Frolicking Frocks

As 2017 draws to a close I’m wrapping it up with a couple of my favorite party looks.  This dress by Alexis at Beckett is a dream and the perfect to transition from winter into spring. This Upper King boutique has the most covetable collection of clothing and brands that are exclusive to Charleston.  They carry on trend Aussie brands like Rebecca Vallance and Lover the Label and when you wear one of their pieces it makes you feel you instantly cool.

The Fantasy Garden collection from Candy Shop Vintage is full of whimsical jewelry adorned with unicorns, bumble bees, and flowers.  Designer Deirdre Zahl teamed up with 125 year old jewelry company Ciner to produce her latest collection.  Her adorable Cannon Street shop is packed with vintage jewelry as well as other local designers and fun accessories from brands from all over.

Jeslyn Dress by Alexa from Beckett $560 // The Unicorn Collar Fantasy Necklace $395, Rhinestone Bee earrings (Crystal) $135 from Candy Shop Vintage

This dress from Mulberry & King is a knock out, especially when it’s under $100!  Unfortunately it’s sold out but they have plenty of other great party dresses that are perfect for a New Year’s Eve bash.  You’ve got to follow them on Instagram to keep up to date on the latest releases because they’re known for selling out quick on certain styles.  The online boutique based here in Charleston is run by 2 girl bosses and best friends – Megan and Meredith.  I have so much respect for theses women who can juggle young little ones while being successful mompreneurs.  I featured Mulberry & King a couple of weeks ago on Lowcountry Live along with Beckett and Candy Shop Vintage for my holiday outfits segment, you can watch the video here if you need some last minute ideas.

If your looking to drop any hints for last minute gift ideas that are sure to dazzle then Croghan’s Jewel Box is the place.  Specializing in fine jewelry, they also have a gorgeous collection of estate jewelry and playful costume jewelry at every price range.  I love following them on Instagram to see the latest baubles and engagements with their rings.  This family run business is over 100 year old and the 4th generation is just as excited to carry on the legacy.  They also carry gifty items for special occasions and something for the man in your life.  Goblets, silver trays, vases, flasks, engravable photo albums, and feathered bow ties are just some of the treasures you’ll find on their shelves.

  I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities and collaborations with all of the local talent here in Charleston.  It’s pretty incredible how many people I get to connect with on a daily basis through my blog, social media, and Lowcountry Live, these are the experiences that make my life fulfilling.   I’m so proud to see my city grow and all of the entrepreneurs and emerging talent that are thriving here.   I look forward to keep on exploring and enjoying new experiences with my family and loved ones in 2018.  Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas holiday and prosperous New Year!

I’m signing off for the rest of the year on my blog but you can keep up with me on my Instagram and see you in 2018!

Blue lace peplum dress and Black fringe heel with pearl trim $36 from Mulberry & King // Sterling Silver Wallace Water Goblet $450, 14k lapis and diamond earrings $2,980, 14k 12mm freshwater pearl fluid ring $1,915, 14k yellow gold mabe pearl diamond ring $2,950, 18k sapphire diamond pave mummy ring $7,500, 14k turquoise and diamond ring $1,950, 14k Tahitian pearl fluid cuff bracelet $1,915, 14k freshwater fluid pearl cuff bracelet $2,020 all from Croghan’s Jewel Box

Photography by Kim Graham, Manicure by Mylk Bar, on location at 12 State Street listed with Handsome Properties

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Makeup and Mexican at Freshfields Village

There’s always new places to explore and shop at Freshfields Village.  For you last minute shoppers there’s something for everyone on your list.  Christmas shopping can be exhausting, but doing it at Freshfields Village is a breeze, with all the parking and stores in close proximity.  They even did the work for you with their curated gift guide – click here for some great gift ideas.

Who doesn’t love a little pampering in their life?  Blue Mercury is the one stop shop for the beauty buff in your life or someone who just needs a little refresh in the makeup department.  Carrying favorites like Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Darphin, Kiehl’s, Chantecaille, Living Proof, RMS Beauty, Goop! and Smith & Cult, they have you covered.  They also have an in-house spa, which offers treatments like Oxygen Facials, glycolic peels, and waxing services, plus they do makeup applications.   This Bobbi Brown everything eyes book is perfect for that budding makeup artist friend or someone who wants to explore their skills.

Bobbi Brown everything eyes book $14.95,  LAFCO fresh cut gardenia – living room classic candle $42,  BOBBI BROWN lip color $29 from Blue Mercury

Super Goop! is a pretty amazing skincare line that has SPF in all of their products.  From lip balm, lotion, refreshing spray, body oil, your skin in protected with their 30-50 spf.  These are a couple of my favorites.

SUPERGOOP! spf 50 everyday $32,  SUPERGOOP! sun defying sunscreen oil spf 50 $34 from Blue Mercury

Mexican has got to be one of my favorite foods out there and I was excited to find out that Cantina 76 was opening at Freshfields Village.  With locations in Columbia and Greenville, I’m glad they picked Kiawah for their 3rd outpost.  My recommendations?  The Dirty Queso to share, Roasted Chicken Taco, and you can’t go wrong with any of their Enchiladas.

Another great thing is that the portions are generous and are perfect to share.  My kids are the pickiest eaters and they even found a few things that they liked and munched on the endless chips and salsa.

Pella Faux Fur Coat in Leopard $348 ,Virgo Sweater $198 ,Watson Jeans $178.00 from J. McLaughlin // Sunglasses from Village Optical in Freshfields Village // Jewelry by Julie Vos from GDC  Home // “Brody” platform oxford by Summit White Mountain Shoes $148.95 from Nordstrom

Photography by Libby Williams 

Here’s my 6 hours in Freshfields video which highlights some of my favorite haunts including Tres Carmen, Blue Mercury, Beija Flor, and Dolittle’s.  Hopefully it will give you some gift ideas and places you’ll want to splurge on yourself.

Video by Brennan Wesley

Star Light, Star Bright

I can’t believe that Christmas is 1 week away!  I rounded up some wearable gift ideas for your last minute shopping from House of Sage and Ash Hoffman.   House of Sage is running a 12 days of Christmas sale from now until December 24th.  If you like jeans then this is your lucky day because it’s 20% off all denim.  Check out their Facebook page for daily deals including 20% off the entire store on December 23rd.  Their prices are already pretty amazing so stock up for yourself and gifts for that fashion girl in your life.

 Ash Hoffman is based in Myrtle Beach and has many fans here in Charleston including me.  She makes the coolest custom jewelry, but you still have time to shop online for her handcrafted boho chic jewels. I love stacking her jewelry to make a statement.  Follow Ash on Instagram to see the latest designs and her cute 12 days of Christmas ideas for last minute stocking stuffers.

My glitter ombre mani is by Mylk Bar, Charleston’s eco-nail bar located in Mt. Pleasant.  The color is Brentwood Wives and I had to get a gel so I could stay festive through the New Year.

Crushed Velvet Belle Sleeve Top by Olivaceous $66,  Jeans by Mink Pink,  Luxe Fur Jacket by Mink Pink $160,  Charisma Suede Booties by Chinese Laundry $94 all from House of Sage // Kristine earrings with diamonds $4,190, To the Moon and Back in yellow gold $225, Maria stacked rings with diamond $175, Meghan yellow gold stacked rings $175 each, Caroline thick hammered band ring $275,  Silver band with black diamonds $425 all handmade by Ash Hoffman // Luxury Wig Flatscreen sunglasses by Raen $150 from Zappos 

Photography by Kim Graham, on location at 12 State Street listed with Handsome Properties

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Elements of the Season

The candle movement is taking Charleston by storm, and many local brands have launched in the past couple of years.  These chandlers are carving out a niche making soy candles in small batches with signature scents. Element Candles stands out for their luxe modern meets minimal approach to packaging and their distinct scents conjure the essence of a high end perfume.  For me burning a candle isn’t just about making my room smell great, it’s my aromatherapy to get inspired when I’m working in my home office. My favorite candle scents like Wood and Musk invoke the comfort in the winter months because they incorporate notes like fir, mistletoe, pine, balsam, amber, clove, and jasmine.

The benefits of buying locally made candles made in small batches is that they are better for the environment and of course your supporting the local economy. Many big brand candles  emit soot and toxins into the air partly because of their synthetic wicks, but Element Candle’s wicks are made of cherrywood and have a clean burn.

I met the owners Hannah and Joe Hosemann by fate many years ago in a puppy training class, all of us in a very different place in our lives.  Fast forward to 12 years later and I find out that this husband and wife team are the creators of one of my favorite candle lines,  Element.  I asked them a few questions about their business and why they love making candles.

How did you get into the candle business?   With dogs and wood floors we quickly determined that an artificial Christmas tree made more sense.  To get into the holiday spirit, we purchased a few mass market paraffin based candles – only to find that they smelled artificial and caused headaches.  After extensive research on candles and what’s inside of them, we decided to create a more natural and cleaner burning candle solution.  We started out as an unexpected hobby during the holiday season; we gifted the first few batches of candles to friends and family members.  We fell in love with candle making and our friends kept asking for more.  

What inspired the brand name Element?  We knew that we originally wanted to have categorizations of each fragrance. It was an idea that because the periodic table has categorizations for each element the name came up.

Do you make everything in Charleston? Yes, all of our products are made on James Island.

What do you love about being a business owner?  Having the freedom to create and sell products that are loved and appreciated.  As a husband and wife team, it’s incredibly rewarding to get to work together. 

What do you love the most about the holidays?  Decorating the Christmas tree, the Charlie Brown soundtrack, and time with family.

 If your a candle collector like I am and you don’t own an Element Candle yet, you need to add it to the mix.  If your stumped on what you should gift someone this year or what you should bring your host for a party then surprise them with an Element Candle, they will love you for it. Take advantage of their free shipping until December 21st!

Photography by Clifford Pate

Dandy Wonderland

What does Christmas mean to you?  For me it’s keeping tradition and starting new ones.  Spending time with my family and keeping up with my social events is always a juggling act.  I’ve been hitting the Christmas circuit hard this year from The Nutcracker, to attending and participating in Christmas parades around town.  There’s always something to do in Charleston and I’m thankful for that.  One of the events I always look forward to is Dandy Boutique’s annual Christmas Party.  Tomorrow from 4-8pm they’ll be having store wide sales, and a GIVEAWAY worth $350!  With their newly expanded Made in Charleston section and retro inspired clothes and accessories, you’ll be sure to find something for someone.

These beautifully cupcakes are from Cupcake Down South, and they are the most decadent and delicious desserts I’ve experienced.  They’ve been promoting their 12 days of Cupcakes and everyday it’s another seasonal sensation like Eggnogg, Candy Cane, and Gingerbread to name a few.  Forget about your diet until the new year and splurge on one of these delectable works of art.

Dandy Boutique always has the cutest clothes for the best prices.  I just scooped up this furry coat for $68!  You can hardly go out to dinner for two for that price.

I’m so grateful I get to collaborate with talented locals like owner of Dandy Boutique, Holly McGetrick.  Not only does she have great taste, she’s the sweetest person with the biggest heart.  She had the vision of opening up a store full of vintage inspired clothing and accessories and there still is no other store in Charleston like it.  I’m looking forward to see what Dandy Boutique has in store for 2018!

As 2017 draws to a close, I’m reflecting on all the amazingly talented people I’ve been able to work with and I’m lucky that I’m still discovering new creatives to collaborate with.  Holly brought this shoot together and it was a great team who knew how to nail that 40’s look.  Big thanks to Nicole Mickle Photography, Makeup by Mariah at Pampered & Pretty, Hair by Rosa Martinez, and this sweet ride from Sea island event company.  I’m looking forward to more fun shoots ahead!

Pink Velvet Dress by Everly- $60, Fluffy Coat $68, Black Purse $62, Brown Metallic Skirt- by Everly $67, Blue Sweater by Hell Bunny $65, Navy Bow Purse by Hell Bunny $65, Silver/Navy Shoes by Chelsea Crew $84, Bronze Beaded Necklace by I Crave Jewels- $58, Vintage Button Rings $8-$16 made by Christie McGetrick all from Dandy Boutique

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Gifts to Pamper them with at Woodhouse Day Spa

If your looking to pamper the ones you love then Woodhouse Day Spa is the one stop shop to treat them to.  Located off of 17 in Mt. Pleasant, this spa is an urban escape that offers over 70 treatments including facials, sleep treatments, massage therapy, wraps, scrubs, foot treatments, hand treatments, and waxings.  They also offer exclusive treatments like the Vichy Shower and Hydra Facial.  Their retail boutique also offers plenty of gift ideas from jewelry, skincare products, makeup, bags, and pj’s.

Kimberly Powell, the owner,  strives for excellence by insuring her clients have the most luxurious experience at her spa.  She’s one of the most generous philanthropists in our community and recently donated her time performing as Sandra Dee from Grease in the recent Lip Sync for Lungs benefitting the American Lung Association.  She pretty much has a 100% yes policy when it comes to donating for any local charity.  That alone makes you want to support her business and the causes she champions for.

Kimberly helped develop her candle line 1670 Charles Towne which is a luxe collection that’s handcrafted here in Charleston. The sweetgrass basket set is made by skilled basket weavers and donates proceeds to the International African American Museum. The Travel Tin Candle pictured above is a bouquet of quince blossom, champagne, jasmine petals, magnolia, tuberose and white musk.   The hand painted oyster shell dish is by Grit and Grace and for every oyster sold, 10 oyster shells are recycled.

 Woodhouse Day Spa also carries other locally made products such as Maya Chia.  The organic skincare line which is made out of chia seeds has expanded their products into makeup, giving you that all natural glow.

As a little incentive Woodhouse Day Spa is offering this luxurious throw blanket ($150 value) for free when you spend $350 on gift certificates.  It’s super soft and comes in creme, dark grey, and light grey.  Scoop one up while supplies last.

Here are some other gift ideas, and they even have the men covered too!

For the guys:

Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum $62 – The silky liquid texture is readily absorbed allowing for immediate delivery of the efficacious ingredients below the skin’s surface.

Jack Black Eye Balm De-Puffing & Cooling Gel $25 – Energize and refresh tired-looking eyes with Eye Balm De-Puffing & Cooling Gel.  A blend of hydrating ingredients, soothing botanical extracts, and nourishing vitamins help reduce the look of puffiness, soften the appearance of fine lines, and brighten tired-looking eyes.

Blood Orange & Black Pepper Aromatherapy Bubble Bath $15 – This isn’t your girl’s bubble batch, the spicy combination of natural essential oils of blood orange and black pepper helps your body to relax after physical activity. Free of paraffins, silicone and mineral oils, it’s also vegan.

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze $25 – FarmHouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze is just the thing to banish dry and rough spots on tired toes and heels. Honey draws moisture to the skin as papaya and pineapple extracts exfoliate dead, dulling skin cells. Healing aloe soothes and calms inflamed, irritated skin. Your toes and heels will soak this velvety serum up, appearing instantly refreshed an moisturized. Sweet cloves, cinnamon and honey blend for a truly indulgent scent and experience. Includes fan brush applicator.

Farmhouse Fresh Guacamole Avocado Mask $22 – This revitalizing mask is packed with fresh avocado butter, extract and oil to deliver key fatty acids to support the outermost layer of skin that helps protect us from environmental stresses. Put Guac Star in the fridge and try it chilled.  Plus, avocado’s smorgasbord of vitamins B5, B6, K, E, and C, copper, folate, and potassium, and its naturally high moisturization factor completely comforts and nurtures skin.

MESOLYFT EYES $79.99 – Your eyelid skin is the thinnest on your face and shows the signs of aging first. Restore, prevent and maintain the youth and beauty of your eyes with MesoLyft Eye Renewal. The wrinkle relaxing product works instantly by giving your skin a Botox-like effect achieved with Argireline. VoluPlus gently plumps the skin, while the Retinol and Vitamin C are working double time to stimulate new collagen production for long-lasting improvement. They’ve added Ginko Biloba extract for soothing anti-inflammatory effect.

Cucumber Fizzy Bath Cubes $19 – Drop a few nourishing cubes into your bath. As the water softens, relax and enjoy. Essential oils blend with California Poppy extract to soothe muscle tension and promote healthy skin.

Tune into Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am for more gift ideas from Woodhouse Day Spa and a chance to win an Illuminating Facial!

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Skirts of the Season

You might have seen one of these colorful African wax print skirts around town and if you haven’t then get to know Francis + Benedict.   A local brand founded by visionary Katie Walters who started the company a couple of years ago while traveling on a mission with her church in Togo, Africa.  She quickly discovered there was a way to sustain their community by giving the Togolese women the job of sewing skirts that would be imported and sold online here in America.  Their skills support projects that benefit orphans, widows, and those suffering in poverty. The beautiful skirts come in an array of prints and full length to mid length styles.  You can shop their collection online and follow them on Instagram @francisandbenedict  to see their pop up schedule at their new studio at 218b King Street on the 2nd floor.  They’ll also be having a Sip and Shop on Thursday from 5-7pm at Cannonborough Collective at 185 A St. Philip Street.

If you sign up for Francis + Benedict‘s email list here you will be entered to win a free skirt!   These skirts are perfect gift that gives back, and I’m so proud to share their story to spread the message. 

This necklace by Made in the Deep South is one of the many treasures you’ll find from Woodhouse Day Spa Mt. Pleasant.  Kimberly Powell, the owner, curates the best finds in her spa boutique from skincare, makeup, accessories, and gifty items.  Knock out your Christmas shopping at Woodhouse Day Spa  tomorrow night from 5:30-7:30pm at their Holiday Open House.  Enjoy festive bites, drinks, special promotions and giveaways at 725 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.   If you can’t make it in you can always buy a gift card online here, and if you spend at least $350 on a gift certificate you’ll get a super soft throw blanket for free!

Arletet turtleneck in dark purple $145 from J. McLaughlin //  The Colmar Maxi $128 from Francis + Benedict // Necklace by Made in the Deep South $238 from Woodhouse Day Spa Mt. Pleasant // Iris – Acetate sunglasses $465 from Friedrich’s Optik 

 Friedrich’s Optik always combines high style and glamour with their quality frames.  The style I’m wearing made famous by Iris Apfel comes in every color of the rainbow and in both sunglasses and eyeglasses.

Top to Bottom:  Caroline $465 (Acetate), Iris $465 (Acetate),  Jackie $1950 (Horn & Silk),  Marilyn $1950 (Horn & Silk),  Bruno $1550 (Horn), Jack $1550 (Horn) from Friedrich’s Optik 

I’m big fan of clothing that has movement, so this skirt by J. McLaughlin stole my heart!

Tune into Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am for gift ideas from Woodhouse Day Spa, and Cannonborough Collective which carries Francis + Benedict, as well as Motherland Essentials, Park & Madison Candles, Borough, and art and stationary from Jenny Batt and Island Haus Paperie.

Rosa – Layered Buffalo horn, White on Black sunglasses $1,750 Friedrich’s Optik // Cropped sweater by Olivaceous $68.98 from Magnifique Boutique // Felix skirt $188 from J. McLaughlin

Photography by Clifford Pate

About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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