September 2019

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FALL IN LOVE Classics with a Twist Cherchez la Femme in Business and Leisure






HARVEST TIME Celebrate the Equinox


Rya Kaplan, M.D. Board-Certified Gastroenterologist


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Dr. Kaplan graduated high school on Hilton Head Island, SC, and then attended Duke University for her pre-medical studies, where she graduated Cum Laude. She completed all of her medical training including Medical School, Internal Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology & Hepatology Fellowship at MUSC in Charleston, SC.

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Dr. Rya Kaplan is a board-certified gastroenterologist who provides compassionate and comprehensive high quality GI care for her patients. She takes the time to explain GI diseases, treatments and procedures in a way that is easy for her patients to understand, always with the goal of making her patients feel as comfortable as possible. Her East Cooper GI Daniel Island office is conveniently located at 880 Island Park Drive, right above Dockery’s. In addition to her Daniel Island office, she performs endoscopy procedures conveniently located in Mt. Pleasant.



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880 Island Park Dr., Suite 210 Daniel Island, SC 29492

East Cooper GI

Schedule an appointment today. 843-936-5970

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Todd Schlesinger MD, FAAD, FASMS | Kalen Ashford, PA-C |







Erin Walker, MD, FAAD |

Ashley Doerler, PA-C |

Lori Wrightington, Director of Laser & Medispa Services |

John Hendrick, PA-C

Ashley Davis, Licensed Esthetician


2180 Henry Tecklenburg Drive


& 1364 Ashley River Road






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contents F E AT U R E S

The Empress Needs No Clothes By Raegan Whiteside


Following Her Heart Back to Charleston By Denise K. James



IN EVERY ISSUE under the skirt. 5 skirt. forward! 12

skirt. community 22

Breaking the Greenhouse Ceiling By Dena J. DiOrio


Fall Fashion: Fashion Wonderland


skirt. books


skirt. men


skirt. wellness


skirt. essay 30 skirt. table 32

The Tassel is Worth the Hassle By Andrea Serrano


skirt. calendar 36 skirt. spirits 38 don’t skirt. the issue 39

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINE KNOPF On Jordan: Nili Lotan coat, $1295, from Hampden Clothing; Brunello Cucinelli cardigan, $1995; Dries Van Noten blouse, $790; Sabina Savage scarf, $130; Chloe boots, $1070; RTW pencil skirt, $290, from RTW; Cecil Collection amethyst ring, $2,100 and Van H Designs green onyx ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand; Qing Dynasty Chess Set, $145, and French fireplace chair, $445, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall; Italian hand-made Alabaster Agata Bowl, $1900, from The Hidden Countship


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Wardrobe Stylist Alexandra Munzel Production Coordinator Jacqueline Lawrence of inventivEVENTS Models Jordan and Jamie with Fenton Models NYC Hair Stylist Mac McAbee of Coven Craft Make-up Artist Blair Mathis Set Assistant Eli Latham Wardrobe Assistant Ashley Jenkins Photo Assistants Ashley Stanol & Deontre Major Production Assistant Morgan Simmonds Retouching Camera Works, Inc. Canvas Backdrops Suzanne Allen Studio

CEO/OWNER Paula Dezzutti PUBLISHER Thomas J. Giovanniello, Jr. EDITOR Denise K. James ART DIRECTOR Laura Staiano EDITORIAL INTERN Raegan Whiteside INTEGRATED ACCOUNT MANAGER Whitney Brenkus PHOTOGRAPHERS/ILLUSTRATORS Zheng Chia, Caroline Knopf, Erin Turner, Daniel Velasco, Libby Willliams CONTRIBUTORS Maggie Winterfeldt Clark, Kris De Welde, Dena DiOrio, Lorna Hollifield, Kani Kundalini, Helen Mitternight, Andrea Serrano, Katie Thompson, Karen Briggs Updyke, Raegan Whiteside BUSINESS MANAGER Cassaundra Tebben DISTRIBUTION C&R Marketing, Tina Tartaglia ADVERTISING sales: 843.958.0028 EDITORIAL AND SALES OFFICES P.O. Box 579, Charleston, South Carolina 29402 843.958.0028,


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Skirt is published monthly and distributed free throughout the greater Charleston area. Subscriptions are available through Subscription rates are $24.95 for 12 issues. Back issues may be obtained by contacting the Skirt offices. Back issues are $5.99. All contents of this magazine, including without limitation the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content as well as the selection, coordination and arrangement thereof, is Copyright© Holy City Publishing, LLC. All rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Postage paid at Charleston, S.C., and additional mailing offices. Skirt is a registered trademark of Holy City Publishing, LLC. Skirt and are licensed under the authority of Morris Media Network. Printed in the United States. Vol. 25 Issue 8 ISSN 2637-3815 (Print) ISSN 2637-3831(Online) Proudly printed by Walton Press for 25 years!

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skirt . | september 2019  3


A Toast to the American Spirit

FIFTY STATES VODKA FIFTY STATES is a vodka with a story that speaks volumes about creating what you want to see

and experience in your world—or about pursuing the American Dream, as may be more apt in

this particular case. While that dream plays out differently for everyone, for the Liberati family, it

took the form of developing an ultra-premium vodka that redefines standards of what it means

to celebrate American life.

Fifty States vodka was launched by Lori and Tom Liberati in 2018 with a clear brand identity

and message, sliding naturally into the spirits market trend of differentiation and luxury as well

as onto the shelves with a sleek, award-winning design. The ultra-premium vodka wasn’t cre-

ated with sector volumes and trends in mind, however; it was created because it was a product

the founders wanted to see on the shelves in their own local watering holes. They created it for

themselves, knowing there were probably others in search of something similar.

The wife and husband team explained: “As consumers, we wanted a product

that was made in the USA so we could support more local business and the

local economy and get in the American spirit (pun intended). We wanted a

product that was also premium, redefining American standards, and we want-

ed it to be obvious, so you know what you’re getting when you order at the bar.

So we set out to create America’s vodka, something we could relate to that

“ As consumers, we wanted a product that was made in the USA so we could support more local business and the local economy and get in the American spirit...”

everyone can enjoy and feel good about.”

As a family operation, the Liberatis have worked

together to grow FIFTY STATES, which is now in

stores in Florida, South Carolina, California and

New York, as well as online at www.fiftystates- The family’s hard work is paying

off, as they were recently named official vod-

ka of Titan FC (a UFC partner), with whom

they found a natural synergy in that Titan FC’s philanthropic partners are

A-HERO and SOWW. These organizations support veterans in reinte-

grating with American life, and Fifty States’ charitable give-back model

allows them to further honor and support those that serve our country.

When developing the brand, the Liberatis recognized the importance of

partnerships that are making an impact in local communities, supporting

important organizations and causes:

“We hope to expand our work doing that while helping others have a

good time and celebrate along the way,” the Liberatis expanded. “Ulti-

mately, we wanted to create a product that’s all American, that captures

the American spirit and American values—and that means so many dif-

ferent things to different people, which is part of the beauty of it. To us, it’s

about hard work and dedication; it’s coming together, supporting each

other, lifting each other up and celebrating each other, whether that’s

through your work and involvement in the community or the products

you choose that support the work of others in your community. Every day

I am inspired by the amazing things the people around me are doing and

achieving and their tenacity to keep going, to keep innovating, to keep

pushing for better, not just for themselves but for their communities. That

looks different for everyone. But for our family, it’s encompassed in this

American spirit.”

The Empress Needs No Clothes THE NAKED  LADY SOCIETY By Raegan Whiteside

and the three women took on the task with fervor, inspired to transform a fun activity into something more. Today, The Naked Lady Society swaps are social events featuring a nonprofit aspect, empowering women through body positivity and an encouraging, diverse environment. Since the beginning, the organization has paired up with nonprofits such as Lowcountry Orphan Relief, My Sister’s House, Senior Center, Shifa Clinic, Lowcountry Herald and Undergarment Society, with attendees dividing up superfluous clothes at the end of each swap. Not

“ Today, The Naked Lady Society swaps are social events, empowering women through body positivity and an encouraging, diverse environment.” only are the women involved participating in charity, they are also encouraging sustainability. We’re all familiar with the myriad environmental issues in the fashion industry, from low labor wages to subpar conditions to toxic dyes used in the process. Clothing swaps are the perfect way to take part in the cutting down on waste, while also finding those funky and unique pieces that speak to your style. Padilla and Carlisle, who still live in the Charleston area, both expressed how they long



skirt . | september 2019

ago learned the importance of sustainability in all aspects of life, and particularly in fashion. They began getting their own clothes from thrift shops, consignment shops and clothing swaps. After relocating to Charleston a few years ago, however, they discovered that the recycled clothing sources they were accustomed to having in their former homes of Northern and Southern California were no longer at their fingertips. They missed the ability to give clothes a long life; they missed the connections made over the swapping of clothing; and, even more, they

missed the generosity, laughter, encouragement and love. When I sat down with Padilla and Carlisle, I candidly asked them how, exactly, they made it all happen—how did they promote female empowerment so effortlessly? They insisted that it just naturally took place. According to Carlisle: “When we settled on the name Naked Lady Society, we chose it because, yes, it’s about swapping clothes, and it’s a cute name, but also because we like the idea of



lthough they are crafted from fabric that has been sewn, woven or knitted together, our clothes aren’t always simple material items. Clothing is with us in good times and in bad, as a part of our various memories and stories—sometimes, they are even the focus. More than a necessity that most polite societies have deemed appropriate, our sense of style shows off our personalities and character, and the items within our closets nearly possess lives of their own. The Naked Lady Society, a charitable organization that respects this truth, welcomes all women to find their latest beloved item, swap old memories and make new ones. Initiated in 2018 by Betsy Padilla, Sheilagh Carlisle and Lizzy Hronek, the clothing swaps originally served as a way to connect with a small group of friends and meet new people. After the first swaps, however, the demand for more events heightened,



“ Isn’t this what so many of us as women seek in our lives? We seek that ability to just be, without the effort of meeting society’s expectations or fearing the judgement of others. The Naked Lady Society has, in effect, provided that safe and comfortable atmosphere...” being naked, being open and being vulnerable. By allowing yourself to come to these gatherings and meet other people, women build friendships where they can be vulnerable, be themselves, and, in a sense, be naked.” And let’s be honest—isn’t this what so many of us as women seek in our lives? We seek that ability to just be, without the effort of meeting society’s expectations or fearing the judgement of others. The Naked Lady Society has, in effect, provided that safe and comfortable atmosphere for women of the Lowcountry. Even at first glance, it’s obvious that Padilla and Carlisle are the type of friends that finish each other’s sentences. They have similar passions,— from sustainability to supporting nonprofits and local business to empower women—yet they are dissimilar enough to keep things interesting. The two ladies first crossed paths through, unsurprisingly, a clothing

swap, surrounded in a colorful backdrop of secondhand dresses and blouses. Exclaiming over everything from wedding dresses to uniform jackets to funky high heels, the fast friends began making new memories and plans. The Naked Lady Society allowed them to build a foundation of empowering each other, supporting each other and being vulnerable, open and “naked.” Now, they want to provide the same atmosphere, connections and support to all women in Charleston and, really, everyone. Ladies, it is time to shed the layers of stress, social differences, self-consciousness and negative energy. It’s time to get naked. The next swap will be October 17th from 5 - 7 p.m. at The Workshop, with swaps occuring every other month. The only “rule” is to bring no more than two bags and to take as much as you can carry out. Grab a glass of wine or a pint of beer and have fun with women and locals (or visitors) of all ages, sizes, races, identities and styles.







skirt . | september 2019  7

under the skirt. As we savor our last sips of summer, I find myself reflecting on all the festivities and liveliness this season offers and how much those lazy, hazy, crazy days encourage us to embrace life. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, around June 21 in the northern hemisphere, and has been celebrated as one of the earliest astronomical observations since ancient times. These last few months symbolize the growth of a spiritual journey for me as well. Having enjoyed the excitement and adventure of our recent growth, I am also beginning to think about what the change of seasons ahead will bring, as winter can be a time of seizing opportunity where others see dormancy. Here at Skirt., we have already begun preparing for new seasons and new chapters with our best foot forward, pioneering new territory. With that said, I am delighted to introduce our talented new contributing editor, Denise K. James. Denise has written for local and regional publications, including Celebrate Hilton Head and Southern Flavor, and for six years she served as editor for Mount Pleasant Magazine. We are excited to welcome her into our family of gifted, outrageous powerhouses that give us a leading edge in the publication world. We are a team of growth and vision. It is my hope that you will share in the journey of all the team members, as they are exceptional, and I want them to be part of your family as well. In addition to Denise, our creative team includes Laura Staiano, our incredibly talented and creative art director who uses her keen eye for style and design to make the gorgeous pages of our magazine come to life. Betsy Padilla, who rocks The Naked Lady Society and is one of the most impressive philanthropists I’ve ever met, previously served as our contributing editor. Our College of Charleston summer editorial intern, Raegan Whiteside, is a fearless female whose strong voice is echoed in every column she writes. Behind the scenes, let me introduce you to Tom Giovanniello, our publisher. He is the most kick-ass friend and “mixologist” of Skirt. Spirits, as well as being so sincere at heart. If you haven’t had a collaborative meeting with Whitney Brenkus, our integrated account manager, then your business potential has been severely stifled. Cassaundra Tebben, our business manager, works in tandem with our accountant Bryan Eriksen to keep business running on schedule. Our seasoned and dedicated community sales team leaders, Trey Horres and Tyler Boone, will leave you delighted to place an ad with Skirt. First come first Skirted! We welcome any new sales team members to be part of our team. Finally, I must let you know how much I appreciate my children, my friends and my extended family at Local Choice and Striped Pig, who work tirelessly behind the scenes keeping me afloat and supporting my vision. I invite you to drop by our distillery for a chance to see real inspiration in action and pick up extra copies of Skirt. Stay tuned for a Skirt. Night Out at our place for all Skirt. Members and subscription holders to twirl your skirts and raise your glasses as we toast our growing family. Cheers!

Paula Dezzutti CEO/Owner skirt. Magazine

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skirt . | september 2019  5

Following Her Heart Back to Charleston Synthia SAINT JAMES  speaks about new work   at 2019 MOJA festival


he MOJA Festival, now celebrating 36 years of African-American and Caribbean Island arts, culture and cuisine, hosts a number of internationally known artists each autumn who draw abundant crowds for their exquisite work. Synthia SAINT JAMES has attended and shown her art in the festival prior to the 2019 season, and this year, she is part of the opening reception at the City Gallery in downtown Charleston, facing that iconic pineapple fountain we all know and love. The exhibit, entitled “HBCUs: Creating

According to Anne Quattlebaum, Gallery Manager at the Charleston City Gallery: “Synthia had previously worked in partnership with MOJA when Charleston hosted the official ceremonies associated with her second Kwanzaa stamp being issued by the USPS in 2016. When she created a new work for 2019, “Africa: Year of Return,” she was asked to be this year’s MOJA Arts Festival poster artist.” SAINT JAMES’ series will be shown in tandem with the

“ Lois Mailou Jones’ life, legacy and magnificent art embraced my heart, and Frida Kahlo’s resilience magnified my own.” Power Through Education,” will feature 12 canvas giclees of paintings created between the years 2011 and 2019 as commissions for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She will speak about the work at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 27.


skirt . | september 2019

art of photographer Andrew Feiler, who will present his photos of Morris Brown College in Atlanta.

“We asked Synthia to present her 12 commissioned works alongside Andrew’s photographs so we could paint a full picture of Historic Black Colleges and Universities today, both cautionary and celebratory,” said Quattlebaum. “This is the first time Synthia’s HBCU commissions have been exhibited together as a series.” Skirt. had a few minutes to chat with the artist and learn a bit more about her work, her experience at MOJA, and the special reason that the Lowcountry keeps drawing her back. Explain your background and initial inspiration as an artist. Were you interested in art from an early age? Particularly share whether female artists or women or mother figures pointed you in any direction.

I knew that I wanted to be an artist since I was a little girl—at age five—in the Bronx, New York. No one influenced me at that early age, but much later in life, Lois Mailou Jones’ life, legacy and magnificent art embraced my heart, and Frida Kahlo’s resilience magnified my own. What in particular is your connection to the city of Charleston? My Godmother Willie, originally from Johns Island, lived in Mount Pleasant during her retirement, and my dear friend Eartha Robinson has roots in Johns Island as well. I’m also Eartha’s youngest daughter’s (Elija’s) Godmother. Also, in 2016, I visited Charleston again for the First Issue Day of my second Kwanzaa Stamp—the 2016 Kwanzaa Forever Stamp. What is your history with the MOJA festival? My 2016 Kwanzaa Stamp was included in the 2016 MOJA Art Festival’s celebrations. What are you looking forward to about this year’s festival in particular? I am thrilled that I’ll be in Charleston for the

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opening reception for MOJA—which will be followed by my artist talk at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park the next day for my exhibition “HBCUs: Creating Power Through Education.” How do you feel about the creative person’s calling in today’s world? Do you think there is a certain social responsibility? I feel that all creative people should follow their hearts and listen to the spirit voice deep inside of them for guidance. What are your hopes for the future of art? I hope for society’s recognition of the true value and necessity of art for creative, spiritual and mental balance in everyone’s life. What are your hopes for the future of female artists? The universe is the limit! Are there any other thoughts you’d like to add? Pay attention to the desires of our children. Too often, they are led away from their innate abilities by our overprotectiveness.

skirt . | september 2019  9



Breaking the Greenhouse Ceiling M O O R E FA R M S B O TA N I C A L G A R D E N


he early 1800s saw a boom in women’s social clubs as not only a way to foster community but also a vehicle for social change. Although there are records of a few female botanists before this period, organized botany and garden clubs largely excluded women. As a backlash, a garden club exclusively for women was formed in 1891 in Athens, Georgia, and others “sprouted” soon thereafter. Times have changed, but I still jumped at the opportunity to tour the grounds of Moore Farms Botanical Garden in Lake City, South Carolina. Led by a team that is 50 percent women, I was eager to meet these ladies and get their take on horticulture.

“Abundant with biodiversity and natural beauty, Moore Farms Botanical Garden offers something that many gardens do not: Half of the staff members are women.” Situated in the Pee Dee region about a two-hour drive from Charleston, Moore Farms Botanical Garden was founded in 2002 by investor, philanthropist, and South Carolina native Darla Moore. A private garden made available to the public through organized tours, education, youth camps, workshops, events and horticultural research, it spans 65 acres over a 1,000-acre stretch of a generational family farm. Make no mistake that this revered land has witnessed quite the transformation over the years. Once lined with cash crops, lush gardens of both native and non-native species now exist on its Zen-like grounds, all tended by a passionate staff.


skirt . | september 2019

Starting from the visitor center, my tour guide led us underneath a 100-foot tall antique fire tower, passing through the curtain of bald cypress overhead that opened up to a marvelous enclave of lush greenery. Our first stop was to Pine Bay, a native pine savanna. We then moved into a suite of gardens, starting with the Vegetable Garden, with raised beds and vine-covered trellises, followed by the Formal Garden, appointed with hedges, benches and a bubbling fountain. This fed into the Bog Garden, home to bucket plants of the carnivorous sort and showcasing an array of species native to the Carolinas able to thrive in drought-like environments. One of the more popular destinations, The Spring House, is a thatched roof open-air hut. With rotating doors providing generous vistas of the majestic landscape, the hut offered a welcome reprieve from the midday sun. Of course, no visit would be complete without seeing the Green Roof and vertical Living Wall at the maintenance facility. Built with the intention of supporting a rooftop garden, the 6,500 square-foot edifice is equipped with a natural irrigation system that pumps recycled rainwater back to the vegetation. The slanted roof is home to various shrubs, grasses, poppies and agave, all growing in peaceful, sun-blanketed bliss and overlooking an impressive view. Abundant with biodiversity and natural beauty, Moore Farms Botanical Garden offers something that many other gardens do not: Half of the full-time staff members are women. I felt fortunate to visit and celebrate this fact, right before American Business Women’s Day on September 22. “[Horticulture] is known to be a male-dominated industry,” explained Rebecca Turk, Director of Education and Events. With a Masters of Science in Horticulture


By Dena J. DiOrio



“One thing is for certain: although women still have hurdles to overcome, we can delight in the fact that we are all queens of our own domain, and a bountiful garden (literally or figuratively) is just an extension of that.” from North Carolina State University and internships completed at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, Turk reminisced that when she first started at the garden six and a half years ago, there was only a handful of female staffers. Production Specialists and growers Lori Cason and Amanda Clark agreed as we revisited the topic of women in horticulture and their experience with the glass—or in this case, greenhouse—ceiling. Said 21-year industry veteran and Florida native Cason of the male-dominated profession: “We’ve had to endure a lot. We’ve come a long way, but [we] still struggle with it.” She pulled out a piece of paper paraphrasing recent studies that conclude companies with higher female representation have a tendency to show a greater profit increase than those predominantly run by men. Endearingly nicknamed the “Mother of Thousands” by fellow staff in reference to her ability to nurture plants to life, Clark, a native of Camden, New York, grew up tending to her family’s gardens. These days, both Clark and Cason oversee the greenhouses and nursery material for all 65 acres. Sharing in the workload is Charleston native Katie Dickson, who manages the Horticulture department, a growing team of 25 so far. With a Bachelor’s in Environmental Horticulture from Clemson, she “wears many hats,” from wielding a chainsaw to operating a tree lift, and has an obvious affinity for power tools. In her six-plus years on staff, Dickson has had the opportunity to design various public spaces in downtown Lake City as part of the garden’s community development outreach program. In addition to her daily managerial tasks, she oversees the cut floral production for bouquets and arrangements. So what does a female-led environment look like? A

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blooming, verdant garden? It is true in this case. And after a visit to these enchanting grounds, one thing is for certain: although women still have hurdles to overcome, we can delight in the fact that we are all queens of our own domain, and a bountiful garden (literally or figuratively) is just an extension of that. So reader, I invite you to ask yourself: What makes your garden grow? Visitation is by appointment only and during select open house days. Check the website for dates and a listing of upcoming adult classes, workshops, youth camps, and events.


skirt . | september 2019  11


Fashion’s FAUX FEMINISM Thoughts on Dressing for Progress By Kris De Welde


ring on the faux in fashion: faux fur, faux leather, faux feathers! Those trends are (mostly) positive and have far less impact on the non-humans with whom we share this planet. But you can keep the faux feminism out of my closet. Recent trends in mainstream fashion have recognized the capacity for commodifying the “feminist” label—and related ideas—and many

anti-child. Of course, we feminists knew that was ridiculous, a right-wing hijacking of the simple premise articulated by activist and writer Cheris Kramerae: “feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” And today’s feminism is not just about women. It cuts across categories of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and other social markers. It is “intersectional”—that is, attending to liberation from oppressions that

“ The “feminist-inspired” marketing/consumption that has permeated mainstream culture at this moment has the capacity to actually undermine feminist goals…” consumers are lapping it up, uncritically and apolitically. In truth, part of me is delighted to see young people (some as young as toddlers) wearing “grrrl power” and (if older) “consent is sexy” t-shirts, socks, pins, hats, and so on. But I will be honest here—I do roll my eyes and groan. But why can’t I embrace that my local department store has glittery “empowered” tanks for sale as a featured item next to the “skinny” jeans? Just take a moment to sit with that contradiction. Not too long ago, to be called a feminist was to be labeled angry, anti-men, hate-filled, and


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intersect and interlock because of our varied experiences in a world that perpetuates injustice based on social markers. So then we should be celebrating that feminism has become mainstream, trendy and fashionable, right? Isn’t this what we have been waiting for? Not really. “Commodity feminism” (as defined by Sarah Banet-Weiser) is essentially the difference between feminism as an individual identity that one can take on or off depending on the weather and protest du jour versus feminism as a social-political-legal movement for the liberation of all peo-

ples from oppressive systems. The problem with commodity feminism through these kinds of fashion choices is that by themselves they are faux, artificial and false advertising. And, sometimes it is even anti-feminist. The “feminist-inspired” marketing/consumption that has permeated mainstream culture at this moment has the capacity to actually undermine feminist goals, working against them and diluting them. This kind of feminism might be good for the market, but not necessarily for those who should be benefitting from feminism. Some of the problems with commodity feminism are baked into our capitalist system where supply chains and product origins are intentionally obscured. Many of these products (as with other faux trends) are made by women and young girls in the Global South for shockingly little compensation, in dangerous factories, and under tyrannical management. In case it is not obvious, it’s not feminist to support this exploitation. And more companies than we know sell these products and then use our financial support to perpetuate discrimination of people of all genders through unfair or unsafe working conditions, inequitable pay, no access to family leave, or unchecked harassment. Also not feminist. In some cases, feminist swag is totally fine, and I am perfectly willing to buy it, gift it, and don it myself (after doing a little digging about where it is made and who made it). The key difference is that these items are not my feminism in and of them-

“ Right now, in this historical moment, we all need to join the struggles for justice—not just brand ourselves for self-serving satisfaction.” selves; they don’t replace the work I do as a feminist in the struggle for liberation, equity and justice. Here’s where I believe many of us go astray. We are feminists! We do agree with movements for equity and justice for people of all genders and all races and all nationalities and all abilities and all religions. This is why we buy the swag—it represents us and we want the world to know it. But for too many, it stops there, and it becomes apolitical, devoid of action. And right now, in this historical moment, we all need to join the struggles for justice—not just brand ourselves for self-serving satisfaction. Being feminist and doing feminist work is quite different than merely signaling feminism, or, for that matter, signaling other justice-oriented symbols, like pride rainbows, without actually doing anything for/with the LGBTQ+ community.

We must walk the talk, show up and take risks for (and with) others. Those of us with multiple advantages because of our skin color or social class or education or sexual orientation (etc.), we have to do those things even when (or especially when) there’s no trendy shirt or blingy phone case to show for it. So for me, I don’t participate in commodity feminism in lieu of having difficult conversations with those who believe women shouldn’t make decisions about their reproductive health; or writing an email to my congressional representatives to demand hate crime legislation for South Carolina; or participating in a peaceful protest for increased protections of immigrants; or calling out a homophobic remark I hear on the sidewalk. We can’t be “empowered” through consumption anyway. I’m not suggesting that we can’t feel

more self-assured and beautiful and confident when wearing certain things. But that isn’t actually empowerment; a stunning outfit is not itself access to systems of power, equity, and justice. That is faux empowerment (but that’s for another installment of this column). And, unless you are supporting a clothing line, for example, that explicitly and authentically promotes equity and justice, you really can’t empower others through your own consumption. That takes some work, some investigating and some ethical choices, all of which the market makes difficult to do. We can’t buy ourselves out of patriarchy or white supremacy. We can, however, reject faux feminism by authentically participating in feminist movements for progress and liberation, whether or not we have the t-shirt to prove it.

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WONDERLAND Fall has arrived with its beckoning to come beyond the borders of reality and dress for the occasion. Rich hues, cozy knits and elegant prints come together in classic ensembles to keep you looking chic for the season. Photography by Caroline Knopf Styled by Alexandra Munzel

On brunette: R13 Tuxedo Pant, $595, from Hampden Clothing Chloe loafers, $750; Lis Lareida shirt, $375; Ibrigu vest, $600; Avanto Toi coat, $2,255; Sabina Savage scarf, $130; Gushlow & Cole fur scarf, $300, from RTW Van H Designs green onyx ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand On blonde: Brunello Cucinelli pant, $1745; Chloe boots, $1070; Sabina Savage shawl, $490; Avanto Toi coat, $3,485; Gushow & Cole fur scarf, $380, from RTW Vintage brooch, $45, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall Loro Piana sweater, $1,125, from Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant Odessa silk blouse, $220 and Van H Designs citrine ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand

Models Jordan and Jamie with Fenton Models NYC Hair Stylist Mac McAbee of Coven Craft Make-up Artist Blair Mathis Set Assistant Eli Latham Wardrobe Assistant Ashley Jenkins Photo Assistants Ashley Stanol & Deontre Major Production Assistant Morgan Simmonds Retouching Camera Works, Inc. Canvas Backdrops Suzanne Allen Studio

1960’s French Fireplace Chairs, Terrace Oaks Antique Mall, $795/pr Record Player, $38, and Records, $6/each, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall On brunette: Dorothee Schumacher pants, $560, and Viktor & Rolf top, $525, from Hampden Clothing I.D. Sarrieri bra $282, from Bits of Lace Chloe loafers, $750, from RTW Cecil Collection amethyst ring, $2,100, from Shop Out of Hand Knights of Middle Ages Charm Bracelet, $115, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall On blonde: Rodebjer pants, $495, and Viktor & Rolf top, $525, from Hampden Clothing Aubade bra, $199, from Bits of Lace Chloe loafers, $1070, from RTW Van H Designs green onyx ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand Gold Tone Charm Bracelet, $56, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall


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Uma Wang pants, Worthwhile, $995; Rundholz DIP jacket, Havens, $603; Bed Stu boots, Out of Hand, $300; Ring, Out of Hand, $44

On brunette: Nili Lotan pants, $575, from Hampden Clothing Chloe loafers, $750; Alejandra Alonso Rojas sweater, $995; Sabina Savage silk shawl, $490; Rosa Maria ring, $1,270, from RTW Gucci pearl sunglasses $870, and Lorren Bell gold brooch, $120 from Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant Michael Angelo Intaglio bracelet, $340, and Michael Angelo ring, $168, from The Hidden Countship Sara Coventy brooch, $10; Knights of Middle Ages Charm Bracelet, $115; Gold tone charm bracelet, $56; Jade Pearl ring $825, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall Van H Designs citrine ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand


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On blonde: Brunello Cucinelli pants, $1745; Alejandra Alonso Rojas sweater, $995; Chloe loafers, $750; Sabina Savage shawl, $490, Rosa Maria ring, $1,350, from RTW Gucci sunglasses, $1450, from Gywnn’s of Mount Pleasant Van H Designs green onyx ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand Gold Tone Charm Bracelet, $56, and Stone-and-Pearl bracelet, $89, 1960’s French Fireplace Chair, $445, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall Cecil Collection amethyst ring, $2,100, from Shop Out of Hand

Proenza Schouler skirt, $1,590, from Hampden Clothing Brunello Cucinelli blouse, $1345, and Avent Toi cardigan, $1145 from RTW Loro Piana jacket, $4,250, from Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant Cecil Collection amethyst ring, $2,100, and Van H citrine ring, $325, from Shop Out of Hand Round Vintage Brooch, $45; Vintage Books, $127; Qing Dynasty Chess Set, $145; and Ansonia Iron Clock, $195, from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall Italian made A. Santini alabaster bust, $1950, from The Hidden Countship



Charleston is a hotbed of talent, and the female creatives are leading the pack. I am so grateful that I have discovered and connected with many of them because of my blog Charleston Shop Curator. I first found out about Penelope Design Studio at Celadon two years ago. I was immediately drawn to Sarah Kay’s bright Photography by and colorful leathLibby Williams er jewelry because Dresses by Undead it was so original Threads Vintage and affordable. The On Location at geometric shapes in Wiki Wiki Sandbar bold colors are reminiscent of a Paco Rabbane dress from the sixties—both retro and modern. Each piece is one of a kind, and she uses leather scraps so her business is based on recycling and sustainability. I recently had the pleasure of getting to know the uber talented and down-to-earth Sarah Kay of Penelope Design Studio and was excited to peel back the layers of her process.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START INTO JEWELRY DESIGN? I have always been a maker since I was a child, but while I was getting my Art Education degree from Appalachian State University, one of


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my studio art classes was metalsmithing/jewelry making. I instantly fell in love with the aspect that you can take a hard or unexpected material and make it into something beautiful that people covet for years to come. The first piece that I made was a pair of classic white leather tassel earrings with copper fittings. They were for my best friend to wear to Dinner en Blanc here in Charleston. She still wears them to this day, and it has been more than two years ago!


My brand name is in honor of my rescue fur baby, Penelope, who suddenly passed away about two months before I started the business. She inspired me to start something that I love and to just have fun with it; life is too short not to try something new. You never know what can happen or where it can take you.


My current projects are expanding the new Half Moon collection that has evolved into a post collection as well. For fall, I will also be bringing back a customer favorite: the Patina Collection, which is a collaboration with a good friend of mine—Tracey Newsome of Tracey Newsome Studios in Myrtle Beach. I feel like, with each new season, I get excited about the new color possibilities and the unexpected color pairings that I will come up with. Each piece is one of a kind, and the leather that I acquire makes them each have their own personality.


I work for Anthropologie as a display artist in the Charleston store. I create all of the window displays and interior displays. Having this creative job allows me to always be working on something that ignites my passion. When I am not in my art room at the store, I am home taking care of our three fur babies, and I have to steal away to my home studio to focus on Penelope. In the beginning, it was very hard to have two full-time jobs, but with the help of my boyfriend Devon, everything has been taken care of around the house. He knows how much Penelope means to me—and it means a lot to him as well.


When I first started, I just had simple leather tassel earrings with the copper fittings. It evolved as time went on into different shapes and designs that I would dream up during free time. I keep a sketchbook, and whenever an idea or image inspires me, I make a note of it for future collections. I also get


Oldies but goodies! But my favorite artists are ABBA and Queen. When these artists come on my radio, Devon knows that I am in my creative zone, and he will shut the door to the studio to help me block out the world.


h the Hassle

Flea Market (every last Sunday of the month), and my website,


Nothing makes me happier that knowing that people are happy and excited about my products. I have never set goals for Penelope or any aspect of my life. I celebrate each milestone as it comes.

By Andrea Serrano


inspiration from my friends and family; I see what trends they are into, and I try and make pieces that everyone will enjoy no matter their age or style.


I have always admired people who take risks but always stay true to themselves. I do not have a specific icon, but I hold true to what I believe and create. People will either love it, or it will not be their style, but that is the risk any creative entrepreneur takes when crafting their vision.


Each piece, from earrings to necklaces to bracelets, takes a different amount of time to make, from 40 minutes to two days. I tend to make batches of each element so that I can focus on the creating aspect. I will hand cut 20 pieces of leather in a specific color story, then I will make the 20 pairs of copper fittings. I never go into my studio with a specific idea or style about what I will be making—this is what excites me; I never know what I am going to create or come up with next.

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When I first started this adventure, I had no idea where it would take me or what it would become. I am so thankful for the community that has opened their arms to my vision from day one. Specifically, I am grateful to Liz Macpherson, owner of Mac & Murphy, who reached out to me to host my first Pop-Up shop in her store. She has been such an inspiration and cheerleader to me from the beginning. My fellow artists in the Charleston community have all been incredibly supportive and have always lent a helping hand —we are all in it together.


Busy Phillips or Chelsea Meissner from Southern Charm. I think that both of the women stay true to themselves and are just badasses in their fields.





Celadon in Mount Pleasant and their monthly

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Coastal Conservation League


t first glance, many conversations that take place in South Carolina regarding topics such as food, flooding, development and transportation have no direct ties to the environment. Fortunately, Coastal Conservation League brings those important environmental ties to the surface.


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“One of the things about the Lowcountry is the deep connection between the natural history and the social and cultural and human history that is all connected in this place,” said Laura Cantral, executive director of the nonprofit. “It’s a beautiful place, a fragile place, and it is now experiencing more threats than ever as we see the results of the climate

changing more quickly than we ever thought it would and sea levels rising and intense pressure to develop.” Coastal Conservation League, celebrating 30 years this year, was formed in 1989 as an advocacy group by conservation leader Dana Beach. Ironically, Hurricane Hugo came barreling onshore soon after its inception, as if to demonstrate just how crucial environmental issues can be. The group has since flourished to include 20,000 supporters and takes on issues like transportation and flooding as well as more “traditional” nature conservancy issues. Since 2011, the organization has also encompassed GrowFood Carolina, the state’s first food hub designed to protect rural farmland and farmers from development. Growfood has helped more than 100 local farmers get their products into local markets and onto local plates through a wholesale produce distribution center. The thought behind GrowFood is that promoting local food makes perfect sense in promoting sustainability for the environment,

and 80 percent of proceeds from the warehouse go back into the farmers’ pockets. When Cantral was recruited to take over CCL, she had spent almost two decades in Washington, doing policy work with high-level experts and politicians on maintaining environmentally healthy ocean and coastal management. She said the mission of Coastal Conservation League resonated with her. “I had been doing that for about 17 years, and when the opportunity came to be in this beautiful part of the world and to work on issues


By Helen Mitternight

Look at the organization’s website, and it’s apparent that the Conservation League deals with a host of environmental issues—but Cantral said they all boil down to a common thread. “I have been encouraging my team to think about the multitude of issues you see on the website not as individual issues but as all connected. A common thread is to create a coastal region that is strong and healthy and able to withstand the growing threats it is facing due to climate change, rising sea levels, increasing storm intensity, and changing temperatures, coupled with intense development pressure,” she said. “This combination is potent, and, just as your body is better able to fight off infection if it is healthy, our coastal region will be more resilient if we keep all the systems healthy.” According to Cantral, our environmental future depends on people recognizing that these issues affect us all. “We need people who are paying attention,” she said.

HOW TO HELP Coastal Conservation League, headquartered in Charleston, has offices in Beaufort, Georgetown and Columbia. The organization offers many activities for volunteerism and education, from birdwatching to assisting with cleanup to building oyster reefs. CCL asks that people join the mailing list to stay informed, and donate to help advance the mission. Information can be found on the website at


that were familiar to me—but to work on them at a different scale of government—I wanted to do it,” she said. “We all know that our capital is a pretty dysfunctional place right now, and it’s hard to get anything done. There was a lot of action happening at the state level, and I was compelled to be part of things at the state level and local level and even hyper-local level.” She said she has discovered that passion for the environment crosses party lines in South Carolina, including bipartisan support in the fight against offshore drilling and seismic testing as well as support for land conservation, clean energy and local solutions to address plastic pollution. “It’s okay to be conservative and a conservationist,” she pointed out. “Many people who are politically quite conservative—we are a red state, after all—are passionate conservation advocates. It comes from a deeply held sense of place and a connection to the land and the water. People here love to be on the land, and they want that to be available for their children and grandchildren.”

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For All The Summer-Lovin’ Girls Out There Meet Me in Monaco BY LORNA HOLLIFIELD


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“ A fictionalized account of the beautiful, talented, and tragic Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier, “Meet Me in Monaco” is a story layered with anecdotes of friendship, romance and longing …” and feels like that one summer you just can’t seem to forget. Gaynor said to me: “The world’s a really difficult place right now for a lot of people, and I think fiction is the perfect escape. And this is vintage Hollywood. It’s the good ol’ days.”



’d like to start by pointing out that the first day of Fall is not until September 23 this year. The stores might already be putting out long-sleeved shirts, closed-toed shoes and various pieces in mauve and burnt orange— but do not be fooled, dear readers! Yes, NFL season may be geared up, and you may have already seen your favorite beverage, cupcake, doughnut or even toothpaste marketed in “seasonal pumpkin spice.” I am here to tell you, in the words of the late, great Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night...rage, rage against the dying of the light!” Or, in simpler terms, summer is not quite over yet...we have time for one last hurrah, and it’s a fabulous little book called “Meet Me in Monaco.” I adored this novel as an end-of-summer read. It made me want to whip out a pair of enormous red sunglasses and a classic—crisp, not floppy— sun hat once more and sip some kind of gin and mint-infused cocktail that I’d otherwise never choose. This book took me away from summer in Dixie (which has perks to discuss another time) and transported me to the Riviera adjacent to the South of France in the second smallest country in the world. It teleported me to a fairytale dotted by castles, topaz oceans and Hollywood starlets. A fictionalized account of the beautiful, talented, and tragic Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier, “Meet Me in Monaco” is a story layered with anecdotes of friendship, romance and longing, the tale itself crafted just like a finely made custom perfume. After sitting down with its two authors, it’s easy to see why. Authors Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb complement one another like vanilla and lavender. Gaynor is a British resident of Ireland with a soft spot for old world charm and haunting history. Webb, likewise, is a history buff, and comes with a flair for travel and pop culture. The two best-selling novelists together have beautiful chemistry and create a new formula that just works. “Meet Me in Monaco” is what boils over the top of the beaker when poured from these two creative minds; it smells like the perfume Grace wore on her wedding day, looks like endless sandy beaches

“ I adored this novel. It made me want to whip out a pair of red sunglasses and a classic— crisp, not floppy—sun hat once more…” “The purpose is to entertain. It’s ok to romanticize the past,” Webb added. I, for one, believe them. There is a reason we have memories. It isn’t always so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes; sometimes it’s to look back and smile on a day that had a little less sun or a little less hope. So here at summer’s bittersweet end, let’s look back at all that’s been good since that fleeting first step we took onto the sand—the heat, the water, the bronzed shoulders, the stranger in the night, the smell of coconut and sunscreen, the music, the magic...and let’s have one last rendezvous before the scarves wrap us back up into

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hiding for a season. Let’s break out the turtle-shell sunglasses, the high-waisted vintage suit and the red lipstick, and let’s meet up in Monaco. For more on Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, visit or “Meet Me in Monaco” is available at our own Buxton Books as well as at all major retailers.

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Don’t Get Too Comfortable Meet Jesse McCann of Cane Road Agency


t’s hard to imagine that a creative company that has been sustainable on its own for two years started with a man forced into three months of bed rest after being in a serious accident. It’s even harder to imagine this man teaching himself graphic design and website building all in the same three month period. Jesse McCann, however, is that person—one who is willing to break the rules and move away from the norm, and being stuck at home won’t stop him. After moving to Charleston five JESSE MCCANN years ago from Hawaii, where he lived for 15 years, McCann decided he wanted to do something new and move to a place with more opportunities than the food, beverage and hospitality jobs available in Hawaii. He quickly found that the Lowcountry was the perfect city to start a business and discovered that “it’s easy to stand out, because people in Charleston appreciate things that are different.” This idea became his mantra and mission in life, in business and in mindset. From McCann’s personal life to his business, Cane By Raegan Whiteside Road Agency, nontraditional Photography By Zheng Chia is what he thrives on. In fact, he expresses that he “despises the whole concept of tradition... doing something just because that’s the way it’s been done forever makes no sense.” From growing up poor with nine siblings in a modest trailer to dropping out of high school in 9th grade and moving to Hawaii where he had to work to pay his own rent to raising his daughter on his own, McCann lives and breathes nontraditional. It’s how he lives his life, and it’s what motivates him. When I asked what inspired the creativity behind this still-growing company, he responded without hesitation: “anyone who’s not afraid to just push and break the mold of what’s normal.” With idols like Patti Smith and Quentin Tarantino, he’s clearly on the right path to do more than just break molds—he’s on the path to demolish them. He wants to do more than just push boundaries, however. McCann stated: “I want to bring people together. It sounds cheesy, but I’m inspired by making the world a little better. And in a world that’s so divid-

ed, I’m inspired by anybody who isn’t just another voice in the echo chamber but who can say, wait, it doesn’t have to be this way just because everyone else says it does.” Jesse has a lot to be proud of with his business. He has helped one client, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, achieve not only the “Best Margarita” award through Charleston City Paper but also helped them beat out 13-year winner Santi’s for“Best Mexican Restaurant.” He has helped author Mary Alice Monroe get her book on the New York Times Bestseller list with only a month of campaigning—she made # 9 on the list a week after her release date. Even as he tells me these accomplishments, however, he makes it known that he doesn’t want to take credit away from the businesses and artists themselves. “A lot of times, when you own your own business, you’re really focused on growing your business and getting sales for yourself to see growth within your own company. But my whole goal and our whole business model is to do that for other companies, and sometimes I think a lot of marketing companies lose sight



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“ Cane Road Agency is deeply connected of that. So, the thing I like the most is when clients that we have to Jesse’s personal life. Because he grown relationships with see successes and see their businesses do well,” he said. wanted the business to have roots in Cane Road Agency is deeply connected to Jesse’s personal life. Because he wanted the business to have roots in Hawaii, he gave Hawaii, he gave it the name Cane Road, it the name Cane Road, which comes from the old sugar cane roads in his former state. Jesse explained that these dirt moun- which comes from the old sugar cane tain roads, which used to line the sugar cane plantations, now oftentimes lead to hidden beaches and vistas. When he told me roads in his former state.” this, I could easily picture the roads, and I also saw how the name is a perfect metaphor to the work Cane Road does. They are guides, driving their clients down the rocky, dirt path of success until they reach the destination—the goals they’ve been journeying toward the whole time. What makes Cane Road stand out from other marketing and creative companies? The willingness to step out of the box and make people uncomfortable. Jesse asserts that he “wants to make people uncomfortable,” which may seem like an uncomfortable thought at first. He explains: “if everybody is completely comfortable with what you are doing, I don’t know how you can move the needle. We don’t want to offend anybody, but we are also very okay with pushing the envelope with a lot of the mar-

keting we do and opening a discussion and dialogue with people that maybe just view things differently. It’s easy to get along with people, to be polite and not really cause any friction, because your day is just easier without it. But, sometimes, when you open up a dialogue that people are uncomfortable with, it can actually grow you as a person.” After meeting Jesse McCann, I told him his piece would be an easy one to write. In a short time I learned so much about the man behind Cane Road Agency, and I saw the story I wanted to create sitting right in front of me: the story of overcoming adversity, of building a successful company from the bottom up and of creativity and breaking through the norm.

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WHAT “WOOD” YOU DO? Cultivating Creativity in the Face of Chronic Illness By Katie Thompson Photography by Jen Ray


t started when I was a freshman in college. I herniated a disc in the middle of my spine just getting up from my desk one day. The disc compressed 60 percent of my spinal cord, and I needed surgery. After surgery, I suffered complications and contracted bacterial meningitis, which left chronic conditions and symptoms that still affect everything from my mobility to my hearing. While I had meningitis, I experienced indescribable physical pain. I lost time. I lost hair, weight, friendships and scholarships. I lost my life as I knew it previously—as a healthy young woman with the whole world ahead of me. Despite my new life with chronic illness, however, I knew the world was still out there. I was determined to take on as much of it as I could, no matter what. As soon as I was well enough, I went back to school, transferred to the College of Charleston, and started over with a new appreciation for life most college students are sorely lacking. I recognized how important life is—how important it is to live your truth every day and how fast it could all be taken away. I followed my passion for creativity and began working at the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, first as an intern, then as an assistant manager for the Charleston Farmers Market.


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After my last spinal fusion surgery at 23, I recovered swiftly, thanks in part to my age, but also thanks to healthy eating, frequent exercising and, I believe, purposeful creative thinking. During my recovery, I would set up a card table in front of my couch at my apartment on Wentworth Street and look out at the gorgeous Charleston skyline whenever I needed a colorful moment of clarity or inspiration. This isn’t to say that my recovery wasn’t difficult and painful, because it was. It was incredibly isolating but also a time of remarkable growth. I was preparing to finally graduate college at the peak of the recession in 2009. I was unsure of what was ahead for me. What kind of career could I have? What did my dreams really look like now? I knew I had something in me that needed to be expressed, but I wasn’t sure how. All I knew was that nothing made me feel as good as creating art did. Painting, drawing, even welding —I wanted to try it all. I felt like my life was on the verge of something huge at that time, even though I had already been through so much. Sure enough, one evening, at a Farmers Market meeting, I spied a handsome new vendor from across the room: a furniture maker. As luck would have it, we soon became friends. He didn’t seem to notice my back brace; he didn’t care that I was different. In

fact, he loved it and actually encouraged me to be myself. We soon began creating together, and we got married fairly quickly. In life, love and work, we became partners in every sense of the word. Fast-forward ten years, two kids and a pile of sawdust later, and we are both full-time artists and artisans, living and working in Eutawville, SC. We are also instructors at the Charleston Woodworking School and find ourselves coming “into town” quite often. We love living rurally, as it provides the space we need for creative clarity and a pace of life that allows me to care for myself. Having a chronic illness means I’ve had to develop my own day-to-day “standard of care” to make sure I stay as healthy as possible. Of course, that means attending appointments, therapies and taking medications, but it also means taking a patient-first perspective with myself and being my own caretaker. My daily routine is all about balance. Over the years, my health has required me to become more selfish with my time, but I’ve learned it’s not selfish to do what I need to do in order to enjoy life. On a typical day, I wake up and immediately assess my pain. If I can get out of bed, I get going. After the kids are taken care of, I make myself the next priority. I exercise and do my physical therapy. If it’s a tougher day, I’ll soak in a warm

“ Radical self-love and a little creativity is really what it takes to manage life with, or even without, chronic illness. Remembering that you’re worth the effort makes facing challenges so much easier. It sounds cliche, but you have to be kind to yourself.” bath for 20 minutes to relax, clear my head and alleviate pain. Afterward, I head for my studio. I’ve set up my workspace to be as functional as possible for different abilities on different days. I invested in a stylish sofa that converts to a sleeper for days I need to lie down or take a break. I use carts and shelving with wheels so I can move supplies easily around without much effort. But the most important thing I do daily for my well-being is creating. Whether it’s a quick

doodle on my phone, a short poem or a meal for my family, I require that culmination of energetic output creating an embodiment of what I feel that day. My life can still get wrapped up in appointments, health, stress, errands and the other million things in our daily existence. If I can’t get my head in a creative space, I at least take five minutes to work on cleaning out whatever is clogging my mind through meditation or a quiet moment outdoors. In short, radical self-love and a little creativity is really what it takes to manage life with, or even without, chronic illness. Remembering that you’re worth the effort makes facing challenges so much easier. It sounds cliche, but you have to be kind to yourself. I feel remarkably fortunate that I learned to accept the duality of good and bad in life at a young age, and I try to use this knowledge to my advantage. I take lessons from bad days and use them as fuel to make the most of good days. In life, things rarely go the way we’ve planned. Sometimes you have to get creative, and that’s the beauty of it all.

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Life is Like a Bag of Salad: It Requires Dressing A fashionista reflects on her journey

By Maggie Winterfeldt Clark • Photography by Erin Turner


y paternal grandfather passed away the week before I started high school. At sunrise on the final, critical day of junior varsity field hockey tryouts—an endeavor which transcended athletics to determine which freshman girls would be plucked from middle school obscurity and placed on the roster of high school relevance—my parents loaded me into the back of our station wagon beside a suitcase of black clothing. We drove over two states to my father’s childhood home, where the living room furniture still wore the protective plastic slipcovers from his youth but the bathrooms were recently outfitted with handrails. Grandpa Lester was my first immediate relative to pass away, and his death coinciding with the start of high school created a collision between two of the most monumental events in my fourteen years of life. I was


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saddened by his death and concerned with how it would affect my dad, a softhearted amateur historian known to tear up at WWII novels and baseball documentaries. Then there was the daunting task of starting a new school at the height of my self-conscious years. In elementary school, I made an art out of standing out, as evident in my precocious fashion choices. There was a pseudo-goth phase in first grade, when I would only wear black, and an obsession with massive, hair-sprayed bangs in second grade. By fifth grade, I was enlisting the sales associates at Gap Kids to help me recreate Cher’s ensembles from Clueless. But middle school shook me to my fashionista core; my body betrayed me with its suddenly gawky limbs and oversized features. My friends abandoned me for cliques, and my boldness was replaced with self-doubt. I was suddenly too much,

“Middle school shook me to my fashionista core; my body betrayed me with its suddenly gawky limbs and oversized features.”

“Fourteen years after graduating high school, I’ve realized that personal development is an ongoing cycle of experience, reflection and growth. Fourteen-year-old me was doing the best she could....” and I couldn’t stand myself and my idiosyncrasies, including my flamboyant style. Fortunately, high school was an opportunity to reinvent myself. As a naïve only child, my entire understanding of high school was derived from teen flicks and WB series where beautiful actors (who looked nothing like the lanky, flat-chested girl reflected back at me in the mirror) navigated a cutthroat social climate with confidence, style and breasts to spare. Despite my physical shortcomings, I spent the two-and-a-halfmonth summer break daydreaming of my ninth-grade debut as a transformed, mature, irresistible (read: suddenly popular) new woman. Thus, at my grandfather’s wake and funeral, I was preoccupied with these thoughts of my impending launch into high school stardom as I sat awkward and alone in the corner or trailed my father around, silent and wide-eyed. I was desperate for reassurance that no one had to give, and so I coped with my anxiety by focusing on something very different, something I could control: my first day of school outfit. After all, the services were happening right when the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping was to take place. How could I embody the persona I had spent the entire summer honing if didn’t make my entrance in an outfit befitting of it? I felt as if my entire high school success hinged on this now-jeopardized trip to the mall. I also felt like a monster for being consumed with such petty, selfish thoughts during a time of mourning. I was once again drifting into the dark waters of self-loathing. The morning before we drove home, my mother obliged and took me shopping. I scoured the racks of an unfamiliar mall until I found the perfect look: fashion-forward flare leg jeans and a white eyelet peasant blouse with puff sleeves and a bodice so form fitted, it had to be zipped up on one side. The eyelet’s peek-a-boo holes revealed glimpses of my hot pink tank top beneath. It made me feel grown up—provocative, even. The shopping bag swinging in my hand soothed me like a sedative dissolving in my blood as I exited the store. I felt equipped to cross the threshold of my new school as a new Maggie. I started ninth grade a conspicuous day late and rejected from the field hockey team (although not because I missed the final day of try-outs, the coach insisted, as if it should reassure me). I entered the crowded halls, surrounded by upperclassmen who looked like grownups, and immediately noticed that virtually every single one of them was wearing baggy jeans and

graphic tees. Standing there in my figure-hugging, fashion-forward ensemble, I felt garish. I was horror-struck at my sartorial misstep. Panicked, I ran to the first bathroom I could locate in the foreign maze of a new building. I found myself tugging at the locked door of a faculty bathroom. Sensing my desperation, a sympathetic teacher unlocked it for me, “this one time only.” I ripped off my eyelet blouse as if it was burning my skin and pulled on an old tee I had stashed in my backpack for gym class. My fantasized persona was in flames. I slipped out into the hallway into social obscurity, all before the bell rang to announce the start of first period. For a long time, I’ve avoided reflecting on this episode. I hated the long-buried feelings that bubbled to the surface when I played it back in my mind, watched myself fumble through the rawest part of adolescence like an actor in a cringeworthy coming-of-age film. I hated being confronted with how insecure I once was, so desperate to be prettier, sportier, funnier, richer, smarter—anyone more extraordinary than who I really was: a girl who could only think about back-to-school shopping when she should’ve been grieving, a girl who was desperate to be special yet assimilated at the first chance she had to distinguish herself from the crowd. Fourteen years after graduating high school, I’ve realized that personal development is an ongoing cycle of experience, reflection and growth. Fourteen-year-old me was doing the best she could for her level of development. Instead of being mortified by her, I recently tried bestowing compassion onto her, and onto all the younger versions of myself that I had to pass through to reach my current existence. When I did, something surprising happened: I began to appreciate this unflattering memory because it connects me to my earlier self and shows me the disTHE AUTHOR IN tance I’ve traveled to become who I ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PROUDLY WEARING am now: a grown woman who deTHE NEON TREND. lights in being the most overdressed person in the room.

FIRST DAY DRESS FOR ADULTS There may no longer be a first day of school in your future, but there are still plenty of occasions when first impressions matter. Here are my tips for standing out in all the right ways.




A smart suit tends to lend more elegance and authority than a dress. I recommend opting for a classic two-piece silhouette, a la Jacqueline Kennedy. The summer after I graduated college, I saved up to buy a raspberry linen Valentino suit with a sleek, high waisted pencil skirt and cropped jacket. It was very Jackie and a very big investment at the time, but it’s paid off many times over, as I still wear it to professional events today.

Nothing is less sexy (and more distracting) than watching someone fidget with their outfit. Pick something attractive, but make sure the garment fits comfortably and the style is authentic to you. A first date isn’t the time to experiment. Confidence will take you much farther than a pair of sky-high stilettos you can’t walk in.

Demonstrate you’re serious about their child— your fabulous SO—by dressing respectfully for that first meeting; i.e. in a sophisticated look appropriate for the venue, be it brunch at a restaurant or dinner at their home. Keep makeup, hems, and necklines conservative so your sparkling personality is doing the talking rather than a loud outfit. If it goes well, there will be chances later on to show off your glam side.

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skirt . | september 2019  31


The House That Chicken Salad Built Hamby’s Catering BY HELEN MITTERNIGHT


skirt . | september 2019

Candice also said she has recently seen more “foodies” selecting catering menus, as well as more people wanting to cater to guests with food allergies. “We have done several events that are completely vegan,” she explained. “Traditionally, we’re about as far from vegan as you can get, but we do it really well. We have some vegan and gluten-free desserts that will change your life!” Candice said she and the culinary staff also see their job as educating customers who only know Lowcountry cooking by reputation. “They think it’s all grits and biscuits, and we tell them how important rice was to our history as well. Or we get them to try pimento cheese or pickled okra for the first time,” she said. “But it’s our most important job to make sure the client is heard. For them, this may be the only event in their lives that is catered.” Hamby’s largest feat by far is being caterer of record for the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament. Next year will be the sixth year, and it is, Candice said, “a Tetris game of logistics,” with factors like rain delays influencing meal delays and requiring food to be kept fresh until the weather allows games to resume. “We cater for the VIP suites, for the media, and for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the players,” she said. “These are players from all over the world. Most have not had pimento cheese or cheese straws. It’s an education process.” Candice hopes to see the company take on even more large-scale events in the future.

“ Hamby’s soon grew to be a family business that wove itself into the culture of Charleston and earned the adoration of numerous fans.” whenever possible, including greens from Vertical Roots on Daniel Island. “Most of the lettuces people get are grown on the West Coast. Those take two weeks to get here,” Candice said “But Vertical Roots is grown 16 miles from Hamby’s, and it’s harvest-to-service within 24 hours. Plus, we’re investing in the Charleston community.”

“We are making changes,” she commented. “We’re innovating, but I never want to get away from that tradition that is our foundation. We are family-founded and female-owned, and Mrs. Hamby is the OG female entrepreneur. I feel proud and responsible for making sure that what she started is grown in the best way possible and passes along her values and integrity.”



hey say this isn’t a brick and mortar building; it’s a brick and chicken salad building. Chicken salad built this place,” said Candice Wigfield, president and co-owner of Hamby Catering. It would have to be very old chicken salad indeed. This year, the venerable Charleston catering company is celebrating 40 years of special occasions. It all started with a wedding. Back in 1979, Fran Hamby and her husband Tom were asked to fill in when catering fell through for the wedding reception of a friend’s daughter. There were to be 400 guests, but Fran said her childhood in Williamston, SC, prepared her for the job. “I grew up the youngest of eleven children, and my family’s life centered around the kitchen. On Sundays, our household would have close to 50 people over for dinner. I didn’t realize at the time that I was learning the inner-workings of catering from my mother, but I see now that I was always destined to provide home-cooked meals for the people of the Lowcountry,” Fran shared Although Fran claimed she “didn’t originally start out to be a business owner,” Hamby’s soon grew to be a family business that wove itself into

the culture of Charleston and understandably earned the adoration of numerous fans. Fran turned 92 this year, and she still serves as an advisor to the catering company, which passed from one family to another in 2017 when she sold Hamby’s to Candice and her father, Wayne Culbertson. Fran’s ’s great-nephew, Wes Ellison, still acts as managing advisor. “We still have the tea sandwiches, ham biscuits and the shrimp n’ grits,” Candice said, adding that her father’s years with Michelin, along with her own MBA, have helped bring business processes to the Southern hospitality and flavor made famous by Mrs. Hamby. “I’m proud that I chose to pass my legacy through my values, my recipes and my family spirit to Candice and her father, whom I know share the same vision and are already taking Hamby into an even brighter future,” Fran said. “The crazy thing about having a Citadel MBA is that I use it every single day,” Candice remarked. “And it’s awesome to work with my dad. I’m lucky that I’m close to my parents. Family is one of the company values.” From Mr. and Mrs. Hamby and a few extra people to 40 people employed on a regular basis (150 during busy season), the company has seen the catering scene change drastically and has grown to include an onsite retail store where customers can pick up some of that famous chicken salad on the fly. Acknowledging the Lowcountry’s Locavore culture, Hamby’s also invests in local companies



If you’re into the food scene, you’ve heard of John Currence’s Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford, MS. Now, he’s bringing Charleston its own big and bad breakfast. Big Bad Breakfast is set to open Sept. 10 at 456 Meeting Street. CHRISTIAN HUNTER

Boiled shrimp. Shrimp and grits. Shrimp po’boy. Closed shrimp. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at 99 S. Market has closed due to a lease expiration. Bowties Speakeasy, nestled near Terrace Theatre on James Island, is closing, but straighten up those bowties because chef Alex Lira of the late, lamented Bar Normandy and Philip “surfer Phil” Lawrence are opening Bar George on the site later this year. Lawrence is cooking, but the bar is named after Lira’s late uncle. Bar George will serve beachy cocktails, hot dogs, oysters and summery food items. 450 Pizza Joint on Sullivan’s Island has closed, but early 2020 is going to bring Longboard to the site at 2213 Middle Street. Food will be “island-inspired.”


Because he doesn’t have enough to do, Chef Alex Lira is not only going to be overseeing operations at Bar George (see above) but also will be cooking at Estadio, opening this fall.


Michael Zentner of Newport is the new chef de cuisine at Charleston


Grill. He joins Executive Chef Michelle Weaver. Christian Hunter has been named chef de cuisine at Sorghum & Salt. Hunter has been with the team since April 2018 and the move is a promotion for him.


The Charleston chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, the female-focused philanthropic group of women in food, beverage and hospitality, is debuting Nothing Like Les Dames Week October 16-20.

The week features a series of ticketed events at venues throughout town, ranging from drink tastings to dinners. Visit


The Indigo Road Hospitality Group raised a total of $40,000 for the Homeless to Hope Fund as part of the company’s 10th anniversary celebration. In Charleston, the group includes O-Ku, The Cocktail Club, The Macintosh, Indaco, Oak Steakhouse, Mercantile and Mash, Bar Mash and The Cedar Room.




skirt . | september 2019  33

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Come celebrate the diverse creativity in Charleston at fun and local events. This fall, you’ll want to check out the 36th annual MOJA festival, sign up for a 5K, sip craft beer at Beer Week, spring for a Hall & Oates concert ticket, watch a classic chick much, much more. Just remember to get some rest between social outings. We suggest couch time with this issue!

STARTING 08.08 Babe Thursdays at Republic Garden & Lounge

Gather together your closest ladies for the perfect girls night out spot. Each Thursday there will be specials and discounts like $5 Rose, $5 Tito’s, $20 Bottles of Sparkling Rose, 50% off VIP Service Menu and giveaways starting at 9p.m. So, whether it’s your friends from work, your roommates from college or a family affair, you’ll be sure to have a fun-filled night right in the heart of downtown. Specials and discounts start at 7:00 p.m. Republic Garden & Lounge, 462 King Street. WATER WEEK

and tourists alike the opportunity to enjoy meals from some of the most established and well-known restaurants of Charleston for a reduced price. Prices and time vary. Various participating restaurants in Charleston. Visit for participating restaurants and more information.

ages will be available for purchase onsite. All ages are welcome to come dance in the open air under the stars. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 on-site. Gates open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m. Mount Pleasant Pier, 71 Harry Hallman Blvd. Visit


9/11 Heroes Run

“Saudade” Art Show by Brazilian artist Fer Caggiano

Join the Charleston-based Brazilian artist for her art show, Saudade, which is a unique Portuguese words that means “the feeling of missing or longing for something one is fond of.” This exhibit is inspired by Brazil, Caggiano’s native country. The art will be displayed the month of September and the reception to meet the artist will be the 6th of the month, from 5 - 8 p.m. Lowcountry Artists Gallery, 148 East Bay Street. Visit for more information on the artist.

09.06 09.02 Girls Trip Ladies Night Film Series

Want a half-off glass of wine while you watch a movie with a group of your closest friends? Then Charleston Music Hall’s Ladies Night Film Series is for you. Showing “Girls Trip,” to start off September, you won’t want to miss this wild adventure with the “Flossy Posse.” Tickets are $8 each. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street. Visit charlestonmusichall. com for more information.

09.04 - 09.15 Charleston Restaurant Week

Our favorite week of the year is back! Restaurant Week allows Charlestonians


skirt . | september 2019


Marina Savashynskaya Dunbar Solo Art Exhibition

Marina, a Charleston-based artist, will be having her second solo show at the Miller Gallery and her second-ever show in Charleston. Her beautiful art for this exhibition is entitled ECHO and revisits the tradition of storytelling through a multi-panel display. 5 - 8 p.m. Miller Gallery, 149 1/2 East Bay Street. Visit marinadunbar. com for more information on the artist.

09.07 Run, walk or do a combination of both while supporting veterans, active duty, first responders and families at this 8th annual Heroes Run. Family, friends and all are welcome to participate in the 5k, aiming to celebrate our fallen and living heroes and unite communities on a local and national level. Registration prices may vary. Race day opening ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. and race starts at 9:00 a.m. Charleston Fire and Police Department, 235 Seven Farms Drive. Visit 911heroesruncharlestonsc.itsyourrace. com for more information.

09.07 - 09.14 7th Annual Charleston Beer Week

With over 50 events, including outside activities, food pairings and beer games, this is a week all beer-lovers and those who just want to have a good time won’t want to miss. Local breweries and brewpubs will be participating, as well as some national brands. Be sure to grab some friends or just have fun with other local beer fanatics and enjoy the ice-cold taste of a sudsy brew. Admission fees, times and locations vary. Visit for more information.

09.07 - 09.15


Water Week

Moonlight Mixer

What better way to celebrate the beautiful water and beaches of the Lowcountry than with a full week of water-related ac-

09.07 Mount Pleasant Pier’s Shaggin’ on the Cooper series

Get out your dancing shoes one last time because the Shaggin’ on the Cooper series is coming to an end for the year. Recollections will be performing and bever-

tivities? From discounted boat tours and surf school lessons to fishing and water ski-tournaments, this week is sure to fulfill your water-loving needs. Be sure to take advantage of all the activities on, in and by the water. Prices, times and locations vary. Visit for more information.


The summer season is ending, which means the Moonlight Mixer series on Folly Beach is ending too. Enjoy a night


flick with your besties, go to dinner during Restaurant Week and

09.13 Family Movie Night at Corrine Jones Park

Free movie with the family? Circus-themed games and activities? Food trucks? Don’t mind if I do! Join the Charleston Parks Conservancy for a free movie showing of the new version of “Dumbo.” Even better, the whole family can really be together, as pets on leashes


ground-breaking performances from your local favorites as they “sing” your favorite tunes and jams. Tickets are $35 for Tier 2 and $55 for Tier 1. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street. Visit for more information.

8th Annual Sweet Tea Festival

Sweet tea, food vendors, unique shops and boutiques, local music, historic downtown Summerville… What more could you ask for? Join family and friends as you walk to the many designated Sweet Tea Stops, enjoying endless samples of steeped goodness. When you’re done, make sure you vote for your favorite tea at the Sweet Tea Voting Booth! Free admission. 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. Historic Downtown Summerville. Visit for more information.

Komen Lowcountry More Than Pink Walk

We can’t just walk away cancer, but we can


09.26 - 10.06 MOJA Arts Festival

Tickets are $55, including a signed copy of the book. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. VFW 3137, 1004 Ocean Boulevard, Isle of Palms. For more information contact WW&W Lowcountry at

09.23 Pitch Perfect w/ Acapella Performance by the Charleston Vibes Ladies Night Film Series

Celebrate the many African-Amerian and Caribbean contributions to Western and world cultures with this year’s MOJA Arts Festival, marking the 36th annual event. From visual arts to classical music, dance, poetry, storytelling, crafts, ethnic food and so much more, this must-attend festival was named one of the “Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events.” Admission is free for nearly half of the events, but not all. Locations and times vary. Visit mojafestival. com for more information. MOJA ARTS FESTIVAL

Don’t be “aca-awkward;” be “aca-awesome” by taking your closest gals out to Charleston Music Hall’s Ladies Night Film Series showing “Pitch Perfect.” With half off on all wine and a special acappella performance from the local Charleston Vibes, your Monday night just got better. Tickets are $8. Doors open at 6 p.m. CHS Vibes perform at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street. Visit for more information.



out with the family, your significant other or a group of friends as you dance the night away with DJ Jim Bowers. All are welcome to bring chairs, but please leave your coolers at home, as beverages will be available for purchase on-site. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. 7 11 p.m. Folly Beach Pier. Visit

are welcome. Admission is free, but registration is required. At 6:30 p.m. activities and games will begin, and at approximately 7:45 p.m., the movie will start. Corrine Jones Park, 36 Marlow Drive. Visit for more information.


walk to raise money to find a cure. Join Komen Lowcountry and countless other women, men and children as they walk to raise money for “A World without Breast Cancer.” Registration prices vary. Registration opens at 7 a.m. Ceremony and walk begins at 8:30 a.m. Riverfront Park, 1061 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston. Visit for more information.

Hall & Oates Concert

Jam out with Daryl Hall and John Oates for the night with your favorite “Rich Girls” or special someone. These Rock and Roll Hall of Famers sound just as good as when they were in their prime in the 70s and 80s, so you don’t want to miss it! Only a limited number of tickets will be available at the box office on the night of the show. Ticket prices vary. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. MUSC Health Stadium, 1990 Daniel Island Drive. Visit for more information.

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Wine, Women & Wisdom Lowcountry Presents “Rocks, Paper, Flowers”

Join local author Katie Sullivan Masalin for mimosas, bloody marys and a delicious breakfast from local restaurants as she talks about her book, “Rocks, Paper, Flowers.” All proceeds will go to Friends of Fisher House, a nonprofit in Charleston that aims to keep veterans and their families comfortable and accommodated while veterans receive medical attention.

Lip Sync for Lungs: Live Battle IV

A night that is always filled with laughs, music, good times and, of course, lots of money for a good cause, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Watch

09.28 Women and Wonder: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder

Once again, legendary musical artists are being XXX reimagined right here in Charleston. This month, Stevie Wonder’s popular and well-known songs will be “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” through the lens of women artists. No need to have “Superstition” with this performance as this music series has been a hit in the local area since 2015, the latest show being Women and Springsteen. The women artists performing range in age from 18 to 63 and are all are fabulous rockstars. $2 from every ticket sale will go to Windwood Farm Home for Children. Tickets are $17 in advance, $19 on day of show. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show starts at 8:00 p.m. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street. Visit charlestonmusichall. com for more information.

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THE AUTUMN EQUINOX The Autumn Equinox is an auspicious time, marking the exact moment our Sun passes above the celestial equator on its journey south. Research suggests that The Great Pyramid of Giza may have been constructed in such remarkable alignment to the cardinal directions (better than one-fifteenth of one degree) by using the sun on the Autumn Equinox. This moment in the wheel of the year marks a bridge between seasons, a time when the length of our days falls exactly in line with our nights. It is a time of seeking balance in both the dark and light aspects of self. In Tarot, we see this concept represented in the Major Arcana card of Temperance. Temperance is symbolic of the alchemy that occurs when disparate parts of self are brought into harmonious balance. The root of “temperance” derives from the Latin “temperare,” which means to combine. The message of this card has less to do with moderation, as the modern interpretation of “temperance” suggests, and more to do with bringing aspects of self into union. Like the Temperance card, the celestial energy of the Equinox is about realizing that the parceled aspects of our lives have us as the common denominator. We are powerful creators, manifesting all aspects of our lives through our thoughts, feelings and actions. The embodiment of this realization is the beginning of true alchemy—the metaphorical ability to transmute the “base metal” situations of our lives into gold. We are asked to pay attention to the number 5. Temperance is associated with the number 14, which, in Numerology, reduces to 5. The number 5 possesses a vibration of change, conflict, competition and adventure. We may notice these themes surfacing for us. They may present in the form of thoughts, feelings, situations or seeing instances of the number 5. As an example, alchemical transformations result in new perceptions (change). We may feel exhilarated by the new season and inspired to have ad-

ventures. We may also feel exhausted by shifts and seek freedom by way of vacation. There is no wrong or right way to experience the new season. Traditional agrarian societies celebrated the Autumn Equinox by giving thanks and rejoicing in the bounty of the harvest, reaped as a result of efforts sown over the past year. This is a wonderful time to offer gratitude and find transcendence. Seasonal food and drink can be savored with gratitude. The respite of cool evenings after long hot days can be felt with joy. As our ancestors would have taken stock of their harvest, we, too, are invited to take stock of ourselves. Without judgement, we might ask if we like what we see; if we are excited about what we have created; if we feel plentiful and free. If we do not feel abundant and free, the Autumn Equinox is a time to practice receiving what we desire. A great way to step into receiving mode is to energetically open to the Feminine. Feminine energy is receptive, which is what we want to align with to receive abundance. Synching with this energy can look like softening the breath, practicing yin yoga, allowing the kindness of others, prioritizing joy and gratefully receiving what we deserve. I would invite you to play with incorporating some of these practices on the Equinox. Shifting our energy shifts our perspective. A shift in perspective is the precursor for true alchemical change. On this propitious day, let us set the intention to release the things that no longer serve and to understand that all aspects of self are already in harmony with the Divine. Let us intend to give and receive with the full force of our hearts and to celebrate with wild abandon the sacred life that we have chosen to live. Equinox blessings, everyone. Learn more about Karen and schedule services at

If we do not feel abundant and free, the Autumn Equinox is a wonderful time to practice receiving what we desire. A great way to step into receiving mode is to energetically open to the Feminine.”


skirt . | september 2019


An Invitation for Celebration from Karen Briggs Updyke

the issue


CAREERS, CHILDREN—CAN WE HAVE IT ALL? Thoughts on Time Management By Paula Dezzutti




ccording to Pew Research, in 46 percent of U.S. households with a mother and a father, both parents are employed full-time. Yet 77 percent of adults in the U.S. say women face a lot of pressure to be an involved parent, while only 56 percent say the same about men. Recently, I read an article by Lara Bazelon, a New York Times columnist who is an attorney as well as a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. In her writing, she addressed how she has “often picked her job over her children and various milestones in their lives,” and while her children give her life “profound meaning,” her job does, too. She explained: “My choice is more than a financial imperative. I prioritize my work because I’m ambitious, and because I believe it’s important. If I didn’t write and teach and litigate, a part of me would feel empty.” I happen to know that Ms. Bazelon fights hard against racism and is most recently the author of “Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction.” Yes, there is a lot at stake in the world for those of us who are called to a community purpose. If we were men, we would be called heroes. As a speaker and coach on entrepreneurship I am often asked to speak about time management and creating a work-home balance. It’s a quest that has been the theme for countless bestselling books, podcasts and strategy sessions, and niche career fields ranging from closet organizers to personal shoppers. Everyone seems to be chasing the wrong idea, as far as I am concerned. We hear statements that run the gamut between “never enough time” to “time is an illusion” to “all we have is time.” And yet we are no closer to the truth. The Mayan calendar came to an end in 2012, depicting that there would be an end in time—proof that so much  is subjective. I love speaking on this topic and hopefully offering women a new viewpoint that time management is not about the management of time. Rather, it’s about the management of your emotions along any given experience of time. Every working mother presupposes

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that a “work-life balance” is achievable. But this concept as a measurement of time traps women in an endless cycle of shame, justification and self-recrimination. What if you were to shift your viewpoint and instead measure the alignment of your positive emotions against the path of your goals? Then, no matter what the current task is at any moment, you can feel pride in what you have accomplished and in supporting your community, yourself and your children—the very children who grow up to be parents themselves, love their own kids and

give their own life profound meaning. Now, who is the hero and the master of time? Submit your letters, personal essays, poems, or even just a list of the top issues you want to see addressed to

Paula Dezzutti, CEO/Owner skirt. Magazine

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locals Skirt believes in women supporting women. That's why we created this special advertising section to highlight small, local, women-run businesses. Join us in buying their products and using their services when you have the opportunity.



GOLDBUG is a coastal lifestyle shop located in a sunlit nook on Sullivan’s Island. Mostly known for their inhouse line of jewelry, made on the island by owner Ashley Reid Martin, GOLDBUG has also fast become a go-to spot for standout resortwear and swimwear, as well as curated gifts for the modern beach lover.

At CorePower Yoga, studio manager Jackie Skinner leads a team of passionate and encouraging certified instructors teaching the incredible, life-changing things that happen when an intense workout is rooted in the mindfulness of yoga. Through a variety of classes in spa-like studios, our students experience CPY’s unique form of fitness.



Fer Caggiano is a Brazilian born painter, who specializes in landscapes, still lifes and portraits. Ranging from a traditional to modern style, Fer creates colorful, textured, impasto oil paintings that capture visions of the world she sees. Using her canvas as her window, she provides a bright, new perspective to showcase our beautiful world.

Consult. Design. Fabricate. Fluff & Co is a creative instrument of change designing in the collaborative fields of Products, Furniture & Interiors. Applying user-centered thinking, Fluff & Co is creating Designs for Daydreamers. We dream of beautiful products in beautiful places in a beautiful world. What do you dream of? fercaggianoart fluffandco goldbugcollection



BEADS & BRUSHSTROKES Can you believe 33 years?!! Serving third generation creatives who got started here (formerly Country Bumpkin.) Gazillion Beads (think: semi-precious, pearls, sterling, tribal, seeds,wire,etc.) Only LOCALLY OWNED art supply source (think: oil paint, acrylic, canvas, watercolor, sketch, brushes,etc) Come start your creative venture! (Think: joy, relaxation,) Beginners assisted, Designers thrilled. beadsandbrushstrokes beadsbrushstrokesbumpkin

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Local jewelry designer, Missy Newsom, created J. Melissa Designs with the "Made on Purpose" mission of providing a global connection to empower underprivileged children. Each sale of her hand-wired designs and statement gemstone rings is helping to build a school in Mengo, Uganda, inspiring hope here and across the globe.

Charleston Dog Walking Co. is the premier provider of professional dog walking, sitting and transportation in Charleston County. Founded in 2010, CDWC leads the industry by providing credible and compassionate care of both dogs and cats while delivering a highly personalized experience for our clients. Follow our daily adventures!

I am a chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist and female hormone expert. My mission is to help women reclaim their hormonal health and feminine vitality naturally so you feel sexy, energetic, and balanced. I teach you that your hormones don’t have to ruin your life and I'll show you how to take back control of your health, hormones and body. jmelissadesigns charlestondogwalkingco drzgraggen


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Do you struggle to find a nutrition program that works? Are you overwhelmed by all the choices? Our nutrition coach breaks down the process with simple, actionable steps that put you on the path to better health. Become fit and healthy with our customized nutrition plan, ongoing support and resources.

Empowered Birth. Empowered Women. Empowered Families. We are The Exchange. We are your resource for holistic care to better your mind, body, and spirit - before, during, and after pregnancy. We offer acupuncture, chiropractic care, energy work, herbal medicine, massage, pelvic floor physical therapy, emotional support and so much more.

Haley Keisler Holzworth, owner of Hermosa Jewelry and a native to Charleston, SC, is influenced by her Southern lifestyle and the coastal landscapes of the Lowcountry. Located in the heart of Mt. Pleasant, Hermosa sells handcrafted jewelry and local Charleston gifts. Guaranteed to turn heads, Hermosa Jewelry is the ultimate accessory for any occasion. Haley also specializes in jewelry for the whole bridal party. crossfitcharleston crossfitcharlestonsc theexchangecharleston theexchangechs hermosajewelry charleston_fine_cabinetry








White Leaf Provisions believes that healthy food starts with healthy soil. They have created the first Biodynamic baby food in the USA. All of their products are 100% Demeter BiodynamicŽ, Organic, NON GMO and Regenerativelyl Farmed™. They are helping to heal the Earth that our kids will inherit.

Amy Moore is a South Carolina based interior designer and textile designer. Her work is eclectic and lovely, while staying true to comfort, function, and beauty. Well defined and understated, she works with old and new memories when designing your interior space. Her extensive collection of original textile designs are fresh, sophisticated, and unpretentious.

Kenya Dunn is a coach, motivational speaker and writer. She believes every person has undiscovered power within. Kenya created the Power-Filled Woman to offer you a pathway to success on your own terms. She offers masterclasses, personal coaching, and meeting facilitation.

Tricia Peterson is the owner/Brokerin-Charge of Island House Real Estate. Because real estate is more than a "transaction", Island House is a curated multi-faceted boutique company striving to simplify every aspect of the process. Real estate can be fun and elegant, it doesn't have to be stressful! Let us help! whiteleafprovisions afmdesign kenyadunn12 islandhouserealestate islandhouserealestatesc

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Cristina Swinney is a Charlestonbased kitchen and interior designer who takes pride in her ability to transform spaces by marrying conceptual and uniquely designed ideas that is exclusive to each of her clients. Her concept is to create "chef inspired" kitchens with budget, functionality, and time frame in mind.

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Get an in-depth look at the South Carolina Distillery of the Year, Striped Pig Distillery, including meeting the distillers, learning about our distilling process and equipment, and enjoying our award-winning spirits in the tasting room.

With our award-winning distillery and spirits, we can accommodate team building events, cocktail receptions, corporate events, fundraisers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and more for up to 150 people. We also work with exceptional local catering talent to meet any culinary needs.

At Local Choice Spirits our community will always come first and that is why we love to be involved in community events. If you are hosting a party, festival or special occasion, contact us about stocking the bar with our locally crafted spirits!

Photo Courtesy of: Sean Money and Elizabeth Fay

Photo Courtesy of: Brooke Stevens Photography

Call Us: 843-276-3201 | Email Us: | Visit Us: | Join Us: 2225 Old School Drive, Charleston, SC 29405