Tradition Meets Style

When third-generation master goldsmith Paulo Geiss opened his jewelry store in historic Charleston three decades ago, he was carrying on a family tradition that began in Brazil in 1919. As it turned out, the charming jewelry store, located in the historic South of Broad district just steps off the beaten path, was the perfect place for continuing Geiss’ family legacy of providing the finest jewelry available coupled with unequaled customer service.

Three’s the Charm

First things first: It’s Trés Carmen, with the first word pronounced “trace,” as in the Spanish word for three, not “tray” as in the French word très, meaning “very.” This is an allusion to the three stylish Carmens in the family—owner Michelle Tarleton and Tarleton’s mother and daughter.


Charleston-based physician, Dr. Edward O’Bryan is co-founder of the Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI), a venture that encourages and supports sustainable medical practices in developing countries ( His efforts have raised the bar for accessible medicine in places where it’s most needed.

Paper Swoon

You probably remember the last time you received a beautiful, hand-penned note or an over-sized, heavy-in-your-hand, engraved invitation. It most likely stood out amongst the usual sprawl of mail, its hand-lettering and thick, textural paper singing out for you to open it first. A fine piece of stationery is a sensory experience, one that allows us to pause and appreciate a tradition rare in today’s hurried digital world.


When Jason Nichols took the helm of the Charleston Concert Association (CCA) in 1984, his headquarters was a small rental house on Stoll’s Alley with an upturned door for a desk. It was also his home, mainly distinguished by an eccentric ticketing device.


For Atlanta-based interior designer Nancy Braithwaite, known for her sophisticated, spare aesthetic, the act of creating a simple space involves more than willy-nilly de-cluttering. It has to do with purposeful editing. And editing, she maintains, has everything to do with learning to see.


Lowcountry surfers rejoice! Charleston is finally getting the film festival that members of our thriving surfing community say is long overdue.


Not long ago, we attended an opening at the relatively new Sanavandi Gallery, located at 66 Spring St., in Charleston. It was a special event, titled Sowing Word, at which artist and gallery owner Sussan Sanavandi exhibited her paintings and hosted readings of Persian poetry.


This quarter’s fashion feature, set on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, brings back memories of a blissful anniversary my husband and I spent there in the early ’90s. Thinking a reprise was long overdue, I called up a friend of mine who happens to be an expert in luxury travel. What’s the latest, greatest place to stay along the Blue Highway, I asked.


After I inherited a few precious objects, including a Russian icon about which I knew nothing, my Paris pied-à-terre became a museum, and I turned into a curator. Since my real home was on the other side of the pond, and the apartment was often the victim of floods and other calamities, I had to fly over all too often. One day, my son Thibault prodded me about my priorities.

Versatile Viburnum

I can’t figure out why people aren’t as smitten with viburnum as I am. It is mostly an evergreen shrub, blooms from late winter to early spring and comes in over 120 species plus numerous varieties. Several cheerfully embrace our sultry summers, and mostly ignore an occasional bone-chilling winter. Yet, I seldom see viburnum in Charleston landscapes and this drives me nuts.

Dining on the Alley

Sitting in the exquisite comfort of a handcrafted Italian leather banquette waiting for our server to return, it’s hard to imagine that not so long ago this elegant dining room was an empty warehouse that hadn’t seen the light of day in decades. Clubby and classic, Michael’s on the Alley is Charleston’s newest upscale steakhouse and part of an ambitious undertaking to transform an entire block of downtown property.

Woven Treasure

For locals and tourists alike, sweetgrass baskets are an important part of the Charleston experience. So many of us stop by Charleston’s historic City Market again and again to buy “just one more” of these beautiful, functional baskets and to chat with the artist about how she learned her craft.

Outdoor Adventures

Nature Adventures Outfitters (NAO), an independent business based on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has the equipment to get you to the “great outdoors” and knowledgeable guides who will help you enjoy it—no matter your experience level.


Their painstaking documentation of the New World’s natural resources—fossils, minerals, insects, shells, plants, butterflies, birds and animals—not only benefited education in the universities of the day, but also advanced trade between the Old and New Worlds in valuable herbs, spices and animal products. The best creations are considered works of art and are highly sought after by collectors.


The Granary, the Southern-themed restaurant that opened last December in Mount Pleasant’s Belle Hall Shopping Center, thrives on contradictions.


Recently, we had the pleasure to tour the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, truly a cultural gem. The Center’s mission is to collect, preserve and promote the unique history and culture of African Americans, with an emphasis on Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.


Call it the never-a-dull-moment school of entertainment. Effervescing with energy, Brad and Jennifer Moranz come to it as naturally as footlights to greasepaint, as Gilbert to Sullivan.


It’s late spring, and I can’t sleep. The woods behind the house are hosting fireflies. Knowing that makes me restless. To squander firefly season seems as heedless as failing to dress out for a meteor shower.


Beaufort, South Carolina, resident Teresa Bruce has worn many different hats in her lifetime. She’s been an Olympic hopeful, a nomadic traveler, a broadcast journalist and a public relations executive. Most recently, she wears the hat of “accomplished book author.”