Lifestyle

AFFORDABLE GEMS

When he opened Graffito in October 2011, owner Bill Thomasson understood he needed to be creative to successfully operate a jewelry store in one of Charleston’s premier tourist neighborhoods. He eagerly accepted the challenge.

OVER THE TOP

The last time I caught up with Marshall Simon, owner of Gwynn’s, an upscale shopping mecca in Mount Pleasant, he had just finished helping a client pick out a suit for an outdoor summer wedding. He texted a picture of the young man dressed in a snappy ensemble to his fiancée. She texted back a big thumbs up, and everybody was happy. That kind of customer service is the classic above-and-beyond assistance that’s kept Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant famous for 49 years.

TAKING THE CHALLENGING PATH

Sharon Graci and Rodney Lee Rogers could not have chosen a more appropriate name for their company, PURE Theatre. It’s a name that reflects the best sort of ambition—a striving for pure excellence.

WHEN GRILLING MEETS GRITS

My husband, who doesn’t do recipes, has invented Gribits, another breakfast entrée combining Friday night leftovers with Saturday morning grits.

PERSONAL SERVICE AND A FOCUS ON FIT

If you’ve ever hunted for the perfect jeans, these are magical words: “Beija-Flor jeans are flattering, comfortable and designed to work with a woman’s curves. They’re made in Brazil, but designed by a mother- daughter team in Greenville, South Carolina,” says Elizabeth Raub. “I love them and wear them almost every day.”

OREGON PINOT NOIR

They said it couldn’t be done: grow Pinot Noir in Oregon. They were wrong.

MAKING MAGIC

When you walk into one of the four Wonder Works specialty toy stores in the Lowcountry, you are entering an ecosystem that begins and ends with customers who are a critical part of making magic happen across the country. Every toy, game or book you encounter is brain food, selected to engage children (and adults) in thoughtful play, and each has been molded in some way by the very customers who eventually purchase the products.

A GARDEN REVERIE

My sister tells me she could never understand why she’s drawn to gardens with white-painted rocks along the borders— until recently, when she came across…

CURRENTS

What’s New, What’s Happening, What’s Now

THE BEST MEDICINE

You probably don’t think about oral surgery until you need it. Let’s face it: Most of us aren’t thrilled about going to the dentist, much less an oral surgeon. We immediately think of pain and a stream of appointments during which we’ll spend a good deal of our time with our mouths opened wide.

STYLE, HER WAY

On the eve of Copper Penny boutique’s 30th anniversary, Charleston Style & Design caught up with founder Penny Vaigneur at home in Mount Pleasant to talk about the demands and rewards of life in the fashion lane.

HEALING AND LONGEVITY

The white cotton waffle-weave robe is delivered as a fresh bundle tied with its own sash. Why the robe, I wonder, for a facial described as “a skin quenching cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants applied using oxygen.” Wouldn’t a drape be enough? But I haven’t yet learned to expect more than is promised.

MOTHER NATURE’S MIDWIFE

Over the past few years, the words “preservation,” “sustainability” and “conservation” have crept into the urban and suburban gardener’s vernacular. To some, this means commonsense good stewardship, to others it conjures up dreadful scenes of weedy vistas dotted with scraggly trees.

MASTERWORK

It seems a shame that I kept the blinds to the front of my apartment closed so much. The window faced the street and my privacy, my sense of decorum, seemed challenged if I opened them. So for the last year and a half I have missed seeing my own private show of spring in the Lowcountry.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID

Plato would have recognized Brian Hicks straightaway as a “gadfly,” the philosopher’s term for someone who provokes the power structure and lampoons foolishness.

SHOWTIME!

This is a big year for Charleston’s internationally renowned Spoleto Festival USA, a showpiece for the performing arts that revs up in late spring. It’s a cultural extravaganza that will have your head spinning with exciting things to take in!

A CENTURY OF BRIDES

Lowcountry brides, take note. If shopping for the most important dress of your life has left you exhausted and discouraged, you should head over to the Charleston Museum for inspiration.

A NEW LOOK

For the past two years, the Gibbes Museum of Art has been closed to the public while it went through a $13.5 million renovation. But on May 28, the Gibbes will reopen, revealing a building with 30 percent more exhibit space and a totally redesigned first floor.

THE END OF ZINN

After 33 years in the Lowcountry, Zinn Rug Gallery in Mount Pleasant is closing its doors. A beloved fixture in Charleston’s Turkish community, owner Nese Zinn is both charming and formidable—traits that have served her well as one of the few women in the rug business.

OLD AND NEW

If William Joseph Croghan, the jeweler and hand-engraver who opened Croghan’s Jewel Box on King Street in 1919, could see his store today, there’s a lot he might recognize.