Charleston Sweet Spots

It's hard not to visit Charleston and fall under its intoxicating spell of southern charm overload. I was in this city last year for the Southern C Summit conference and am here again this week for the same purpose. But this time, I came prepared. To share my love of Charleston, I created a Sweet Spots postcard showcasing the top ten must-see spots in town. Illustrator, Sarah Neuburger from The Small Object was at my side again to bring these locales to life...

I also must thank Erin Connelly of The Commons here in Charleston for her incredible guidance on the curation, Bob Conquest and Vanessa Dina for design input...and my advertisers Nicely Built, Produce Candles and Festival Rooster. Endless gratitude too for Southern C Summit, which allowed me to add a Sweet Spots card to each and every swag bag at the conference. I love what these women do and am thrilled to be just a small part of the event. There are certainly more than 10 Sweet Spots in Charleston but hey, it's a good place to start...Enjoy the weekend y'all. 




The Laundress

Whenever I visit Italy, I hear my friend Vanessa's voice in my head. I remember her love for great detergent and the smell of clothes washed in many of the homes there- dried fresh on the line outside. We both fell for the intoxicating smells of Coccolino and bring it back to the states for each other whenever possible. But as I sat at the Southern C Summit conference today in Charleston, I learned of a company filling the niche for high quality, fragrant detergent right here in the USA...

Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd started their company, The Laundress, over a decade ago- not knowing a thing about making quality soap but understanding a real need for it in the marketplace. In their talk today, they spoke of their combined passion and razor sharp focus to deliver on their vision and their hard work has certainly paid off. The now extensive line of The Laundress products for the home has resulted in a legion of die hard fans. And I get it, for the first time I smelled Coccolino, I felt like my life just improved ten fold. A whole world in a bottle I never knew existed...


I'm excited to try a few of their products, all of which have a specific job to do. Colors stay vibrant, stains are zapped and my personal favorite, the detergents remove dust and pet hair throughout the washing cycle. The idea too is your linens, woolens and delicates will last longer when treated so well- plus their products are all 100% biodegradable and nontoxic. I think I just became a super fan.

Supposedly this one smells just like a baby in a bottle.... I wanna try. Check out their site to see a laundry list of more thoughtfully made, beautifully designed products that smell good. The kind of good that can change your life...


Images: The Laundress     Content: Sweet Peach



The Cell Block  

A good hotel room is worth paying a little extra for but truth be told, some are better than others. Like The Cell Block in Clifton, Texas- a two-cell jail from the 1930's converted into a one room, one bath boutique hotel, complete with a rooftop deck and two complimentary alcoholic libations upon arrival. 

This may just be the kind of solitary confinement you can handle. It's spacious, inviting, smartly designed and private- you can't help but feel safe and secure behind these doors. As an added touch, the resident record player spins prison related tunes only ... just think Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. 

And like any good boutique hotel, The Cell Block has a cool shop of takeaways, like the Don't Drop Soap or the cooly designed matchboxes. It's good all around. Book a trip to the stylish slammer, here.


Images: The Cell Block    Content: Sweet Peach 


Little Low

I'm not sure why, but I'm always a sucker for a pretty, floral illustration. Caitlin McClain of Little Low in Austin, Texas has my attention and admiration with her modern and playful art prints...

I like this one too, reminding me of the bare necessities during an outdoor adventure- and I need another one soon. Being stuck in an office lately has me in dire need of some fresh air. I'd just draw a mattress inside that cute tent and then I'd be all set. See all of Caitlin's work, here. 



Lord and Lady

I love a well made skinny tie, particularly one with as much style as this one. Megan Cash of Lord and Lady began crafting ties while attending SCAD in Savannah. Then, little by little, good word followed by good word, a business was born...

Today, her online shop includes all sorts of manly made goods, such as bow ties, pocket squares and cuff links. I particularly love these Auburn cuff links, not because of their sport affiliation, but for how good they'd look with a white shirt on a summer day. I'd have to hug a guy in these...

I recently spotted Megan's bandanas over at one of my favorite Atlanta shops, Crafted Westside. These multi purpose bandanas are super soft with a timeless, rustic design. I keep thinking about that indigo one...  See Megan's entire shop, which includes many more manly options, plus a women's jewelry line, here.


Images: Lord and Lady     Content: Sweet Peach


The Banner Butter Video...

A few months ago, I shot a video for one of my favorite southern food companies, Banner Butter. It was one of those side projects that, between jobs, my cameraman/editor and I finally completed late last week. The goal was to showcase why cultured butter tastes better than your traditional butter and to do so in a fun, captivating way. We gave it a whirl...

My endless gratitude to James Schroeder for his tireless efforts behind the camera and in the edit; to Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object for her perfectly quirky illustrations; to Elizabeth and Drew McBath for their constant enthusiasm and support; Eric Lanford for hosting and Miss Ruthie for all your help along the way. Plus, the fabulous extras who spent a patient afternoon at my abode. Enjoy the video and buy some Banner Butter. Great thing is via Scout Mob, they'll ship anywhere. I'm biased, but may I suggest the Cinnamon, Cardamom and Ginger one. It's sublime...



The Farmer's Wife

Next time I pass through Greensboro, North Carolina, I will be making a stop at The Farmer's Wife. I spotted this lovely antiques shop over at the Garden and Gun site and had to share. 

In 1999, Antiques dealer, Dan Garrett bought this three story turn of the century grocery warehouse and has been fixing it up ever since. Part home, part shop, it's a treasure trove of gorgeous pieces and soulful southern design...

There are so many good finds here, like the reproduction images from old seed catalogues, hay forks, antique pizza pans and cutting boards or vintage flour sacks and mortar and pestles... I think I'd spend quite a bit of time here.

The Farmer's Wife needs to be on your must see list next time you pass on by this part of town. Learn more, here and here.


Images: Stacey Van Berkel       Content: Sweet Peach


The 404 Hotel 

On my last trip to Nashville a few years ago, I was searching for a nice, boutique hotel but for some reason, came up empty. Now, they got something. It's called The 404 Hotel...

Located in the Gulch neighborhood, this small hotel is made up of five king rooms with a mix of furniture both new and vintage. Plus, they feature a rotating gallery of work by artists. All i can do is love that....

Attached to the hotel, housed in an orange shipping container, is the 404 Kitchen. Chef Matt Bolus cooks up local, seasonal fare and the design looks just as scrumptious as the food. The 404 hotel, is officially bookmarked for my next trip...


Images: 404 Nashville       Content: Sweet Peach



The El Cosmico Shop...

The one southern city I really want to visit is Marfa, Texas. I'm always reading about it and I love the idea of driving out to the desert, far away from home, shutting off my cell phone and getting lost under the stars at El Cosmico. I will stay in one of their amazing yurts one day. And now, come to find out they have a gift shop featuring lots of amazing artisans. Even better...

A devout fan of colorful blankets, I can't help but love these beauties made of South American wool- each and every one unique from the other in both pattern and size. 

The shop is, as you'd expect, full of color with a hip, retro feel. Goods include apparel, jewelry and camping gear. See their entire shop, here, or better yet, take a trip to this west Texas desert town. Disconnect, discover, reflect...then go shopping. 


Images: El Cosmico     Content: Sweet Peach



The Reuben Wallet

Every time I see the handiwork of Dallas, Texas based artisan, Barrett Alley, I'm reminded why I'm such an avid fan. His mix of handcrafted leather and vintage Japanese or German cloth is as good as it gets...

His latest creation, the Reuben Wallet is 2.5" x 3.5" and meant to hold up to 8 credit cards or a mix of cards and cash. It's not a carry all by any means- just there for you when you want to keep it simple (and stylish).

I like to think the Reuben Wallet is a manly necessity, functional yet modern and classic. Purchase your favorite, here. 


Images: Barrett Alley;    Content: Sweet Peach