The water starts to darken along a stretch of marsh grasses, just before its surface is slashed apart by the fins of hungry redfish. The redfish trap schools of mullet into a tight corral—and then go into a feeding frenzy. South Carolina fishermen love this scenario. The owners of The Charleston Angler love it, too, which is why they founded their shop back in 2000. The shop's crew of seasoned anglers supply fly, inshore, and offshore fishermen with tackle specific to South Carolina's waters, from the coastal flats that draw trophy tarpon to the inland lakes filled with blue catfish. Along with advising customers on gear from brands such as Shimano, Penn, and St. Croix, the shop hosts classes and seminars. These sessions can cover topics as broad as Orvis fly-fishing, or as specific as catching bass in the cypress-strewn swamps of Francis Marion National Forest.
Beyond tackle and apparel—some of which comes from their own "Redfish" line of t-shirts, trucker hats, ball caps, visors, and jackets—The Charleston Angler offers fly-fishing and light-tackle charters and runs an in-house embroidery boutique. The staff also posts tips, insights, fish haikus, and fishing reports on its Reel Blog and encourages customers to share their fish stories.
Established in 1994, Gullah Gourmet has spent 19 years equipping visitors with tools to transform dull meals into lowcountry classics with Food Network-approved ingredients for crafting soups, sauces, pastries, and breads. The shop's widespread collection of bagged, bottled, and jarred goodies have included creamy Southern Corn Chowdah, Aunt Maggie's Sweet Cornbread, and Gullah Gullah Gumbo––a savory rice and sauce mix. The handmade, screenprinted cloth bags that package select products pay homage to Gullah culture with newspaper prints and vibrant graphics. An assortment of Gullah- and Charleston-inspired knickknacks make unique gifts for birthdays and graduations from PB&J University.
Salt & Seaweed brings together beach and city lifestyles, carrying casual chic crossover apparel from brands such as Salinas, Hurley, Gypsy 05, and WkShp. A light Alternative Apparel Stevie sweater wrap ($39) slips over the Quiksilver blanket-stripe dress for cool end-of-summer evening walks along the beach, dining outdoors, or ice sculpting. The loose-fitting WkShp Spokane tee sports a bold orange and blue design on a muted pink and white striped background ($52), and the WkShp chevron tee's soft blue and white pattern swaddles torsos for a lunch date ($44) or pairs with tailored trousers for office appropriate style. The soft Wildfox Couture Pocahontas raglan top embellishes a black background with a Native American inspired pattern and threads of undeterrable confidence ($77).
The stylish boutique Berlins for Women bedecks visitors with a carefully selected collection of high-end apparel. Caring fashionistas assist shoppers on their journey from humdrum to fabulous, guiding them through racks of everyday attire, eveningwear, and work-appropriate garb. The partially sheer Sam & Lavi anika tunic layers dramatically over tights or jeans ($140); a painted animal cardigan adds a pop of pattern to any outfit and allows ladies to match the leopard they ride to work ($145). In-house alterations are available by request, allowing newly bought dresses to even more flatteringly fit their owners.
The Finicky Filly’s specializes in pieces by designers such as Catherine Malandrino and Nanette Lepore that embrace style while remaining classic enough to wear season after season. The store’s Spring 2011 Preview slants toward '60s-inspired fashion, with daisy-chain-weaving blouses and long, flowing skirts. Knowledgeable stylists match patrons to flattering dresses such as a Three Dots knit dress ($135), guide shoppers to their own staff favorites, or help construction crews find the right miniskirt to match their tool belts. Tuck mascara into a Tory Burch makeup bag ($65), or notes into a kate spade wallet ($165), or tie an outfit together with a Gorjana necklace ($75).
All Natural Smoothies’ blenders whip up frothy potations in a variety of natural flavors to bolster well-being, recovery, and weight loss. Patrons can choose a 12-ounce, 16-ounce, 20-ounce, or 32-ounce cup of a peach-and-mango smoothie, which imparts natural energy that can fuel workouts, study sessions, or mentally strenuous games of Mad Libs. Customers can diminish paunch protrusion with the wheatgrass, kiwi, and lemon swirled into a Go Green weight-management blend or arm bodies against ailments with a Ponce de Leon immunity smoothie, teeming with strawberries and cherries. Patrons can select two fruits, soy or whey protein, and low-fat milk or soymilk to create their own protein concoction, a muscle-enhancement method tastier than bench-pressing economy-size cans of Spam. Baristas can supplement smoothies with diabetic-friendly, sugar-free sweeteners or add additional boosts for energy, detox, or wellness for an additional $0.99 each.