Azalea Magazine Spring 2017

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MARIE C. BOST Edisto Island is a relaxing 45-minute drive from Summerville, accessed by a National Scenic Highway winding

among historic churches, plantations, marsh and creek vistas, signature Live Oaks, and Botany Bay’s 5,000-acre oceanfront nature preserve. You will arrive at your destination to discover an unspoiled, quaint coastal community without traffic lights, hotels, or high rises; just 8 miles of pristine shell-strewn beach with amazing sunrises and sunsets. Sail, golf, fish, dine, and unwind. You will see why we love to call Edisto home! Island lots from $29,900, Island homes from $209,000, Beach lots from $72,900, Beach condos from $123,990, and Beach homes from $237,000. Low interest rates and great buys! Contact Marie today for the best values on the coast!



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1962 Charlie Hall Blvd. Charleston, SC 29414

328 Midland Pkwy Summerville, SC 29485

180 Wingo Way, Suite 305 Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464



F E AT U R E S Spring 2017









How often do we consider why the places in which we live, work, and play are named what they are?

A year into his retirement, Coach John McKissick reveals a glimpse of the man behind the winning scores

A young Charleston family trades in suburban life for classic Southerncity living

SOL Southwest Kitchen shares a couple of their favorite Spring recipes

Holy City St. Philip's Church, Charleston, SC, 1900 Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress




/ Spring 2017




28 08 Editor’s Letter 12 Contributors FIELD GUIDE A brief look into our local culture 15 Largemouth Bass 16 Q&A Margie Sutton 18 Local Product 20 Etiquette The Art Of Thank You

35 COLUMNS 41 Natural Woman by Susan Frampton


SOUTHERN LIFE 23 Southern Spotlight - Design 26 Southern Spotlight - Design 31 Southern Spotlight - Food 35 Southern Spotlight - Food

O N T H E C O V E R : Coach John McKissick / Photograph by Dottie Rizzo 8


45 Kids These Days by Tara Bailey 49 Life & Faith by Lili Hiser 53 THE GALLERY - Designer Laura Jones shows us how to curate the perfect Southern room


88 THE VILLAGE POET -First Day of Spring

Life on Out is the new in. And we’ve introduced new homes that let you step out your door right onto lush green space. In fact, anywhere in Nexton you’re just footsteps from parks, the school, the resident swim club, or a scenic trail. Which can take you to other great places like Carolina Ale House, Starbucks,® and of course more parks. Let’s take a walk together. QUICK MOVE-IN HOMES AVAILABLE From the $200s to $400+ Greeting House Info Studio | 106 Greeting House Road | Summerville, SC | | 843-900-3200

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The simple fact that even the smallest of discoveries can add to a story, or even change it completely, has always fascinated me.

The Rest Is History I've always been drawn to history. In truth, I could probably do without the rote memorization of names and dates that my ninth grade American History teacher insisted was vitally important. But give me a great (true) story any day of the week, and I will be a happy man. The simple fact that even the smallest of discoveries can add to a story, or even change it completely, has always fascinated me. In my house, I am the go-to parent for history homework. I can't claim to be a history buff, but on any given day, there is a good chance I could get through the first round of Jeopardy in decent shape before one of the contestants moves to a math or literature category, which happens to be the area where my wife is the go-to parent. This issue features an article titled, “The Story of Us, Vol. 1: What’s In A Name” on page 58. In it, Jana Riley looked into the places where we live, work, and play—sifting through often fuzzy historical accounts in an attempt to find the origins of the names of these locations. Unless you are a local historian, I guarantee you will learn something new. You may never have an opportunity to make it a true Daily Double, but you have a pretty good chance of impressing your kids during history homework.

Will Rizzo Editor in Chief

Simply family

Come home to a place where you can be a kid—with your kids. A thoughtfully planned community where lush greenways, trails, lakes and parks beckon you outside to play. Amenities such as a 25-meter pool with splash zone, playground and dog park ensure there’s always something exciting to do. Ideally located minutes from Charleston and historic downtown Summerville, Carnes Crossroads is the simply perfect place for families to live, grow and play.



TAX SOLUTIONS Will Rizzo Co-Publisher and Editor in Chief Dottie Rizzo Co-Publisher and Managing Editor Susan Frampton Senior Editor Jana Riley Senior Editor Rachelle Cobb Copy Editor Lewis Frampton Distribution Manager Contributors Tara Bailey Elizabeth Donehue Susan Frampton Ellen Hyatt Lili Hiser Jana Riley Jason Wagener Advertising Susie Wimberly 843.568.7830 Tina Zimmerman 843.276.5084 Subscribe *Available for $16.99 a year (4 Issues). Visit for details. Azalea Magazine is published by

Azalea Magazine 114B E. Richardson Avenue Summerville, SC 29483 843.478.7717



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JASON WAGENER llustrator


Jana Riley is a Summerville-based writer and editor. She is madly in love with her husband and kids, and ever inspired by the stories she gets to tell.

An accidental writer, Susan Frampton lives in Summerville, SC. Along with a fluctuating number of wiener dogs, chickens, turtles, snakes, and the occasional pig, her husband and family provide endless material for her musings on life, love, and laughter. Her life is full of adventure and comedy; and some days she contemplates having wine with breakfast.

Jason started his illustrious art career when he won a coloring contest in third grade, subsequently entitling him proud owner of a Mickey Mouse dry erase board. He moved to the Lowcountry in 1990, before attending The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Lili was born in Charleston and raised in both the Lowcountry and Florida. She holds degrees from CSU and USC. She invested more than ten years of service in the non-profit/ higher education sector and many years as Communication Studies adjunct faculty. She and her husband enjoy re-experiencing life through the eyes of their young children.



Tara is a writer and editor for SCIWAY. net. She is a Palmetto State native and lives in Summerville with her husband and three daughters.

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All BJ’s Memberships are subject to BJ’s current Membership Terms, ask in-Club or go to *25% savings is based on Member pricing on a basket of 100 national brand household staples, on an unpromoted unit-price basis, when compared to four leading grocery chains in our trade areas. For more information visit **This offer is valid at the Summerville Hospitality Center or online only, may not be combined with other offers, is not redeemable for cash and is only good for new Members. Nontransferable. Limit one offer per household. Photo identification required when applying for Membership. Plus state and local taxes where applicable. Expires: 6/2/17

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The largemouth bass is the best known and most popular game fish in North America Largemouth bass are found in 48 states nationwide The world record largemouth was caught in Georgia in June of 1932. The fish weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces The average lifespan of a largemouth bass is about 10 years. Some fish have lived as long as 20 years Unlike many other species throughout the animal kingdom, males take the egg-guarding role among bass Scientific research has indicated that, while bass can see colors, they can discern red better than any other color on the spectrum

Big Mouth

With water temperatures on the rise, here are some things you might not know about America's most popular game fish Bass are intelligent creatures—arguably the smartest of any common game fish More bass over 10 pounds have been caught on plastic worms than any other lure on the market Largemouth bass have been introduced in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America

Featuring: The Largemouth Bass pg. 15 / Q&A with Margie Sutton pg. 16 / Shannon Reed's Friction Folder pg. 18 / Etiquette pg. 20



"My family spent most of our summers camping on the islands of Lake Moultrie & Lake Marion." Q& A

Margie Sutton '

Owner of MOD Beaute Studio & F LY M o d e r n A p p a r e l

What is your favorite thing about living in the Lowcountry? My favorite thing is the beautiful waterways. I enjoy boating and exploring. What is your dream job? Fashion designer Is there a motto that you live by? Never Give Up..Never Quit Who or what are you a fan of? I love a good underdog story. I usually never pull for the most popular team or the most likely candidate. Coffee or tea? Coffee for sure. What's one thing you've bought in the last five years that you couldn’t live without? I can't live without my Bible, it guides my life daily.



What's one thing you've bought in the last five years that you could go the rest of your life without? Well I am a shoe freak and have too many to count. Funny though, because I love going barefoot, so if the law allowed, I could probably just go without shoes... I dont know I may have to rethink that. What is your favorite music? I mostly listen to Christian artists, but being a child of the 60's & 70's I also enjoy bands such as Grand Funk, Led Zeplin, & The Rolling Stones. What is your dream vacation? I have two dream vacations. First, to visit Bora Bora and stay in an overwater bungalow, and second to take a riverboat cruise through Europe. What is your fondest memory of growing up/or living in the Lowcountry?

My family spent most of our summers camping on the islands of Lake Moultrie & Lake Marion. I have passed that tradition to my children and grandchildren. We still camp on the lakes every summer. AM

We were named

Come see why. This is Summers Corner. Miles of trails. Peaceful parks. On-site cafÊ. And Dorchester District Two schools. Plus no shortage of ways to connect with each other. With beautiful home designs from the mid $200s–$400s. Models open daily. Homes available for quick move-in.

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Looking Sharp

Bladesmith Shannon Reed's Urika friction folder


A Modern Classic

The Urika friction folder is bladesmith Shannon Reed's first folding pocket knife design. The friction folder design goes all the way back to Roman times. The handle is Afzelia Burl from Southeast Asia and the blade is a Wharncliffe style in W2 tool steel that has been differentially hardened, leading to the smokey line in the blade that Japanese sword makers referred to as a Hamon. Available at Four Green Fields $250

20 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017



Being mentored by Melanie has been a distinct honor and I am continually grateful for her influence in my life. The Maes Law Firm has impacted this community and I anticipate that the Lord will continue to use us as we transition into the Leviner Law Firm. My most sincere prayer is that Melanie’s greatness will be reflected in our work, and with grace and grit, we will remain dedicated to advocate zealously for those who walk through our doors.

As I look forward to moving back to the West Coast, I reflect on the wonderful memories and friendships I’ve made here. Serving this community as an attorney has been an honor. I was blessed to practice law with Amanda, who time and time again proved herself both tough and compassionate. I would like to congratulate Amanda. With her at the helm, I know Leviner Law Firm will be a great success!

- Amanda Leviner

- Melanie Maes

Ms. Maes is not currently practicing law in SC and is not affiliated with the Leviner Law Firm.

207 West R i c h a rd so n Ave. / Su m mer v i l le, ( 843) 501 - 06 02 / info@ lev inerlaw firm .com

Say Thank You When you receive a compliment, be it big or small, a simple “Thank you” is the most modest and graceful way to acknowledge the praise. If you have difficulty accepting compliments, it is okay to stop right there.


The Art of Thank You

How To Accept A Compliment We all like to be noticed and acknowledged for our accomplishments; but many times, when thanks or recognition does come our way, we tend to fumble the receipt. by Elizabeth Donehue

Express Appreciation If a compliment is particularly heartwarming or special to you, perhaps follow up your “Thank you” with "I appreciate your kind words.” It is perfectly acceptable to tell the giver what the compliment means to you, how it makes you feel, or why you value it. Be Modest We should never brag following a compliment. Even in jest, this type of response can come across as conceited. Never Contradict Avoid phrases like, “Oh, it’s no big deal,” or “Thanks, but it was nothing.” When you downplay, deflect, or deny a compliment, you are devaluing the person who gave you the praise. Recognize Others When Appropriate If you are being complimented on a group effort be sure to point out the contributions of others. Respond with something such as, “We all put in a lot of effort; thank you for acknowledging our hard work.”

Keep these tips in mind the next time you are honored with recognition:

Do Not Feel Compelled To Return The Favor There is no need to offer a matching complement. Doing so may come across as insincere and is not the most effective way to accept praise.

“I can live for two months on a good compliment” – Mark Twain

Receiving compliments is a talent worth perfecting. The bottom line is, to accept a compliment only requires a smile and a “Thank you.” AM


1 1 4 E. R i c h a rdson Ave. S u m m e r v i l l e, S C 29485 8 4 3 . 2 2 5 .3661 f l y m o d e r n a p pare l .com



Arbiter of social graces, with a heart for simple hospitality and tendency for adventure... Elizabeth lives in Summerville with her husband Wesley, baby boys Harlowe and Tennyson, and yorkie Gucci.

Splendid Spring WEDDINGS




M O T H E R ’ S D AY

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Design your own super-soft, comfy socks! Each pair comes printed with a color-it-yourself design and four Crayola fabric markers. $10

Polymer Clay Jewelry 

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Bright colors, contemporary designs, and affordable prices are making our newest jewelry line �ly off the shelves.

Our new selection of kids and baby gifts features the ultra-soft Marshmallow Zoo Candy Bunny collection, just in time for Easter baskets. $12.98 - $49.98

shown $37.99

 Heritage Series Knives

These handmade chef’s knives from American cutlery giant Dexter-Russell will make an excellent wedding statement gift. Custom engraving available.

 Word Necklaces

shown $277.80

Delicate silver, yellow gold, and rose gold for “Mom,” “Mrs,” “Love,” and more.... shown $55

 Charleston Receipts

Charleston’s Junior League cookbook boasts the longest time in continuous print, and is the absolute essential southern bridal shower gift. $19.95

Clay in Motion 

We’ve got a fresh selection of pottery in stock, including new dinnerware sets and the famous Hand-Warmer Mugs! shown $22.95

 Wrist Keychain

Mom got her hands full? This clever design will keep her keys handy and her hands free!

Mosser Glass 

Add to your mother’s collection, or start your own from scratch! Mosser produces vintage-style pieces using molds from the original companies. mixing bowl sets $62 - $92


See more at / Four Green Fields / 117-A Central Avenue, Historic Downtown Summerville / Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm & Sunday afternoons April - June

Explore Historic Summerville You will find charming shops, a vibrant night life, live theater, over 100 dining options, more than 35 pieces of public sculpture, and the Birthplace of Sweet Tea. Something fun for everyone.

For info on Historic Downtown Summerville, visit

Southern L I F E & C U L T U R E from O U R L I T T L E S L I C E of T H E S O U T H

Handcrafted Passion Two of Christina Jervey's Living History handmade cuff bracelets An antique bed inside the Koger Murray Carroll House

All That Glitters

Led by a true artist’s spirit, Christina Jervey creates jewelry that reflects the beauty around and within her by Jana Riley

Featuring: Jewelry Artist Christina Jervey pg. 23 / Encore Architectural Salvage Company pg. 26 / Sweeteeth Chocolate pg. 31 / 2Nixons pg. 35 / Columns Spring 2017 AZALEAMAG.COM


All That Glitters

In a quiet space on Charleston’s Broad Street sits Mount Pleasant resident and jewelry designer Christina Jervey, surrounded by her tools. It is mere weeks after Christmas, a time when the annual crescendo of the artisan maker finally reaches its conclusion, and Jervey is full of exhausted gratitude. For a while there, it seemed like the orders would never stop flowing, and the artist’s hands could hardly work quickly enough to fulfill her quota in time for the holiday. But she did, and with another successful year in the books, Jervey begins to plan anew, determining her path ahead. This is where she thrives: in the realm of dreaming, the place where her inspirations and aspirations lead her mind toward an unseen future. This is a space that she inhabits regularly, ducking in and out, shelving elements and ideas, and revisiting in her quiet moments. But here, at the beginning of the new year, she immerses herself. With over a decade of experience and a lifetime of wisdom behind her, she makes plans for her company, her jewelry line, and herself. She considers everything, including color palettes, textures, and materials. Gathering together a rough idea of what direction she is headed, once again, she begins. Jervey has always been a dreamer. She’s the type of person who is never fully satisfied with life at face value, who seeks to create, to explore, to love, and to discover. These tendencies, novelties in her youth, led her to a lifetime of experiences that gain an increasing amount of focus as the years go on. After growing up in Lynchburg, Virginia, she attended high school in Louisville, Kentucky, and

26 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

went on to study Natural Resources at the University of the South -Sewanee University, including concentrations in art, forestry, and geology. During college summers and in the years following, Jervey was a transient soul, finding herself following the call of inspiration often. While living as a yoga instructor in Colorado, she began to make wire and beaded jewelry, and her clients responded enthusiastically. Soon, she attained a job managing a jewelry store in Vail, and between the tourists and locals, her work was constantly selling. Noticing her talent, the owner of the shop transferred her to their fine jewelry location, where Jervey began to learn about precious metals, gold, and diamonds. Resolutely, she decided that she wanted to become a fine jewelry designer, and headed back to the East Coast to go back to school. At Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Jervey enrolled in a jewelry making concentration course, learning the basics of metalsmithing, soldering, filing, and assembly. From there, she approached any jewelry maker she could find whose work she admired, and asked for apprenticeships, lessons, tutorials, or whatever they were willing to share. She received invaluable training during this time in her life, and eventually headed back to Penland School of Crafts for another jewelry making intensive before traveling to Virginia to take a formal stone setting course at the New Approach School for Jewelers. Far from a traditional path, Jervey’s pieced-together foray into the world of jewelry design afforded her opportunities to explore techniques, develop passions, and understand the business before settling down in Charleston years later.

After her father retired to Charleston while she was in college, Jervey fell in love with the area, and even spent a summer living downtown as an undergrad. Eventually, her travels brought her back to the Holy City, where she finally began to establish roots with her husband and two young children. She started making jewelry at home in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, meeting clients at local coffee shops or in her hastily cleaned workshop space, never fully devoid of a toddler’s impact. It wasn’t long before she felt the need to work from a dedicated, quieter space, and eventually, she found it: a light-filled, client-ready location in the heart of Charleston, where Jervey now meets clients properly and toils over each piece she creates. A quick glance at Christina Jervey’s collection—in her studio or on her website—reveals her greatest inspiration: nature. There are earrings reminiscent of ferns or feathers, necklaces and bracelets featuring twig-like designs, and stones that recall the earth and sky. There are charms of pebbles and arrowheads, antlers and talons. More present than anything, though, is the element of imperfect beauty. These are not your run-of-the-mill, prefabricated, shopping mall jewelry store style pieces. These are handcrafted affairs featuring gentle lines and unique gems. They come from that realm of dreams of hers, from the archives of her experiences. A trip to Maine brings forth nautical themes—sailor’s knot cufflinks, sea-colored stones —while a walk on the South Carolina beach results in sand dollar charms and sharks teeth necklaces. Even a material, such as a bit of

Locally Inspired From left to right: Custom rings with gems; Jervey in her studio; tools of the trade; antler necklace

lace she found interesting, can find its way into her work, like in the brass cuff she made by casting and burning out the fabric, replicating the texture. She works with brass, sterling, and gold, often plating to keep her price points affordable. Most popular are her bangles, of which she offers new ones each year, but every item has an adoring fan or a dozen, often seen in the comments sections of her social media posts. Typically, Jervey adds a handful of new options to her line in the spring, and another handful around holidays. The rest of the time, she is working on another exciting aspect of her job: creating custom jewelry for her clients. Sometimes, it will simply be birthed from an idea: a client decides they want a piece for themselves or another person, they come to her for a consultation, and she creates the piece. Other times, she will receive correspondence from someone wishing to re-work an old family heirloom piece, and after deciding on a direction, she will melt down the precious metal, pull the stones out, and create a new heirloom piece for the client. For every new project, Jervey welcomes the opportunity to create something that will be treasured for a lifetime or more, and treats each with reverent regard. Having operated in Charleston for over eight years, Christina Jervey has made a name for herself as a favorite among locals seeking classic, yet trendy design. Her relentless pursuit of reflecting the imperfect beauty around her is evident in every piece of jewelry, and because of it, the city gleams a little brighter. AM



Chronicled in Wood Bryant Dyess in his King Street showroom; the industrial inspired entrance


The Wisdom of the Wood With his sleek and elegant furniture, Bryant Dyess creates new life from a harvest of the past by Susan Frampton

A tall, slender man steps into the elegantly rustic storefront on King Street, apologizing for being late. Bryant Dyess and his wife have just closed on their first house, and his face bears the frustration and preoccupation of the many details of the transaction. Shaking them off, he moves to a stool set at a tall table of cast iron and wood. With the soft drawl of Alabama clinging to his words, he begins the narrative of the journey that brought him and his wife, Georgia, to this space filled with unique objects and fascinating craftsmanship. On the walls are pieces of history chronicled in wood. A collection of boards artfully display pine, oak and all manner of timbers. Whether aged to honeyed gold and amber, weathered gray or tan, or wearing the fresh face of new lumber, each piece has a distinctive grain and is distinctly different from the other. From these and other boards like them, Dyess has learned to listen for stories told by tall pines and grand oaks, old forests and slender young saplings, and to retell them with respectful grace. The Alabama native began his career as a police officer in Auburn, AL. With a 28 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

He and Georgia were married at her family’s South Carolina farm, and soon the Alabama boy found himself in route to the Palmetto State.

It was a move that would launch them toward a new life, and lead him to a new career. Unsure if this was the path he wanted to take, Dyess worked clearing land for the first few months before deciding that working with wood was his true calling. The first step was finding a storefront, and a place for a workshop. Both needs were met in a condemned building in downtown St. Matthews, and a deal was struck with the owners to restore the building in lieu of rent. He went to work on the building and opened the store, with “a bunch of cool architectural pieces, a stockpile of antique wood I had salvaged, and the equipment I would use to make furniture.”

“When I proposed, there wasn’t much question that we would be moving here,” he laughs.

Intrigued by the boards and beams he rescued from rural farmhouses and urban streetscapes, he realized that if he was willing

schedule of four days on/four days off, Dyess filled any spare time working with wood. Encouraged by Georgia, the young woman from South Carolina he was destined to marry, he took a booth at a local antique mall to display the small pieces he created, as well as the furniture he had begun to build using old wood and architectural pieces. He named it Encore Salvage; a fitting name for the second act his designs provided the materials composing his work.





to listen, each piece of wood could tell him its story. Weathered and beaten, scarred by nails and ravaged by saw teeth, the antique wood spoke of roots in hardwood forests and limbs that dropped away to lend character to each length of lumber. His fascination is obvious as he reaches for a notepad to draw a sketch illustrating the meaning of growth rings and the different uses for lumber drawn from various aged trees. All of this knowledge is obvious in the design of the extraordinary dining tables, desks, and side tables on display in the storefront the pair opened in Charleston in March of 2016. Sleekly modern cast iron legs literally and figuratively support designs that draw the eye to the wood of each item, with the coloration, gnarls, and grain of the antique planks making each distinctive. Remnants of paint applied by brushes held by hands as far back as a hundred years ago create vignettes of another time, and one cannot help imagine its origin. And yet, each board seems to have been destined to arrive in Dyess’ gifted hands, and to be respected, honored, and repurposed by his designs. Wood Work Clockwise: A dining set surrounded by salvaged wood samples; refurbished architectural hardware; a view from the front door; custom industrial inspired lighting

30 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

He explains how he refined his innate knowledge, “I gained all my experience regarding antique wood by figuring out where it came from. Lumber changed over the years, especially after the old growth forests were gone, and after the Great Depression. What a lot of people

The Wisdom of the Wood

Home & Auto. Smart & Easy.

don’t get, is that repurposing [antique wood] requires an understanding of how and when its original structure was put together, in order for it to be reworked into something useful. Structures are built from the ground up, but I learned that you have to take them apart from the top down.” It is clear in the thick beams awaiting his skills, the antique mantles, columns, and floor boards on display in Encore Salvage’s showroom, once created by the skills of master craftsmen, have been carefully and thoughtfully plucked from the scrap heap to be appreciated anew. With each creation, Bryant Dyess tells a

With each creation, Bryant Dyess tells a story of tall trees and fertile ground, and reminds us to look for the uncommon value in things we might otherwise discard as unredeemable.

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story of tall trees and fertile ground, and reminds us to look for the uncommon value in things we might otherwise discard as unredeemable. And, if you listen closely, as loving hands run along Dyess’ freshly smoothed surfaces, tiny feet take wobbly steps across timbers of ancient strength, and families gather around the many polished corners of the past, you will hear the wisdom of the wood. AM Visit Encore Architectural Salvage Company’s showroom at 650 King Street, Charleston, SC or Spring 2017 AZALEAMAG.COM


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Sweet Treats The O-Snap! bar is made of white chocolate and ginger snaps; a warm welcome at EVO Bakery


Local Cocoa

A chocolate-covered legacy continues through Sweeteeth chocolatier Rachel Ball by Jana Riley

Charleston is a rich source of artisan products, owing to its inspiring nature and the seas of talented makers who call the Lowcountry home. Among the plethora of handcrafted goods, perhaps none is sweeter than Sweeteeth Chocolate. Created by former EVO Pizza employee, Johnny Battles, Sweeteeth is now an EVO institution, having been acquired by the restaurant group in 2015. Now, the baton has been passed to chocolatier Rachel Ball, who took a break from melting, mixing, filling, and wrapping up the delectable creations to chat with us about her unique job and the products she creates. Azalea Magazine: What are you doing right now? Rachel Ball: Right now, I am making our A’chocolypse bar. I’m melting down the dark chocolate, which can take up to three hours just to get to the right temperature,

but it’s worth the wait. Once it is tempered, I will ladle it into to molds, tap them to get the air bubbles out, and let it settle for a bit. Then I will sprinkle Pop Rocks and candied ginger on the top and set it all aside to cool and harden. Later, I will break them out of their molds and hand-wrap each one. AM: Speaking of that packaging…it is gorgeous. RB: It really is beautiful. That was something Johnny Battles did with Fuzzco Creative Agency, and we have no plans on changing it. It is definitely eye-catching, and a lot of people say they love to give the bars as gifts because of it. AM: So how did you get involved with Sweeteeth? RB: I was working at EVO in the restaurant and began to express interest in the bakery Spring 2017 AZALEAMAG.COM


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AM: How could anyone choose between all of those? Is there a standout favorite among your customers? RB: They are all so delicious, but the Sea is for Caramel is by far our top seller. It has a pretty dedicated fan base who makes sure that they never sit on the shelf for too long. AM: Any plans for new flavors in the future? RB: Creating a new bar is a fairly large undertaking, because they have to get DHEC approval and undergo a variety of tests and evaluations; we can’t just have an idea for a bar one day and start making it for retail sale. But I love experimenting with flavors, so I do that in the form of chocolate bon bons, which we sell at EVO Craft Bakery behind EVO restaurant in Park Circle. side of things. They had just acquired Sweeteeth and were looking for someone to take over the production of the chocolate, so it was a perfect fit. AM: I’m sure you get this a lot, but do you ever feel like Willy Wonka? RB: (Laughs.) Actually, we just finished a collaborative contest with Lowcounty Local First where we hid golden tickets within the wrappers of four of our Sea is for Caramel bars. A lot of local businesses donated gift certificates and items for the prize packages, and people were really excited about trying to find the golden tickets. It was really fun. AM: Tell me about your flavors. RB: We currently have three filled bars, two bars with toppings, and one mixed bar. The filled bars include the Sea is for Caramel, with caramel and sea salt, the PB+C with peanut butter, chipotle peppers, and sea salt, and the Call of the Wild, with our house port wine caramel. All three of those feature 65% dark chocolate. Then we have the Cinnapsis, a 50% dark chocolate bar with dried apples, candied pecans, and cinnamon, and the A’chocolypse, with 70% dark chocolate, candied ginger, and Pop Rocks. Our last bar is the O-Snap! bar, which is a white chocolate bar with pieces of ginger snaps incorporated into it, so it has a crunch to it.

Sugar Rush Clockwise from top left: Bars wrapped and ready to enjoy; bars cooled and ready for packaging; Chocolatier Rachel Ball mixing up a new recipe

AM: What types of bon bons have you created thus far? RB: Well, we can always make any of the bar flavors in the form of bon bons, and often do. But the ones I create are really just whatever I want to try at the time. I enjoyed making cognac caramel bon bons and white chocolate raspberry bon bons recently, and I’ve been playing with pâte de fruit, which are fruit jewels with a gummy texture. It’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of science, and really only limited by imagination. AM: Ok, we are sold on everything. Where can we get our hands on everything you’ve told us about?

RB: The bon bons are available only at the EVO Bakery, but the bars are much more widely available. The best place to get them is at EVO Pizza, which actually features the bars as dessert menu items, and usually has a large stacked tower of them on their counter. They can also be purchased at places around town like Coastal Coffee Roasters, Mixson Market, Coastal Cupboard, The Daily, and more. We do sell them through our website, and have a few locations out of state that sell the bars, as well. Of course, anyone can contact us via our website or social media if they want to figure out their closest retail location. AM For more information about Sweeteeth Chocolate, visit sweeteeth



SUMMERVILLE Azalea Magazine 2017 7.4874x4.8898.indd 1

1/30/17 10:53 AM

International Flavors Hot and fresh ramen at Craft Conundrum; chefs Jeffrey Stoneberger and Brian Altman


Popping Up A young, seasoned chef puts his skills to good use with an ever-evolving restaurant concept by Jana Riley

It’s a rainy Wednesday night in West Ashley, and the bar at Craft Conundrum is beginning to fill up with the usual patrons: couples on a mid-week date, friends grabbing an after-work beverage, and strangers gathering together to play board games. Outside on the covered strip mall sidewalk, a duo arrives carrying plastic tables. Over the next hour, they bring Japanese charcoal grills, burners, pots and pans, cookware, utensils, coolers, and dozens of small containers of food. A menu board is set astride the ordering area, and it isn’t long before a line begins to form. The first few patrons order the pop-up’s specialty, an affordable, yet mind-blowingly delicious bowlful of ramen, judging by their reactions. Then, a man queries for the price of the 30-ounce, dry-aged ribeye steak listed on the menu. “$75,” comes the reply from behind the plastic tables in their strip-mall setup. He smiles, handing over his debit card. “Can’t wait to try it,” he says. This is 2Nixons. The brainchild of local chef extraordinaire, Jeffrey Stoneberger, 2Nixons is the chef ’s first solo venture in the Holy City, but one that was inspired by a decade of impressive culinary experience. A former mortgage broker, Stoneberger attended the Culinary Institute of America before receiving an invitation to cook for Chef Heston Blumenthal at his famed restaurant, The Fat Duck, in Bray, UK. Stoneberger’s time working with the revered chef laid the groundwork for his future ventures: in California at The French Laundry, Cyrus, and Saison; and in New York at Jean-Georges, Del Posto, and Momofuku, among others. Along his journey between these revered and oftMichelin-starred establishments, he gathered techniques, ideas, and passions. At San Francisco’s Saison, he became the resident forager, sourcing unique ingredients and researching interesting applications for them. At Cyrus, in the Sonoma Wine Country, Stoneberger was taken under the wing of Chef Douglas Keane, who shared his infinite knowledge of Asian cooking and techniques. During his stint working Spring 2017 AZALEAMAG.COM


Popping Up

Ready For Action Fresh ingredients; prepping a to-go order

at restaurants in New York City, Stoneberger found himself visiting ramen shops after work with his co-workers, developing an appreciation for the warm and flavorful Japanese dish. He assisted Chef Bryan Voltaggio with writing a cookbook, and experimented with the pop-up concept at AGGIO in Washington, D.C. At one point, Chef Sean Brock invited him to join the team at McCrady’s, which led to Stoneberger’s immersion in the Charleston restaurant scene, to which he eventually returned years later. Working as the chef de cuisine at Two Boroughs Larder, Stoneberger began weaving the threads of his past together into an idea. Glancing at a map, he discovered that every region along the same longitudinal line as Charleston offered hot noodle dishes. Exploring nearby cities such as Atlanta, he found scores of ramen shops reminiscent of those he visited in New York City. Yet in Charleston, there was nothing. No place he could visit in the late hours of the evening, warming his soul with a bowl of hot noodle soup. So, he decided to open one for himself. In October 2015, Jeffrey Stoneberger officially opened 2Nixons, a pop-up ramen restaurant that is simply that, but so much more. “2Nixons is really about working with the delicious parameters and flavors that you would find in a fine dining setting,” explains 38 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

Stoneberger. “We want to serve you something that you could order in a high end restaurant, but that also feels so right in whatever casual atmosphere we are serving from that night.” As a dish that is known for its evocation of comfort and a sense of familiarity, not unlike chicken noodle soup, ramen is one that could be executed fairly simply if the chef saw fit: combine broth, noodles, vegetables or mushrooms, and bowl. Yet Stoneberger reaches far past the bare minimum into a territory rarely touched by chefs outside of the best kitchens in town. Viewing fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients as simply the status quo these days, Stoneberger sources the highest quality ingredients he can afford and figures out what he can do within the space of an outdoor pop-up, with weather to be determined. He makes stock out of wagyu bones and lobster, prepares kimchi nearly constantly, and uses specialized equipment that requires more than a little know-how. He shows up with little-known vegetables, perfectly butchered meats, and often rare ingredients, always seeming to find veritable culinary needles in the haystacks of food sourcing. With every pop-up, Stoneberger offers something new, yet every event brings the consistency of the chef ’s execution to the table. Usually, there are both meat and vegetarian options (the latter which can be made vegan upon request) and one or two other specials, such as the 30-ounce, dry-aged

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Popping Up

ribeye mentioned previously. With faith in Stoneberger’s sourcing and abilities, his followers happily pay whatever he is charging, and specials often run out quickly. Currently, 2Nixons has two dedicated spots: at Craft Conundrum every Wednesday and Saturday evening, and at Two Blokes Brewing every Friday. Stoneberger regularly gets together with various members of the culinary elite—both in town and nationally —to offer collaborative popups, and the restaurant can often be found popping up unexpectedly around town. Now, Stoneberger is working on a new concept: a mysterious pop-up private dinner party event whose attendees are chosen by lottery. Dubbed “Us by 2Nixons,” Stoneberger hopes to flex his culinary muscles by switching the menu up every time. “One time, it could be all raw shellfish,” Stoneberger muses. “Or maybe a vegan tasting all the way through. Or maybe I’ll butcher some wagyu beef and serve it in a different way for every course. I don’t know what I’ll do for each dinner yet, but it’s going to be amazing every time.” Stoneberger and his sous chef, Brian Altman, are also working on establishing a five-acre farm in John’s Island to the point that it provides nearly all of their ingredients, allowing them to have greater influence on the elements that make it into their dishes. Now in his second year with 2Nixons, Stoneberger is quick to explain that the pop-up concept is where he feels most comfortable. “This isn’t some ploy where we want to start as a pop-up, get a food truck, and eventually open up a brick and mortar restaurant,” Stoneberger explains. “If we never have a location, I’m fine with that. I just want to keep discovering and exploring. The facilitation of these creative ideas, working with creative people—that is the true awesome nature of what I do, and I am going to keep on doing it as long as I can.” AM For more information on where to find 2Nixons, visit or follow 2nixons on social media.

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Living Dangerously

When a Sunday morning boiling the wire cutters and checking the bourbon level is not unusual, it might be time to reevaluate life in general by Susan Frampton


was preparing dinner when the phone rang, as it inevitably does when you have a chicken breast in each hand, or you’re elbow deep in some other messy endeavor. It was my husband, and I assumed he was calling to say he and his friend Tommy were headed home from the woods. I hit the speaker button with my elbow.

“Start setting up the operating room,” he said. “We’re coming in hot.” For most people, a call like this would be reason to panic—but while the news was disturbing, it would not be my first rodeo with these

cowboys, so I did what I always do. I began an immediate mental inventory of medical supplies on hand. When you live with someone who says at least twice a month, “Danger is my middle name,” you learn to be prepared for most anything. I hung up the phone, sent the chicken back to the refrigerator, and begin scrubbing down the sink and countertop. From under the sink, I selected disinfecting wipes and hydrogen peroxide. I also took out the vinegar—I’m not sure why, but you never know when an emergency situation might require pickling something. Racing up the stairs, I headed to the linen closet for clean towels, my



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pre-prepared container of gauze, tape, and the antiseptic wound cleaner I keep on hand for occasions such as this. My hand hesitated over the professional-grade stethoscope on the shelf next to the eye wash cup. To date, all we’ve ever used it for is to listen to the dog’s stomach, so I gave it a pass, pausing for a moment to evaluate whether I might need to conduct a reflex test. Just in case, I grabbed the hammer-looking thing with the rubber tip used to strike the patient’s knee. I might need to determine his ability to kick me in the face. Once back downstairs, I laid everything out on the kitchen table. Scissors, bandages, and latex gloves? Check. The scissor/clamp thing doctors always ask for on television when an artery is squirting everywhere? Check. I also had a chopstick to shove between his teeth in case the pain got too bad. I then grabbed two highball glasses, filled them with ice and poured a liberal dose of bourbon in each. The patient might need a shot of confidence—I knew that the doctor could use a double. I saw the lights of my husband’s truck in the driveway and gloved up. When the camouflaged pair came through the front door, Tommy’s hand was prodigiously wrapped in blood-specked toilet paper, and he walked with it held out in front of him. Blood had dripped down his pant leg and onto his boot. Prepared for the worst, I thrust the bourbon into his good hand as I led him to the kitchen sink. It quickly became clear that the injury would not require the skills I perfected by watching Gray’s Anatomy every Thursday night for ten years. The gash on his little finger was deep, but wouldn’t result in a scenario in which I would yell for someone to charge the electric



paddles and shout, “Clear!” Some wound cleaner, a blob of antibacterial ointment, gauze and tape had him fixed up in about five minutes. I drank the bourbon just on principle. There are innumerable opportunities for me to practice medicine, and I stress the word practice. It is not at all unusual to find a bloody trail leading into my house. Among his more recent run-ins with the laws of physics, my husband has had an epic crash on his bicycle, smashed himself on the forearm with a hammer (I’ve yet to figure that one out), and driven a rusty nail into his palm. Though they did not, it would not be unimaginable for all of these things to occur in the same day. There must be some law of attraction that brings the wounded to our door. Fortunately, I do know how far my TV version of medicine stretches, and I’ve sought out the ER a couple of times; once at the arrival of a neighbor’s child with a jagged cut and, more recently, with that same child’s nasty dog bite. But my favorite emergency to date presented itself on a recent Sunday morning, when I noticed a post on my friend Jennifer’s Facebook page. It looked remarkably like her husband William, but the guy in the photo had a large blue plastic worm hooked through his ear. Was it a new piercing? William never struck me as one to follow that particular fashion trend. A quick text confirmed a fishing mishap, the victim, the weapon, and that the closest immediate medical facility had yet to open, yet already promised a lengthy wait. “Tell him to come over. I’ve cut out hundreds of hooks,” said my husband. I relayed the information, which she passed on.

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“He wants to know if you have bourbon,” Jennifer texted back. I affirmed the availability for either internal or external use, whichever need proved most urgent. I began to set up the operating room, while my husband boiled his wire cutters in a pot on the stove.

I began to set up the operating room, while my husband boiled his wire cutters in a pot on the stove. Shortly after, a sheepish William and grinning son, Thomas, walked across the front yard toward the house. Thomas had indeed caught the big one, and the blue worm danced in his dad’s ear, jiggling with every step. We didn’t even try not to laugh. With the newly sterilized wire cutters, and bandages at the ready, the hook was removed, the ear dabbed with ointment, and covered with a teensy bandaid. Though the patient lived, he will surely be a long time living it down. It wasn’t until I was putting the supplies away for the next emergency that I replayed the events of the morning in my head. Although I am among those from whom my husband has extracted a nasty barbed lure or two, I couldn’t help wonder how someone might find himself in a position to have removed “hundreds” of fishing hooks from human beings? The answer made me laugh out loud as I headed out to restock the first aid kit. It’s all in a day’s work when “Danger” is your middle name. AM

Pomp and New Circumstances



by Tara Bailey

t’s spring, and my oldest daughter’s lease in our house will be up in six months. Her impending departure still seemed pretty remote back in the New Year. Then, the only looming concerns were the new administration and 48 hours of undesirable temperatures brought by winter storm Helena. We got through the latter, are still praying for the former, and are finally focused on life’s most anticipatory season­—which this year includes high school graduation. As a youth, spring used to force me into such existential questions as: Should I look for a new summer job or go back to the old one? Would my hair look good with highlights? Will this be the year I find the perfect bathing suit? When I reached adulthood, I simply modified those same questions: Should I take more vacation time during the summer or save it for some long weekends later? Would highlighting my hair cover the grey? Will this be the year I find the perfect bathing suit? Experience has led me to the answers —yes, doubtful, and no such thing—which frees me up for more

substantial questions, such as: Have I prepared my firstborn for living independently? Will she understand that checking her account balance isn't the same as balancing her account? Is her college roommate going to reach such a point of disgust that she puts a pillow on her face while she’s sleeping? If so, I guarantee the roommate will have until noon on any given day. These questions haunt my conscience because for now we can teach her to manage her banking and insist she pick up wet towels, but that doesn't mean that she will do them without our oversight. For eighteen years, my husband and I have committed our lives to raising this human being. We have made her remove her elbows from the table, tidy her room on a regular basis, and treat others with respect. She has a strong work ethic and a sharp sense of humor. She does well in school. Now all we need to do we step back and admire our work… …Or cringe. As my husband says, “We are about to release unto the world the worst roommate ever to grace a state-supported




school.” Unless the soul fated to share a living space with our daughter enjoys pyramids of mugs—dried up teabags fused to the sides—and playing “Guess Which Jeans Are Clean,” there might be some serious adapting on both girls’ parts. But adapting to living with others isn’t a bad thing. After all, her roommate might be even more “relaxed” about living standards than our kid, prompting her to wash a sheet every now and then, if for no other reason than self-preservation. But I can't worry about the state of her room come fall. That will be her problem, as will dealing with the social ramifications of maintaining a bathroom that could realistically become an urban legend. Not to mention the academic consequences of losing…well, everything important —keys, syllabi, books, other things I’ve paid for, etc. I can’t worry about it because I can't do anything about it. The only way to get through this transition is by focusing on the things I don’t worry about.

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48 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

I will never worry about her being a consistent friend. That roommate who might have to suppress rage at my kid’s toothpaste massacre will know who to find when she doubts her abilities to get through that one class or suffers her first broken heart. Another friend may discover that she can’t handle alcohol after all and needs someone to take care of her for the night and help her get through the following day, without judgment, piety, or being mocked. Someone else may want to audition for a play or try the climbing wall or summon the courage to ask out the flirty-eyed person she met at Moe’s and need a partner in crime or an encourag-

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ing nudge. That’s our girl—all of it. Messy, forgetful, loyal, accepting, courageous, and hardworking. She will have moments of embarrassment and discouragement—much like I did when I made a 68 on my first college test - but will overcome them. What matters is that she value the process, hopefully while maintaining her scholarships, and will eventually become the adult we have been so excited to meet. I admit to having grand plans for the future, like replacing the carpet in her room and converting it into my office. I look forward to buying only two gallons of milk a week, having more leg room and less fighting on family road trips, and leaving no man out on fair rides—all perks of a family of four. I rub my hands together to think of the peace that will descend upon the laundry room.

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However, I will no longer be reserving a meat-free batch of sauce on turkghetti night. I won’t witness her taking on the injustices she observes and absorbing her ideas for solutions. I will no longer hear her call her dog, see her friends coming and going through the house, or listen to her awful puns. Instead, we will communicate through emojis. She will frantically clean her room for Parents’ Weekend, probably just to prove us wrong. We will meet her friends and take her to dinner and then say goodbye. We will still have the holidays. At the same time I am hoping she gets some internship in Atlanta, I will be aching for her presence. I will wonder why I ever worried so much about her damn room. Go, kid. Go with our blessing and be who we know you are. AM Spring 2017 AZALEAMAG.COM



The Bigger Picture by Lili Hiser


y kids will never understand how truly cool it was to have a pager in middle school, how the card catalog worked, or the importance of getting the picture on the first shot in order to conserve film. So many of these experiences are obsolete to today’s generation, who are instead well-versed in technology and social media. Yet, during my formative years before iPhones and Facebook, there is one memory locked into my mind that has grown more powerful and enlightening with time. You can even say it is a bit haunting. One of Disney World’s most popular attractions is the Haunted Mansion. Upon entering the mansion, guests are huddled into the famous cobwebbed stretching




room. This is where the resident ghost gives his welcome while everyone is surrounded by portraits on the wall. As the room begins to stretch upward, the paintings begin to expose more than originally seen. My favorite is a young lady in a floral dress holding a parasol, perfectly poised in her demeanor. As the room continues to elongate, the portrait slowly reveals she is walking on a tightrope…and it is frayed! Then, seconds later, the bigger picture can be seen in its entirety, showing an alligator beneath her with his mouth wide open—waiting for her demise. Even as an elementary-aged girl visiting Disney, this imagery left an impact. How could something that looked so beautiful and tranquil in reality be such a horrific situation? Yet, in today’s society, the tightrope girl and her cautionary tale is one we all can relate to; all we have to do is consider the self-created peepholes into our lives that we share on social media. It’s easy to scroll through our Facebook newsfeed and Instagram and see only the tropical vacations, gourmet dinners, proud new purchases, lovey-dovey messages and magazine-worthy family photos. It looks like we have our lives together. All the Joneses we follow look like they have it even more together. In fact, the view we’re given of others’ lives can lead us to wonder, why is my life such a mess and how does our friend, fillin-the-blank, do it all?



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The comparison game starts playing in our minds. We start assuming others are just strolling through life with their parasols. Yet this could not be further from the truth. The reality is, we are all on a frayed tightrope somewhere in our life— there is no filter tool or posed selfie that can truly hide it. When others see just a millisecond snapshot of our life, they don’t see the bigger picture. Behind the smiles and sunset landscapes could lie a relationship on the rocks, tears of infertility, unimaginable pain due to the death of a loved one, chronic illness, divorce, lack of self-esteem, mental health challenges, financial crisis, a shameful past, depression, the darkness of addiction, the cycle of abuse… and the list goes on. Even with the best spin on life, however, there is someone who sees each of our struggles and knows every detailed brush stroke on our life portrait. God cannot be fooled by personas; He sees us struggling with each of our balancing acts in life. Hebrews 4:13 states “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight…”, which is a reminder that the bigger picture, the one even we cannot see, is known only by Him. As humans, we need to remember that many struggles are unseen, even to the keen eye; so let’s be kinder, loving, and non-assuming. In an age where perfection is glorified and promoted, remember God offers rest to the weary, comfort to the hurting, and power to overcome. AM

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Making Room

Designer Laura Jones chose two of her favorite blooms as inspiration to show us how to curate the perfect Southern room

Designer Laura Jones Laura is a designer and owner of Laura Jones and Company, a design studio and showroom in Summerville.

No 1

The C A M E L L I A —

The added sparkle of a faceted crystal vase or a polished silver bowl creates a little excitement in the space. A camellia blossom would be set off nicely in a crystal or bubble glass vase to add to this room.

Feather Tea Light $19

Crystal Faceted Vase $89

Silver Pool Bowl $19

Using an overscaled mirror creates depth in a room and the added decorative detail of the convexed mirror gives a little avant garde to the decor.

Textures are an important element in pulling off a restful mood in mostly monochromatic spaces. Adding the common texture of a stone vase or two gives a sense of the familiar.

Two Tone Gray/Gold Mirror with Convexed Detail - $699

Linear Stone Vase $22

Floral Medallion Frame - $24

Assorted Linens & Braided Trim Price upon request Using a restful back drop in the bedroom gives the opportunity to add pops of color like "blush" pink. The little details like the filigree banding trim, gives a sense of elegance to the room.

Clear Bubble Glass Vase $45

Benjamin Moore BM-1549, Balboa Mist

Crescent Jadeite Carving on Stand - $265

Fresh white and gray bedding is a wonderful back drop to the blush pink taffeta silk. It's fresh and romantic.

Rosebud Table Lamp $169

Grey/White Embroidered "Knotted" linen Price upon request

No 2

The P L U M B A G O —

58 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

"Best In Show" Dog Figurine $17 White Octagon Footed Planter - $139

Blue and white porcelains and ceramics have always been a classic in interior design. With the addition of some well chosen neutral pieces (handsome white jars, vases, etc.), the vibe can be updated for a little modern twist to an old classic.

I like using neutral grounds to give a rest to the eye, when layering different patterns and designs in a room. Adding the gray Trumeau mirror in this space will give a nice dimension and add a little grandeur to the design.

Decorative Rice Pot $129

Baskets and natural woven goods can add a relaxed mood to a very traditional feel.

Assorted Linens Price upon request

Natural Straw Box $39

Blue & White Trumpet Vase Lamp - $269

Grand Salon Trumeau Mirror - $689

Adding a strong design element in the room, like a strong, saturated stripe, can add a clean, modern vibe.

White Plum Blossom Jar - $135

Adding a little gold or gilded finish to the space keeps the design elegant even when it's a casual elegance.

Easel Frame with Gilded Shell - $29

Farrow & Ball, "Old White" No. 4.

The gilded leaf plate would be smart on top of a stack of books. The easel frame with the gilded shell detail would find a nice spot on a chest or side table.

Azure Bone Box $59

Gilded Leaf Dish $36

THE STORY of US VOL. 1 To live in the Lowcountry is to have access to one of the most historically rich coastal regions in the country, and for many, the opportunity to live in such a place never ceases to be viewed as a blessing. We soak in the temperate climate, enjoy the views, and take advantage of all the area has to offer—but how often do we stop to think about the history of the land on which we stand? How often do we consider why the places in which we live, work, and play are named what they are? We did a little digging into the background of some of the most popular Lowcountry regions, doing our best to sort through often contradictory or vague historical records, maps, and stories to find clues to the origins of these place names. Here, we share our findings. by Jana Riley

Gibbes Memorial Art Gallery 1905. Opposite: Looking south on King Street 1920 Photos courtesy of The Library of Congress

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Love of Country A bride and groom at Appleby Looking north on King Methodist Church Street, on Old Charleston Wire Road 1910

CHARLESTON The land upon which the city of Charleston sits (and much of the land surrounding it) was once one of the most prime pieces of New World real estate, and it was initially granted to Sir Robert Heath, the attorney general, by King Charles I of England in 1629. Heath's attempts to settle the land, called “Province of Carolina” or “Land of Charles” failed, but the English would not be deterred. In 1663, King Charles II chose eight of his most loyal friends to establish the colony of Carolina. The men, members of the English nobility, were dubbed the “Lords Proprietors of Carolina,” and established the first settlement in 1670, which they dubbed “Charles Towne” after their regal friend and King. The names of the Lords Proprietors: John Berkeley, Sir William Berkeley, Sir George Carteret, Sir John Colleton, Anthony Ashley Cooper, William Craven, Edward Hyde, and Stephen Molnar, were used extensively when naming streets, counties, and waterways, and can still be seen around the city today.

M O U N T P L E AS A N T Mount Pleasant is a city of continuous evolution, so it is fitting that the area underwent many name changes in the early days of its settlement. In a 1672 map called “A New Description of Carolina, The Earliest Map,” the area bears the words “North Point.” Later, after Captain Florentia O’Sullivan and his crew landed on the coast in 1680, a new map labeled their settlement “Oldwanus Point,” which was later renamed “Old Woman’s Point.” In 1755, Charleston City Treasurer Jacob Motte purchased 67 acres of the land, built a home, and named it “Mount Pleasant Plantation.” The plantation was purchased in 1803 by James Hibben, surveyed, and divided into 35 lots, which were later merged with nearby villages of Greenwich (1837), Hilliardsville (1858), and Lucasville (1872) to form the town of Mount Pleasant. Many other place names in the Mount Pleasant area come from the original SeeWee, Wando, and Yemassee Native American tribes, as well as the eight Lord’s Proprietors.



Love of Country Sumter Avenue, A bride and groom at Appleby Summerville Methodist Church on Old Wire 1906 Road

S U M M E RV I L L E Take a walk down one of Summerville’s historic streets in the early morning, before the bustle of suburbia begins, and you can often grasp onto a moment that feels locked in history, immune to the evolution of time. The scent of the pines in the air, the cool morning breeze rustling through the trees even on the warmest of days, and the stillness all around; this feeling is what established Summerville as the go-to retreat center for Charlestonians and other South Carolina inhabitants in the late 1700s. Seeking respite from unbearable summer heat, illness, and mosquitos, plantation families often chose to spend the most oppressive summer months in the higher elevation of what they would eventually call “Summerville.” Years later, a law would be introduced to protect what visitors and residents viewed as Summerville’s greatest asset—the sacred pine. Still in effect today, the law ensured that the town would remain the beautiful and treasured “Flowertown in the Pines.”

DORCHESTER In the Spring of 1630, a group of Puritans set out from the town of Dorset in the English county of Dorchester in search of a new way of life, and they landed near present day Boston, Massachusetts that summer. The puritans named their new settlement after their English home, and Dorchester was founded as a town just a few months before the city of Boston. In 1696, Congregationalists from Dorchester, Massachusetts settled near the Ashley River in South Carolina, again choosing the familiar name “Dorchester” for their village. The town, located on the site where Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site stands today, remained active until 1788 when it was abandoned. In 1897, a new county was established in the area, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the locals once again chose the old standby, Dorchester, as a nod to the area’s first settlement—and all of the places that came before it.

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Workers planting corn Love of Country near Moncks Cornerat Appleby A bride and groom 1941 Methodist Church on Old Wire Road

MONCKS CORNER Moncks Corner is believed by many locals to have received its name because of the small population of monks who live within its borders at the Trappist Monastery, “Mepkin Abbey." Interestingly, the presence of monks in Moncks Corner is simply a coincidence; the monastery was built in the 1940’s after publisher Henry R. Luce donated part of his land, Mepkin Plantation, to the Trappist Order’s Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. The beginnings of the town of Moncks Corner date back much further—to 1728, to be exact—when the area, serving as a trading post to passing travelers, was named for its landowner, Thomas Monck. Moncks Corner offered goods and services at its shops and libations at its taverns, and slowly, people began to settle in the area. The arrival of the Northeastern Railroad and train depot in 1856 served to put the town on the map, leading to its charter in 1885 and incorporation in 1909.

BERKELEY Informally established in 1682, Berkeley County was named for two of the men upon whom King Charles II bestowed the task of colonizing Carolina, the Lords Proprietors and brothers named Lord John Berkeley and Sir William Berkeley. Lord John Berkeley, an English statesman, was a co-founder of the province of New Jersey and held many official titles during his lifetime. Sir William Berkeley was a colonial governor of Virginia for seven years between 1641–1652 and 1660–1677. At one point, the Berkeley county area included the parishes of St. John Berkeley, St. James Goose Creek, St. James Santee, St. Stephen, St. Thomas, and St. Denis; all of which are visible in the Berkeley County area today in the form of street and other location names. From 1769-1882, Berkeley County was part of the Charleston District. In 1882, the county was formally established, and the town of Mount Pleasant served as the county seat until it was moved to Moncks Corner in 1895.



Love of Country A bride and groom at Appleby Isle of Palms Methodist Church 1910 on Old Wire Road

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND Packed into Sullivan’s Island’s 2.5 square miles of land is more historical relevancy than you could shake a palmetto frond at, including the 1776 battle at Fort Sullivan (since renamed Fort Moultrie) where colonial forces held their ground against a British invasion, and the island’s service as the largest slave port in North America, likened to a Southern Ellis Island where 40% of African Americans living today can trace their ancestor’s point of entry. Prior to such historically impactful events, the island was an overgrown strip of land called “O’Sullivan’s Island,” named for Captain Florentia O’Sullivan, who piloted one of the ships in the first settlement fleet to the Charleston area, manned a lighthouse on the island, and eventually became surveyor general. Over time, the name was shortened to simply, “Sullivan’s Island,” and it is now a favorite beach destination for locals and tourists alike.

FOLLY BEACH With its homes, businesses, parks, and pier, it is hard to imagine Folly Beach as anything but an active, thriving community for its residents and the hundreds of thousands of visitors it receives annually. But just a few hundred years ago, the lush, jungle-like parcel of land could have almost passed for a deserted island, save for the members of the Bohicket tribe who inhabited it and the pirates who occasionally stopped in or nearby for a visit, including Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet. In 1696, the land was deeded to William Rivers, and the Europeans chose an Old English name, “Folly,” meaning “dense foliage” to describe the island. These days, the residents and tourism board of the six-mile stretch of land like to refer to the barrier island as “The Edge of America,” and the spot is a favorite for surfers and visitors looking for a laid-back, entertaining time.

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Love of Country A bride and Fenwick Hall,groom at Appleby Methodist Church Johns Island on Old Wire Road 1933

JOHNS ISLAND Home of winding roads, moss-draped trees, countless farms, and the ancient, sprawling live oak tree dubbed “Angel Oak,” Johns Island is a rural paradise in a land of constant change. Originally, the land was inhabited by the Bohicket, Kiawah, and Stono tribes who cultivated crops and lived among a varied range of wildlife. Spanish explorers arrived in search of gold in 1520 and left disappointed shortly thereafter, unable to see the value of the land. In 1663, King Charles II granted his Eight Lords Proprietors a charter that placed an emphasis on appreciating and working with agricultural elements, and Lord John Colleton of Barbados received the portion that included present-day Johns Island. Upon settling in the area, Colleton named the land “St. John’s Island” in reference to St. John’s Parish in Barbados. Later, the name was shortened to simply “Johns Island.”

JAMES ISLAND The first permanent settlement in South Carolina was Charles Towne, established in 1670 on the site of what is now Charles Towne Landing. Only one year later, in 1671, the Council of the Province ordered another town to be established on nearby James Island, which was named for James II, King of England, Ireland, and Scotland (as James VII) and brother of King Charles II. After drawing out town lots, some of the first “snow birds” began to migrate to the area: New Yorkers fed up with high taxes and difficult winters seeking warmer weather and less government influence. Within two decades, the settlement was no longer active, and the island was later referred to as “Boone’s Island” in maps dated 1695 and 1711, probably a reference to landowner John Boone. After the discovery that Boone was likely assisting pirate crews in nefarious activities, public documents began referring to the land as James Island once again. AM



THE GAME OF LIFE A year into his retirement, Coach John McKissick reveals a glimpse of the man behind the winning scores and the values that continue to make him a winner in the most important game of all. by S U S A N F R A M P T O N

photography by D O T T I E R I Z Z O

Game Changer Local legend Coach John McKissick




here are a few days in the life of a small town that stand out above all others in history. On one such day in September of 1886, out of the clear blue sky, the Town of Summerville was shaken to its core. Chimneys toppled, and houses were moved from their foundations by the Great Earthquake. Experts insist no such tremors were officially recorded on the summer day in June of 2015, when Coach John McKissick stepped to the microphone to announce his retirement from Summerville High School, but there are those who vow that the ground shuddered beneath their feet. Though it was not entirely unexpected, the collective gasp of three generations could be heard across the gridirons of American football. To those who have called him “Coach” for over 63 years, it is difficult to imagine him in any other role, and it seems as though he was born to it. Since the early 1950s, McKissick has been the standard by which many measured themselves; challenging, motivating, and inspiring an entire town to be its very best. He was ours, and the big man on the sidelines made us stand a little taller, and push our chests out with pride. Long before he was known to the nation, and made history by becoming the most winning coach of all time, he made winners of us all. Today, at age 90, Coach McKissick retains the same bearing of a force to be reckoned with. Though he could easily intimidate, that has never been his way. He is a man that has long known he was blessed to have spent his life doing what he loved. There is a bit of wistfulness behind his smile, and one senses that the freedom brought about by his retirement is bittersweet. We know the statistics by heart; 5 perfect seasons, 621 victories— more than any coach on any level—10 State Championships, and a remarkable 8 NFL players led to success by his expert hand. But to fully appreciate them, it is important to realize that the road leading him to a career that would bring him national acclaim, shatter recorded history, and make him the stuff of legend, was neither straight nor smooth; it took many twists and turns. Each played a part in creating a man destined to build men—and in doing so, helped build a community. A child of the Great Depression, born September 25, 1926, McKissick learned early that life could be unfair. He saw his father’s business fall victim to the crash of the American economy, and watched the ashes of his family’s home smolder on a cold Christmas Day. Despite their misfortune, his parents taught him that when you fall, you pick yourself up. Throughout his childhood, they instilled in him the value of faith, hard work, character, discipline and loyalty. He took those values with him when he was recruited to play football for Clemson Agricultural College, a military institution at the time. But football and college took a back seat to duty and country. With WWII demanding the best and the brightest to defend freedom, college would have to wait. “The war (WWII) was on, and I was drafted. There were no deferments back then. After Basic training down in Georgia, I volunteered for the Paratroopers,” he explains. “The war was hot, and our class was to report to California for assignment to the Army’s 17th Airborne Division.” 74 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

Had it not been for a 30-day delayed route, McKissick would have been among those who infamously jumped Germany’s Rhine River, but fate once again stepped in. When President Truman dropped the atomic bomb, McKissick was rerouted and assigned to Fort Bragg, NC. “I enjoyed jumping, and I had also completed Glider School, so I figured I’d be doing something like that, but when we got there, they took all us guys who were over six feet tall and in good physical shape, for what they called the ‘Gypsy Outfit.’ They paraded us all over the United States. That’s how I spent the last of my 2 years in the service.” Though he chuckles at the memory of representing his country in such a way, it is easy to envision the strong, handsome soldiers inspiring patriotism in the heart and mind of a nation at war. His military duty done, McKissick was once again free to return to college and football, by way of a scholarship he received to Stetson University, in central Florida. His time there was short-lived. “The entire coaching staff had just been let go, and I knew after the first practice that this was not the place for me.” Once again, college was put on the back burner. But when he returned home and applied for a job at a Kingstree tobacco warehouse, the manager looked at him and said, “No. You need to go to school. Let me make a call.” Though he did not know it, it was a watershed moment in his life. He went on to start that very season as a fullback and linebacker at Presbyterian College. Shaking his head at life’s irony, he grins, “Wouldn’t you just know it— our very first game was against Stetson. That coach was not happy to see me on the PC bus.” A degree in accounting and economics seemed the perfect preparation for the finance company adjustor job he accepted over the phone after graduation. What the company actually wanted, however, was a collector. Having been raised in a family where money was tight, McKissick knew immediately that he was not cut out for the position. When a family friend from North Carolina asked if he might be interested in a coaching job, he replied, “I’m not certified, but I’m qualified.” A phone call to the principle of the Clarkton, NC high school sealed the deal, and the former college football player packed his bags to head north. But the school in North Carolina played six-man football, a version of the game, he confided to his former PC coach, he knew nothing about. “John,” Coach McMillan teased, “You don’t know much about elevenman football, either.” Neither could have imagined that such an inauspicious beginning would lead to a career that would last over sixty years, and earn him the gratitude of thousands whose lives he touched. When a coaching job opened up in a small South Carolina town, he applied. In July of 1952, when the newly married John McKissick accepted the coaching job at the 275-student high school in Summerville, SC, the average American worker earned $3,400 annually. The position’s $2,700 per year salary was considerably shy of that number, and in addition to coaching all sports, he would also be required to teach five classes. The school already boasted a winning team, having won two State Championship titles under Coach Harvey Kirkland before he departed to coach at Newberry, and the bar was set high for the incoming coach. It was a lot to ask for the meager paycheck, but both he and Joan, his bride of one month, fell in love with the town. Their devotion to the school and to Summerville itself was immediate. It was a good thing, since when he approached the school superintendent about a raise, the superintendent offered his own brilliant solution: “Get your wife a job.” (It is worth noting, that at the time of his retirement,

x o In July of 1952, when the newly married John McKissick accepted the coaching job at the 275-student high school in Summerville, SC, the average American worker earned $3,400 annually. The position's $2,700 per year salary was considerably shy of that number, and in addition to coaching all sports, he would also be required to teach five classes.

In the Beginning McKissick (right) in 1955 in his first season as head coach of the Summerville Green Wave



Suited Up John McKissick in his 1950 senior season as fullback at Presbyterian College

The Town of Summerville and the life of the most winning coach of all time are forever linked in history. Would either have been the same without the other? McKissick was the lowest paid 4-A coach in South Carolina.) Theirs was a marriage made in heaven for many reasons, not the least being that Joan shared his love of the game. Over the span of his career, the 62 scrapbooks she created to commemorate each season are alone tangible proof of her love for her husband and his career, as were the 62 years of Friday nights she attended all but four of her husband’s beloved Green Wave’s games, and the many weekends she sent the coach off to mow and paint the team’s practice field. There were other offers, for more money and higher profile positions, but McKissick stayed true to Summerville High School, and the athletic program continued to grow. No small measure of that decision was due to Joan’s attachment to the town, and desire to raise their family here. Hearing of a serious offer from a school in Sumter, Chick Miler, who had taken the young coach under his wing early on, came to the young coach. “You don’t want that job,” he said. He offered the couple an interest-free loan to buy a home in Summerville. The offer was far too generous, and McKissick did not even consider it serious until Miler called him some time later. “Bring me the plans,” Miler told him, “and tell me how much you think you’ll be able to pay each month. If it’s $50, that’s fine. If it’s $100, that’s fine, too. But don’t tell me $100 if you are only able to pay $50.” They settled on a number, and within eight years the loan was fully repaid on the home and one-acre lot. More than a desire to keep the increasingly successful, hard-working coach in the community, Miler’s offer was an example of the many true friendships the McKissicks formed. Those friendships went both ways, and in later years, when Miler fell into ill health, it was his friend, the coach, who gently wheeled him to the shower and bathed him for over fifteen years. It was that kind of loyalty, along with faith, hard work, character, and discipline—the values taught by his parents, that drove McKissick’s life, and formed the basis for the philosophy he taught his players. In 63 years, he never missed a game. All those who turned out willing to make the commitment were given the opportunity to wear the jersey. He was honest, with players and parents alike. He was tough, but his tough love was doled out equally to anyone who played for him, regardless of the number of minutes they were in the game. He asked no more of his players than he himself was willing to give, nor did he ask them to do anything he was unwilling to do himself; a point he frequently made by pulling off his shirt and squaring off on the line with his team. “All the old players tell me I wasn’t as tough on the players in the last couple of years as I was on them, back in the early days,” he says. “I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know I had long since stopped taking off my shirt.” When Coach’s retirement announcement was made, a quote from a wellrecognized college coach referred to him as, “the elderly McKissick.” It was a laughable description of the robust man inherently ill-equipped to stand still. Asked if he would retire to the family’s beach house, he quickly put that question to rest. “I’ll go walking on the beach, but you

won’t find me just sitting out there. When I’m ready to stop, I’ll retire to that plot of land I have in Parks’ Cemetery.” The big man’s hands are momentarily at rest, and his eyes fall to the heavy gold and diamond ring commemorating his 600th win. He admits that he misses the routine of rising at 6 AM and heading for the office. Having lived and breathed football for over six decades, he had little time left to pursue other hobbies. He never fished much, and a bum shoulder keeps him off the golf course, but three days a week he hits the treadmill and bicycle, and lifts some weights. It shows—rarely does age 90 look as good. He’s still getting used to the slower pace of retirement. “I get up every morning, and shave and shower. Sometimes I go to Guerin’s, even if I don’t need a prescription, and I get myself an ice cream cone.” His passion for football is not even slightly diminished, and instant recall of the names and details of hundreds of players and games roll from his tongue with impressive accuracy. Though still a regular fixture in the Green Wave stands, he doesn’t dole out advice to the man who now walks the sidelines—his grandson, Joe Call. He has trust in the new leadership of his legendary Green Wave, he says, and eschews the role of second-guesser or Monday morning quarterback. “You see things differently from the stands than you can on the field—I know that now. They know what they’re doing, and I let them do their job.” McKissick refuses to think of himself as anything more than the representative of the estimated 5,500 players that donned the Green Wave jersey and ran onto the field for over half a century, and he is justifiably proud of each and every one. But, despite the accolades or the fact that Summerville’s stadium and the street around it bears his name, when asked what he is most proud of, the answer has nothing to do with the game, and everything to do with the man. “My family,” he says, without a moment’s hesitation. “My children and grandchildren are all successful in their fields. They never caused any trouble. They’ve all done so well. I’ve been awfully blessed.” “I had a great run. The people of Summerville love football, and they love athletics. Even when we were small, we filled up the stands. There have been a lot of good people along the way who’ve supported me.” The Town of Summerville and the life of the most winning coach of all time are forever linked in history. Would either have been the same without the other? It’s an interesting question, but one that we happily will never have to answer. He’s been asked if he is interested in local politics, but says he wouldn’t be very good at it because, in his words, “I just tell it like it is—I say what’s on my mind.” The dozens of doctors, lawyers, politicians, and businessmen who played for him concur. It’s one of the very traits that have made him beloved in this community. He is, and always will be, many things to many people —mentor, husband, father, counselor, role model, hero, loyal friend. But for most of us, John McKissick is simply, “Coach,” the man who once taught us how to win at the game of football; but more importantly, continues to teach us us how to win the game of life. AM Spring 2017 AZALEAMAG.COM


Room With A View This Page: A custom live edge wooden desk, built by Melanie’s husband, sits invitingly in the living room. Opposite: Warm decor mingles well with the white walls of the apartment.

Dream Living A young Charleston family trades in suburban life for classic Southern-city living by J A N A R I L E Y

photography by D O T T I E R I Z Z O



Like many people transitioning into the adult world, Melanie Kiernicki had a running list of what she ought to do as a young adult. Whether by way of television shows, movies, or books, or by the words of family, friends, and even strangers, society had made it clear to Melanie that there was an assumed path she was to take in order to achieve success. For many of the bullet points on her list, Melanie was completely on board; she excelled at her studies in high school and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Wayne State University in Detroit before getting her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education at the College of Charleston. Getting married was also easy; she had long been head over heels in love with her high school sweetheart, Kevin, and the pair couldn’t wait to tie the knot. Planning a family was thrilling: Melanie and Kevin often dreamed about a house full of children, excited at the prospect of becoming parents. They breezed through the phases of life together seamlessly, and eventually came upon the decision to settle down and find a home. Melanie, ever practical, consulted the list of “shoulds” that she had collected over the years, using them as a guide to find the perfect first home for their family. They ended up with a large, newly constructed home in a highly regarded school district in the suburbs; a 2,400-square-foot house in a row of nearly identical structures. With four bedrooms, a two-car garage, large walk-in closets, and more space than they knew what to do with, the home was everything a typical suburban couple might desire for their

dwelling place. In time, Melanie touched every corner of the home with her decorating talents, filling it with furniture, decor, books, and more. Their first daughter, Penelope, was the first to make use of one of the extra bedrooms, followed not too long after by their second daughter, Lucy. The arrival of each girl was joined by the influx of items that tend to come with new babies: toys, clothing, furniture, books, and baby gear galore. The Kiernicki family was surrounded by love, beauty, and precious memories, but also by an overwhelming amount of things. Soon Melanie began to feel the gentle tug of a long-held desire, and after a quick conversation with her husband, it became clear that he, too, felt pulled in the same direction. They knew exactly what they needed to do. For years, Melanie and Kevin had held tightly to a dream: to one day move to Downtown Charleston. Of course, they thought, it would have to be later, after their kids were grown. It wouldn’t be sensible to move downtown with two toddlers, or even with two children in school, not knowing how the education options downtown compared to the award-winning school within walking distance of their current home. And the cost of living in a comparable place downtown had to be exorbitant, they figured, definitely not something they could afford while their daughters were still young. But then Melanie decided to homeschool her girls, negating the need to live in a good school district, and the couple began thinking about how much space they really needed. Slowly, their dream turned into an idea, which quickly turned into a plan. They decided to check out rentals downtown to get a feel for the market, and they

Shining Bright This Page: Textures abound in the living area; smart storage solutions help the kitchen feel clean and crisp. Opposite: A hand-painted portrait makes a bold statement in the apartment’s bathroom. 80 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

Living Small Left to right: Collecting decor items in interesting wooden bowls and trays reduces the feeling of clutter; Melanie Kiernicki in her Charleston home; A grand entrance greets visitors to the historic Wentworth Street building.

The apartment’s small footprint requires some creativity on the part of Melanie, a task she handles with ease. immediately fell in love with a tiny two-bedroom apartment. They put in an application that day and put their home on the market a week later. Finally, yet much sooner than expected, their dream became a reality. The Kiernicki family moved downtown. Now in their second apartment in Downtown Charleston, the Kiernickis are masters of downsizing. At 1,000-square-feet (including a decently sized porch), their one-bedroom, secondfloor apartment in a historic building is a fraction of the size of their previous home, yet perfectly suited to the family of four, plus their dog and two cats. When it came time to move out of suburbia, Melanie and Kevin hand-selected only their most favorite possessions, selling and giving away well over half of their belongings. The result is a space filled only with items that bring the couple joy. There’s the old typewriter that Kevin gave Melanie on their first Christmas together as a married couple in Charleston, and the vintage cuckoo clock from Melanie’s mother, one of the first pieces of decor they hung in Penelope’s first bedroom. There’s the antique radio in the kitchen, given to Melanie by her uncle before he passed away, and the ever-growing collection of musical instruments that feed Kevin’s constant obsession to learn something new. Even the utilitarian items are beautiful: gold flatware, blankets that are both gorgeous and cozy, and coffee mugs featuring the family’s initials. With an expert-level eye for design, Melanie quickly transformed the space into a home inspired by midcentury, rustic, and vintage aesthetics. Textures provide 82 AZALEAMAG.COM Spring 2017

layers of depth to the décor—a leather couch marries well with a knitted chenille throw and fur pillows—while neutral tones lend classic elements of tranquility and peace to the apartment. Live plants abound, mingling with the natural light and tall ceilings to provide an airy, open feeling. Thoughtfully curated, the apartment shines with well-chosen simplicity. The apartment’s small footprint requires some creativity on the part of Melanie, a task she handles with ease. The large walk-in closet in the master bedroom became a bedroom itself, shared by the couple’s two daughters. Melanie also decided to place the master bed in the center of her bedroom, setting up a screen behind it to establish a playroom-type space in the faux-hall the arrangement creates. Kevin’s instruments found a home above the dining table, doubling as decor, and every nook and cranny is utilized for storage space. With only one usable closet in the entire apartment, minimalism and creativity is key for creating a liveable space. Finding her true passion in motherhood and curating beauty, Melanie traded in her public school teacher’s life for teaching her own children and running her own interior design business, The Penny and the Pearl. For now, the family enjoys the fruits of following their dream—walking to shops and restaurants, being close to the cultural offerings of the city, watching carriage horses pass by while on the open balcony, and listening to the hum of city life. With their adventurous, all-in spirits, it’s hard to say where the wind may take them next, but with Melanie at the design helm, one thing is certain—it is sure to be beautiful. AM

Open Air Clockwise from top left: Tall ceilings make the bedroom feel open; Greenery and cozy textiles turn a house into a home; A former closet is repurposed as a sweet bedroom for the children; The wide porch is perfect for watching Charleston days go by.






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Strawberry JalapeĂąo Salsa

Fresh Strawberry Margarita

Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa Ingredients 2 cups diced strawberries 1 diced jalapeño pepper ½ cup diced red onion ¼ cup diced green onions (white and green parts) Juice and zest of two limes ¼ cup chopped cilantro 2 teaspoons kosher salt Preparation • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. • Keep chilled until ready to use.

Fresh Strawberry Margarita (makes 2) Ingredients 2 ounces Tequila Blanco 5 strawberries (stems removed) ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2-3 limes) 2 tablespoon Agave syrup Preparation • Add strawberries to a shaker and muddle to create strawberry juice. • Add to the muddled strawberries, ½ cup of ice, the tequila, lime juice and agave syrup. • Shake very well. • Place some kosher salt on a small plate. • Rim glasses with a fresh lime wedge then place the rim in the salt. • Fill glasses with ice. • Strain shaken margarita over ice.




Where will you be today? You might be facing sunrise on your side-porch swing. Behind you, a gibbous moon wanes as you await delivery of the Herald. Who will you be today? Hard to tell anymore. Perhaps you’ll be in a Southern Gothic state of mind, reprising roles that had won you applause on and off regional theatre stages. What will our visit be like today? Last week, your whispers about Miss Zinni’s secret meetings with the stranger in town were jumbled up with stories about your ancestors who fed Civil War soldiers. You traced their “noiseless arrival to this very spot” and landed it in the same sentence about a car chase, the violets your Bennett once gave you for your birthday, the fun of tossing wild violet leaves into salads. You defined “delectable” as a strawberry daiquiri, properly poured into a martini glass rimmed in fresh lime and fine sugar. Served during cocktail hour, a toast to violets in spring. Today, I’m bringing to you two of spring’s firsts: Strawberries. We’ll wash and hull them together to ready them for 5 o’clock. Violets. Their lower flowers, I left unpicked to produce seeds. For other springs.


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