vast knowledge of fine design. Dinner table conversation included the names Adams, Wedgewood, Chippendale and other staples of the industry.
Randolph’s extensive travels as a child, particularly through Asia and Micronesia, inspired an appreciation for three things: the gorgeous mosaic of foreign cultures, the varied aesthetics that span the globe, and a reverence for the unique history and beauty of his home city of Charleston.
After graduating from the College of Charleston, Randolph embarked on his career at Ralph Lauren, where he paired new sales skills with a further sharpening of his design talents. Ralph Lauren offered Randolph the first platform to express his passion for design.
Charleston and his family beckoned, and Randolph returned to Southeastern Galleries eight years ago to help clients complete their homes. Randolph pours himself into each project, no matter how big or small, combining an appreciation for old world design and antique pieces while utilizing new and current elements in design. On the one hand, he says, a historical sensibility need not be stuffy. On the other hand, “progress for the sake of progress results in poor design.”
Randolph loves his job at Southeastern Galleries. He works every day with his uncle, cousin, aunt and grandfather, and takes immense pride in a store that such a large part of his life. He appreciates the great blessing and honor of upholding the family legacy for superb customer service and spectacular antique furniture.
One of his favorite aspects of the job is the clients, many of whom have become his friends. Whether clients need his assistance designing the layout of a multi-million dollar home or choosing a single nightstand, he is humbled by the opportunity to educate and guide them.
“I love to do this,” he says. “Even on my worst day I’m excited to wake up and work with clients, my family and some of the most intelligent designers in the Southeast.”
Randolph is energized by life in the Holy City. The focus on historic preservation and restoration inspire him. You might see him at one of a plethora of cultural activities – like SEWE, Spoleto and Restaurant Week – or offshore fishing with family, friends and a frosty brew in hand. He also contributes his considerable talents to our community, volunteering on the city’s tourism development committee and with Charleston Animal Society, from which he adopted his dog, Wellfleet.
It always comes back to design for Randolph. After all, it’s in his blood. He loves working with the great furniture makers and trend setters across the world, including Earl Charles Spencer, brother of Princess Diana and a renowned designer and collector in his own right.
Whatever he is doing, Randolph combines an intensity for appreciating beauty with a lightheartedness about life itself.