Classic, high-end gifts that won’t break your budget are not always easy to find. The convenience of shopping at one location for multiple friends and family members comes as a bonus in this busy world. That’s why it’s a pleasure to discover a store like Charleston Collections & Gifts. Here you’ll find thoughtful Lowcountry-inspired gifts in every price range. You’ll also find an extensive selection of items available for purchase online.
Owner Suzanne Orr has lived in Charleston for 15 years and has been at the helm of Charleston Collections & Gifts, located in the heart of the West Ashley shopping district, for two years. She is proud of the store’s 30-year history as well as where the business is today. “We sell online nationwide and have a healthy mix of tourists and locals who visit on any given day,” Orr says. She adds that she is quite active on social media, especially on Facebook, where fans of her page are the first to learn about new products and monthly specials.
Charleston Collections & Gifts offers refined gifts inspired by the Lowcountry. They include jewelry, purses, coastal attire and accessories, items for the home, and keepsakes—to name a few. They also carry items that incorporate designs by local artisans.
It’s easy to shop for special occasions at this well-curated store. Charleston Collections & Gifts carries many lines favored by brides. One of them is Charleston Cityscapes, a collection of tableware and glassware painted with scenes of Charleston’s most beloved landmarks.
The store is also a top choice for companies that want to present their clients with gifts that capture the spirit of Charleston. For them, Orr creates baskets brimming with Charlestoninspired gifts, like benne wafers, tea towels embroidered with Charleston’s beautiful gates, samples of teas from the Charleston Tea Plantation and local cookbooks.
Orr combines her love of the culture and history of Charleston with a deep commitment to supporting local artists. “The breadth of our locally made items separates us from the competition,” says Orr. In addition, she feels it’s important to provide her customers with information about the artists and the historical stories the products tell.
Orr is reluctant to name her favorite lines or artisans, but when pressed, she mentions a few. She says that the Southern Gates Collection of jewelry is a reflection of Charleston ironwork at its finest, while the silversmiths of G2 Jewelry handcraft beautiful replicas of the works of the late Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons.
Orr especially loves the history behind the store’s extensive sweetgrass products, made by a 90-year-old mother and her two daughters on the site of what was once a working plantation.
Finally, she is proud of her chimes, which are designed and created in-house. “Our Historic Charleston Chimes are tuned to church bells downtown and styled with either a palmetto moon, sand dollar, pineapple or a heron [a new style],” she says.
The holiday season—her busiest time of year—is right around the corner. “We offer a great selection of special holiday gifts, including ornaments. If you aren’t sure what to get, we also offer gift certificates,” she says.
Orr and her helpful staff are more than willing to help customers find the perfect present. “People love picking out gifts for friends and family members,” Orr says. “I am lucky to be in a position where I can make someone very happy!”
Theresa Stratford is a freelance writer in Charleston and marketing director for a downtown tour company.