In 1993, interior designer Evon Kirkland McAngus founded Evon Kirkland Interiors, through which she transformed homes with an eye for classic and sophisticated design. In 2007, she opened Westend to spread that passion and curate a show room filled with her favorite finds. She and her designers help shoppers navigate the 5,000-plus-square-foot show room to find pieces from reputable high-end lines such as Baker, Henredon, Oly Studio, and Vanguard Furniture. Because they've all honed their design chops, the staff can expertly advise shoppers on purchases.
As shoppers explore the show room, they'll also find antiques from the United States and Europe, as well as plenty of pillows and linens, artwork, and accessories, including candles and kitchen items. The staff also curates a lighting selection that includes table lamps, floor lamps, and chandeliers, which emit more sophisticated glows within homes than dangling light bulbs or half-opened barrels of toxic waste.
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.
Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
When it came time to design The Coastal Cupboard?s demo kitchen, owner Brad Pitner shied away from industrial-grade appliances, opting instead for the kind of layout you?d find in your average home kitchen. That decision reflects the Cupboard?s mission to make gourmet cooking accessible to all.
To that end, Mr. Pitner and his staff of gourmands stock a vast selection of cooking gadgets, bakeware, and cutlery by top-tier brands such as Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, and Kuhn Rikon. Staff members are happy to walk customers through each product?s function and share their own favorite gadgets and dish towels with sentimental value. They also stock gourmet foods such as small-batch wines, baking mixes, sauces, and rubs.
Customers have a chance to see those tools and ingredients in action during the store?s weekly cooking classes. Most are led by in-house chef Bryan Breland, who tailors his class offerings to suit the interests of customers. Bryan has a heart for people and a passion for food. He makes classes fun, relaxed, and approachable. He brings a french twist to Lowcountry classics, while also mastering southwestern and asian-inspired dishes.
Mattress Source's knowledgeable staff pairs customers with one of a wide selection of firm and flexible beds that augment deeper slumbers. Sealy luxury firm mattresses ($449.99+) allays stressful nights by supplying supple support, manufacturers' warranties, and a cache of warm kittens to rest at the end of each bed. Silk woven jersey knit surrounds a layer of memory foam on the Stearns & Foster x-firm mattress, which gently pillows joint pain and absorbs excess body heat ($1,219.99+). At 26 Charlotte-area showrooms, shoppers can take inventory of each mattress' aptitude in hypnosis or chat with affable staff members about desired levels of firmness.
Couture Cakes uses family recipes to sweeten special occasions with individually designed confections catered to its customers' imaginations. Creative consumers communicate the kind of cupcake they would like by mixing one of 19 flavors, 15 fillings, and 13 icings. Couture Cakes' culinary wizards then conjure these selections into customers' dream desserts. Unlock sweetness safes with a combination of chocolate buttercream-filled marble cupcakes, iced with almond buttercream, or orange buttercream-packed strawberry cupcakes, topped with fudge.