Where do I even start with King Street and the shopping in Charleston? Funny enough, I’ve never been someone who likes to shop. Surprising for a blogger, right? I’m a get what you need online and avoid stepping foot in a store kind of girl typically. But, I knew from Instagram that there were countless adorable shops in downtown Charleston, and if I was staying right in the midst of the action, I might as well check them out.
Well, I have a new favorite vacation activity. I couldn’t get enough of talking to all of these amazing, creative, entrepreneurial women that I encountered behind every store front. My bank account isn’t so thrilled, but I left South Carolina with gorgeous mementos that will remind me of my visit every time I look at them. That’s a win, right?
WHERE TO STAY
THE QUARTERS ON KING
If accessibility to shopping and dining is your top priority, you’ll want to stay on King Street. The Quarters on King is in the perfect location right in the middle of the shopping district. We stayed in a two floor, two bedroom, two and a half bathroom suite that would be perfect for a girls’ weekend vacation, a bachelorette party, a wedding party…basically anytime you have a group visiting Charleston. Adam and I walked into the beautifully renovated space and I said, “This is exactly what I’ve been looking for in our house search…seriously, how can we bring this to DC?” Exposed brick, high ceilings, modern details, you cannot beat this sleek but cozy vibe. And, how often do you get two floors at a hotel? It made relaxing before dinner with a glass of wine so much better when we actually had a kitchen counter to set the bottle on. Those small details make such a difference.
WHERE TO SHOP
CANDY SHOP VINTAGE
Everyone we spoke to mentioned Candy Shop Vintage on Cannon Street as one of the best shops in Charleston and I was not disappointed. It has the most gorgeously curated, sparkly collection of vintage jewelry that I’ve ever seen. There are so many unique finds and stunning pieces that have decades of stories behind them.
And, if you’re in the market for an affordable little luxury, you must check out Candy Shop Vintage’s Charleston Rice Beads. The owner of Candy Shop Vintage, Deirdre Zahl, came across these 1970’s style beads while exploring antique stores in the area, recreated the design, and now makes the beads in a variety of colors and styles. I’ve worn my gold bracelet almost every day.
ONE LOVE DESIGN HOUSE
We stumbled upon One Love Design House completely by accident—it’s up a set of stairs off King Street—and I’m so glad we did. It’s a shop and design studio in one with goods from several Charleston designers sharing the space. One Love makes the most ethereal, delicate wedding gowns and design assistant Sara just launched her own line, Sara Belle Designs. You can tell in the photo below, their studio is light filled, feminine, and absolutely gorgeous. If you stop in, you’ll want to hang out for hours.
MAC & MURPHY
While I don’t need another notebook in my desk, nor can I fit another notebook in my cozy living apartment, I do love a good paper store. So, of course I had to stop by Mac & Murphy. From a set of bikini notecards to an herb garden recipe box to custom projects, Mac & Murphy is a tiny gem of a shop. Just check out their Instagram for a sneak peek. Also, you’ll pass Sugar Bakeshop while you’re walking down Cannon Street on the way here, so don’t forget to stop in for a snack.
How can you not have fun in a store that also houses a balloon shop? But, beyond the vibrant balloons, Cannonborough Collective is home to a whole slew of colorful brands. I’m still thinking about the necklace I should have picked up from Oysters All Around, the adorable Charleston items from Charleston Weekender, and the fun earrings from The Tiny Tassel.
Perhaps the best thing that happened in Charleston: I was checking out at Candlefish with a gift for my mom, whose birthday was the following week, and as I’m standing at the register, Adam runs over and exclaims, “What is that?! That doesn’t go with the colors of our apartment!” I had no idea he’d actually been paying attention to all my decorating, so that was a huge #WIN.
But, seriously, Candlefish is the candle lover’s dream. They have workshops, which I’m dying to attend next time I’m in town; they have a library with over 100 scents representing nine fragrance families; they have home brands that appeal to everyone, including those that may not be as obsessed with candles. This shop is an absolute must while you’re strolling King Street.
THE SKINNY DIP
Last but not least, make your way up King Street to The Skinny Dip: Charleston Edition. Started in Nantucket by Sara Rossi, of Beau and Ro Bag Company, and Taylor Ivey, of Ellsworth and Ivey, The Skinny Dip carries brands from the national to the local. You’ll find Ashley Brooke Designs, Sail to Sable, there’s even a sitting area designed by Society Social. All the names you’ll recognize from Instagram. But, perhaps the best part of The Skinny Dip, is the coffee shop and bar upstairs. It’s a bright space with an outdoor lounge area that lets you turn the shopping experience into a leisurely afternoon with a glass of frosé.
Thank you to the Quarters on King for hosting me in Charleston—there couldn’t have been a better home base for a day of exploring! All opinions and images are, of course, my own.