When my wife and I went to Charleston, SC in September, we got down to Rainbow Row in the historic district of the city on East Bay Street. As we stopped to take pictures from across the street, we just happened to catch this young lady wearing a dress to match the colors of the row homes.
My brother looked up a few of the house values along that street. All were upwards of $2 million. But a rainbow dress on Rainbow Row? Priceless.
We must have walked by her five times. She was working in a small street corner kiosk selling carriage rides around Charleston for Charleston Carriage Works. Just part of the scenery. Until we decided we wanted to take a carriage ride around historic Charleston, South Carolina. We saw carriage after carriage passing us as we walked around. We wanted to hear about the area and the city from the guides, too!
My sister stepped up to reserve a carriage ride, leaving in just 20 minutes. We could head down to the stable any time. As my sister talked with the salesperson, I noticed she was wearing one cowboy boot and one broken ankle boot. Interesting. After we had booked our ride, I said to her, “You’re only wearing one boot. How are you doing?”
She replied, “Good eye! I had surgery a few weeks ago, so I have to wear this boot, so I don’t put too much weight on it. I still have four to five weeks of healing to go. Thanks for asking!” Everyone want to be inconspicuous and noticed all at the same time. Her job made sense. Don’t have to walk much. Generate lots of business for the carriage drivers.
I noticed she was wearing a boot company t-shirt, too. Doubling down with the tourists. Smart. Very smart.
By the way, I really enjoy our ride with Will and his horse named Mikey. A carriage ride is always a fun way to see a city.
My wife and I spent a couple of days in Charleston, SC last week as part of the birthday celebrations for her and my sister. We had never been to Charleston, so it was a fun adventure that included a visit to the historic Charleston Market. The Charleston Market is a 200-year old brick market building filled with craft and food vendors. As we wandered through I especially appreciated many handcrafted items I hadn’t seen anywhere else.
I was fascinated by the wide variety of sweetgrass woven crafts. I was even more interested in watching the weaving happen right before my eyes. The crafters made every sort of basket you can imagine, in addition to wall hangings of every shape and size.
One artisan specialized in polymer clay pictures of egrets, crabs, turtles and lighthouses. Many of the works for sale were prints, but some original works were for sale, too. I looked closely at one and wondered, “Is that fabric?” The nice young lady working the booth explained that it was very thin clay crafted into unique works of art by the artist. I had never seen that before.
We happened across a young woman who had just procured a spot from which to sell her vegan mini-muffins. She was so proud of her work! We loved Emily’s muffins (@emilyeldh or themuffindrop on Instagram) and brought home half a dozen.
One sign puzzled me. “Please do not buy from roaming rose peddlers.” Then I saw one outside the exit. A young man weaving palm fronds into roses was actively marketing them on the street. Once it was in your hand, it was yours, for a price.
My brother and sister were especially interested in a booth that featured elaborate cross stitch renderings of famous Charleston places like Rainbow Row. I think they bought some Christmas gifts there.
The market was not crowded on the Monday morning we visited. Many of the booths had signs announcing “no photographs” so that no one would steal their ideas for painted tiles, handmade jewelry, hand-carved wooden plaques, and dog breed pillows. I was tempted. But I refrained.
I like the venues where I can talk to the artisans and learn something about them and their craft. I wonder what I could sell at a booth like that?