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

Give the Gift of Glowing Skin

As I grow older, skincare has been become my top priority.  Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it’s important to make sure your nourishing it and keeping it hydrated with the best products on the planet.  I’m grateful that I’m exposed to very knowledgeable people in this market from my dermatologist Dr. Marguerite Germain, shopping at the organic skincare boutique Wildcraft, to meeting the owner of the organic skincare line True Botanicals.  The gift of radiant skin is always a great idea and I’ve picked out a few of my favorite items.

Back in October I attended a True Botanicals event  hosted by the beautiful all natural beauty blogger Jessica Morse of Bare Beauty at The Dewberry Hotel.  The founder of True Botanicals, Hilary Peterson was on a tour to spread their all organic goodness and it was so enlightening to hear about their ethos.  Their certified organic products made from botanical extracts contain antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and are the most heavenly scented because of the essential oils.  You can feel the quality when you use their products and it feels good to use them because they are MADE SAFE™, Cruelty free, Non-GMO, and Gluten free.

From left to right: Nourishing Lotion, GROVE $ 38.00, Nutrient Toner, CLEAR $48, Nutrient Mist, RENEW $48,  Resurfacing Moisture Mask $90 from True Botanicals // Abalone shell tree from Vieuxtemps

I love the toners because it gives my skin an invigorating boost that it needs after I wash it, plus it reduces blemishes, minimizes pore size, and plumps my skin.  Their anti-aging Cellular Repair Serum and Pure Radiance Oil keep my skin feeling hydrated while leaving my skin dewy and glowing.  You might have heard the many benefits of Vitamin C in your skincare products – from boosting collagen production, to diminishing the signs of aging, to correcting dark spots this is my new daily regimen.  I mix the Vitamin C Booster with the Cellular Repair Serum, RENEW to stimulate collagen production and even my skin tone.  I use the Resurfacing Moisture Mask to exfoliate especially in the winter time when you need to slough off that dead skin.  The Nourishing Wash & Nourishing Lotion infuses a woodsy citrus scent while it gives your skin a youthful glow because it fights free radical damage with potent antioxidants.   I’ve become obsessed with their products because I’ve seen my skin improve instantly.

Owner Holly Thorpe of  Wildcraft stocks her shelves with a highly curated mix of handcrafted, organic, cruelty-free lines of skincare, cosmetics, fragrance, haircare, bodycare + wellness blends.   Holly has researched and done her homework because every product she carries from Charleston to California are ethically + sustainably sourced.  Her shop located in South Windmere of West Ashley offers the right mix of product without being too overwhelming.  Here are some of products that are perfect to splurge on yourself or that special someone who deserves some pampering.

Axiology Natural Organic Lipstick in Attitude. 100% vegan. Attitude glides on as a hot, hibiscus-pink pop with a blush of blue undertones. Popular among both world-travelers and urbanites, this color evokes lustrous Indian saris and bright neon billboards—and will keep your lips loaded with moisture $30 from Wildcraft 

MCMC Fragrances in Hunter – With tobacco absolute, organic Bourbon vanilla and balsam fir, this fragrance is best worn with a flannel shirt. $95 eu de parfum & $45, roll-on perfume oil from Wildcraft 

Bless by Leahlani Beauty Balm. Makeup remover, moisturizer & lip treatment. Rich, organic butters coalesce with the most lush organic and cold pressed beauty oils to nurture and bless your skin for an unparalleled softness. Bless is a nutrient dense silken moisturizer that will soften the skin and deeply nourish the complexion. Infused with nutrient dense, organic and cold pressed oils, Bless will help to reduce inflammation, strengthen and protect your precious complexion $49 from Wildcraft 

Leahlani Meli Glow Illuminating Nectar Mask. Say aloha to a soft, supple and more even-toned complexion with Meli GLOW.  This illuminating nectar fusion mask, filled with enzyme and vitamin rich tropical fruits, nutrient dense beauty oils, skin moisturizing and plumping hyaluronic acid and stimulating clays steeped in the creamy fusion of organic Hawaiian nectar.  She will deeply nourish and strengthen the barrier of your skin, delivering a bountiful dose of active enzymes and antioxidant rich oils to each cell on your precious face. Plump skin cells, deeply nourish and gently exfoliate the skin, helping to promote a more even skin tone while unveiling that ‘aloha GLOW’ $49 from Wildcraft 

Leahlani Kalmina Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder. Your cleansing ritual will never be the same. Silken coconut milk, soothing oatmeal, vitamin and antioxidant rich tropical fruits, softening clays and organic vanilla beans come together to create the most exotic and opulent cleansing powder you have ever experienced. Organic hibiscus flower, wildcrafted camu camu fruit and water activated vitamin C are a powerhouse trio working harmoniously together to boost collagen production and even out the complexion $48 from Wildcraft 

Leahlani Siren Serum. Radiant and skin-brightening serum infused with vitality boosting micro-algae and organic and cold pressed oils rich in Vitamin C + A.  Luminous and youth enhancing blend of Sea Buckthorn CO2, carrot seed, geranium, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and sweet citrus will absorb beautifully into your skin $44 from Wildcraft 

Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream. A uniquely effective, powerful moisturizer that combines the occlusive, breathable benefits of a natural balm with the absorption and luxury finish of a cream. This multi-benefit moisturizer supports true skin health and beauty by facilitating maximum cellular hydration, repair and restoring vital skin function $47 from Wildcraft 

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask. Designed to help replenish and retain maximum skin cell hydration this unique treatment can be used daily to elevate skin appearance, vitality and function. Lock in moisture, plump, condition, and improve skin circulation which protects and supports healthy dermal function and slows skin decline. Removal the mask without water rinsing, which helps slow moisture loss and assists in maximum cellular hydration and retention $66 from Wildcraft 

Follow them on Instagram @shop_wildcraftchs for updates products and events.  They’ll be hosting a couple fun events next weekend – 12/15&16: Plants, Planters, Wreaths, and Illustrations Pop Up with Gertie’s Goods. 12/15: 11am-2pm Brow sugaring with Rock Beauty.

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Wonder Works – A Toy Story

If you live in Charleston with kids and you’ve never heard of Wonder Works Toys, then your living under a rock.  One of the nation’s most successful, independent, locally owned toy stores is right here in Charleston, and Christine Osborne is the mastermind behind it all.  With the first store opening up 27 years ago, it has now expanded to locations in Kiawah, Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, downtown, as well as a thriving online business. Christine is a very passionate advocate for supporting local businesses and is always generous with her time to talk to aspiring entrepreneurs including toy makers.  Her stores are an incubator for local authors, inventors, and manufacturers of toys.  It’s like Disney World for my boys and they beg me to go to Wonder Works  whenever we’re in the area of one of the stores.  My oldest Mateo realizes the importance of shopping local because he appreciates the knowledgeable and helpful staff, and has met Christine on numerous occasions.  Making the connection with the owner of a business makes more of an impact and you want to support them to help the community grow.

Mateo and Sebastian had a blast testing out all of the hot new toys at Wonder Works.  What I loved the most is that it got them outside and off of their devices.  Their favorite was the LASER X DOUBLE BLASTER PACK ($49.99) .  Now you can play laser tag in your own backyard day or night.  My boys could play this for hours!

Wonder Works also has gifts adults can appreciate as well.  This blanket made by local company Charleston Green is the softest thing you’ll ever touch and it’s made out of recycled bottles.  Do your part by helping to save the environment while you snuggle up.  I also love that it’s reversible.

The PICTAR ONE PLUS ($65.99) attaches to your iphone so you can shoot it like a camera.  The easy app gives you options to shoot like a DLSR camera does and the video quality is pretty amazing.  Mateo got the swing of it quicker than I did of course.

My boys loved playing the SLIMEBALL DODGETAG and I loved it because it was only $24.99!

The PARTY 2 GO GOLD MICROPHONE SET ($49.99) is tons of fun for the whole family.  The microphone hooks up by bluetooth and plays anything from your phone with the built in speaker.  It also comes with a battery operated disco ball.  Who needs a karaoke bar when you have this set up at home?

THE AMAZING STAR CUBE PUZZLE ($15.99) is a toy that I found myself playing with too because it’s the new version of the Rubik’s Cube.  It’s a 3D puzzle that’s perfect for the kids who love fidget spinners and makes a great stocking stuffer.

View more to see what’s on our wish list from Wonder Works Toys and a Q & A with Christine Osborne.

Photography by Libby Williams 

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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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