Page 1


Get Aligned! How to move forward with purpose in







EXECUTIVE EDITOR Shelley Hill Young ART DIRECTOR Laura Staiano INTEGRATED ACCOUNT MANAGER Susan Norfleet Whitney Brenkus PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ILLUSTRATORS Rebecca Bradley, Caroline Knopf, Abby Murphy, Brianna Stello, Erin Turner, Daniel Velasco CONTRIBUTORS Kris De Welde, Holly Fisher, Caroline Fossi, Kelsey Lorman, Helen Mitternight, Angie Mizzell, Caryn O’Hara, Lorraine Pursell, Allyson Sutton 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. 25 Issue 1 ISSN 2637-3815 (Print) ISSN 2637-3831(Online)

Proudly printed by Walton Press for 24 years!

Visit to sign up to receive the latest Skirt news and information.

Want more? Visit us at

PROUD MEMBER OF The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce


skirt . | january 2019  3

JANUARY | 2019






F E AT U R E S Women Rising!


We’ve Got Your Back


Financial Health: Is Your Spending Aligned with Your Goals?


Closet Clean-Out


Setting the Record Straight by Caryn O’Hara


Alignment Means Bliss by Lorraine Pursell


The Color of Teil



Skirt Wellness:   Deliberate Meditation


Forward! Self-care Is Subversive


The Game Changer  by Angie Mizzell


Men in Skirts: Ryan Becknell


Skirt Table: Verde


Skirt Calendar


Don’t Skirt the Issue




on the cover

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINE KNOPF Get Aligned! How to move forward with purpose in

We asked stylist Alexandra Munzel and photographer Caroline Knopf how they would envision mind-body alignment for the cover of our January wellness issue. “We’re going for a vibe of purity, wellness, strength and confidence,” Alexandra says.






Styled by Alexandra Munzel Model Kelly Kopen from Directions USA Hair by Mac McAbee of Coven Haircraft Makeup by Rosa D. Martinez


Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  5

“Dr. Zhou is the greatest, I cannot recommend her highly enough! She treated both of our daughters and is so warm and friendly and loving she feels like family to us all.� - Patient Testimonial, Lorrie

Swe e tgrass

Orthodontics Dr. Jing Zhou,


Get an online consultation today!

About Dr. Zhou

Dr. Zhou (her patients call her Dr. Jo) is passionate about offering the best smiles and is committed to providing the highest standard of care to our local community! She is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and a Member of the Angle Society of Orthodontia and American Association of Orthodontists.

Three Convenient Locations OPENING SOON!

Contact Us

Mount Pleasant

Johns Island

North Charleston

1441 N Point Ln

3425 Maybank Hwy

8720 N Park Blvd

Mount Pleasant, SC

Johns Island, SC

North Charleston, SC

(843) 800-2505

(843) 559-0955

(843) 628-0509

Resolve to tighten and tone your body... without breaking a sweat. We offer these easy options:

Exilis Ultra 360

is the only FDA-cleared non-invasive device that transmits radio frequency and ultrasound energy simultaneously. This combined technology makes head-to-toe skin tightening more comfortable and effective than traditional RF or ultrasound treatments.

Special Offer: Up to

20% Off



is the new procedure applying focused electromagnetic energy to produce muscle contraction that stimulate, tone and strengthen muscles for a firmer tummy and buttocks. EMSculpt reduces fat cells and build muscle fibers after just four treatments.

Schedule your consultation with Lori Wrightington and ask about an introductory offer. Receive a complimentary product with treatment.

Laser Hair Removal Winter is the best time of the year for this treatment.

Buy 1 area, get the second for 50%



With the purchase of a HydraFacial, receive an add-on treatment.

35 Value

$ Check our website and social media for Featured Treatment of the Month!

A difference you can see and feel. 2180 Henry Tecklenburg Drive & 1364 Ashley River Road


Todd Schlesinger MD, FAAD, FASMS • Erin Walker, MD, FAAD • Kalen Ashford, PA • Gina O’Callaghan, PA Lori Wrightington, Director of Laser & Medispa Services • Ashley Davis, Licensed Esthetician

editor’s letter Dear readers, It’s that time of the year when we reflect and celebrate what we’ve accomplished in the past months and look forward to what’s ahead. This coming year brings a major milestone for Skirt as we celebrate our 25th anniversary in June, so the reflecting and planning is going into overdrive! First, I want to take a moment to celebrate what Skirt has accomplished in the past year. Last January, we pledged to be stronger in 2018, and we think we’ve flexed our muscles. In the past six months alone, Skirt has once again become locally owned and operated under Holy City Publishing with publisher Tom Giovanniello at the helm. We’ve made some bold design changes intended to make Skirt a better reading experience, attract a wider audience and help better feature our advertisers. And we’ve gotten more involved in the community, supporting such organizations as Postpartum Support Charleston, Susan G. Komen South Carolina, the American Heart Association Charleston, the Center for Women, and College of Charleston’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. We’re also so inspired as we look at some of the strong, smart and talented women who have shared their stories with us in the past year including: barista Trista Kutcher, author Mary Alice Monroe, Liz Ramirez of Earth Heart Growers, Liza Irvin of Scentervention, mixologist Megan Deschaine, Growing up Gullah tour guide Sarah Burnell, Ranky Tanky singer Quiana Parler, Blackbaud CMO Catherine LaCour, Emanuel AME survivor Polly Sheppard, clinic founder Dr. Reshma Khan and many others. You can find all of their stories on skirt. com, if you missed them. We’re excited about our plans for 2019. We’re aiming to host more Skirt Night events. This month, we’ll be kicking butt at 9 Round kickboxing studio in West Ashley on Jan. 24. In February, we’re also introducing a monthly book column with Charleston’s Bookish Blonde Lorna Hollifield and launching a book club in partnership with Buxton Books. Look for more information about upcoming events on Facebook, Instagram and in our newsletter. We’re also proud to sponsor the Women Rising! gathering and Wine, Women & Shoes, a fundraiser for Florence Crittenton Programs. You’ll find features about both groups in this issue. And, of course, we’ll throw a big party in June to celebrate 25 years of Skirt. As always, we’ll continue to celebrate spirited, independent, outspoken, passionate, strong, smart, talented women and to help amplify women’s voices. You can help us recognize Skirt women this year by telling us about them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using #skirtcelebrateswomen. Happy new year! Shelley Hill Young


skirt . | january 2019

Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  7

Women Rising! Gathering Hopes to Cultivate Female Energy for Change


arolyn Rivers and Sandy Morckel believe that qualities traditionally described as feminine – feeling from the heart, working in a spirit of collaboration, listening to one’s intuition, nurturing—are qualities that should be embraced and encouraged because they can change the world. They are qualities that aren’t taught and are often not appreciated by a patriarchal society. But Carolyn, the founder of The Sophia Institute, and Sandy, founder of consulting business Solutions for the Greater Good, say that with the #MeToo movement and the increase in women being more willing to take a stand and to take on leadership roles, there’s a new balance emerging that is not tied to stereotypical relationships and roles for women and men. “We are always cultivating power within instead of power over,” Carolyn says. “It needs to be further cultivated.” We are at a crossroads, and old society roles are beginning to break down, she says. “What we are investing in is this is a time to break through to a more conscientious world.” Carolyn and Sandy want to help bring about the change. They’re working together to present Women Rising!, a three-day gathering Feb. 7-9, designed to encourage women and men to embrace their feminine qualities and use them toward transformative change. Pat Mitchell, the first female president and CEO of PBS and now vice president of the Sundance Institute and co-curator of the TEDxWomen conference, will be the keynote speaker. The Sophia Institute hosted a Women Rising! Soiree in November to announce plans for the gathering. “There’s something about seeding change when you gather a large group of women together,” Carolyn says. Carolyn says when she was younger, she felt a deep yearning to “get to parts of myself that I didn’t know, that felt highly creative and spiritual.” She started seeking out learning experiences across the country. The journey led her to create The Sophia Institute in Charleston 17 years ago. She hopes that those who attend Women Rising! CAROLYN RIVERS might discover their own inner wis-


skirt . | january 2019

dom and commit to using it to work toward change. The Friday and Saturday of the gathering will be filled with six to seven “big conversations,” which may include a single speaker, a dialogue between two speakers or a larger panel discussion. “There will be lots of ah-ha moments,” Sandy says. Sandy says she had an ah-ha moment when she first heard Pat Mitchell speak, and it became clear that we are the ones we have been looking for to make a difference. “Pat called us all to tap into our individual talents and skills and don’t be afraid to let them shine,” Sandy said. “The future of our world is counting on it.” Sandy and Carolyn hope to encourage younger women to participate by launching Sophia Millennials and providing scholarships for some to attend the Women Rising! gathering. “As more and more people get exposed to this work, they find their new tribe and we expand our family,” Sandy says. “The more we continue the more (change) will happen in bigger ways.” Carolyn says the important questions that will be discussed include: How can you be a leader from a heart-centered place? How do we bring the rise of the feminine into the culture? The workplace? Our homes? Those discussions lead to conversations about glass ceilings in the workplace and economic parity, she says. The feminine quality of intuition can help guide us to find solutions, Carolyn says. “It helps you chart the uncharted.” Carolyn wants us to reimagine a world where all people have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. “This is an opportunity for us all to show up,” she says. “This is not a time to sit on the sidelines.” Tickets for the conference begin at $90 for the opening night, $250 for the two-day gathering and $350 for the three-day gathering. For more information about Women Rising!, including a list of speakers and ticket information, visit

‘There’s something about seeding change when you gather a large group of women together,’ says Carolyn Rivers, the founder of The Sophia Institute.



By Shelley Hill Young

Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  9



ou’ve probably read your fair share of articles touting the benefits of mindfulness, heard celebrities like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow talk about enlightenment or tested out a handful of meditation apps. But in our fast-paced daily lives— screaming kids, buzzing cell phones, busy work calendars—quieting the mind can feel harder than ever. Lyn Tally and Hallie Buchanan want to change that. After connecting through Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, a mind-body healing methodology in which they’re both trained, the two were inspired to launch a business together. “I had always had a vision of opening a wellness center, and we were both seeking partnership in our work,” Hallie says. In 2013, they formed Charleston Wellness Group, a holistic practice offering health coach-

MINDFUL SHIFT By Allyson Sutton • Photography by Erin Turner ing, yoga therapy and counseling. But it wasn’t quite what they hoped it would be. “We quickly realized it wasn’t accomplishing what we wanted it to—not from a business standpoint but from a desire standpoint,” says Hallie. “It was a construct of individual services rather than a team approach.” As they contemplated more impactful ways to collaborate, Hallie and Lyn shifted their sights toward meditation. Both had experienced the transformative power of the practice in their lives—Lyn as a former professional ballerina turned corporate wellness entrepreneur and Hallie as a licensed professional counselor. Over the course of two years, they created The Deliberate Method, a group coaching program centered on mindfulness and meditation. “So many people feel like they don’t have control over their mind when they’re struggling or feeling stuck,” Hallie says. “Mindfulness is about shifting your focus, getting to the core of what’s really happening and changing those patterns so you can have better influence over your emotions, reactions and how you navigate life.”


skirt . | january 2019

Blending yoga principles, cognitive counseling and their experiences with self-reflection, the two developed “Mindful Shift,” a three-month virtual training program that uses weekly calls, videos, guided audios and group support to educate participants on meditation and provide real-life techniques to create a consistent, daily practice. “We want to debunk the idea that you have to be a certain kind of person to experience meditation,” Hallie says. “There’s this misconception that you have to be into yoga, eat a certain way or already be a calm, spiritual person. A lot of people think that your mind has to be wired a certain way for mindfulness to work for you, and that’s not the case.” The program goes beyond guided meditations, diving into what Hallie and Lyn call “mindfulness in real life.” “We want people to be able to access mindfulness on command because real life is going to bring you out of that state,” Lyn says. “If you’re driving kids around or in a stressful meeting, you won’t be able to tune into a guided app on your headphones. You need techniques to reach that desired state unassisted.”

‘There’s this misconception that you have to be into yoga, eat a certain way, or already be a calm, spiritual person. A lot of people think that your mind has to be wired a certain way for mindfulness to work for you, and that’s not the case.’


Their clients are typically people with “very full lives,” Lyn says. Folks who have felt stressed, tired or overwhelmed and have tried external fixes like “new ways to write a to-do list or manage time, added protein powder or supplements.” “We get awry a lot because we focus on external things to find internal change,” she adds. “Hallie and I try to help people shift that, working on the internal first so they can get to that next level of really feeling good in the life they’re in.” Angela Vaughan – a Nashville-based educator, behavior analyst, wife, and mom of a toddler – sought out The Deliberate Method to better navigate her busy life. “Because of the gentle guidance of Hallie and Lyn, I am much more self-aware and I have a method (and lots of great tools and resources) to navigate feelings of anxiety and busy-ness,” Angela says. “Their meditation practice has provided me with an incredible sense of freedom and confidence across all areas of my life.” It’s these results that push Lyn and Hallie to continue their work. Says Lyn, “It’s really inspiring to see folks connect with themselves in a deeper way and then have this ripple effect on their kids and the people around them.” Ultimately, the duo hope to demystify meditation, offering tools to transition mindfulness from a trendy buzzword to a tangible and approachable life skill.

What’s the best piece of advice for someone approaching a meditation practice for the first time: Be clear on what you are hoping to get out of it. Identify your bigger why. It will help you navigate the bumps that come with establishing a meditation practice. Second, start with apps like Calm or Insight Timer to help you gain confidence through guidance to get started. What are some simple mindfulness tactics someone could try to begin the process of getting unstuck?

In order to get unstuck, you have to become more awake to what actually is happening, and thus mindfulness is a powerful strategy. We encourage people to start with naming that you are stuck and then å the experience. Write down the key players: who is involved, what is the situation, what are you thinking about the situation and what feels are coming up. This primes the pump to be able to create a shift if one chooses to do so. Are there any meditation and mindfulness resources you can’t live without?

“We really try to educate people on the neuroscience of meditation and the process of moving into calmer brain states so it’s less about ‘how long is this going to take,’ and more about knowing what to expect and how each state might feel,” Hallie says. “It’s like any new habit you try to form,” Lyn adds. “At first, it’s uncomfortable. You might fidget, get distracted or feel like it’s not working. But when you understand what your brain is doing, you can sit through it and know that you’ll get to the next state.” Whether running a program, offering consul-

Joe Dispenza’s work has influenced a lot of our teaching and personal practice. The classic “The Power Of Now.” “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. What else does your wellness routine include? Energy clearing techniques to keep the body, mind and vibe fresh. Dance. Drinking good clean-crafted wines and enjoying a laugh with our favorite peeps. Monk mornings that are slow, easy-going and include stretching. Pole-dancing (that’s only on Lyn’s list).

tations or chatting with new friends who are curious about meditation and mindfulness, Hallie and Lyn always emphasize patience, balance and using these methodologies to unlock joy. “You don’t have to get it right immediately,” Hallie says. “Take baby steps. Nothing needs to happen right away. Trust yourself and your journey with it. Be easy about it. Have fun with it.” The Deliberate Method’s next program launches in the spring. To learn more, visit deliberatemethod. com or listen to the “UNSNUCKed” podcast, where they take real people through the steps toward successful mindfulness.


Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  11



isclaimer: I have no business preaching to you, readers of Skirt, about self-care. In fact, it is with great irony that I am writing about this topic as someone who is overworked, under-rested, and perpetually deprived of down time. This is no badge of honor; I’m not seeking pity or empathy. It just is. So, I should be reading and practicing self-care, not writing about it, right? Maybe. Because it would be grossly hypocritical, I will spare you a laundry list of ways to self-care. You have countless ways to access information about what this is, how to do it, why to do it and so on. There are self-care websites, blogs, vlogs, songs, podcasts, books, gurus, phone apps, medical pamphlets, magazine articles…no shortage of resources on this topic! What many of us are missing is an understanding of self-care as a political act, as something deeply and unmistakably subversive. Historically, those who wrestled with an unequal society through the women’s movement and civil rights movement came to understand that their own good health was imperative for the broader struggle, including the struggle against an inequitable health care system. As Aisha Harris writes in a 2017 Slate magazine article, “Women and people of color viewed controlling their health as a corrective to the failures of a white, patriarchal medical system to properly tend to their needs.” Of course, eating properly and taking time for social interaction cannot compensate for unbiased, accessible medical care, particularly for chronic illnesses that are plaguing so many of us. And as access to institutionalized health care – as fraught as it may be — becomes increasingly inaccessible for millions and millions of Americans, alternative approaches to health and well-being become increasingly important.

Self-Care is Subversive Take as an example LGBTQ+ individuals’ health care needs, which, distinctive from non-LGBTQ+ individuals, are marginalized and pathologized in mainstream medicine. As a result, specialized clinics and uniquely trained medical staff are needed to address the gaps. The good news: These are increasingly available. The bad news: They are underfunded, under-resourced and under attack. No amount of self-care is going to address that. Let’s be clear. However, there is a strong link between activism and caring for oneself. In her Slate article, Aisha provides a brief history of self-care as a radical act and brings us into present day with an understanding of how contemporary activists in movements for social justice have embraced the importance of caring for oneself in a socio-political climate that is toxic and harmful. A poignant example she draws on is the need for self-care in black communities while media outlets release video after video of police shootings of unarmed black people. Aisha and many others have quoted the righteously radical Audre Lorde, whose writing provides solace and validation for those resisting their oppressors and oppressions: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”


skirt . | january 2019

By Kris De Welde

Those experiencing oppression have always created strategies to survive, even to thrive in spite of relentless inequities, violence, erasure and harm. Acts of resistance from the power-less toward the power-full are worth studying if only because they correct historical accounts of, well, just about everything. But understanding resistance as not just outright rebellion against the status quo, but as equally important acts of self-preservation, of self-defense, can be inspiring, healing even. In my work as a professor of women’s and gender studies and sociology, I regularly support students and colleagues who need encouragement because they find themselves experiencing the weight of an unequal society. Oftentimes I listen, I validate, I wring my hands and cry with them. And sometimes we scheme. We devise ways to navigate the system, or upend the system, make change happen so that others fare better or get their justice. This is part of why I am overworked and spread too thin. But for me, laboring for social change becomes self-care (especially when the outcome is progress). If my time and energy investment results in change, I am recharged. My resistance alongside others heals me from my own experiences of injustice in ways that a yoga class cannot.


How activism and taking care of yourself are linked

‘If a temporary indulgence at the spa provides a space to recharge, unplug from incessant demands and practice stillness so that you are able to re-enter into a life of constant challenges where you work on behalf of and alongside others, then it just might be an act of rebellion.’ So, does the rose quartz hydrating botanical facial at an upscale spa have the capacity to catalyze a revolution? Umm, no, probably not, particularly if the staff working at that spa are underpaid, have no benefits and are unable to practice meaningful self-care themselves. But if a temporary indulgence at the spa provides a space to recharge, unplug from incessant demands and practice stillness so that you are able to re-enter into a life of constant challenges where you work on behalf of and alongside others, then it just might be an act of rebellion. Self-care can be a political act in the face of oppression and absence of care from broader social institutions and interactions. But, as Jordan Kisner writes in a New Yorker March 2017 article, “The irony of the grand online #selfcare-as-politics movement of 2016 is that it was powered by straight, affluent white women, who, although apparently feeling a new vulnerability in the wake of the election, are not traditionally the segment of American society in the greatest need of affirmation.” Indeed, self-care-as-politics has been somewhat hijacked from its radical origins, especially in mainstream depictions. But, if through this process self-care is being normalized as a necessary aspect of hectic lives for the rest

Want more? Visit us at

of us, then bring it on. But, they (You? We?) also have to hold the door open for others who do not normally benefit from “indulgences” and temporary respites. That means straight, white, affluent women must defend with ferocity others’ claim to their own self-care, without judgment or grumblings or gratuitous opinions. When the spaces you navigate daily are harmful or toxic or depleting, self-care is survival. When the self-care you practice refills your cup from which others can drink, self-care is radical. When the work you are doing is on behalf of more justice for more people, self-care is political. Kris De Welde, Ph.D., is the director of women’s and gender studies and professor of women’s and gender studies and sociology at College of Charleston. She specializes in the study of intersectional inequalities and feminist leadership in higher education, reproductive justice and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Kris was awarded the 2016-2017 Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism Award for her sustained commitments to social justice within and beyond the academy. As a recent transplant from Florida, she is happily making her way through the Charleston food scene. She also enjoys cycling, yoga, the beer her husband makes and her ridiculous cats.

skirt . | january 2019  13




skirt . | january 2019


You may have heard that “sitting is the new smoking.” Health experts agree that remaining too long in one position—whether seated or standing—can wreak havoc on our well-being. Poor posture causes additional problems. “We’re hunters and gatherers by nature,” says Dr. Evaline Delson of Delson Chiropractic in West Ashley. “We’re supposed to be moving. We weren’t made to sit behind a desk all day.” In fact, Americans sit an average of 10 to 13 hours a day. That might sound far-fetched, but whether you’re sitting at your computer, driving to and from work, or lounging on the sofa watching TV, it quickly adds up. Among the health troubles caused by extended periods of sitting are neck and shoulder pain, an increased risk for heart disease, weight gain, cancer and even depression. Research shows that people who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have a risk of dying that’s similar to the risk faced by those who are obese or who smoke, according to the Mayo Clinic. But desk jockeys, take heart: You can counter the effects of too much sitting with 60 to 75 minutes a day of moderately intense physical activity. That doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or run for miles. Any sort of movement helps— from walking around the block to vacuuming the living room. The ideal activity regimen differs for each person, given your workplace environment, health concerns and other factors. If you sit or stand for long periods, make a conscious effort to move or change position at regular intervals. Set a timer on your watch or phone to remind yourself to stretch or move—ideally every 30 minutes, but at least every hour, Evaline says. Roll your shoulders back, open and close your arms around your body, get up and go to the bathroom, take a brisk walk at lunchtime—whatever you can realistically do to incorporate movement into your day. The way you sit and stand impacts your body, too. With prolonged sitting, our natural posture can become slumped and curved, says Michelle Hard, a physical therapist with Roper St. Francis Healthcare. It’s this “C”-shaped curve in our backs that gets us into trouble, she says.

While your mom might have nagged you to “sit up straight,” that’s not technically correct when it comes to good posture.

Over time, certain muscles in our neck, shoulders, hips and back become shortened because of poor body alignment. Slouching posture also restricts lung capacity, blood flow and digestion, says Dr. Sabino D’Agostino, a board-certified neurosurgeon and minimally invasive spine specialist affiliated with Trident Health System, among other hospitals. “Being hunched over compresses all those structures,” he explains. While your mom might have nagged you to “sit up straight,” that’s not technically correct when it comes to good posture. Instead, sit with the pelvis tilted slightly forward to allow the natural inward curve at the base of the spine to be present, says Michelle, the physical therapist. Keep your shoulders back to avoid slouching.

To support your spine while sitting in a chair, use the back rest or other lumbar support, such as a small pillow or towel roll behind your lower back. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest. If your job requires prolonged computer work, consider a sit-stand desk that allows for position changes. When standing, hold your chest up and shoulders back, and don’t lock your knees. If you experience back discomfort, try taking it easy for a week and treat pain with anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, says Sabino, who practices with Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Specialists in Ladson. See a doctor if the pain doesn’t subside after a week. Warning signs of a more serious back injury include numbness or tingling or unusual weakness in any part of your body. In that case, seek medical attention immediately. Once you damage one part of your spine, it can change the dynamics of the whole vertebral column, Sabino notes. “It doesn’t really take much to throw off the whole balance.” Prevention is key for back health, he says. Practice proper sitting, standing and lifting techniques (lift with your legs, not your back), and make low-impact exercise a regular part of your day.

‘Once you damage one part of your spine, it can change the dynamics of the whole vertebral column. ‘It doesn’t really take much to throw off the whole balance,’ Dr. Sabino D’Agostino says.


These core strength and flexibility exercises can help improve posture and alignment: • Planks • Squats • Lunges • Yoga poses such as Child’s Pose • Hamstring and hip flexor stretching • Standing extension • Cervical extension • Thoracic (mid-back) rotation Note: Not everyone responds to the same exercises. Stretches should be held for 15 to 20 seconds without bouncing. Whenever you first feel a stretch you should stop and hold; it’s important not to overstretch. Physical activity should never be painful. Performing exercises incorrectly can be ineffective and sometimes harmful. Sources: Dr. Evaline Delson and Michelle Hard


Keeping your body in proper alignment when sitting, standing or lifting puts the least amount of stress on your spine and its supporting ligaments and muscles. Here are some more ways proper posture pays off: • Improved balance • Increased performance in sports and activities • Decreased wear on joint surfaces • Decreased fatigue, as muscles are used more efficiently • Reduced risk of back injury • Improved appearance and self-confidence Source: Michelle Hard

‘We’re hunters and gatherers by nature.’ says Dr. Evaline Delson of Delson Chiropractic. ‘We’re supposed to be moving. We weren’t made to sit behind a desk all day.’



s we move into 2019, many women will be thinking about changes they need to make, new habits they want to develop. Finances will likely be part of those New Year’s resolutions—spending less, saving more or opening a retirement account. Stephanie Mackara, principal wealth adviser with Charleston Investment Advisors, cautions women against simply creating a budget without thinking about how it fits into their larger life plan and goals. “Money is something that is a tool to help you achieve your goals, but you have to have the foundational goals,” she says. “As people

‘When you’re motivated with something in mind, it’s so much easier to look at each expense and weigh it,’ Virginia Lee says. ‘Do I really need that new pair of shoes?’ start a new year, it’s a clean slate and it’s helpful to think about what’s important to them and what they want to achieve in that given year.” The next step is getting clarity on what you’re spending. Stephanie recommends a budgeting tool like where get a visual on how you’re spending your money. Most people know about how much they spend for their house, utilities, the monthly cell phone bill, but other expenses can be surprising. “You see a visual (of your expenses) and think, ‘How am I spending $500 a month on going out to eat?’” Stephanie says. Getting clarity on your expenses is key because you can make decisions based on those numbers and your values, Stephanie says. Instead of thinking about a budget as restrictive, flip your mindset and see it as a tool to help achieve your goals.


skirt . | january 2019

Health “I’m all for enjoying life, spending and creating experiences, but not to the extent that it’s putting you in debt,” she says. “At the end of the day, a budget’s only as good as what it’s telling you and what you’re learning from it. What you should be learning is where your money is going and where it’s not.” INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE Georgia French, senior vice president for wealth management for UBS of Daniel Island, is a firm believer in “pay yourself first.” She urges her clients to think about how they can fund their retirement account to the fullest— whether it’s individual investments or a 401(k) offered by their employer. You can’t rely fully on pension plans or s Social Security, she says. The most common question people ask is how much they should save. Georgia suggests listing all the mandatory expenses—mortgage, gas for the car, insurance, groceries. If your paycheck after taxes is $10,000 a month and you’re spending $7,000 on the essentials, you have $3,000 to spare. Once you know the essentials, you can think about your retirement goals. Do you want to travel or buy a boat? If you’re comfortable today living on $6,000 a month, then you need to save enough (considering inflation) so you can live on $6,000 a month in your retirement. “Make an effort to work the plan backward,” Georgia says. “Where do I see myself? What’s my dream?” Then create a financial plan that will help you achieve those retirement goals. CREATE SMART GOALS Virginia Lee, senior vice president in First Citizens’ commercial banking group, suggests making two lists: wants versus needs. If you want to join a gym or plan a girls’ weekend, put those on the “wants” list and then look at how you can adjust your spending to attain them. By carefully tracking your spending, you can begin to trim expenses, allowing you to save for those bigger “wants.” You may be surprised to find you spent $1,200 last year going to movies, Virginia says. This year, cut back by watching movies on Netflix or going to one movie per month. You’re trading the cost of movies for

Want more? Visit us at

By Holly Fisher Illustrated by Rebecca Bradley

QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT SAVING FOR RETIREMENT • How much am I saving? • When am I going to need it? • How long will I need it? • How much will I need? • What is my legacy (what do   I want to leave behind)? —Georgia French, senior vice president for wealth management for UBS

that gym membership or that girls’ weekend. Setting clear financial goals can keep you motivated when you’re tempted to overspend. Lee encourages people to set SMART goals that are: •S  pecific: How much money do you need for that girls’ weekend? •M  easurable: You can see your progress toward the amount you need for the trip. •A  ttainable: You feel as if you have a good chance of succeeding. •R  elevant: This trip is something you’re excited about. •T  ime-related: Set a date for the trip. “When you’re motivated with something in mind, it’s so much easier to look at each expense and weigh it,” Virginia says. “Do I really need that new pair of shoes?”

FEEL LIBERATED ABOUT FINANCES Helen “Cokie” Berenyi is big believer in aligning your life’s goals with your finances. The CEO and founder of Alphavest, Cokie published “Perfect Day: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Curing Lifestyle Deficit Disorder and Reclaiming Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life.” Many of her clients are financially secure but they may have neglected other areas of their lives: health, relationships or philanthropy. Cokie works with them to create a system for funding those areas that need attention. For example, a client might decide their health needs to be a bigger priority, but they aren’t sure about spending money on a monthly Pilates class. Cokie helps them see they could allocate 1 percent of their annual budget to health and wellness. This would give them $2,000 or $3,000 for fitness classes. When you break it down like that, Cokie says, most people believe they’re worth at least 1 percent of that bucket. Developing budgets, financial goals and conscious-spending habits removes the guilt and shame people – particularly women – have when it comes to money. “Budgets are broken every day,” she says. “Just have the clarity and be connected to what you want to spend your money on. If you spent too smuch, instead of feeling guilty, say, ‘Now I’ll spend more purposefully.’”

FINANCIAL   PLANNING TOOLS • • QuickBooks Online • Online banking—Many banks have a   robust online banking platform that allow you to categorize expenses and access budgeting tools. • Your employer’s benefits website should have plenty of tools and resources   to help you create a budget and set   retirement goals.

skirt . | january 2019  19

CLOSET Clean-Out A step-by-step guide to decluttering and decorating your space so you can get out the door more quickly and focus on the more important stuff Compiled by Lizz Luckhart Schleifer Photography by Abby Murphy

LIZZ LUCKHART SCHLEIFER, a mother of three and owner of Lizz Luckhart Designs, invited us inside her closet (brave woman) to show us how to declutter, decorate, decompress and face the new year with more time, some extra cash and a renewed sense of style. Follow Lizz’s tips and you’ll always know where to find your favorite shirt and your prized pair of jeans. You can avoid duplicate purchases and make fewer trips to the dry cleaners.

Here are her eight step-by-step tips to declutter your closet and a breakdown for how to tackle the hard stuff:


Gather your closet organization supplies, including a “toss” basket and a tape measure to measure shelving and hanging space.


Empty your closet of all contents—clothing, shoes, closet organizers, etc.


Clean your closet. Dust the shelving and hanging rods. Vacuum or Swiffer the floor, and start with a clean space!


skirt . | january 2019


Donate, recycle or sell the clothing items, shoes and accessories you no longer need.


Assess your closet storage solutions to make sure they fit your closet space and work with your clothing, shoes and accessories.


Organize your clothing, shoes and accessories and put back into your closet by grouping similar items and moving your most worn items

into your closet’s prime real estate.


Come up with a plan to keep your closet organized so it never becomes a breeding ground for clutter again.


Decorate your closet. Treat it like any other room in your home.

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT Once you gather your supplies and empty and clean your closet, it’s decision time. This is the part you’ve either been looking forward to or dreading. Some people fear decluttering because they love to hold on to things they “may need one day” or that “used to fit/be in style.” Focus on what to keep rather than what you’re getting rid of. Separate your clothes into four distinct piles: • Keep: Anything you love and wear often. •C  onsign: In order to sell or consign items, your clothing, shoes and accessories must be in good shape. Most consignment stores prefer name brands. • Donate: These items should be in good shape. Think “gently used” when adding to this pile. • Trash: Clothing to trash would include anything stained beyond repair, ripped, or hopelessly out of style. When you’re deciding whether to keep something, it’s helpful to ask these questions: 1. Do you love it? 2. Do you wear it? 3. Does it project the image you want to portray? If the answer is “yes” to all three, then you can place that item into the “Keep” pile. Remember, the 80/20 rule. You only wear 20

percent of what is in your closet, so keep only what you love. If you’re having a hard time, create a “maybe” pile. Put your maybe pile into a bin and revisit it a few months later. If you never thought about wearing these items, you can confidently donate or consign them. If you’re really struggling, consider hiring a professional. Or invite a friend over and “pay” her with wine to help pare down your wardrobe. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SPACE Closet storage solutions aren’t going to create more space in your closet; however, closet organizers, storage solutions and closet systems can help to make more storage space accessible to you. Examples: • A step stool will make it easier for you

to reach the top shelves of your closet. • A double hang will make better use of horizontal storage space in the closet. • An over-the-door shoe rack can turn your door into the perfect place to store shoes, accessories or both. You might be tempted to throw your hands up, pull out your credit card and buy an expensive closet system. Don’t. Measure the space, assess what you already have, and plan your closet accordingly. Buy only what you need to store your clothes and repurpose what you already own, if possible. Small bookcases, cubbies and baskets are great for storing handbags, shoes, accessories and gym clothes. ORGANIZE YOUR CLOTHES, SHOES AND ACCESSORIES This is where you put everything back together in a way that makes sense to you, uses all of your available space and is attractive enough to motivate closet maintenance. Think about where it makes sense to store each category of clothing and then think about the easiest spots to reach in your closet. GROUP LIKE WITH LIKE Gather belts, sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, work pants, dresses, button-down shirts,

jeans, shorts—you get the idea—and decide the best place to store each item as a group (for example, hang pants in closet, fold and stack sweaters in a bureau). Working in groups of items will help you figure out how much space you need and the best way to store each type of item. PROPERLY USE PRIME REAL ESTATE Reserve the front and middle of your closet for clothes you wear most often. If you

have to get dressed for work each morning at 6 a.m., make sure your work clothes are at the front of your closet. Lesser-worn items like formal wear and out-of-season clothing should be stored toward the back and on the upper shelves. TUCK AWAY LEAST-USED ITEMS Use the very top of your closet for out-of-season items and stuff you only wear a few times a year, such as Halloween costumes and super-fancy shoes. GIVE IT SOME PERSONALITY Treat your closet (no matter what size) as if it’s another room in your house. 1. If there is a window, add curtains. 2. Always have a full-length mirror. 3. Invest in quality hangers. Velvet ones save room and look great. 4. Add a rug to give it some personality. 5. Ottomans! You can sit down to put on your shoes. Plus, use an ottoman that has storage to hide off-season wardrobe items!

Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  21

Setting the Record Straight How not to fall into common traps at the beginning of the year and gain clarity instead


new year is upon us, which means we may fall into two common traps: We can use the momentum for a fresh start or carry on like we did during the holidays, enjoying extra sweets and skipping workouts to have another glass of wine. Clearly, these aren’t the only two options, though they tend to be the camps we fall into. How about we treat this year differently? How about we look at what feels inherently good to the system—mind, body and soul—and do more of that? How about we align with what brings us the most comfort and joy? How about we choose moderation—neither perfection nor procrastination? To stay aligned with the version of ourselves we enjoy most, we need to get clear. We need to understand what it feels like. Let’s ask these questions to gain insight: When do I feel my most rested? How many hours of rest does it require? How much quality time with loved ones does it take for me to continue feeling connected to the people who matter most to me? How much alone time do I need?

What foods sustain my energy? Which foods are difficult for my body to digest? What are the trends that cotriute to moodiness? Bloating? Indigestion? Fatigue? Illness? What are the foods I love that keep my body strong and resilient? What foods do I pay for with multiple uncomfortable trips to the bathroom or interrupted sleep? We don’t need a static plan. Life always creates change and reinforces the need to remain flexible. So what are the non-negotiables? When we stay curious about our health, we gain knowledge. When we instill certain practices and experience the benefits from them, we gain wisdom. When we choose to eat poorly or overlook the importance of sleep, we gain wisdom, too, about the things that are best left off the to-do list. The best way to achieve a vibrant lifestyle that supports our goals and personal moral code is by setting intentions. Every day when we rise or every evening before bed, let’s take a few moments to decide what our focus will be. Intentional living is deliberately being someone we respect, living up to our word and doing

START 2019 WITH MORE FLEXIBILITY   AND MORE FORGIVENESS THE MEDICINE? Start small. Make three simple lists. WRITE A LIST OF WHAT MAKES LIFE EASIER. Add a list of stressful   situations in life. Use the first two to log the easy buttons and stressors in your current daily routine.


skirt . | january 2019

SETTING INTENTIONAL ALIGNMENT By next month, make a point to shift your daily   routine by reducing one or two from the stress list. Raise the bar by adding   two habits from the easy list to the daily routine.

LET’S BE GENTLE WITH OURSELVES.   No shame. No blame. No guilt. DOING THE BEST WE CAN WITH EACH DAY IS A GREAT PLACE TO START. During stressful times, let’s intend on taking each moment at a time. After all, there is no finish line.   One step at a time will   keep us truckin’.

what supports our vision. If we want to receive goodness, it may go without saying we need to inject it into our days. The conversations we have, the company we keep and whether we engage in trustworthy or risky business make it necessary for us to revisit what we want the bigger picture to look like. Getting to the heart of the matter requires a clean lens. When we zoom out, we can look at the different aspects of life: personal, family, career, home, health, relationships, travel, self-development. It’s important to give ourselves credit in the areas in which we are already hitting the mark. We understand that January and February are months of reflection and release. It’s not a matter of avoidance if we aren’t jazzed about shifting old patterns into new habits on Jan. 1. In fact, it’s more in line with our true nature if we continue gaining clarity through the winter and spring into action during March.


By Caryn O’Hara


ALIGNMENT By Lorraine Pursell


hat does that mean— alignment? Think of your front tires—wobble, shimmy, especially at certain speeds. You make a mental note: “Must get tires aligned.” Not much different in life—wobble, shimmy, especially at certain speeds. You make a mental note: “WTF’s going on with my life?! How come I’m worried? Why do I doubt? Who can I see for an emotional overhaul?!”

7.2 million pounds of thrust to leave the earth’s gravitational pull; it takes nothing less as we abandon our attachments to others and align with our grand vision. Beside well-meaning others, there’s the 800-pound Gorilla greeting us each morning reminding us that we aren’t all that. We need to FIERCELY tame it to keep it in its cage. When I learned that Tony Robbins and Oprah also have an 800-pound Gorilla, I stopped taking it personally and



‘Alignment means…purposely, publicly proclaiming you. It means being full of yourself. It means remembering who you are.  It means putting how you feel about you way above how others feel about you.’ Alignment. It’s the very subtle, mysterious place deep within each of us, the sweet spot that summons up deep selflove and self-admiration. It sources from our all-knowing inner being. It’s that inner spark that knows we’re meant for something great, to shine, give our gifts. But if we shine, if we proclaim ourselves, we’re easily criticized by Mean Girls. Too scary. “I’ll just keep to myself and someday I’ll be discovered and finally express,” you think to yourself. “I’ll let someone else lift me up.” Alignment means bucking that and purposely, publicly proclaiming you. It means being full of yourself. It means remembering who you are. It means putting how you feel about you way above how others feel about you. It means minding your own business and tending to your own life. Let others think and do as they may, and with all the love in the world, let them be. It takes courage because damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Double messages abound. But the rocket ship uses

Want more? Visit us at

making it mean anything. It’s part of the human condition. We forget we’re amazing beings with destiny and purpose. Focusing on this truth is the 7.2 million pounds of thrust. Remembering who we are is the work. It’s holding on for dear life on the days we don’t feel it, wallowing in it when we do, and no matter what, committing to live our sacred destiny. It’s the only way to be aligned. And while we’re sometimes thrown around emotionally, we find that focal point—that huge future vision—tethering us steady. We ask, “What would faith do right now?” Alignment is the state to always be in. And when we don’t feel kick-ass, we’ve swallowed doubt and fear, and it’s gotta barf out. Now. Doesn’t belong. Not alignment. Alignment is bliss. You’ve felt it. Alignment is your right. You deserve to dwell here, blissfully happy and in love with you, appreciative of your heart, your intentions. You know what I mean. With all the love in the world, let the others be.

Lorraine Pursell, M.A., is a global authenticity coach and teacher guiding women back home to themselves. Watch her Live Streams at or visit 3KeysToSelfLove. com for her eBook.

skirt . | january 2019  23


The Game Changer How working with a business coach has transformed how I spend my time By Angie Mizzell


hen I met Stacey Crew for coffee in September, neither of us expected our casual conversation about work and life would result in me hiring her as my personal business coach. Stacey recalls, “When I reached out to you, I simply wanted to see how you were doing and what was new and good.” Her text message said she was thinking of me and would love to catch up. And she wanted to see how things were going with the memoir I’m writing. “As a writer,” Stacey says, “I’m always excited to talk with others about their process.” I didn’t respond to her invitation for several days because I was drowning in life. I was overloaded with commitments. To be clear, there was nothing on my plate that I didn’t want to be there. But now, those same commitments were piled on top of me, and I couldn’t breathe. The thought of finding a break in my schedule to grab a coffee made me want to cry. The thought of talking about my memoir and admitting I was still stuck on the third draft also made me want to cry. I cry a lot when I’m stressed. Despite my intense overwhelm, I wanted to meet with Stacey. We followed each other on social media, bumped into each other at events and the grocery store and occasionally got together for coffee or lunch. I didn’t know her well but enough to know that I enjoyed her company. When we finally scheduled a time to meet, we slipped right back into our comfortable conversation. In addition to being a writer, Stacey is a coach and marketing strategist. I asked her more about her work as a coach and a sudden curiosity came over me. She went on to explain how she helped clients define what they want to achieve and develop the strategy to get there. Right then, I had a moment of clarity. I was tired of saying that my book is important to me, yet constantly pushing it aside. I was tired of my dream being just a dream. I’d done so much work already. I couldn’t fathom the idea

of staying stuck in this place and not seeing it through. I got an uncomfortable butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling, which is my body’s way of telling me, “You need to do this.” Out of nowhere I said, “I want to work with you!” She looked as surprised and excited as I was. Stacey and I have been working together for three months. We started by clarifying how to turn the work I do as a writer, lifestyle blogger and on-camera spokesperson into one cohesive brand. Next, Stacey asked me to list my commitments and estimate how much time I spent on them each week. When we added it up, I was surprised to learn that it far surpassed the time I had available. Stacey says I’m not alone. “I’ve learned that most people have too much on their proverbial plate due to overcommitting, which leaves little time to work on the goals they’d like to achieve.” Gaining clarity on how I spend my time has been a game changer for me. I don’t have an infinite supply of physical, mental and emotional energy and have a newfound respect for my personal bandwidth. I’m making adjustments to my current commitments and no longer say “yes” to new things, hoping I can somehow, magically, squeeze it all in. Now, I can see the space I have in my schedule, much like I can see if I have room for another pair of shoes in my closet. I ask myself, “Do I have time for this?” and trust the answer. When I give myself breathing room, I’ve discovered that I can get a lot more done in shorter periods of time. Seems counterintuitive but it works. For an overachiever like me, it blows my mind. Stacey says coaching works best for people who know what they want to accomplish and are willing to be transparent and ready to examine their habits and change those habits so they can move toward their goals with intention. I’m entering 2019 more closely aligned with what I value, not just in my work, but in my personal life as well. And, for me, that’s what it’s all about.


skirt . | january 2019


‘I was tired of saying that my book is important to me, yet constantly pushing it aside. I was tired of my dream being just a dream.’


Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  25



skirt . | january 2019



A physical trainer’s recovery from a rare disorder that left him partially paralyzed By Shelley Hill Young


yan Becknell is a surfer and a guitar player. He’s worked as a personal trainer for more than 10 years and talks passionately about the capabilities of the human body: Walter Payton’s precision, a client’s endurance during a grueling off-road race, a professional surfer’s courage on an epic wave and a female client’s strength in a push-up competition. He talks knowledgeably about the ingredients of the kombucha he’s drinking and doesn’t judge because I’m gulping down an oversized mug of eggnog latte. “I love the aesthetic and physical capabilities of the human body,” the Charleston native says. “That’s it.” Ryan believes in total wellness, which includes heart health, stress management, getting enough sleep, fueling your body with nutritional meals and breathing deeply. His motto is: “Eat light, breath deep, move every day, sleep well.” So when Ryan started having “staggering pain” radiating from both his shoulders down to his hands a little more than a year ago, it was devastating and life-changing. He suffered temporary paralysis in his shoulders and left arm, and lost 25 pounds of muscle. “It hit me like a ton of bricks,” he says. Ryan had always been able-bodied. But he found himself in and out of hospitals for almost a month before doctors could diagnose the problem: He had a rare autoimmune disorder called Parsonage-Turner Syndrome. He came down with a normal virus and the disease was caused by his body’s immune response. For a month, his wife washed his hair because he couldn’t. Now, his long wavy dark locks are his battle flag. “When I feel like I’m back to myself again, I’ll cut it,” he says. After the disorder was diagnosed, Ryan started working with a physical therapist. His goals? Drink a glass of water, wash his own hair and, of course, surf. But his doctor

Want more? Visit us at

warned that he needed to be mentally prepared to never regain feeling in his left hand. Ryan returned to work at Premier Fitness in West Ashley in May when a client asked him to help her with her hip. After the appointment, he says, he exhaled. “I think I’m back,” he said to himself. A few months later, he co-hosted the Lip Sync for Lungs fundraiser, which raises

Photography by Brianna Stello

complishments. He has played since he was 18 and performs with popular reggae band The Dubplates. Ryan says his experience has made him a better trainer. “I have a new understanding of what it’s like to struggle with your body,” he says. “I can relate on a way I never could previously.” And, he says, it’s made him focus on the

I have a new understanding of what it’s like to struggle with your body,’ he says. ‘I can relate on a way I never could previously. money for the American Lung Association. “There’s something that makes you want to give when you’re suffering,” he says. Ryan’s aunt passed away from complications from smoking when he was 14, and it deeply affected his family. “The effect her death had on me led me to be a wellness practitioner,” he says. Ryan says he’s starting to rebuild muscle tissue and has gained weight. Days before the interview he celebrated his 36th birthday and the year anniversary of when he got sick. He checked the last thing off his list about two months ago when he hit the waves at sunset at Folly Beach. Ryan said it was difficult to paddle and hard to pop up on the board, but once he got up, his legs took over. “It truly was a magical evening,” Ryan recalls. “It all came together. Ten months of recovery culminating in the fleeting moments of an East Coast swell was really special.” Now he’s planning to travel to Vail this month to go snowboarding and to Australia in February to go surfing. Next, he wants to add playing the guitar again to his list of ac-

things that are most important. “Who are the people that I love? What do I love to do? It’s a natural process of elimination,” he says. “There’s nothing like trauma to make you do that.”

skirt . | january 2019  27

COLOR of Teil

Teil Duncan Henley takes her art on the road and to your coffee table By Kelsey Lorman


passion for art and an unwavering faith are two staples in artist Teil Duncan Henley’s life. She has always been passionate about her talents, but was unsure how to turn her art into a business. So when Teil walked into the Redux Contemporary Art Center and saw other women who were renting studio space and thriving as full-time artists, she was inspired to take her own leap of faith – a faith that Teil says she has relied on her whole life. She quit both of her jobs, took out a loan and rented studio space of her own to pursue her path as a full-time artist. “It was very scary, and very intimidating,” Teil says. “It’s like telling yourself, ‘I’m good enough to do this as my job,’ but I didn’t initially have that confidence.”

her medium from oil paint to acrylic, which allowed her to paint a little more quickly (with a dry time of just five to 10 minutes), and allowed her to tap into her unique style that she still uses today. Teil painted 12 studies of the model and discovered her niche. Soon, her business started to grow and Teil recruited her sister Laura Lea Vernon to help manage her website, social media and the business. Teil says it’s wonderful to work with family. “I can’t imagine anyone caring more about this business than my sister does.” While it is clear that Teil’s sister is integral to her business’ success, she also played a role in the future of Teil’s life in a very personal way. Teil and her now husband, professional golfer Russell Henley, met at Laura Lea’s wedding! While Teil shares studio space with other artists in The Cigar Factory, she does most of her business online. “I can sell and expose my work everywhere from California to Europe,” Teil says. The flexibility of her business allows Teil to travel with her husband around the country on the PGA Tour. The two have an 8-month-old son, Robert, who also travels with them the majority of the year. Teil says she and her husband are mutually supportive of their respective careers and are both devoted to their family. “We’re still figuring out a balance, but it’s really cool because after this baby I am creating this new list of ideas, experimenting with new materials and new techniques to approach,” Teil says. “There’s something about a baby bringing new life that creates a surge of ideas, creating a way to make it all happen.” Teil is inspired by places she’s visited while traveling with Russell. “You see a lot of coastal landscapes, and the places we go influence my art and how I can continue to produce that art on the road,” she says.

The leap paid off, and Teil recently published her first coffee table book titled “The Color Teil: Life Work and Inspiration.” When she got started in her studio space, Teil says, she painted a lot of pieces, with about one in every 15 turning out to be something she felt truly proud of. It was enough affirmation to keep her going. Teil recalls a needed breakthrough when she was inspired by the idea of painting a figure model who was posing at the art studio. She took a few photographs and decided to do some studies on the model. She switched


skirt . | january 2019


‘We’re still figuring out a balance, but it’s really cool because after this baby I am creating this new list of ideas, experimenting with new materials and new techniques to approach.’

Teil began to do watercolor portraits on paper, a medium that allows her to continue creating art while traveling and one she might not have experimented with otherwise. Though she says it’s hard to name just one thing that she loves to paint, Teil admits that figure paintings are still at the top of her list. “I love figurative beach scenes where it’s more of a focus on the people themselves,” says Teil. “I love painting faces, and a lot of my animal paintings have a focus on the face.” She loves manipulating colors and working with shadows and contrasting light sources. She and her sister were scheming what was next for the business when they had the idea to create a coffee table book. “I had gathered enough visuals to create content for a book and we just thought, ‘Where do we start with this?’” Just before they thought the idea might dissolve, Palmetto Publishing approached Teil about a coffee table book. Eight months of work and “scheming off the canvas” later, the book was published. The book contains full-bleed images of Teil’s figurative work broken into chapters and themes of personal background, studio life, artistic influences and the impact of social media. The piece Teil is

Want more? Visit us at

most proud of is the piece that includes how her faith plays such a role in her work and life. “My faith in God was essential in my entire journey, and my whole life,” says Teil. “Artistically, I remember thinking, ‘Lord, if this is the path you’ll have for me, please open a door or shut a door.’” Teil says every time she wanted to quit, a new opportunity would present itself, such as a restaurant calling and asking her to do the artwork for their space. “My faith kept me hopeful,” she says.

skirt . | january 2019  29


from young women who are literally homeless. They’re sleeping in tents, in cars or they’re couch-surfing at friends.’ It’s not a good place for a pregnant young woman to be.” Florence Crittenton provides services to young women statewide. Some young women choose to give their babies up for adoption; some try to figure out how to live life as a new mother. Amber says Florence Crittenton doesn’t push one choice over another but helps the women with whichever choice they make. Residential services are offered from prenatal to six months after the women give birth. That includes helping the women finish their education, offering counseling and prenatal services, and teaching life skills.

really difficult time. Fortunately, we’re a line item in the budget again, but it gets threatened every year, and we rely heavily on donations and the fundraisers keep our doors open.” One fundraiser is the annual Wine, Women & Shoes event, being held Feb. 21. The event features wine tastings, a fashion show and a “Best in Shoe” contest, and local vendors such as Shoes on King and Tres Carmen, which donate a portion of sales to the nonprofit. “It’s really interactive and fun,” Amber says. But behind the fun is family. For Amber, her eight years at Florence Crittenton have been about the power of family, whether it’s one someone has been born into, or not. “It all comes down to love and support and hope,” Amber says. “We’re giving that young woman a second chance in whatever way that looks like. Some of these women have never had a sense of family. We’re showing them what it is supposed

THE POWER OF FAMILY Florence Crittenton provides pregnant teens love and support


skirt . | january 2019

Although the number of pregnant teens has dropped—Amber says the state saw around 3,700 in 2016, down from a high of 10,000— there is still more need than Florence Crittenton can answer. “In the tricounty area, we have about 335 young women who become pregnant a year,” she says. “Our program has room for 16 young women at a time and up to four infants. We have about 75 to 100 young women a year in our residential program. In the community-based program, where they live on their own, we support about 40 a year.” Not every girl Florence Crittenton helps is pregnant. “We also help ‘system-involved’ girls from DSS (S.C. Department of Social Services),” Amber says. “This is their home and we can help them continue on with school and give them the counseling and services they need.” The assistance may seem priceless for a struggling young woman, but it is donations and grants that sustain the programs. Of note, State Secretary Mark Hammond named Florence Crittenton a 2018 charitable “Angel,” meaning a nonprofit donates at least 80 percent—in this case, 89 percent—of its spending to charitable programs. “We’re supported 60 percent by private donations and 40 percent is government grants and funding,” Amber says. “A couple of years ago, DSS cut our funding, and for a couple of months, we could not accept pregnant young women. It was a

to feel like...that it is OK to love yourself and set goals. A lot of these young women have never felt that. It’s powerful. Every young lady who leaves here with a newborn is empowered with what she needs to succeed and the tools to make good choices going forward.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP Attend the fundraiser Wine, Women & Shoes 6 – 9:30 p.m., Feb. 21, Hotel Bennett Tickets on sale now Volunteer Florence Crittenton is seeking volunteers to: •O  rganize clothing donations and baby gear • Answer calls • Greet visitors • Offer lessons to the residents •D  o maintenance such as cleaning or painting Donate Donations of money or gently-used clothing are accepted. Immediate needs are paying for a cap and gown for two young women graduating from high school and a transport vehicle for taking the young women to medical appointments or school. For more information, visit



t used to be that a young woman who “got in trouble” was whisked away only to reappear months later with no mention of a baby, Unwed pregnancy was shameful and the pregnant young women were hidden in a home somewhere. Much of the stigma is gone these days, but life for a young pregnant woman is still difficult. “While the stigma overall is gone, it’s still very difficult for a 15- or 16-year-old girl to go to school pregnant and deal with the additional needs like prenatal appointments,” says Amber McCormick, director of development for Florence Crittenton programs, a nonprofit residential program in downtown Charleston. “They do get bullied. They get teased, and that’s in a bestcase scenario. Often they don’t finish high school and get stuck in a life of poverty and hardship.” It’s been helping young women since 1897 and has evolved as societal attitudes have, but there still is a need for a place for pregnant teens to go. For many of them, they are ironically both too young and too old: too young to responsibly care for a baby and too old to qualify for services that would take them into custody away from abusive home situations. “For almost 85 percent of our clients, they have a background of abuse or neglect,” Amber says. “They have traumatic home lives; their parents have kicked them out. Every week, we get calls

By Helen Mitternight



Want more? Visit us at

skirt . | january 2019  31


Salad Days


hen you think of Southern food, it’s probably deepfried or barbecued. You likely don’t think of salad. But Verde owners Jennifer and Sam Ferrebee wanted to sell healthy food like they found in their native D.C. area, and they were determined to bring that food to Charleston. “I knew it would work,” Jennifer says. “I lived here, and I wanted that food and I had friends who wanted it – professionals who are too busy to cook but still want to eat healthy. I mean, look at the (Ravenel) bridge every Saturday! A billion people are walking and doing outdoor stuff.” Seven years ago, anyone who wanted a salad either went to a sit-down restaurant or bought salad by weight at a grocery store. “I hate salad by weight because I love cauliflower and it’s heavy,” Jennifer says. Their venture paid off and, today, Verde has four locations in addition to its original King Street store: Avondale, Mount Pleasant, Belle Hall and south Charlotte, N.C. The stores offer salads that are fresh, seasonal, made to order – and not sold by weight. Jennifer’s family was shocked when, with no food and beverage experience, she decided to switch from a focus in hospitality to salad. “After we were visiting D.C., a light-


skirt . | january 2019

bulb went off,” she says. “I literally wrote the business plan on the car ride home the next day. I called my parents on that car ride and said I wanted to open a restaurant selling only salad, and they were like, ‘What did you DO in D.C.? Are you SURE?’” Her conviction convinced the family, and it was her stepmother who came up with the name for the new business. “We were at the beach with the family and had probably 100 names,” Jennifer says. “My stepmom wrote ‘Verde.’ We talked with Jay (designer Jay Fletcher, who did the Verde logo) and two names stood out: Verde and Graze. We googled ‘Graze,’ and they were just about to open so it had to be Verde. It’s a name that just works on so many levels.” Jennifer says she made almost every mistake one could make in Verde’s first year – in fact, Sam kept his day job at Wild Dunes and did double duty until they were sure the business would succeed. Jennifer says she’s just glad the community was forgiving, adding with a laugh, “When I think about how we operated the first year, I wonder how we stayed open. We are so much more efficient now. I think when you are opening a business, your every day is the learning curve of what most people learn in six months. It’s fast.” Part of Verde’s success is its menu, and Jennifer credits Sam for that, saying he has a gift for creating menu items, but she also says she and her employees sometimes create something just because they like a name they’ve come up with. That’s the case for the “Chicken Tikka Masalad,” debuting in January, that brings Indian flavor to the salad bowl. “We did a tasting for it. It’s so good,” she says. In addition to seasonal salads with funny names, being good to the environment is part of Verde’s DNA. Jennifer says Verde was one of the city’s first to compost and they recycle as well. She says the circle – good

food to good-for-the-planet disposal – is designed to make customers feel good about themselves. Of course, you can certainly build something caloric at Verde if you want to. Jennifer says a common misperception is that all salads are low-calorie. That all depends on what you put on them. But, she adds that the calories usually come from avocado or beans so even if you build a salad that’s high in calories, it’s still better for your body than lots of fast food. The company, which has 100 mostly part-time employees, relies on its size and its relationships to be nimble. During the recent romaine lettuce recall, Jennifer says, all of the stores had romaine off the shelves and replacement varieties of lettuce on the way within two hours. “Of course, that’s because we use Limehouse (Produce), another small, local business, so we just have to make one phone call,” she says. Jennifer is happy with Verde’s formula, and her next step is to grow more Verde locations in Charlotte. “We’re starting from scratch there with building relationships,” she says. Of course, she’s been there before. The literary definition of “salad days” is when one is young or in their prime. For Jennifer, every day is a salad day.





Looking for a snug bar where the lights are dim but the smiles are bright? Try Doar Bros., where Megan Deschaine (featured in the October 2018 Skirt Table column) has taken over as bar manager. The tiny place—only 35 seats —opened last month and the bites are just as good as Megan’s cocktails, which use Charleston history as inspiration. 225 Meeting St. Short Grain, the James Beard-nominated food truck, is getting closer to a bricks and mortar restaurant. The husband-and-wife duo behind the food has leased 4628 Spruill Ave. for a venture to be called Jackrabbit Filly. Bourbon and Bubbles, the upscale small plates and spirits restaurant, has opened on Spring and King streets.


Barbecue pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo is bringing a fourth location of his popular Swig & Swine to downtown Charleston. Swig & Swine is replacing Lowcountry Bistro at 49 South Market St., both owned by Queen Street Hospitality. If you like your biscuits bigger than your head, then head on over to Vicious Biscuit, now open at 409 Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant. You can wash down those massive biscuit sandwiches with coffee, tea, or just head for the craft cocktails. VIP Bistro has replaced Spero at 616 Meeting St., and the menu offers plenty of comfort food

Want more? Visit us at

ranging from turkey wings and fried chicken to red velvet cake. Don’t go crazy with the tequila and you won’t RUE your trip to RuRu Tacos + Tequila, the latest Mexican offering to spring up in Charleston. Brunch includes steak or chorizo with scrambled eggs and dinners serve up tacos and quesadillas with punny names that are amusing even without the tequila.


Chef Nico Romo is offering oyster classes every Monday in January at his eponymous restaurant in Mount Pleasant. There only eight seats per class from 6 – 7:30 p.m. and classes include 12 different oysters, two wine pairings and an oyster knife to take home as well as a candle set and a signed book by the chef. Tickets can be purchased at the restaurant’s Facebook page or through Eventbrite. Mezzes and lamb, anyone? Biscuit maven Callie White of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, is offering a Moroccan Feast cooking class at Zero Restaurant + Bar on Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. The class includes three courses and wine, and her son, Miles White, who coowns the very cool Graft Wine Shop, will help lead the class. Vist There’s still time to get your tickets for the Charleston Restaurant Foundation’s Low-

country 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. Tickets are available online at


Don’t like slurping oysters in public? Nico is now offering its whole raw bar menu to go. That includes oysters, lobster rolls and more. You can order by phone or on their website. Tradd’s is now open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch. You can get sandwiches, soup, or just go decadent with their signature caviar offerings. 167 East Bay St. Hotel Bella Grace on Calhoun Street is opening the doors of its Delaney House to the public from 12 to 10 p.m. and offering a full bar and light bites such as flatbreads, soups and salads. The space is available for events as well. Parcel 32 on King Street is opening The Parlour, a cocktail lounge right upstairs from the restaurant. Patrons can enjoy some of the nibbles from downstairs at the restaurant as well as a full bar Tuesday to Sunday and late-night dining on Fridays and Saturdays. First the folks who brought us Xiao Bao Biscuit opened Tu on Meeting Street. Now, they’re shifting the focus of Tu to feature Indian food

as well as other foods they discover during their travels.


Foodies everywhere know about the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Now, the Today Show will be bringing the foodie to the kitchen counter TV when Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker broadcast the Today Show from the 2019 festival this March. Wild Dunes Resort has jumped into the plastic-free pool by becoming 100 percent plastic strawless and reducing a total of 15,000 plastic straws resort-wide in 2018. Guests at Coastal Provisions Restaurant can purchase stainless steel straws to use and take home.

skirt . | january 2019  33


events JANUARY

01.07 Sing-Along Film Series: “Grease”

Tap your toes and sing your heart out with an evening of ‘50s fun. Tickets are $6. 7 to 9 p.m., Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

01.08 Wine, Women & Wisdom

Meet Keith O’Brien, the author of “Fly Girls,” aboard the USS Yorktown. Enjoy bites from Napa Mount Pleasant while listening to the stories of five trailblazing female pilots in the 1920’s. Tickets are $55 and include parking and admission to the USS Yorktown. Proceeds go toward sc holarships for underserved students to attend the Flight Academy at Patriots Point. 5:30 p.m., USS Yorktown, 40 Patriots Point Road. NEKO CASE

book signed by the author. Special appearance by best-selling author Mary Alice Monroe! Tickets are $40. 6 to 8 p.m., South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf.

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.

Local author Sally R. Murphy releases her memoir “Turning the Tide” about working for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources protecting sea turtles. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and beverages and have your


skirt . | january 2019


Shuckin’ on the Cooper

8th Annual Shuck-A-Rama

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. 1 to 4 p.m., Mount Pleasant Pier, 71 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Blvd. THE GOOD FEST

Great Charleston Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Week

Kick off 2019 with delicious deals on dozens of incredible dishes from Charleston’s most renowned chefs. More than 80 restaurants are participating, including newcomers Nico, Bourbon N’ Bubbles, Henry’s, Josephine Wine Bar, Swig & Swine’s downtown location, and Tradd’s. For a list of restaurants participating in Charleston Restaurant Week, to view menus and to make reservations, visit

Public Memory in the New South

Turning the Tide Book Launch Party


01.09 - 01.20




Reflecting on various perceptions and collective memories of the south, this symposium will highlight the voices of minorities and the complexity of life in this region. Southbound photographer Sheila Pree Bright will open the event Friday night and designer Michael Arad will close out the event the following afternoon. Admission is free. Friday 7 p.m. Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CofC School of Sciences and Mathematics.

Enjoy delicious food, good company and live music for a cause. Proceeds from this event benefit the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina. Tickets are $40. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed, 375 Meeting St.

2019 Kickoff Keynote with Christine Osborne

Join founder of Wonder Works, Christine Osborne, as she tells her story and provides insight on “How the Real You Makes the Difference” in business. Tickets are $25.75. 9:30 to 11 a.m., Miller Gallery, 142 ½ E Bay St.

01.20 Women’s Adventure Film Tour

The Charleston Mac Off 2019

Take a moment to indulge with this annual favorite. The event will include live music and a variety of food vendors. Tickets are $17.50. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Johnson Hagood Stadium, 68 Hagood Ave.

Junior League Bridal Boutique

Shop for wedding dresses, evening gowns, cocktail dresses and mother of the bride gowns as well as accessories at discounted prices at the Junior League’s annual Bridal Boutique. Designer samples and gently used dresses start at $25. The event is free to attend but you can pay $10 for early admission. Noon to 4 p.m., Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St.

This international film tour celebrating work by and about women is coming to the Charleston Music Hall. The films showcase real stories about women from a variety of cultures and sports around the world. Tickets are $18.90. 7 to 9:30 p.m., Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

01.21 MLK Parade

The YWCA of Greater Charleston heads up a week of MLK celebrations, including the MLK Parade, which features more than 125 bands, floats and community organizations.. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and the route starts and Burke High School and travels along Fishburne Street, north to Sumter Street, east to King Street, south to Marion Square and to Calhoun Street. For information about other MLK Celebration events, visit

01.26 The GOOD Fest

Organized with the help of local Laura Kate


Happy New Year! Start 2019 off with a full social calendar of concerts, book discussions, art classes, wellness retreats, and of course, oyster roasts.  And don’t forget to make your reservations for Restaurant Week.


Whitney, this Self-Care Saturday at Cannon Green will be a refreshing and inspiring experience. Including speakers, meditation, a market place and a healthy lunch, this event really packs a punch. Tickets are $109. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cannon Green, 103 Spring St.

Bobby McFerrin with Ranky Tanky

This collaboration between Grammy-award winner Bobby McFerrin and Charleston’s own Ranky Tanky, featuring Quiana Parler on vocals, is a part of the Charleston Jazz Festival. $53 to $128 8 p.m. The Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St. LOWCOUNTRY OYSTER FESTIVAL

Want more? Visit us at

01.27 Lowcountry Oyster Festival

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the world’s largest oyster festival and was recently named one of the “top 20 events in the Southeast” by Southeastern Tourism Society. Highlights include the oyster shucking and oyster eating contests, live music, a children’s area and a food court showcasing local restaurants. Admission tickets are $17.50 in advance or $25 at the event. Food and beverages are sold separately. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Boone Hall Plantation.

Wild Dunes Author Series

Join bestselling authors Patti Callahan of “Becoming Mrs. Lewis” and Lisa Wingate of “Before We Were Yours” for the annual “Wild Dunes Presents: A Conversation with Mary Alice Monroe.” Enjoy an intimate conversation with Lisa and Patti, led by bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe. The conversation will be followed by hors d’oeuvres and drinks, plus a meet-andgreet with book signing. There will also be a small silent auction. Proceeds will benefit Reading Partners, a non-profit dedicated


to helping children in the Charleston area master basic reading. Tickets are $40. 2 p.m. Sweetgrass Pavilion, Wild Dunes.

01.30 Neko Case at the Charleston Music Hall

Join singer Neko Case on her headlining tour focused on women’s empowerment. Tickets range from $26 to $46. 8 p.m., Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

02.02 Save the Light Half Marathon and 5K

The Save the Light Half Marathon and 5K races begin and end near the Folly Beach Pier and offers inspiring views of the ocean for most of the face. The half marathon is run only, but the 5K is open to runners and walkers. Fees vary. Proceeds go toward the preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse. 8:30 a.m., Folly Beach Pier, 101 E Arctic Ave., Folly Beach.

skirt . | january 2019  35


the issue

Creating Alignment It’s getting every aspect of your life working together toward a greater purpose. It’s more than a set of resolutions. It’s a mission statement, a mantra. It’s listening to your intuition. It’s setting priorities and holding them sacred. It’s getting rid of all the distractions, of all the noise that threatens to derail you. It’s stating intentions, yes. But then, it’s about action, making it happen, creating the vision, the life that makes you fulfilled and that allows you to give – and then going for it. It’s devoting your time, your energy to only the important things. It’s finding a team to support you. Don’t let anyone stop you. Find your passion—and your focus. Everything becomes crystal clear. This year find alignment and move forward with purpose! Happy new year!


—Shelley Hill Young


skirt . | january 2019

Mail-order cost. Professional results. Want a quick fix to straighten out your smile? Don’t DIY with mail-order aligners when Dr. Savastano can do it for you at the same cost. Invisalign Lite treats mild to moderate issues in as little as 7 to 9 months. Call today to take advantage of our special pricing!


ONLY $2450


For a limited time only

* Cannot be used with any other discounts or promotions.

Call today to schedule your FREE EXAM! | (843) 4-BRACES |

Stop by our new home at the CIGAR FACTORY and learn how we’ve been helping people change their lives for the past 14 years. ~ Steve Basile, Owner


Want more? Visit us at

701 East Bay Street, Ste. 103, Charleston

skirt . | january 2019  37


Profile for

January 2019 Get Aligned!