There are so many amazing options for unique, handmade gifts nowadays, especially here in Charleston. I love that it’s such a supportive community of makers and the arts. So to continue in the holiday spirit, I rounded up another assortment of lovely little gift ideas from some of my favorite small businesses and makers around town.

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1 | monogrammed tote from Stitch-Able Designs $40  2 | element ceramics bowl sold at Surface Craft Gallery $295 3 | No Charleston gift guide is complete without a Rewined candle $28 4 | 8″ Pearl and Aventurine Jade Multi Strand Bracelet from the Pearl Girl of Charleston $75 5 | The Fresh Stitch makes the cutest things for the little ones in your life, organic bib & burp cloth set $19.5 6 | green leaf and botanical illustration by Kristen Solecki, one of my favorites $24 7 | bonjour notecard set by yours truly $15.5

Happy shopping!

My oh my, shopping season is upon us! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe it’s over already and we’re on to the gift-giving holidays!

Since time starts to run so short at this time of year and gift ideas are always helpful, we put together a few bright and colorful gift ideas for the girls in your life – mother, daughter, hostess, girlfriend, etc. – that you can find right here in Charleston. We do love to support the #shopsmall movement, of course!

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1 – Turquoise Stud Earrings by Birdsong Designs, $50 | 2 – Moroccan Woven Basket by Proud Mary, $78 | 3 – Lemon Chevron Cardholder by Myla’s Bags, $7 | 4 – Yours truly, letterpress recipe cards by dodeline, $14 | 5 – Sand Blooms Print by artist Teil Duncan, $50 | 6 – Signature Candles by Southern Protocol (shop in store or call to purchase)

Stay tuned, we’ll be posting a few more roundups of gift ideas from some of our favorite small and local businesses over the next few weeks. How are your holiday preparations going? Do you like to shop more in person or online? Do tell!

What a summer it’s been! It’s already winding down in many parts of the country, although here in Charleston we’ll enjoy the heat for another month at least. Since it’s been a little while since I’ve “talked shop” here on the blog, I thought I’d share a bit about what’s been going on around here.

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Spring wedding season was pretty crazy, with what I think was a record number of wedding program fans leaving our little office in I’on. Kellie and I started to get a little overwhelmed and it was decided the time was right to bring in more help. That way we can get things done more quickly for our clients and everyone can feel a little less pressured.

Laurel started working with us a little over a month ago now, so if you call in or stop by, you just might have the pleasure of meeting her. She is a talented artist and such a great energy to have here in the office. As an entrepreneur who started this whole thing alone in my apartment, I have to admit it’s pretty weird sometimes when all three of us are here and the phone’s ringing and stuff is being made and people are stopping by. Those are sort of pinch-yourself moments – did I really start this whole thing??

At any rate, we are so ready for Fall season now with our little team. Lots and lots of pretty things to be made.

Speaking of upcoming things, I am so excited about the Wedding 101 Workshop we’ve cooked up with Amie from Elizabeth Grace Occasions. Back in January, on a SUPER COLD day when the heat was not cooperating in the office, I met Amie for the first time to network a bit. I mentioned in passing this idea I had about doing a little “general stuff you need to know” workshop for just engaged brides, and Amie was totally into it. I never would have actually gotten around to doing it if it weren’t for her! I guess that’s what makes her such a good event planner, huh? I’m just the designer ;-)

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And even better, we looped in my friend Allison who owns Spacecraft Studios, so we’ll be hosting it there. Have a friend who’s just engaged and wants to pick our brains for advice and work on a vision board? Hopefully, if it’s successful, we’ll do more in the future, but space is limited and right now this is the only one on the calendar! So sign up here if you’re interested.

I also attended the Good Business Summit this week, which was my first sort of “continuing ed” / conference sort of thing I’ve done formally as a business owner. It was hosted by Lowcountry Local First, an organization which we love and support. I’ll do another post about that in the next couple days with all of the amazing vendors speakers we got to meet.

Happy Friday friends!

I am in love with Christina Hewson’s art. I don’t feel I need to say much more than that and show you all of her beautiful images. It was such an honor to work on a clean, crisp website to allow her incredible art to take center stage. Check it out here if you’re interested – she sells prints!

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Happy Friday, friends!

Last night, as I zoomed around between favorite blogs and social media and all the other things I hadn’t looked at because of the beautiful weather this weekend, I stumbled on this article from USA Today that was very much about my hometown.

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In many ways, Charleston is my post-college town too, even though I was born here. I was sort of glad to see I wasn’t crazy for feeling like I hardly recognize the place — this city really has changed dramatically even in my lifetime. Growing up, while it was still a wonderful place to be, it was definitely not “hip” in any way at all.

I remember coming home to interview for jobs one day during my final semester at UGA and discovering Upper King Street like I was a tourist. Seriously, hardly any of that was there when I grew up, and when the article says you didn’t go above Calhoun for safety reasons, they aren’t kidding.

Going to Mount Pleasant felt like another world. When I was really young, the only Wal-Mart was there, and you had to drive over a very scary two lane (literally, two-lane, no sidewalk, no room to the sides) bridge from the early 1900’s to get there. The “new” bridge was from the 1940’s, I believe (pictured above alongside the real new one, when they stood together for a short time in 2005).

We used to drive all the way to North Charleston because the only Home Depot and Lowe’s stores were there. I remember when we didn’t have Target, Chic-Fil-A, Kohl’s, craft stores, etc. Now I completely take all of that for granted, but it was kind of fun to read about that and think back on truly how much has changed around here.

Literally, Daniel Island didn’t exist. When I went to high school there, there were houses, the high school, Blackbaud, and one gas station, which were all only a couple years old. I sound like I’m a 100 years old when I saw that but I promise it’s true!

The article said the ratio of 20 something’s to teenagers here is over 2 to 1. It’s a good sign when that many people want to come to your city, but it is just funny because I feel like, with so many new people, few realize that this is all pretty new.

We really are living through a bit of a renaissance and it’s very cool to observe and be a small part of it. I’m so grateful for the timing in many ways – when I moved home, I didn’t do it for any reason other than it was the right move for us at the time, but somehow I lucked out enough to move to a place with just the right growth, youth, and vibrancy to support small businesses like mine.

Happy Monday, friends!

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My goodness, what an absolutely gorgeous weekend we enjoyed here in the Lowcountry! Everywhere you look the azaleas are bursting with color, the sunshine and blue skies were out, and the trees are this beautiful vibrant green. It’s just so good for the soul after what feels like quite a long winter.

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On Saturday, I got up and did my 5k as promised, and I did beat my time by a little over a minute. Again, no speed records here, but I finished and did a little better than last time, so I’ll take it! Either way, it was actually a really awesome way to start such a beautiful weekend – a run on the beach with 700 other adults, kids, and completely thrilled dogs.

Another thing we did since it’s a special family member’s birthday this week was visit Sweet Radish Bakeshop.

We discovered them accidentally towards the end of last year, and they are Charleston’s only gluten free bakeshop. There is literally no flour in the building.

The bakery opened in September 2013 (according to the Post & Courier) and is located on the corner of Spring Street and St. Philip. We have stopped by a few times needing gluten free treats for some of our family members, and they never disappoint.

It has a great cheerful atmosphere and they always have interesting and different foods to choose from. This time, we ordered cupcakes ahead of time for a birthday celebration. We enjoyed them yesterday after cooking out on the grill and they were delicious – for gluten free and non-gluten free alike :-)

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Did you discover anywhere new this weekend or do anything special? Happy Monday!

{photo credits: street photo is mine; the rest borrowed from the sweet radish bakeshop website}

One of my favorite things to do is explore new places – whether it’s a new city or just a new restaurant down the road. When we heard that our favorite restaurant – Wild Olive – was going to have a sister restaurant much closer to our side of town, we were so excited to try it out.

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The Obstinate Daughter opened on Sullivan’s Island only a couple weeks ago and we were so happy to be “done” renovating (ha! like that ever ends) and moving enough that we got to try it out. I completely fell for the beautiful interior decor they created – nautical but not too literal, with a modern coastal vibe that was perfect for the delicious but not too fussy cuisine.

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Of course, even a gorgeously designed restaurant has to back it up with the food, and The Obstinate Daughter definitely did. Pictured below – the “Old Danger” pizza – was out of this world delicious, as were the Geechie Frites and pasta dish I had. Dessert was phenomenal. We were stuffed & happy!

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Have you tried any new restaurants lately? Happy Monday!

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Yummy food is always a good gift in my book. Luckily, in Charleston, we have no shortage of good culinary treats!

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One of my favorites is Sweeteeth, made right here in North Charleston. And I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you that one of the best parts is that awesome packaging! I love that the company started out of one person’s experimentation and drive and that it quite literally grew out of one awesome restaurant’s kitchen (EVO) into having its very own.

It’s the last weekend before Christmas, can you believe it? My how the time flies. I cannot wait to show you guys some of the cool pictures we took in NYC! Stay tuned & happy weekend :-)

I am a big fan of experience gifts. In many ways, I think a lot of us adults have what we need and buy what we want when it’s within reason. What’s usually more lacking is time.

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So here are a few fun ideas for “experience” or “quality time” gifts for anyone to enjoy. They’re also good last minute possibilities!

Have you ever received anything cool as an experience gift?

Boys are so hard to buy for. I am probably biased but girls are just easier, which is probably why most of my finds so far have been more girl centric. So today I’m throwing one in for the fellas.

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Brackish Bowties are awesome, unique bowties made right here Charleston. I’ve been a follower of theirs on Instagram for awhile, but I checked them out a little more to write this article and it’s really cool what they’re up to. Featured in GQ and sold all over the world, as a matter of fact!

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One of the things that is so cool is that each one is absolutely unique. There are different design styles of course, but the feathers themselves are all their own. Love that!

It’s a busy day around here as I recover from my redeye (thanks, weather) flight back to Charleston last night. Trying to jump back in as best I can – wish me luck! :-)