From Charleston with Love

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There’s no doubt that Charleston is one of the most romantic cities in the world.  It’s easy to get enchanted by it’s old world charm and beauty.  I recently did a Valentine’s Day gift idea segment on Lowcountry Live and I discovered some local businesses that would contribute to a romantic experience whether your a local or visiting town.

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Wonder what’s it’s like to live in a beach house on Folly or Isle of Palms, or a beautifully restored home downtown?  Luxury Simplified Retreats offers posh accommodations by way of grand homes, villas, and condos.  One of their properties is this historical house on Spring Street downtown that was formerly owned by Thomas Mayhem Pinckney. He was a notable African-American craftsman who played an integral part in the preservation development in Charleston.

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The top that I’m wearing is actually a layered 2 piece sold together at  Maris DeHart.  It’s got that 90’s vibe with a modern day twist. You can always find emerging accessory brands at Maris DeHart, and this watch and earrings are no exception. The watch is by Berg & Betts, and they make their leather straps out of scraps repurposed from luxury accessory brands.   The earrings are by Larissa Loden who also upcycles unwanted pieces to create something new.  With average prices of $35, it’s a no brainer to scoop up something for you or as a gift for someone special.

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This beautiful bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers will light up any room.  The 50-year old business is getting a new life by offering special arrangements for weddings and events. Who doesn’t love fresh flowers?

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Top by English Factory, Watch by Berg & Betts $148, earrings by Larissa Loden $48 //Jeans by Ellison Apparel from House of Sage // Custom wedding bands by Ash Hoffman // Intentionally Blank lace up heels $58.50 from Nasty Gal //  RMS Beauty nail polish in Diabolique $15 from Anthropologie // Bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers

Photography by Clifford Pate

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The Luxe Retreat & Boutique at Woodhouse Day Spa

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Wondering where the ultimate luxury spa getaway is in Charleston?  The Woodhouse Day Spa in Mt. Pleasant is THE place you want to get pampered.  Offering over 70 different treatments from facials, massages,  body scrubs, manis and pedis and the state of the art Vichy shower. With Valentine’s day right around the corner this is an obvious gift for your loved one or if you want to get spoiled too they’re offering seasonal packages for couples like the “Date Night” series. 

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Other than escaping to a blissful retreat at Woodhouse, you can shop their boutique.  Owner Kimberly Powell seeks out the best skincare products and accessories while highlighting local brands.  I thought I knew almost every locally made brand out there, but I was excited to discover a few I’ve never heard of before.

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Deep Steep makes their natural bath and body products in Johns Island and everything is Non-GMO, Gluten-free, Vegan and Cruelty Free.  The line spans from shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, body oil, and so much more.  I can’t wait to sample all of them because the scent is heavenly!

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Maya Chia is one of my favorite local skincare brand, and they’re also based right here in Charleston.  Pretty much all of their products are made with chia seed oil and I am obsessed with the new highlighting serum.  I’ve been wearing it everyday on my cheekbones for that subtle glow.

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Other than a wide variety of skincare and beauty products to spoil yourself or that special someone, Woodhouse carries the Design Her book by local author Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke Home.  Filled with stories of female entrepreneurs in interior design, this book is an inspirational read and beautiful collection of design.

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This shark tooth necklace is by Foxy Fossils, local designer Casey Danielle finds real fossils all over the lowcountry and turns them into wearable accessories. Each piece is one of a kind and is incredibly affordable.  The earrings start at $29, so it’s easy to collect more than a few pieces and layer the necklaces.

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Kimberly Powell, has recently launched her candle line 1670 Charlestowne candle set which comes with a keepsake Sweetgrass basket. Each basket-and-candle set is hand-numbered and signed by the basket weaver and candle designers. The scent is a combination of fresh hay, cut grass, water lily, cucumber, lotus, anemone petals and blond wood. Kimberly is one of the most generous philanthropists in Charleston so it’s natural that a percentage of the sales of the  Sweetgrass-fragrance 1670 Charlestowne products are donated to charities that support Lowcountry youth culture and arts programs.

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She also carries Taxidermy accessories, which are an all time favorite in Charleston and beyond.  I love spreading the word on great places to shop and Woodhouse Day Spa has the perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day.  Pair that with an amazing spa experience and your partner will be forever grateful!

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Shirt from Maris DeHart // Regina heels in navy suede by Corso Como $139 from Zappos

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Oh My Darling

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with so many great places to eat out for that special night, it can be so hard to decide.  Well, hopefully I’ll make it easy for you by sharing my experience at The Darling Oyster Bar.

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V-day isn’t just for couples, it’s also an excuse to get all dressed up and spend some QT with your single ladies to celebrate each other for a Galentine’s get-together.  A few nights ago I joined my girl Libby Williams of Plate South for a seafood feast at The Darling Oyster Bar.  Even on a Monday night I like to wear a saucy little number like this dress from House of Sage that’s only $70!  It’s a great feeling when you can save a little money on your outfit, so you can spend your cash on drinks or that extra app.

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The first thing that grabs your attention is the beautiful decor in the renovated century old building that sat vacant on Upper King for so long.  The warm brick walls and original tile give it a rustic feel and the nautical, maritime accents bring it into the modern world.

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The first order of business was to order a round of oysters sourced both locally and outer regions like North Carolina and Virginia.  I know the raw bar is trending in Charleston right now, but you can’t beat parking it next to the window at the Darling while you slurp some oysters with a view.

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Another must try is the fries with the clam chowder dipping sauce.  If your saving up for your cheat day, this is the place to do it.  The combo of these two are decadent and so worth it.

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If you didn’t get your fill with the french fries then you’ll have to try the fried clam strips topped with cabbage, cilantro, carrots, sweet chili, avocado mayo.  Fried food isn’t that bad as long as it’s paired with veggies right?  My other favorites were the Tuna Poke and the Blue Crab Tagliatelle.

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Searching for more Valentine’s gifts and experiences that you and your loved one will enjoy?  Tune into Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am for gift ideas from other local businesses Woodhouse Day Spa,  Luxury Simplified Retreats, Frampton’s Flowers, and of course The Darling Oyster Bar.

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And if you want to hint at a gift to splurge on, this lizard clutch by Taxidermy from Germain Dermatology is pretty amazing.  The rose gold rings from Gold Creations aren’t too shabby either.

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Dress by L’atiste $70 from House of Sage // Lizard Harper Clutch $795 by Taxidermy from Germain Dermatology // Rose gold hoop earrings $225, 14k rose gold ring with morganite and diamonds $1,250, 14k rose gold ring with diamonds $775 from Gold Creations // Sam Edelman Women’s Audrey Dress Sandal $109.98 from Amazon

Photography by Libby Williams

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Lulu Burgess – The One Stop Gift Shop

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One of my favorite haunts to go gift shopping in Charleston is Lulu Burgess on Upper King.  They have everything for everyone, from babies to adults who have a good sense of humor.  Their first store in Beaufort, SC opened up 16 years ago and I’m so happy they finally opened up their Charleston store last year.  It was a much needed gift emporium that we were lacking.  They stock a huge selection of greeting cards, a quirky selection of books, clothes, accessories, linens, tableware, glassware, and the list goes on!

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I love that they carry some locally made goods like Harry Barker dog treats, Produce candles, locally made Charleston snacks, and hand stamped spoons by Carolyn Ward in Bluffton,SC.  One of the items that really stood out to me was the Harry Barker dog biscuits packaged by people with disabilities from The Hope Center of Charleston.  Their Chicken Gumbo dog biscuits proceeds go towards the African-American Museum in Charleston. Giving your pup a present never felt so good.

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I can’t wait to share my gift ideas and where to shop local on Lowcountry Live tomorrow, November 18th at 10am. I’ll be featuring goodies from Lulu Burgess, Be The Change Boutique, Open Door Shop, and Distil Union.

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Embroidered Kimono by Sweet Sinammon $60, Lace back top by Vintage Havana $58, Fade Frame sunglasses $19.95, Tote bag by Shiralzah $65 all from Lulu Burgess // Larissa boots by Coro Como $209 from Amazon

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Thoroughly Modern Maris Dehart

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It’s not too often that you find a modern space in downtown Charleston that supports progressive southern designers.  The newly open Maris DeHart is a gem of a store located in the heart of downtown on Vendue and East Bay, a location predominately known for restaurants and tourist sites. But when visitors stumble upon this store they will be pleasantly surprised that this is not your typical Charleston trinket store.  Alden DeHart Haviland created a concept lifestyle boutique filled with brands and products that have a contemporary edge.  You can find something for everyone whether it’s well priced women’s clothing and sunglasses; local art from Elina Mille, Morgan Cole, Carrie Beth Waghorn; distinctive handbags by Ellia Wang, Taxidermy, and HR Deneau; handmade jewelry by Christina Jervey and Ash Hoffman; Charleston inspired graphic pillows by Suite 33 and so much more!

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Alden’s vision and innovative ideas will heighten the shopping experience in Charleston.  Her unique boutique is a great addition to the shopping mix in Charleston and I’m excited to see the new brands she introduces to our city.

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Photo by Terrence Edwards of Current Visuals

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I’m excited to partner up with Maris DeHart for a curated selection of some of my favorite designs called Curator Covets.  We’re starting off with Ash Hoffman jewelry and pillows by Suite 33, who I’m of course big fans of. I first met Ash Hoffman two years ago at Charleston Fashion Week where we immediately hit off and we’ve been collaborating ever since.  I met Emily Papuga of Suite 33 a few years ago when she was designing clothes.  She recently launched her collection of  graphic textiles and pillows that are inspired by iconic Charleston locations. Stay tuned as we add more local brands!

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 Their grand opening party which is tomorrow from 5-9pm will be a fun one with DJ Deirdre Zahl of Candy Shop Vintage  spinning beats, and of course there’ll be bubbles and bites at 32 Vendue Range. Come out and experience Charleston’s new boutique that is elevating the retail scene.

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Shirtdress $68, wood clutch by HR Deneau $189, sunglasses $32, silver knot bangle $225, silver open wire cuff $295, and silver bar necklace $175 by Christina Jervey, Stix ring $295 and Chloe ring with tourmaline and tsavorite ring $395 by Ash Hoffman all from Maris Dehart // Shoes by Fortress of Inca $240 from Shoes on King

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Purchase With a Purpose at Be the Change

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With so many stores opening up at light speed in Charleston it’s hard to keep up with them all.  Be the Change Boutique who recently opened on Lower King is one not to be overlooked. Two best friends Ashley Miller and Ashleigh Hover wanted to open up a retail space that made a difference in the world.  Every single brand that they carry are philanthropic and work with global charities around the world. From providing jobs to former sex-trafficking victims in the Philippines to scholarship opportunities to people living in poverty, the charities are endless.  These are girls are so knowledgable on every brand that they carry and each cause that they stand for, you can’t help buying at least one thing at their shop.

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When you walk up to their boutique on the second floor you know your in for a real treat. The beautiful space is filled with stylish clothing for both men and women along with accessories, shoes, home decor, paper products, tech gadgets, and even chocolate. More than a few of their products are signed by the people who made it, giving it a personal connection.  It’s such a good feeling to know where your clothing is coming from and knowing that your purchase is making an impact in their lives.  My other favorite part of the store is the incredible prices.  An average shirt could cost $40 and the jewelry ranges from $20-$60, not bad for shopping local!

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I’m excited to feature them on my next Lowcountry Live segment “Clothing for a Cause” this Friday.  Tune in at 10am to see all the local stores and brands that are giving back while making you look stylish.

View more to learn about Ashley & Ashleigh’s story and how their “Purchase With a Purpose” motto is so infectious.
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Synergy Maxi Tank Dress $76, Soko Kito Cross Ring $46, Greenola Badu Horn Studs $27.99, Penh Lenh Tassel Necklace $72, Penh Lenh Wrap $49, Pura Vida Fruit Punch Clutch $32, The Root Collective Izzie Flats $99 all from Be the Change Boutique

Photography by Clifford Pate

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The Port Essentials

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The Port Mercantile at The Restoration Hotel is my little shopping gem.  This charming boutique  stocks gifts, mementos, accessories, artsy books, magazines, and even artisanal food and drinks.  Just when you think the shopping couldn’t get any better in Charleston, this modern day mercantile elevates the scene.

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The carefully curated selection of men’s and women’s jewelry is unique, modern, and refreshing to see in this town.  The overwhelming sweet scents are compliments of the rare perfumes and exquisite candles.  One of my favorites is the Indigo candle that was custom made for the shop.  The romantic musky scent was created by creative director Cory Ingram and is packaged in a indigo hand-dyed pouch by local designer Leigh Magar.

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This gift shop brings you that local flavor with goodies from Callie’s Biscuits and shirts and sweatshirts from The Bad Bitches.

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The biggest splurge would be the custom Lorenzo Martone bikes you can rent or buy.  Talk about riding in style!

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The Amethyst Spa right next door is one of the few places below Calhoun to get a manicure.  With a great selection of polishes including Chanel, you can’t go wrong.

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“I Scream You Scream” Scalloped Dress by Kling $84 and “Sindy” Flats by B.A.I.T. from Dandy Boutique // Sunglasses $595 from Friedrich’s Optik Charleston // Mouth ring in brass by Odette x MBD $120, Starlight double ring by Martha Calvo $130, Venus bobby pin by Jennifer Behr $102, and bike by Lorenzo Martone $1,350 from The Port Mercantile at The Restoration Hotel

Photography by Lauren Sykes, Hair by Patrick Navarro at Stella Nova Charleston, Makeup by Lauren Smelley, Mani & Pedi from The Amethyst Spa at The Restoration Hotel

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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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