December 2018 Comfort and Joy issue

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CAROLINA FAMILY MEDICINE Donald Hanna, MD Antonio Hernandez, MD Tara Hughes, PA-C Carey McNamara, PA-C 100 Springhall Dr. Goose Creek, SC 29445 843-572-8201 LIBERTY DOCTORS WEST ASHLEY Donald Hurley, DO Amelia Fairfax, MD Laura Lee Kinney, MD 2270 Ashley Crossing Dr. Suite 150 Charleston SC, 29414 843-766-1936 DENNIS FISHER, MD Esther Perlmutter, FNP-C 21E Gamecock Avenue Charleston, SC 29407 843-763-9664 JEFFREY AKHTAR, DO 2270 Ashley Crossing Dr. Suite 155 Charleston, SC 29414 843-990-5866 DOUGLAS GLEATON, MD 1064 Gardner Rd. Suite 105-106 Charleston, SC 29407 854-429-1175

PATRICIA CAMPBELL, MD 110A Springhall Dr. Goose Creek, SC 29445 843-973-8503 SHERRY J. VIDUYA, MD 9275 Medical Plaza Dr. North Charleston, SC 29406 843-779-6444 HEATHER DAWSON, MD 6518 Dorchester Rd. Suite B North Charleston, SC 29418 843-767-3323 CHARLESTON ADULTS & GERIATRICS Allen Jackson, MD 2175 Ashley Phosphate Rd. Suite D North Charleston, SC 29406 843-764-0770 MOBILE MEDICAL CONSULTANTS John J. Forney, MD Melissa Meador, FNP-C 8761 Dorchester Rd. Suite 230 North Charleston, SC 29420 843-471-2273 LIBERTY DOCTORS MONCKS CORNER Temisan L. Etikerentse, MD Sherlonda Adkins, PA-C Wakesha Evans, PA-C Svetlana Stuck, PA-C 110 Executive Parkway Moncks Corner, SC 29461 843-899-9099

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Shelley Hill Young ART DIRECTOR Laura Staiano INTEGRATED ACCOUNT MANAGER Susan Norfleet Whitney Brenkus PHOTOGRAPHY Jenn Cady, Samantha Fuentes, Nicole Mickle, Abby Murphy, Jesse Volk, Libby Williams CONTRIBUTORS Holly Fisher, Kelsey Lorman, Helen Mitternight, Angie Mizzell, Allyson Sutton, Raegan Whiteside EDITORIAL INTERN Raija Haughn 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, PRESIDENT, PUBLISHER Thomas J. Giovanniello, Jr.

Skirt is published monthly and distributed free throughout the greater Charleston area. Subscriptions are available through Subscription rates are $19.95 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. 3 Issue 3 ISSN 2637-3815 (Print) ISSN 2637-3831(Online)

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F E AT U R E S Light in the Darkness


Making History Come Alive


Oh, What Fun!


Making Spirits Bright


Cozy Vibes


Forward! Feminism Not Hate   by Raegan Whiteside


The Restless Nester   by Angie Mizzell


Men in Skirts


Skirt Table


Skirt Wellness


Skirt Calendar


Don’t Skirt the Issue


on the cover

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE MICKLE We asked three local jewelry designers – Kristin Mein of Kaypea Jewelry, Sydney Pope of Barracuda Moon and Laura Reed of Margerite and Motte—to model festive holiday styles perfect for holiday parties. On Kristin Mein: Alice + Olivia By Stacey Bendet Macey jacket, Juniper/Black, Gwynn’s, $485; Alice + Olivia By Stacey Bendet pants, Gwynn’s, $285; Sequin top, Tres Carmen, $39; White water hoop earrings, Kaypea Jewelry,, $135; Lola Cruz Fabre shoes, Gwynn’s, $250. On Laura Reed: Britt Ryan shift dress, Rhodes Boutique, $260; Queen oyster stud earrings, Margerite and Motte,, $77; Oyster medallion necklace, Margerite and Motte,, $175. On Sydney Pope: Alice + Olivia dress, Gwynn’s, $395; Ra earrings, Barracuda Moon Jewelry,, $139; Aquarius Purist sandal, Gwynn’s, $695

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editors’ letter Dear readers, I had the opportunity to hear “Eat Pray Love” and “Big Magic” author Elizabeth Gilbert speak at the Center for Women’s annual conference. She delivered a powerful presentation that had some audience members in tears and gave everyone who attended a lot to think about. My takeaway from the evening was that we all need to strive to be more relaxed—not the get-a-massage-type relaxed, but the real, deep conviction that there is a higher power and that everything is going to be all right in the end. She told us to set priorities—not lots of them, just a handful—and then set boundaries and hold them sacred. Draw a line around those sacred priorities and don’t let anyone cross them for any reason. Be firm. Learn to say “no.” Say “no” not just to the things that are easy to say “no” to, but also to the fun stuff that you want to say “yes” to. “What are you willing to give up to have the life you keep pretending you want?” she asked pointedly. She encouraged us to worry less. It’s OK to be concerned, but all-encompassing worry about how to control every aspect of our lives is suffocating and destructive. This month, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and in the coming year, I’m going to practice holding things sacred and finding deep relaxation. Remind me when you see me! I also had the incredible opportunity to talk with Polly Sheppard, one of five survivors of the Emanuel AME church shooting. She invited me and photographer Libby Williams to her home to share her story. On the night of the Bible study, after shooting nine others, Dylann Roof pointed his gun at Polly and said, “I’m not going to shoot you. I’m going to leave you here to tell the story.” Two-and-a-half years-later, Polly is still telling her story. But it’s not the one Roof expected her to tell. Instead, she tells the story of the power of prayer and forgiveness in the face of terrible tragedy and loss. Polly’s strength, dignity and deep faith are powerful and inspiring. The inspiring messages from both women, though heavy at times, seem appropriate for the holidays, when we all strive to find comfort and joy no matter what we might be dealing with. We recognize that it’s a time of year when you can put a lot of pressure on yourself to say “yes” to everything, to make everything perfect. We recognize it can be a difficult time if you’re lonely or grieving. If you are fortunate enough to have joy and comfort in abundance, seek ways to bring comfort and joy to others. After all, it’s the season of giving. In our December issue, we celebrate the joy of the holidays. We find joy in celebrating with girlfriends—whether it’s getting dressed up for parties or hosting one yourself. We learn to seek comfort and embrace the Danish concept of Hygge with local items that also make great gifts. Contributor Angie Mizzell explores how to make your house really feel like a home, and we talk with the founder of Scentervention candles, a therapist who found comfort and joy—and a new business—in a spark. Hope your holidays are full of comfort and joy! Shelley Hill Young


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She told herself, “Felicia lost her son. If she can forgive him, so can you. Why are you being so hard-hearted?” ‘It was easy after that. I started smiling again after that.’

Light in


skirt . | december 2018


olly Sheppard remembers his boots— how dirty they were—as she watched him approach her hiding spot underneath the table. You’ve no doubt heard the horrific story. Dylann Roof had already shot nine members of the Emanuel AME family who had gathered that Wednesday night at the church for a Bible study. Sheppard continued to pray. Roof pointed his Glock at her and asked if she had been shot. She answered honestly: “No.” He snarled, “I’m not going to shoot you. I’m going to leave you here to tell the story.” Sheppard has told the story of June 17 many times now. It’s not a story she wants to retell, to relive. But she says she has to tell that story to get to the one she wants people to hear—the story about how God was in the room with them that Wednesday evening, how he is real and he will answer your prayers. “He thought I was going to tell a different story,” Sheppard says. “I tell God’s story.” The story Sheppard tells focuses on the power of prayer and forgiveness. “It’s something I have to do now,” she says. “It’s a new job, one I didn’t train for. I’m not a talker. I think he’s speaking for me.” But at that moment when Roof pointed his gun at her, Sheppard says she knew she was going to die.

study that night. She had been at the church for meetings most of the day. She is diabetic and needed to eat. But her friend Myra Thompson, who was killed, was leading the Bible study for the first time. Sheppard sat at the back of the basement room, hoping to sneak out early. After the shooting stopped, Sheppard recalls, “It was an eerie feeling in there. It was a quiet like you’ve never heard before. It was still, very still.” She remembers there was a bright, bright light in the room. “It was almost like we were in a twilight zone.” The light, she says, helped her remain calm. Sheppard, who is a retired nurse, knows she was probably in shock. But she also knows something else for certain: “The Lord had to be in there with us. Had to be.” Sheppard did not attend the bond hearing held two days after the shooting – when Nadine Collier, the daugther of Ethel Lance, who was killed, told Roof, “I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people but God forgives you, and I forgive you.” Sanders was there, too, telling Roof, “May God have mercy on you.” “I wasn’t there. I wasn’t ready yet,” Sheppard says. “I didn’t want to talk. I stayed quiet.” There was a deep, deep sadness. And there was guilt.

courtroom because the jury had reached its decision in the penalty phase after three hours of deliberation. But she says the death sentence didn’t bring much comfort. “I felt sorry for him,” Sheppard says. “I don’t believe in the death penalty. It’s just another death. It’s not going to bring anybody back.” That night at the Bible study, the Emanuel members read from Mark 4:13-20. “Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” Roof, Sheppard says, is “one of those seeds that fell on rocky ground and didn’t get roots.” Most recently, Sheppard participated in the documentary “Emanuel,” which is being executive-produced by St. Matthews native Viola Davis and basketball star Steph Curry. The documentary focuses on the story of the families, the survivors and forgiveness. Forgiveness, Sheppard says, is a choice. “It’s up to you.” “If you pray and ask God for forgiveness, he will forgive you,” she says. “You have to forgive others for him to forgive you. If you don’t, it’s like acid on a battery, it builds up. You have to forgive in order to heal.” It’s also a process that takes time, she says. “Some things you have to turn over to the Lord and pray about it. There are some things you can’t handle,

the Darkness

By Shelley Hill Young Photography By Libby Williams

Emanuel Survivor Polly Sheppard Tells a Powerful Story of Prayer and Forgiveness “I thought he was going to shoot me anyway,” she says. But 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders, who had already been shot, raised to his elbow and asked, “Why are you doing this?” Roof shot him again. Sheppard says Sanders took the attention away from her and Sanders’ mother, Felicia Sanders, who lay near him. He is the reason she and Felicia survived, Sheppard says. A flip phone had fallen on the floor near Sheppard’s hand. Though Roof was still in the building, she tried to dial 911. The phone made a strange noise and she shut it quickly. The second time she tried, a dispatcher answered. “God was working with me greatly,” she says. When the dispatcher asked how many shots had been fired, Sheppard says, “I don’t know, there’s so many.” On the recording, she can be heard praying, “Oh, God, please help me. … Help us, Lord, please.” When the police arrived, they escorted Sheppard, Felicia Sanders and Sanders’ granddaughter to the nearby Embassy Suites Hotel. Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s wife and one of their daughters, who were in the church office, also survived. Sheppard, who had attended Emanuel for more than 35 years, hadn’t wanted to stay for the Bible

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“We lost nine church members, the cream of the crop,” Sheppard says. “I ask [God], ‘Why did you have to take those nine?’” She says she wanted to give families time to grieve. She needed to grieve. She attended seven funerals. The services offered some closure, she says. It took a while to forgive. She spent a lot of time thinking and praying. She told herself, “‘Felicia lost her son. If she can forgive him, so can you. Why are you being so hard-hearted?’ “It was easy after that. I started smiling again after that.” To prove her point, Sheppard points to a photo taken of her with President Barack Obama at Pinckney’s funeral June 26, when Obama sang “Amazing Grace.” “Look at my smile,” she says. “It’s as phony as a $3 dollar bill.” Her lips are closed tight. It’s not the more natural expression she wears today. About three months later, she says Sanders came to her home and got her. “That’s when I began to talk,” Sheppard says. Sheppard was the final witness to testify at Roof ’s trial in December 2016. She identified Roof as the shooter and heard her 911 call played for the jury. Less than a month later, Sheppard was getting on a bus to go home when she was called back to the

some things God has to handle.” Sheppard was deeply saddened when she heard about the shooting death of 11 people at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. “I said, ‘Oh, Lord, not again.’” Sheppard—who has four grown boys, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren—finds comfort and strength from her family, the kindness of people and words of local pastors. And she seeks purpose. She’s on the board of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation, which is charged with raising money for a memorial at the church. Sheppard says she’s encouraged that the shooting has led more people in Charleston to confront the issue of race. She participates in a joint book club held between Mount Zion AME Church and its neighbor, Grace Cathedral. Participants read a book focused on racial themes and discuss it. November’s book was “Dignity” by Donna Hicks. “We tell the truth there. We tell exactly what we feel. We talk to people and not at people.” When it feels too heavy, Sheppard retreats to her safe place—a favorite chair in a small room in her home. “I just pray,” she says. “Prayer is the answer to everything.”

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Museum Director Making S.C. History Come Alive


s director of museum and education for the newly opened South Carolina Historical Society Museum, Heather Reed wants to make history more accessible to the public. In a city like Charleston where tales from the past practically drip from the trees like Spanish moss, she invites visitors to immerse themselves in the museum’s interactive exhibits and discover just how exciting history can be. In September, the Historical Society opened The Fireproof Building at 100 Meeting St., a National Historic Landmark it renovated and turned into a museum. Heather came on board with the opening, moving to Charleston from Buffalo Gap, Texas, where she’d been the executive director of the Taylor County History Center, showcasing the history of the West Texas frontier. Always up for an adventure, the Ohio native was eager to be part of 350 years of South Carolina history at The Fireproof Building. As a new-


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comer to the city, she’s exploring Charleston’s other historic sites, its culture and, of course, its culinary scene. “Charleston has such a rich, deep history,” she says. “And who doesn’t want to live among these buildings?” It’s no surprise Heather pursued a career in public history. She grew up in a history-focused family, surrounded by antiques and preserved photographs. Heather’s grandfather emigrated from England in the 1920s, and lived in an 1840s home in Wooster, Ohio. Her family spent the summers driving to spots that highlighted American history. As an immigrant to the United States, Heather says her grandfather wanted to learn what it meant to be an American. Heather’s background also includes working in national parks, including an internship at Gettysburg National Military Park. That’s where her interest in public history began. She wants every-

one to see how history is a in everyday life – exactly what the exhibits at The Fireproof Building are designed to illustrate. The artifacts, photos and maps in the museum aren’t just for researchers or scholars. These materials tell the personal stories of South Carolina’s history. From Colonial times to the Revolutionary and Civil wars and to Reconstruction and the Charleston Renaissance, tales from the past are abundant. “These documents tell those stories in the handwriting of people from the past,” Heather says. One of her favorite artifacts is a journal in which the writer pauses to document the moment the 1886 Charleston earthquake rattled the ground. “He stops to acknowledge the earthquake. That’s a vernacular history that I love,” she says. When she first read the journal, Heather says she wondered why he would have chronicled the earthquake in real time, but she realized we do the same thing today. When something big


By Holly Fisher

happens, people reach for their phones to record and share it with others. That realization is one that Heather hopes to share with others—that from 1886 to 2018, people aren’t so different after all. “So many times, people think history is black and white,” Heather says, “but history isn’t. If I’ve learned anything, it’s made me live in the gray. Nothing is cut and dry, and we’re all in this together.” When you really delve into history, you find incredible stories, she says. “The courage and risks people took is really empowering,” Heather adds. “I can’t imagine getting on

a boat for months [to come here].” Those kinds of personal stories are what make history more meaningful, especially for children who visit the museum with their family or as part of a school trip. “For children, if you can connect history with something in their lives, it closes that gap,” Heather says. “It removes the invisible walls between the textbooks.” Visit The Fireproof Building 100 Meeting St., Charleston schistory. org/museum. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday Tickets: $15 for adults; $12 for military and seniors; $7 for children 5 to 12. Museum tours are self-guided, and tickets are valid for two consecutive days.



‘So many times, people think history is black and white but history isn’t. If I’ve learned anything, it’s made me live in the gray. Nothing is cut and dry, and we’re all in this together.’

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Feminism, Not Hate By Raegan Whiteside

MAN-HATERS. BRA-BURNING, CRAZY BITCHES. HATEFUL WOMEN. NASTY WOMEN. Feminists often are linked to hate and are labeled derogatory terms. But why? We speak up and instead of our words being heard, we are shamed, silenced and marginalized by the misguided idea that feminists are hate-filled. Last time I checked, it isn’t hate that we, feminists, embody. It’s courage and it’s strength. We may be angry and we may be mad, but we are not hateful. Don’t get me wrong—just because we don’t promote hate doesn’t mean I and other feminist women don’t feel and know hate. If those who misunderstand feminists could listen to what we have to say, perhaps they would understand us better. And maybe they would be surprised that feminists don’t walk around with their middle fingers in the air and smiles forever erased from their faces. So let’s go on a journey to better understand the truths of this feminist woman. A preschool-age girl was swinging on the monkey bars. Looking down halfway across the bars she got scared, not realizing how high from the ground she was. She asked one of her classmates to help her down, but he said he would only help her if she showed him her underwear. She agreed because she was scared of getting hurt. The teacher caught them and she got in trouble. She’s now 5, and has already been exposed to rape, sexual harassment and abuse in the media. Most of the scenarios involve women as victims and men as attackers and aggressors. This isn’t just on television, though— she has begun to notice this in the real world, too. Now in kindergarten, an older boy on the bus threatens her and two other girls with a geometry compass and tells them he will stab them if they move. He didn’t want to sit with them, so he chose to scare and threaten them. Just like that little girl is learning her role in this society, the little boy is learning his. She’s in fifth grade and a classmate starts her period. She knows what’s happening but the other students don’t and think it’s gross. The boys and girls laugh and make fun of her. She feels embarrassment for the girl, even though she knows it’s a natural bodily function. They don’t know better, though. They’ve already been taught that being female is grounds for humiliation.

‘It isn’t hate that we, feminists, embody. It’s courage and it’s strength. We may be angry and we may be mad, but we are not hateful.’


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In junior high she wears a skirt to school. In science class a boy drops a pencil in front of her desk. He lingers. She realizes that he is trying to stare up her skirt. She doesn’t wear a skirt to school again. She is in high school now and a football player rubs her leg in class. Even though she tells him to stop and her classmates hear her, no one does anything. The teacher is the football coach. He doesn’t do anything either. It continues the rest of the semester. She’s a senior in high school and about to leave for college. Everyone warns her about “frat parties,” tells her to always pour her own drink, go out with friends and never walk home alone. Her parents make her buy pepper spray, and she carries it with her at all times. She looks up the crime rate on campuses when making her decision where to go. It’s 2016 and she’s in college now. She wakes up and learns that another underqualified man has won a position in high political office over a qualified woman. Further, the man is known for saying and doing derogatory things to women. The country she calls home and should feel safe in has elected this man as president. She has a part-time job. A man comes into her work and tells her and her co-worker that he’s going to picture them when he masturbates. She’s at the library late studying for a test when she decides to walk home. Men call at her from an alley and run down the street chasing her. When she tells others the story, they say she should’ve known better. She hears and reads stories of her sisters and mothers around the world and here at home who feel this kind of hate every day. She hears stories of

women who are paid less than men for the same job, who are groped and drugged in bars and at parties, who don’t make it home safely, whose homes are not safe, who aren’t given a chance to experience an education, who aren’t treated equally, fairly or humanely because they are women. That young girl is not just me. That woman is not just me. It’s every woman who has had the experience of being brought up in this society and culture that disrespects women so often. This is just one story, however. Women of color, lesbian women, transgender women, other marginalized women experience forms of hate as well. Despite all this, however, I’m not filled with hate, and neither are the other women who go through the same situations, and often worse ones. At times I’m filled with anger and at times all the anger comes out in ways I’m not proud of, but I don’t hate anyone, and I’m especially not a man-hater— even after directly experiencing and witnessing evidence that men can be dangerous and discriminatory. My life is also filled with compassionate, admirable, honest men that give me hope. One of my roommates is a man; I love my dad, grandfathers and many men in my life. If I were a man-hater I wouldn’t be a very good one. But I am angry. I’m angry that I have to even argue for my right to be angry—for my right to

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express my anger and share my experiences of hate. I’m angry that people continue to label me as hateful instead of simply listening to what I have to say. I’m angry that the very hate I’m fighting against is being directed at me. Feminism has given me the mindset and skills to see the broader picture of our society—to understand that some men are bad, but not all men. To understand that my anger isn’t for nothing or just my emotions talking, but rather my anger is true and needed and has nothing to do with hate. So sure, call us bitches and nasty and hateful. Call us all the names you want. But, we won’t stop. Feminists won’t stop telling their truth and speaking out against hate and discrimination. We won’t stop fighting. Raegan Whiteside is a junior at the College of Charleston majoring in English and Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in Spanish. She writes for the school newspaper and is co-president of the college’s Literati Club, a humanities club whose mission is to spread appreciation and love for all forms of art. In addition to her extracurriculars, she keeps busy with two jobs. She is the 2018-2019 Alison Piepmeier scholarship recipient and part of the 2018 WGS Oral History research team dedicated to the research and documentation of the history of the WGS program.

‘ I’m angry that I have to even argue for my right to be angry—for my right to express my anger and share my experiences of hate. I’m angry that people continue to label me as hateful instead of simply listening to what I have to say.’

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, What Fun! Celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year in lush velvet, metallics and statement jewelry

Styled by Andrea Serrano Photography by Nicole Mickle Hair and Makeup by Silhouette On Site Shot on location at The Vendue

We asked three local jewelry designers— Kristin Mein of Kaypea Jewelry, Sydney Pope of Barracuda Moon and Laura Reed of Margerite and Motte—to model festive holiday styles perfect for holiday parties. The bonus? Their pieces also make great gifts!

ON SYDNEY POPE: Long sleeve red rose dress, Maris Dehart, $118; Elixir earrings, $159; Manta choker, $120; Sleeping Moon necklace, $119; Dainty Golden Sea necklace, $129; Four Winds necklace, $132; Long Golden Sea pendant, $172; Oracle ring, $98; Andros bracelets, $88; all Barracuda Moon, Gift wrap by Mac & Murphy


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ON KRISTIN MEIN: Shimmer Jumpsuit, Tres Carmen, $144; Moon stone bolo tie necklace, $260; Shark tooth hoop earrings, $125; Tiny stone stud earrings, $28 Right hand: Folly ring, $135, one of a kind turquoise ring, $175, one of a kind fire opal, $135, hammered stackers, $16 each Right wrist: Double Shark Tooth bracelet, $150, Australian Boulder Opal, $260, Mako cuff bracelet, $175 Left hand: Jaws ring, $175, Riad ring $85, Stone stacker, $35 Left wrist: Gypsy Road bangles, $45, Triple Rainbow Moonstone cuff, $220, all Kaypea Jewelry, Aquazzura Purist sandal, Gwynn’s, $695 Ballons by Cannonborough Collective

ON LAURA REED: Maris Dehart, Wine velvet red dress, Maris Dehart, $78; Queen oyster stud earrings, $77; Oyster bar necklace, $195, Margerite and Motte,; Aquazzura Monet Green Powder Puff sling, Gwynn’s, $795


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ON SYDNEY POPE: Long sleeve red rose dress, Maris Dehart, $118; Elixir earrings, $159; Manta choker, $120; Sleeping Moon necklace, $119; Dainty Golden Sea necklace, $129; Four Winds necklace, $132; Long Golden Sea pendant, $172; Oracle Ring, $98, Andros bracelets, $88; all Barracuda Moon; Costes booties, Gwynn’s $795




Alice + Olivia By Stacey Bendet Macey jacket, Juniper/Black, Gwynn’s, $485; Alice + Olivia By Stacey Bendet pants, Gwynn’s, $285; Sequin top, Tres Carmen, $39; White water hoop earrings, Kaypea Jewelry, kaypeajewelry. com, $135; Lola Cruz Fabre shoes, Gwynn’s, $250

Britt Ryan shift dress, Rhodes Boutique, $260; Queen oyster stud earrings, Margerite and Motte, margeriteandmotte. com, $77; Oyster medallion necklace, Margerite and Motte,, $175

Alice + Olivia dress, Gwynn’s, $395; Ra earrings, Barracuda Moon Jewelry,, $139; Aquarius Purist sandal, Gwynn’s, $695 New Year’s Eve accessories by Candy Shop Vintage

Making Spirits Bright

Tips for a Stress-free Holiday Party

Styled by   Liz Martin Photography by   Abby Murphy Hair and Makeup by Updos for I Dos

liz martin, who has been known as the charleston weekender since 2015 and is the co-owner of gift shop Cannonborough Collective, invited us to her new home to share some tips for hosting a stylish yet laid-back holiday party, the type of party you want an invite to—no pressure, no stress, totally comfortable and full of joy. Here are some of the tried-and-true tips Liz says she swears by when hosting the perfect holiday get together:

Create aFocal Point

When it comes to decor, I love going all out with my bar cart and calling it a day. You could put the emphasis on your coffee table, entry way console or mantel. A simple boxwood wreath helps anchor the space. Add brass or gold accents using items you already own to provide holiday glitz. Consider opting for a nontraditional color palette to help tie in the rest of your decor. Green, navy and gold still give you a sense of holiday without feeling too overdone.

Offer a Memorable Treat

As Desperate Housewives’ Bree Van De Kamp always said, “It’s all in the presentation!” Pick an item you’re serving such as the cocktail or the appetizer and put a little extra effort into that one thing. I kept the food and drink simple for this girls’ night with cookies and cocoa, but by adding some whipped cream and cinnamon, I made that simple winter drink a little extra fancy. Add a little Irish Whiskey or a cream liqueur to make it a cozy cocktail. I topped it off with some cute gold straws from Cannonborough Collective and pulled out my wedding china coffee cups to make my guests feel extra special.

Ask For Help

I can’t cook, so instead of stressing over it, I just stick with what I’m good at (in my case, decorating). If cooking isn’t your forte, opt for a potluck style get-together or just ask for help! I’m a culinary klutz, so I asked my friend Julie Mcallister of For Heaven Bakes if she could bring over a few of her adorable desserts. She made the cutest mini cakes in the shape of gift boxes and delicious gingerbread snowflake cookies. We felt like kids getting to sneak some of Santa’s milk and cookies, and I am a much more cheerful host when I’m not tied up in the kitchen!

Deck the Halls on a Budget

Boxwood trees are one of my favorite investments for the holidays. This set was under $50 total from Celadon, and I’ll use it year after year! You can also let wrapping paper double as decor, if you opt for a fun print. I picked this Charleston door print from local artist Jenny Batt, a vendor we carry at Cannonborough Collective.


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Make Some Scents

Think about ways you can add extra ambiance by incorporating all of your senses! I love having some type of holiday scent hit you when you walk in the door. Mom (and the Pillsbury Doughboy) are right when they say, “Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven.” Enter-

Ingredients: 1 orange, cut into slices 1 lemon, cut into slices 1 Tbsp cloves 3 cinnamon sticks (last two items can be replaced with a half cup of mulling spices)

ing a home and smelling something cooking gives you a sense of immediate comfort, but what to do if you’re skipping the homemade goodies? Just light a locally made winter candle or try this super simple stovetop

Instructions: Fill your largest pot and let the items boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer during your party. Check in and add a little water, as needed.

potpourri recipe:

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Snuggling up on the couch is a key part of finding comfort and coziness, and there’s not a much cozier blanket than this Matouk cotton throw. Matouk Pezzo Throw, Rhodes Boutique, $75


Curling up with these books about inner fulfillment and peace written by local authors will immediately help you find your state of Hygge. Kathryn Budig’s “Aim True” focuses on approaching a life with an open mind and an open heart. Katie Ashley’s “Living Life on Purpose” helps readers answer the question: ‘How can I feel happy, no matter my experience?’ “Aim True,” $24.99, “Living Life on Purpose,” $ 12.95, Blue Bicycle Books


To pair with your favorite loose-leaf tea selection, this cute puckered lips teapot will be sure to help you brew tea like a relaxed and trendy Hygge master Muse Teapot, Lyndon Leigh, $89



Your Hygge would not be complete without a warm, snuggly sweater to curl up in (or to be wearing when the delivery man is at the door with your pizza). This Mink Pink fuzzy white sweater is so cozy, you’ll never want to take it off. Mink Pink sweater, Tres Carmen, $68

Have you tried the duck sandwich?

There’s nothing better than soaking in the bathtub after a long day of Christmas shopping and running holiday errands! Try relaxing scents such as jasmine and grapefruit mint. K. Hall Designs bath bombs, Rhodes Boutique, $8 each



With a Locally Curated Hygge Box


The Spice and Tea Exchange in downtown Charleston has got you covered with a wide selection of festive, holiday teas that will quickly put you in the Hygge mindset. Cranberry Apple Tart Herbal Tea, The Spice and Tea Exchange of Charleston, $5.49


Nothing soothes the senses like a warm, calming smell in the air. We love these doTerra essential oils in lavender and cinnamon scents. Tip: This cinnamon oil can also be added to your tea for additional internal benefits! doTerra Cinnamon Oil, $28; doTerra Lavender Oil, $28; Nature’s Remedy Diffuser, $44.99, Eucalyptus

AROUND THE HOLIDAYS, WE ALL CRAVE THAT COZY, COMFORTING FEELING. ENTER HYGGE: a Danish term that describes that feeling you get when you’re in a warm atmosphere, enjoying the simple, good things in life with the people that you love. The concept of Hygge (pronounced Hoo-geh) encompases all the things that make us feel happy, comfortable and content—both physically and emotionally. You can even order Hygge subscription boxes, allowing you to receive items that bring warmth and comfort delivered right to your doorstep. With this idea in mind, we’ve curated a box of cozy, charming local products to set the mood and help you achieve your own sense of Hygge here in Charleston. Whether you’re in need of cozy vibes yourself during the busy holiday season or want to send some Hygge to your loved ones—these products are sure to provide comfort, contentment and relaxation.


The Restless Nester Finding home after a lifetime of moving

By Angie Mizzell I moved to my current home seven-and-a-half years ago, and that’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place. Growing up, my mom and I moved a lot. Then I went off to college and entered a career field where getting promoted meant changing jobs and cities every couple of years. In total, I’ve moved 22 times in my life. Today, my husband, three children and I live on a cul-de-sac with lots of kids and neighbors who like to socialize. As ideal as it may seem, years went by before I felt settled here. I constantly searched real estate listings. I craved that elusive sense of home and thought if I kept looking, I might discover the magic key. Then one day I picked up a book called “The Nesting Place” written by a home blogger who’s known to her readers as The Nester. The Nester and her husband had moved 13 times in 18 years, and her story changed my whole perspective. She said, “Stop waiting until someday.” Embrace where

As a newbie to home design, I’ve learned some things: I’ll spend days painting a detailed stencil wall—not once, but twice—until I get it right. My favorite colors are white and gray, but I’m not scared to dip the brush in a big can of tomato red. Art from Etsy and Minted makes me happy. My kids’ art on the magnetic chalk wall in the kitchen makes me even happier. I declutter often, yet I want an abundance of throw pillows, fluffy blankets and good-smelling candles. And this came as a total surprise: Nesting can stir up plenty of unhappy feelings, too. It started last Thanksgiving, around the time when I’m typically full of holiday spirit. Instead, I was overcome with sadness. The reason felt like nothing and everything; a lifetime of things. It rose to the surface and washed over me like a wave. I believed I’d consciously moved in the direction of joy and happiness, community and connection. Where did I go wrong? I looked around at my newly decorated walls and saw myself entering midlife, my kids growing up, and all the things that are so much different now. For years, I expected home to be like an anchor, never moving. But few things stay the same for very long. That’s the biggest lesson this redecorating project has taught me. Finding home is more than installing new countertops and subway tile. Home is the moment when something, or someone, feels familiar—even if it’s our first encounter. Home welcomes us where we are, as we are. It holds our joy and our sadness. It doesn’t judge. It reminds us to take a breath and encourages us to keep going. So I’ll keep doing my house projects and inviting others into my space. I’ll turn up the music, light every candle and cook a homemade pizza. I’ll mail Christmas cards and don a Santa hat while running errands. I’ll remember that home is so much more than a place. It lives everywhere: inside our walls, in our relationships and inside ourselves. Home is an energy, and it’s contagious. Now that I’ve finally found it, I want to spread it around so others can feel it, too.

‘It hit me: My house didn’t feel like home, because I wasn’t giving it a chance. ‘I knew how to ask, “What’s next?” I didn’t know how—or was afraid—to stay.’ you are. Create the home you love, right now. It hit me: My house didn’t feel like home, because I wasn’t giving it a chance. I knew how to ask, “What’s next?” I didn’t know how — or was afraid — to stay. In that moment, I let down my guard. I stopped trying to predict the future. I decided to commit. The problem was I wasn’t a nester by nature. Beyond buying furniture (which I couldn’t figure out how to make work in my current home) and hanging some pictures on the wall, I was clueless about decorating. Around that time, my friend Michele came to town for a visit and mentioned she was transitioning from fashion design to interior design. What luck! She offered to help. It was an easy and obvious “yes.” Michele and I have been working together for several years now, as time and budget allow. Today, my home is becoming a space that feels more intentional—a place to retreat and relax, entertain friends and accommodate the needs of my family of five.


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rad Moranz always knew that music would be a large part of his life. “Music was the language I was always most comfortable with,” says Brad. “Words look like music to me; every word has a rhythm to it.” Originally from Dallas, Brad remembers music as a driving force for him at an early age. He played the piano and the guitar before he was a teenager and went on to take an interest in theater as well as dance, specifically ballet. He later studied acting at the University of Houston, alongside the ranks of Dennis and Randy Quaid, as well as other notable names. He’s always had a desire to communicate in front of people, and his love of theater combined with his love for communication manifested itself best on the stage. Brad was avidly involved in the theatre community, both in the towns in which he lived as well as traveling nation-


BRAD MORANZ al tours. He has many accolades, including national traveling tours such as “A Chorus Line” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” playing the character of Cosmo Brown. His other recognitions include the role of Groucho in “A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine” and Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors.” “Singin’ in the Rain” not only provided him the opportunity to travel, sing and dance in front of audiences nationwide—it also provided him the opportunity to meet his best friend, who later became his wife. After Brad and Jennifer—“Jenny”— as he affectionately notes, spent significant time in New York involved in many Broadway and off-Broadway roles, they moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, where they began teaching dance. While


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living and working in Wilmington, they were recommended to famed director George Lucas and interviewed with Rick McCallum, most known for “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” and “Star Wars,” the prequel trilogy. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Brad and Jennifer worked to choreograph for major motion pictures and were nominated for an Academy Award. After several years, they realized how much they deeply missed performing. In 1995, they dropped their resumes off at the Carolina Opry House in Myrtle Beach, where they auditioned and were immediately asked to join as performers, under one condition: They had to help to open a show in Charleston. So they packed up their studio and lives in

By Kelsey Lorman

Wilmington and moved to Charleston to help launch “The Serenade Show” at Charleston Music Hall. Not only have Brad and Jennifer starred in the show over the years, they officially took over the entire production of the show in 2003. Now, Brad and Jennifer host between two and three shows every year at the Charleston Music Hall. “We’ve watched kids grow up who now bring their kids to the show,” says Brad. “Our shows truly have something for everyone.” Brad’s passions now reside in his ability to charm a Charleston audience, and “goof off ” with his wife on stage. “We laugh ourselves through the show, though I can occasionally be serious if I have to!” Their high standards from their New


Performer and producer brings joy to audiences with holiday show

‘ The coolest thing is working with many amazing, talented people, all doing what [they] do so well. Our No. 1 job is to create an amazing

York City Broadway days make these productions high-caliber, with impressive talent. For the upcoming “Charleston Christmas Special,” they hired about 30 actors, musicians and dancers to create a lively, entertaining show. “The coolest thing is working with many amazing, talented people, all doing what [they] do so well,” says Brad. “Our No. 1 job is to create an amazing show. We hire the people first and then let them do what they do best.” Some of these amazing talents include Josh Strickland, who played the leading role in Disney’s “Tarzan” on Broadway, Omar Lopez Cepero who starred in Gloria Estefan’s “On Your Feet!” Broadway musical and Matthew Billman, who is starring as The Phantom in the Westchester Broadway Theatre production of “The Phantom of the Opera.” A talented ventriloquist with a reindeer puppet, some dancing penguins and a plea to

get off of the naughty list are just a few special moments the audience can expect in this year’s fun Christmas show. Though Brad’s background includes performing in front of audiences all across the country, he says he is thankful for the warm audience here in Charleston. “It’s like performing in front of family,” says Brad. “When you’re older, you have more perspective, and I am nothing but blessed and incredibly grateful,” says Brad of his journey and his career. And now, Brad believes that the possibilities are endless for this production, though he has requested that anyone with the ability to help him fly in Rudolph over the crowd during the production would be greatly appreciated. You can catch “The Charleston Christmas Special” Dec. 8 through 23 at the Charleston Music Hall.



show. We hire the people first and then let them do what they do best.’

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Get the Party Started BY HELEN MITTERNIGHT


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‘ People remember terrible food and they’ll remember whether the music was good or bad,’ Caitlin says. staff knows how to pace the service so that fresh food comes out when a new wave of guests arrives. They also know how to handle the over-served with communication among servers and bartenders and light pours. “It’s a safety thing, but we also want to make sure the hosts or the bride and groom are not affected by someone else’s actions,” Caitlin says. “It helps to plan ahead and have all the food prepped so you’re ready to go,” Graham says. “Then you can enjoy the event.” “You want to relax and have fun,” Caitlin adds. Might be easier just to let the experts handle your next event.



ith the holidays approaching, I was hoping to get some home entertaining tips from the wizards at The Cedar Room, which hosts some of Charleston’s most glittering events. I had wandered into The Cedar Room in The Cigar Factory, seeking director of sales Graham Ervin and senior catering services manager Caitlin Caserta, and finding only burly men tearing down from a previous party. Downstairs, at Mercantile and Mash, both women greeted me with a smile and Caitlin went ahead to The Cedar Room while Graham offered me water. By the time Graham and I got back upstairs, Caitlin waited at a table with more water, napkins and even a centerpiece. You would never have known that the table had been upended and set aside only

moments ago. Of course. That’s part of event-planning magic. Graham and Caitlin are the women who ensure that you have a successful event at The Cedar Room, Mercantile and Mash or Bar Mash, whether it’s a wedding or a fundraiser. They’ve recently held a trial run with birds of prey swooping through the cavernous windowed room in preparation for a fundraiser by the Center for Birds of Prey, so it’s hard to ruffle their feathers with any event. Caitlin, in particular, has been named the Indigo Road restarant group’s top 2016 Charleston-area Front of House Employee. Graham says The Cedar Room hosts between 150-175 events a year and about 75 of those are weddings with guest lists of between 125 and 250. That has the potential to be a lot of drama, but Caitlin says the goal is to reduce guest stress. “I work with people 12 to 18 months,” Graham says. “This is a big event in their lives. To see it all come together is very fulfilling.” If you’re entertaining at home this holiday season, their advice can help your own event be fulfilling, rather than something you endure only through secret belts of alcohol in the pantry. Caitlin says a successful guest experience is driven by food and music. “People remember terrible food and they’ll remember whether the music was good or bad,” she says. The menu should include a vegetarian option, a seafood option and a protein, and hosts should inquire as to whether any guest has a dietary restriction. A wellstocked bar will have vodka, bourbon, Scotch, gin and “bubbles in the beginning” as well as red and white wine and mixers. Tequila is becoming more popular among drinkers looking to watch calories, as well. For hosts, Caitlin says to plan on about three hors d’oeuvres per person and an average of a drink per person per hour. But here is where the magic of training comes in. That formula goes out the window when you have heavy drinkers or people who arrive hungry, and Caitlin’s


NEWS Team BBQ, is at the helm. Paddock & Whisky is located at 1962 Maybank Highway. Speaking of Food Network, second-place finisher from “Food Network Star,” Rusty Hamlin, is chef and partner in the new Papi’s Taqueria on Isle of Palms. Get your taco on daily from 4 to 10 p.m. at 1012 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms. And, speaking of tacos, those mourning the cleverly named Nacha Mamas, will soon be able to visit the same space on Spring Street to sink their teeth into tacos from Pink Cactus, which will focus on artisanal ingredients. Be sure to check out anything made with the house-made masa flour! Folly Beach will soon be getting Wiki Wiki Sandbar along with tropical drinks and South Pacific-themed munchies like poke bowls, pupu platters and a Spam slider. The tiki-themed location at 106 East Ashley Ave. will also offer a big event space.

We do like our brown water in Charleston! James Island is host to a new neighborhood bar for novices and aficionados alike. The bourbon-centric Paddock & Whiskey is open in the Terrace Plaza and features more than 50 rare bourbons as well as bar snacks and sandwiches. Chef Taylor Garrigan, Food Network’s “Chopped” contestant, and of Home


Bubbles, oysters, and food pairings from Wild Dunes Resort’s executive chef Read Wolfe are all part of Boone Hall Plantation’s Wine Under the Oaks on Dec. 2 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $55 at Feel like a visit to Havana this winter? You can salsa for sea turtles at South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Life by Starlight at the aquarium

Every oyster Thursday (remember, oyster season is the months with an “R?”) Basic Kitchen is hosting Cyrus Buffum of Seaborn Oyster Co. for a pop-up called Red Balloon. Back in the mid-1800s, red balloons were displayed in New York’s oyster cellars like the “Hot Donuts” sign today on Krispy Kreme. The oysters are in! The pop-ups will feature $3 oysters plus poboys and special drinks from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Basic Kitchen is at 82 Wentworth Street. There’s still time to get your tickets for the Charleston Restaurant Foundation’s 36th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival on Jan. 27. Music, contests, and more than 80,000 pounds of oysters will be at Boone Hall Plantation, 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant. If you don’t have your own, you can buy oyster gloves and knives at the event. Tickets are available at


Parcel 32 on King Street is serving brunch. Offerings include a seasonal French toast with caramelized apples, whipped goat cheese, dulce de leche and frosted pecans and smoked Gouda grits with scallions and bacon.

Circa 1886 has a new fall and winter menu featuring dishes including Charleston Hot Quail and apple walnut cake.


Want to just LOOK like you’ve spent Christmas over a hot stove without any of the sweat? Hall’s Chophouse is offering a Christmas to Go that will make it look like you created the prime rib or turkey along with all the sides and desserts. Looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve that doesn’t involve being mashed into a doorway with drunken young folk? Try The Cedar Room’s celebration heavy hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, a champagne toast and live music. Tickets are $150 at cedarroomnye. If it isn’t holiday time without cookies, Mercantile and Mash has you covered. Santa and Mrs. Claus are stopping by for photos and cookie decorating on Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 pm. Tickets $15 at door.


If you’re a foodie, you probably know about Cherry Bombe magazine and podcast – it celebrates women in the food and beverage industry. They’ve just released their first list of 100 inspiring women and Charleston has two on the list! Lindsay Collins, creator and host of the podcast EffinBRadio, and Cynthia Wong of Life Raft Treats, featured in the August issue of Skirt.




Dec. 8 from 8 to 11 p.m. Wild Dunes Resort’s Read Wolfe will bring a special octopus braised and charred with olive oil and citrus. Get a ticket, which includes an open bar and entertainment, at

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nly a country that places very little intrinsic value on its vulnerable could support a whole industry in human trafficking, right? Imagine what that country where sexual slavery flourishes must be like. Did you imagine the United States? You should have, because sadly, humans are a cash crop in this country. Atlanta is the country’s


skirt . | december 2018

By Helen Mitternight

top city for human trafficking, but Charleston should take note: We’re the second-most trafficked city in the state, right behind Greenville. For the past three years on Memorial Day weekend, Myrtle Beach has the dubious distinction of being the highest-ranking city in the nation for human trafficking, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University. In fact, 117 cases of trafficking were reported in South Carolina last year. These statistics represent only a fraction of what is actually happening, says Julie Todaro, executive director of the Charleston Heart for Freedom, established to support A-21, a global nonprofit seeking to stop human trafficking. The statistics show only the survivors. Far too many don’t survive, she says. “The sad fact is, even though that many cases were reported in South Carolina last year, we don’t have that many rescues,” Julie says.

Human trafficking is the sale of humans for organ harvesting, sex trade and cheap to free labor. Charleston Heart for Freedom focuses mostly on the sex and labor trafficking. How does someone get lured into the trade? According to Julie, the traders insist that a debt is owed. Paying off the debt takes servitude and sometimes that servitude means recruiting someone else into the life so that their labor reduces your debt. Survivors have told A-21 that they were trafficked after answering false job ads, sold by their own families, lured by a lover, abducted, betrayed by a friend, or manipulated with false immigration information. In South Carolina, appallingly, most survivors say they were sold by their own families. And it’s not just those with little money who get targeted. “It can happen to a middle-class family,” Julie says. “A daughter is looking online for a job, she thinks she’s going to get a great modeling job, and it ends up being not that.” But aren’t there laws against this kind of thing? There are. In fact, in 2012, the state passed legislation aimed at human trafficking that increased penalties and established a state task force, which A-21 works with. The problem is that it can be hard to recognize human trafficking. Someone can be arrested for, say, prostitu-


Working to Stop Human Trafficking in South Carolina


tion, and it can be hard to determine whether the person arrested is on the streets as part of a human trafficking ring. It’s something Julie says they’re working on. “We’re partnering with the task force and working with the police to ensure they’re trained consistently,” she says. “We’re working with them as well as medical professionals and teachers about the cues you can pick up on. For instance, if there’s

HOW TO HELP: DONATE OR VOLUNTEER at the Charleston Heart for Freedom website at:

“I was a survivor of sexual abuse for many years,” she says matter-of-factly. “When I got to the other side, I had no moral compass for what sex should look like, no idea of what a real relationship was. I was a recovering drug and alcohol survivor. I’ve been sober for the last eight years, but my heart feels the pain of these girls’ emotional bondage. I had to retrain myself to be normal in society.”


If you suspect human trafficking, call the toll-free National Human Trafficking Resource Center   hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

a lot of drugs and alcohol involved, a lot of times, the girls are having to do this to themselves in order to survive in this world.” The training is essential—Julie says human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking in scope and is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world. Part of the work is getting the word out, and Julie’s group raises money for that education. Earlier this year, dozens walked or ran in the A21 Heart for Freedom 5K at Summerville Catholic School and, in November, the organization participated in a breakfast and raffle at The Passage Apartment Community in Summerville to raise funds. Julie says she has empathy for the survivors— although she was never part of human trafficking, she herself is a survivor.

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It Only Takes a Spark A therapist finds inspiration— and a new business—in candles By Allyson Sutton


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she explains. “I started wondering what it might look like to combine therapy and aromatherapy in one. I had never made a single candle, but decided right then to learn how.” After taking a weekend class at Candlefish, she quickly started ordering supplies and mixing up candles in a small workshop. Through trial and error, research and a few melted mishaps, Scentervention was born.

shoebox and clippings from magazines, letting them choose quotes and pictures to paste all over the box. Later, they could fill the box with little notes or small trinkets that made them happy. “A physical object that you can go to during difficult times—whether it’s a drawing, painting or collage—can help take your therapy a bit further than just coming into the office once a week,” Liza says.

‘ In our society, it’s a badge of honor to be rundown and tired. It’s almost like it’s taboo to be happy or to take care of yourself, but it doesn’t have to be that way.’ Each candle features an inspiring quote “to promote growth, change and emotional well-being,” an idea she pulled from her counseling practice. While at the children’s advocacy center, Liza explored creative ways to make therapy more interactive and approachable. She often used board games or art projects to help kids express their emotions. “If they couldn’t put things into words, they could draw or play and express it in that way so much better,” she says. Another go-to activity involved creating what Liza calls a “gratitude box.” She’d give kids a plain

Through quotes and aromatherapy, Liza hopes Scentervention candles become that physical object for her customers, a tangible reminder to slow down and reset. “In our society, it’s a badge of honor to be rundown and tired. It’s almost like it’s taboo to be happy or to take care of yourself, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” she says. “I hope that when people light a candle, they’re taking a moment for themself. Those small actions can make a big difference in your mood, your outlook and how you’re feeling.” Liza chooses scents with healing properties,



ometimes the tiniest actions can spark the biggest change. For Liza Irvin, a licensed professional counselor at College of Charleston and the owner of Scentervention, the simple act of lighting a candle inspired a new passion—and a new business. Liza always knew she wanted to be a therapist. But she never imagined adding “chandler” to her resume. “I’ve always loved helping people. I can remember taking my friends to guidance counseling in middle school,” she says. “As I got older, therapy helped me through personal struggles with disordered eating and depression. I knew I wanted to offer that resource to others.” After receiving a Bachelor of Science in psychology from College of Charleston and a master’s in clinical counseling from The Citadel, Liza spent several years providing trauma therapy at the Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center. But about a year into her role there, a challenging therapy session brought feelings of doubt and anxiety that many new counselors experience. “I started thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’” she says. “I was so overwhelmed that I finally just decided to take a moment and light a candle.” With the strike of a match, Liza immediately felt better. And then she felt inspired. “In that moment, the candle brought a sense of peace. It made me calm. It was therapeutic,”


like calming lavender, energizing citrus, and grounding aromas like moss, musk and cypress. Each candle is blended with 100 percent soy wax, natural essential oils and cotton wicks that are free from harsh chemicals. “I wanted to create something that was clean and quality,” she says. “At the end of the day, mental health is really just health – what you seek for your mind and soul should also be good for your body.” Tori Guglielmi, a local artist who has hosted a few pop-up shows with Liza, touts the therapeutic benefits of the candles. “The quotes Liza picks for the vessel always hit home for me, and the candles offer a simple reminder to meditate, relax and breathe,” she says. “I also love that her brand is a byproduct of her counseling practice and that she’s using it to bring awareness to greater issues.” For Liza, Scentervention goes beyond wax and wicks. She hopes the candles are a catalyst for open conversation about mental health. “This is the time to destigmatize mental health,” she says. “My hope is that the candles start that conversation.” Liza is donating a portion of proceeds this month to nonprofits, including the Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center. Learn more at

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY off the day with a sense of

or telling them what they

you. We’re not mind readers;

accomplishment, and it’s nice

“should” do. Tell them you’re

and we need your expertise,

to come home to a made bed

proud of them for taking


after a long day.

control of their happiness and

That thing you really don’t

3. And of course, I have to add

let them know you’re there

want to say? Say it. It’s proba-

in a third: Light a candle! This

for them. Encourage them to

bly what’s keeping you stuck.

is where the idea for Scenter-

keep going even when things

Give it time. Most problems

vention came from – my own

get rough. Keep in mind that

don’t develop overnight, and


everyone’s journey is different

neither do their solutions. Be

and their feelings are theirs.

patient with yourself through


And those feelings are

the process.


real, even if you don’t under-


stand them.









A: It’s important we open up


A: The MindShift, Eternal Sun-


the conversation about men-


shine and Headspace apps


tal health so we can break

A: Therapy is a collaborative

“The Happiness Project” by


down the stigma and pre-

process, so be open with your

Gretchen Rubin

A: Self-care does not have

vent people from suffering in

therapist about the experi-

“The Five Things We Cannot

to be time-consuming. My

silence. If someone you know

ence. If there’s something

Change” by David Richo

quickest and easiest self-care

is going to therapy (or think-

your therapist is doing that

“The Four Agreements” by

strategies are:

ing about going to therapy),

you don’t like (or something

Don Miguel Ruiz

1. Be nice to yourself. If you

don’t be afraid to ask them

you want them to do more

Centre for Clinical Interven-

wouldn’t say it to a friend,

how they are doing. Avoid

of), let them know! While your

tions’ website

don’t say it to yourself.

making judgments about their

therapist may be the expert on

2. Make your bed. It starts

decision to go to therapy

therapy, you are the expert on


Want more? Visit us at


skirt . | december 2018  35


HUSTLE and Bustle It’s hard to feel joy when you’re stressed, tired and rundown, so make some me-time for some holiday hustle and bustle. Wear an ugly sweater or your PJs and work up a sweat, or stick to your favorite yoga pants for more gentle movements and a long exhale. No, a good workout might not always be comfortable, but we guarantee you’ll feel merry and bright afterward. Jingle all the way!



hour drink specials also will be offered. Tickets are $10. 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., Historic Rice Mill, 17 Lockwood Dr. Visit Historic Rice Mill’s Facebook page.

are $180. 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., CrossFit Integrity, 1980 Ashley River Road.

All the Feels Join Katie D and Mandy B for an evening of sweat and surrender. This warm, 90 minute Vin to Yin experience includes all the hands-on adjustments to enlighten your practice. Tickets are $20. 6 to 7:30 p.m., Community Yoga, 815 Savannah Highway. Visit Community Yoga’s Facebook page.

DECEMBER 7-8 Winter Folktales Aerial and Acro Showcase Celebrate the holidays and explore the world of aerial fitness with Aerial Fit’s evening of Folktale-themed acts. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 10. 7 p.m. both evenings, Aerial Fit, 1045 5th Ave. Unit A.

DECEMBER 8 Reindeer Run Get fit and festive with this family oriented event presented by Half Moon Outfitters. Tickets are $35. 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 161 E Bay St.

MONDAYS Chakra + Crystal Healing by Candlelight Experience transformative breathwork, meditation and affirmations by candlelight with Still Soul Studio. Drop-in classes are $14. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Still Soul Studio, 579 King St.

DECEMBER 5 Mindful Market Brought to you by Yoloha Yoga Factory, this event features a free yoga class followed by mindful shopping from local artisans. 5 to 8 p.m., Yoloha Yoga Factory, 1738 Signal Point Road. Wellness Wednesday Sarah J leads an hour-long yoga class, which will be followed by healthy snacks from Good Food Catering. Happy


skirt . | december 2018

Slow Flow, Yin + Yoga Nidra: Practices to Help Alleviate Stress Relax and destress with this yoga workshop brought to you by Soul Yoga + Wellness. Tickets are $20. 2 to 3:30 p.m., Soul Yoga + Wellness, 1836 Ashley River Road.

DECEMBER 8-9 Meditation Immersion Join experienced meditators in exploring and sharing techniques of meditation. Tickets are $200. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Holy Cow Yoga Center, 10 Windermere Blvd.

DECEMBER 9 2018 Integrity’s Revenge This competition, brought to you by CrossFit Integrity, was established in 2011 as Charleston’s first functional fitness event. Participants should apply as teams of two. Tickets

Champagne Society: SWEAT Enjoy a restorative yoga class followed by champagne and lots of honest conversation led by life and leadership coach Gervase Kolmos. 6 to 8 p.m. The School House, 720 Magnolia Road.

DECEMBER 14 lululemon King Street + OTF: CHS Run Club 5K run through downtown Charleston. Participants are invited to The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits after for discounted drinks and specials. 6 p.m., lululemon Charleston, 279 King St. MINDFUL MARKET



Community Farm Day Volunteer on Fresh Future Farm pulling weeds, or harvesting crops while working side-by-side with the community 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Then stay for an outdoor guided meditation or yoga practice led by Transformation Yoga in the greenhouse. Fresh Future Farm, 2008 Success St., North Charleston.





Comfort & Joy - Kundalini Yoga Cultivate a feeling of comfort and joy with Kundalini yoga breathing, meditation and chanting. $20 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Elliotborough Mini Bar, 18 Percy St. Visit Elliotborough Mini Bar’s Facebook page.

Celebrate the winter solstice with a ceremony to welcome the changing season with a yoga mala garland. Move and breathe together through 108 sun salutations in four sets of 27. 7 to 8:30 p.m., Holy Cow Yoga, 10 Windermere Blvd.


Ugly Sweater Yoga Enjoy 50 minutes of yoga by Bendy Brewski Yoga followed by a beer, great music and plenty of cheer. Wear an ugly sweater to enter into a contest for gift certificates to the brewery and Bendy Brewski. $18, 7 to 9 p.m. Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co, 1505 King St.

CBR Brew Bolt Take a holiday-themed tour of Charleston’s Brewery District with this run sponsored by the Charleston Beer Runners. Participants must bring their IDs and are encouraged to wear their tackiest holiday sweaters. 1 to 6 p.m., Charleston Beer Runners, Hampton Park Gazebo. Visit the Charleston Beer Runners Facebook page.

DECEMBER 19 Yoga Mala with Barbara Halpern

Want more? Visit us at

DECEMBER 20 Holiday Pop-Up Week: Salsa Basics Learn the basics of Salsa dancing with this class geared toward beginners. Drop-in classes are $15. 7:30 to 8:15

p.m., Holy City Salsa Dance Studio, 1954 Ashley River Road Suite H.

DECEMBER 31 Savasana at Midnight Join Urban Yoga in an evening of festive fitness, music and resolutions. Yoga at midnight. Tickets are $35 before Dec. 21 and $45 after. 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Urban Yoga Charleston, 484 King St.

JANUARY 1 New Year’s Day Pajama Run You don’t have to change out of your PJs for this 5K through Charles Towne Landing. Stay for soup and cornbread after the race. Registration is $7 to $30. 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Charleston Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road.

skirt . | december 2018  37



SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS Holiday Market in Marion Square

Support your favorite vendors from the Charleston Farmers Market as well as special holiday vendors. Take a stroll, enjoy some brunch and live music, and visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free Admission. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Marion Square, 329 Meeting St. Visit

THROUGH JAN. 1 Holiday Festival of Lights

Prepare to be in awe at this year’s Festival of Lights. One of Charleston’s most beloved holiday traditions, this event includes a three-mile driving tour of the light display, family attractions, shopping, dining, and special events in Santa’s Village. Tickets are $20 per vehicle. 5:30-10 p.m. nightly, James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive. Visit HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

festive afternoon is sure to be a treat. The event will include live music, a magician, a new teddy bear for each child, and a professional photoshoot. Kids are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed animal and a book to be signed by a surprise Disney character. Tickets are $55. 1 p.m., Belmond Charleston Place, 205 Meeting St. Call Chris Baggett at 630-453-9241 to reserve a ticket.

Sit a Spell: Conversation Series

Encouraging thoughtful conversation about issues facing today’s New South, this event presented by the Halsey Institute is an extension of the Southbound exhibition. Artists will be available to discuss their work. Free admission. 12 to 2 p.m., City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau St. Visit

Un-Wined with Watercolor

Let loose and get creative with a new kind of happy hour. Watercolor artist and illustrator Mia Loia will guide you through watercolor tutorials to relieve tension and make for a fun night out. Bring your friends and your favorite happy hour drink. Tickets are $25. 6 to 8 p.m., Redux Contemporary Art Center, 1056 King St. Visit

Tres Carmen’s Anniversary Party

Holiday Teddy Bear Tea for Kids

With delicious snacks and drinks available for the kids and full tea service and alcoholic beverages for the adults, this


skirt . | december 2018

People with special needs and their families and friends are invited to bring in the season with style. Light refreshments will be provided, in addition to appearances by Mrs. Claus and the Holiday Festival of Lights mascot, Wattson. Tickets are $5. A registered chaperone is required for participants under 15. 6 to 8 p.m., Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd, North Charleston. Call 843-795-4386 to register.



12.02, 9, 16


Enjoy light bites, speciality cocktails and DJ beats while you get some holiday shopping done or find an outfit to wear to your holiday parties. 5 to 8 p.m. Tres Carmen, 1175 Folly Rd. Visit Tres Carmen’s Facebook page.

Holiday Hoedown

Have a foot stompin’ good time at this western-themed holiday celebration.

iel Russell House, 51 Meeting St. Visit

12.08 Holiday Parade of Boats Viewing Party

Be a part of the tradition with this annual viewing party of the spectacular Holiday Parade of Boats on Charleston Harbor. A family friendly event, the evening includes food, drinks, live entertainment, a visit from Santa and the Rotary Holiday raffle. All proceeds benefit Rotary service projects and local community programs. $35 in advance, $40 at the door, $5 for kids 17 and under. 5 to 8 p.m., Charleston Maritime Center, 10 Wharfside St. Visit

Shuckin’ on the Cooper NATHANIEL RUSSEL HOUSE

12.07 Films on the Field: The Polar Express

All aboard the Polar Express! Wear your pajamas and bring your blankets and lawn chairs to this movie night featuring food trucks, hot cocoa and smores. Tickets are $5 and free for kids 6 and under. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the film starts at 6 p.m. MUSC Health Stadium, 1990 Daniel Island Dr. Visit

Take in a scenic view at the Charleston Harbor and enjoy the City of Charleston’s Holiday Parade of Boats to the tune of live music and a bucket of oysters. Admission is $8 in advance and $10 onsite. Buckets of oysters are $10 each. 5 to 8 p.m., Mount Pleasant Pier, 71 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Blvd. Visit

12.08-23 The Charleston Christmas Special

12.07, 08, 14, 15, 21, 22

Join some of the most talented singers, dancers, and musicians from across the country for a magical night of holiday hits. Brought to you by producers Brad and Jennifer Moranz, this spectacular show has been a year in the making. Ticket prices and showtimes vary. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St. Visit

Candlelight Tour at the Nathaniel Russell House


Travel back in time with this tour of the 19th century Nathaniel Russell House Museum. Stick around after the tour for a complimentary glass of wine. Tickets are $25. First tour from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., second tour from 7 to 7:35 p.m., Nathan-

Soul of the Lowcountry Oyster Roast

Support environmental conservation with this evening of food, spirits and live music. Proceeds for this event benefit Soul of the Lowcountry, the education and out-


Be Merry and Bright. Get into the spirit of the season with holiday markets, lights, Santa sightings, boat parades, favorite holiday movies and more. Oh, what fun!


reach program of Lowcountry Land Trust. Tickets include an oyster roast, oyster cup tastings with Lowcountry Oyster Co., local spirits and brews, as well as live music. Tickets are $40 and children 12 and under are free. 1 to 4 p.m., Sunlean, 3211 Eenjy Lane, Johns Island. Visit

12.11 Holiday Film Series: It’s a Wonderful Life

Feel the holiday cheer with classic holiday films brought to you by the Charleston Music Hall. The event will feature pre-movie caroling. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 7. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St. Visit



Cigar Bazaar Holiday Market

Join the Cigar Factory in a day of holiday shopping, live music and drink specials. Vendors will include Theodosia Jewelry, Third Eye Vintage, King of Pops and more. Free admission. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cigar Factory, 701 E Bay St. Visit the Cigar Factory’s Facebook page for more information.

Want more? Visit us at

12.17 Charleston School of the Arts Symphony and Singers Concert

This county-wide public school symphony and chorus made up of ninth-12th graders is sure to bring holiday cheer to the entire family. Featuring holiday favorites, the concert was made possible by the students themselves with a “snap-raise campaign.” Tickets are $18. 7 p.m., Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St. Visit


12.21-22 The Snow Queen

Brought to you by Ballet Evolution, this whimsical production has been described as the “Alt-Nutcracker.” Follow the journey of beautiful young Gerda as she rescues her true love from the Snow Queen’s ice palace. Ticket prices range from $20 to $50. 7:30 p.m., Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Visit


evening will also feature local food vendors. Admission is free. 5:30 p.m., The Town Market on James Island, 871 Fort Johnson Road. Visit the Town Market on James Island’s Facebook page for more information.

Flicks on the Field Presents Home Alone


Enjoy a holiday classic on the big screen. Bring your own blankets and chairs. The

New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise

Bring in the New Year with style aboard the Spirit Line Dinner Cruise. The evening will feature a four course meal, dancing and live music by Vincent Rivers Duo and Dave Landeo Duo. Tickets are $99. Boarding begins at 9 p.m. Party flavors are included and there will be a champagne toast at midnight. 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Road. Visit

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C4WNEW ANNUAL CONFERENCE Hosted by Center for Women at Trident Technical College “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Big Magic” author Elizabeth Gilbert told women who attended the Center for Women’s Annual Conference to set priorities and boundaries, to hold them sacred and to relax because in the end, when it really mattered everything would be all right. Afterward the keynote address Thursday night, Skirt magazine and the Center for Women hosted a VIP reception with a “Big Magic” signature cocktail by celebrity mixologist Charlotte Voisey. Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres by Trident Technical College as DJ Samira Miche kept the good vibes going. Skirt-shaped cookies by Michelle Diminich of Dolce Bakery and festive cake batter blondies by Charlotte Park of Crumbs 4 Charleston were quickly grabbed up for dessert. Women posed behind a beautiful live floral skirt from Petaloso, and Wine & Design provided bold art to decorate the room. The conference continued Friday with a full day of panels and workshops focused on career development, entrepreneurship and wellness. The morning kicked off with a breakfast presentation by Blackbaud chief marketing office Catherine Lacour. The conference is the Center for Women’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Clockwise: Heather Holmquest, Buffie Bell Lilly, Susan Norfleet, Whitney Brenkus, Shelley Young; Andrea Smith; Cokie Berenyi, Natalia Castillo; Savannah Simmons, Erin Watson, Sarah Curry


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11.15.18 -11.16.18



Clockwise: Paulina Graham, Mell Bell; Peri Sheppard, Shauna VanBogart, Gervase Kolmos; Whitney Brenkus, Shelley Young, Susan Norfleet, Elizabeth Gilbert; Lisa Dabney, Elizabeth Gilbert; Kim Conger

skirt . | december 2018  41


skirt . | december 2018

You are cordially invited

TO OUR ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF WEDDINGS 2019 Skirt Magazine Wedding Guide “I Do” is our annual wedding special section connecting brides with the area’s most exceptional vendors via original editorial content and striking photography. Written, photographed, designed and edited by people who live here and know the local market, “I Do” showcases all the elements that are part of planning a picture-perfect wedding. Your business can reach more than 100,000 women through our integrated promotional packages.

For advertising information, call 843.958.0028 or email


the issue

This holiday season we wish you comfort Comfort that comes from knowing you’re surrounded by family and friends who love and support you, Comfort that comes when you have created a home, a place where you belong, Comfort that comes from healing and from maintaining good health. Comfort that comes from believing and trusting in yourself, Comfort that comes from your faith.

This holiday season we wish you joy Joy that comes from listening to your favorite holiday songs and singing them at the top of your lungs, Joy that comes from watching young children marvel at twinkling lights and Santa Claus, Joy that comes from creating new memories with family and friends, Joy that comes from going after your goals and providing for your family, Joy that comes from living your most fulfilled life, Joy that comes from leaving last year behind and welcoming a new year! This holiday season we hope you find the joy that comes from bringing comfort to others, The joy that comes from giving. We wish you a holiday season and new year filled with comfort, joy and peace!




skirt . | december 2018

Wishing you comfort and joy this holiday season! We appreciate your loyalty and support and look forward to moving into the New Year together. —Holy City Publishing and Skirt magazine

Moncks Corner

176 78


402 41

26 52







Summerville 61






26 A




















Goose Creek




North Charleston 526

Daniel Island

61 Y






Johns Island Kiawah Island

Isle of Palms


Family Medicine Internal Medicine

James Island Wadmalaw Island



















West Ashley

17 Ravenel

Mt Pleasant









Coming Soon

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Pediatric Care Internal & Family Medicine Pediatric Care, Internal & Family Medicine

Seabrook Island

The best choice for primary care – close to home. Edisto Beach Choosing MUSC Health Primary Care means the best care is right around the corner. Find a location that’s best for you and

your family and schedule an appointment online any time, day or night. When you choose an MUSC Health Primary Care provider, you gain access to more than 700 specialists at our nationally recognized academic medical center. So, whether you are looking for preventive care or support in managing your chronic condition, or simply need a referral to a specialist, an MUSC Health Primary Care provider is your best choice. 843-792-7000 |

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