The ‘A’ List 2024

09 Mar 2024

Men + Women in Business

Photos by Priscilla Thomas Photography

Locally-owned businesses build strong communities and preserve our area’s one-of-a-kind charm. We are proud to present the following profiles of business owners and experts in their fields who connect neighbors, employees and customers with their passion, knowledge and excellent customer service.

Backyard Retreats

554 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mt. Pleasant

843-856-0049

Darla Miller, head of operations and design

What sets you apart from other outdoor furniture stores? We listen to the client and give everyone their own individualized attention. Every detail is important - even the smallest detail. I try to learn as much as I can in a limited amount of time.  

How does Backyard Retreats prioritize quality, and how do you ensure that customers are getting durable and reliable outdoor furniture? Our climate can be harsh. We have made a mission to only carry and sell the better brands and products. If it’s not going to last in this environment, we will not carry it at our showroom.

What message would you like to convey to potential customers? Don’t wait for warmer weather! We do more special orders than anything else. We are more than just Adirondack chairs—do we have a lot of Adirondack chairs?—yes—but we are so much more than that. We have some really cute accessories for the porches/patios as well as the furniture.

Booze Pops

Woody Norris, owner

584 King St., downtown (Open Thursday -Sunday 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.) 6 Anson St., downtown (Open Thursday -Sunday 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.) 115 E. Ashley Ave., Folly Beach (Open Thursday -Sunday 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.) 117 Spring St., downtown (Open Friday -Sunday 11 a.m. -1:30 a.m.)  307 Mill St., Shem Creek Open Friday -Sunday 11 a.m. -1:30 a.m.) 

Describe a day in the life working at a Booze Pops truck. Hard work is good for your brain and soul. We see happiness and satisfaction with every customer day in and day out. Every Pop or kids ice cream handed out the window is another smile. Our business is designed by the customers for the customers 100%. 

How is Charleston a unique place for your business? There is nowhere in the world we would rather be than Charleston. This is where we started and will always be home For Booze Pops. 

What are the most popular items? Our secret menu (not posted) are among the local favorites. An example is 15% Organic Vodka Lemonade with a cherry Jello Shot that makes a delicious Cherry limeade. 

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? Operating a business with integrity while making true, meaningful friendships with our team, customers and in the business world. When you’re passionate about what you do in life, you will succeed. 

Bohemian Bull

1531 Folly Rd, Charleston, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

@bohemianbullchs

Morgan Coyne, Derek Renckert and Chad Biel, owner

What led to opening Bohemian Bull?  We wanted a place where family and friends can come and relax in a lively and open atmosphere. You could fill your belly with hearty, craveable food and wash it down with a delicious selection of craft beers, hand selected bourbons and world class cocktails.

What is unique about the restaurant concept?  It starts with our people. We hire people who truly believe in giving our guests a friendly and fun experience without feeling pretentious. All of our locations feature local artist murals and we have curated a unique music playlist. On top of all that, you get amazing scratch-made food and cocktails that will light up your taste buds. 

What are the most popular menu items? We are known for our ground-in-house burgers made from black angus brisket and chuck. They are ground fresh everyday and topped with fresh house-made ingredients. Our cocktail program is unique and diverse, with classic bourbon cocktails and specialty cocktails that are unique to Bohemian Bull.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? We love serving people and making them feel at home. We also give back to our community and take great care of our employees.

Charleston Medical Spa

1950 A Maybank Hwy, Charleston

843-225-3223

www.charlestonmedicalspa.com

Lisa Query, spa director

What inspired the opening of Charleston Medical Spa? Charleston Medical Spa opened in 2005 before most people frequented a med spa. I was immediately fascinated by the products, treatments and the results they can deliver to our clients. We've maintained a great reputation due to the passion our staff has for our clients. We always want to deliver results.

How do you increase clients’ health and confidence? We offer a wide variety of treatments to help clients who are concerned with acne or acne scarring, sun damage, pre-mature aging and more with the latest, most advanced technology, devices and medical-grade skin care products and treatments to deliver results.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? We love the fact that we can help people look and feel beautiful—giving them back their self-confidence and helping them look and feel their best at any age. Dr. Melanie King, our Medical Director, always has a smile for everyone, is compassionate and caring. Our employees are passionate about our clients, the treatments, the products and the results we can deliver. 

Door Renew

7644 SouthRail Rd Suite 300 C, North Charleston

doorrenew.com/charleston

James Cox, General Manager, Cameron Smith and Amenel Joseph

What inspired you to start a business restoring doors? Todd Wilson, Owner: My inspiration stems from helping families rekindle their love for their homes. Consider the myriad of memories and experiences embedded within our living spaces; our homes hold a significant place in our hearts. Whether it's refreshing an exterior door, revitalizing an interior door or preserving a cherished piece of furniture handed down through generations, our mission is to safeguard these treasures for future generations. Not everything warrants replacement. We offer services designed to accommodate nearly everyone, ensuring these precious items are preserved and maintained.

What is the process? Wilson: The Door Renew process, while straightforward, demands meticulous effort, particularly with pieces that feature elaborate details or complex designs. From doors to furniture, we meticulously strip each item down to its original wood, then rejuvenate it using only the finest quality products to ensure its enduring beauty. While we expertly repair and minimize any superficial imperfections, our application of durable sealants and protectants guards against future damage and exposure. The exceptional skill of our craftsmen, defined by their unparalleled attention to detail, sets us apart in the industry.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? Wilson: For me, this endeavor is about creating a lasting legacy for my family and meaningful opportunities to my employees and the community. There’s a genuine need and desire to preserve the things that hold significance in our lives, providing both sentimental and financial value. It's a situation where everyone benefits.

Findings

Joanna Madden, owner

1410 Shucker Circle suite 1109, Mt. Pleasant (In Oyster Park shopping center)

@findings_alifeinvintage

What inspired you to open a boutique? I try to keep vintage alive and modern. After designing and selling my jewelry wholesale for several years, I decided to open a brick-and-mortar store. I originally opened a store in Manasquan, NJ seven years ago and relocated to Mt Pleasant in December.

What are some of your favorite pieces in the store? The curated inventory showcases both new and old jewelry, accessories and other curiosities. The vintage wicker bags circa 1960-2000s are one of our most popular items. I try and keep our inventory fresh and always changing and I have always thought outside the box for displays.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? Trying to keep everything at an approachable price point is important to me. So whether you are treating yourself, or gift giving, I think you will find the shop delightful.

Flowertown Garden Center

410 E. Fifth North St., Summerville

Charlene and Paul Moore, owners

How has the business grown since you’ve opened? We started with one building, a few shaded areas and no employees. Through hard work and dedication, we now boast three greenhouses,13 gift shops, six additional covered shopping areas and several amazing employees.
Why is Summerville a great place for your business? We have a lot of ties to the area with family and friends in Summerville, St. George and Walterboro. We feel like we are ingrained in the community. Our customers are truly special to us as many have become great friends. We can’t imagine our business anywhere else!
What do you like most about what you do? As with any other couples who work together, we have grown off of each other’s strengths. We both have a strong knowledge of the material we sell. Paul loves the creative side of of designing and displaying, and I love greeting and talking to our customers.

Fred Holland Realty

LaJuan Kennedy Broker in Charge

106 W Hudson Ave A, Folly Beach

843-588-2325

www.fredhollandrealty

Describe your business and what it entails. Sales and management of real estate. We sell in Folly Beach and James Island as our primary area, but can sell all over the state. We manage vacation rentals and long-term accommodations.

When did you start out? I was approached by Fred Holland, who had just opened an office at Folly

Beach, to come work for him as a sales agent in March of 1973. In 1976, we went into vacation rentals and I took over management of most of that operation and became broker-in-charge.

Best business advice you’ve received? Always be honest with your customers.

You’d never guess that…I love working on the beach, but I never go in the water.

What do you love about doing business in Charleston? Charleston and the surrounding areas are very unique. We have history, beautiful beaches and great weather.

HLG Growers Carolina

843-819-0955

info@hlggrowerscarolina.com 

hlggrowerscarolina.com 

Christian Teague, Owner; Daniel Teague, co-owner and lead designer

What led you to starting a landscape design business? Christian: It all started when the local high school had a plant sale. The teacher was retiring and the school was disassembling the greenhouse. I created my business by propagating the plants and placing them into unique and interesting landscape and hardscape designs.  It became my passion and allowed me to expand my business to Charleston about 12 years ago.  The best part is working alongside my son.

What are some of your favorite elements to incorporate in your designs? We pay so much attention to the little things... angles and curvature add character and set your outdoor space apart from all the cookie-cutter designs. I love to use succulents in my designs. My son's favorite element to incorporate is fire—a fire pit or an extravagant fireplace with a hearth and television mounted atop the mantle. My wife is a big fan of our water features because of the mental health benefits with trickling water to relax and unwind.

Jacquie Dinsmore

REALTOR, Carolina One

973-886-0357

Jacqueline.Dinsmore@CarolinaOne.com

Jacquiedinsmore.com

What inspired you to become a real estate agent? As an avid and successful real estate investor since the age of 24, I decided it was time to put my passion for investing, design, renovation and negotiating into the career I felt I was always meant to have.  A previous 25-year career in corporate public relations, marketing, recruiting and sales served as very valuable skill sets to fuel real life experience marrying what I love with what I was good at.

How do you stand apart in the field? I am not afraid to think outside of the box, I network with absolutely everyone and I am not afraid to tell a client if I think they are making a mistake. We live in a world where sales strategy, creative thinking for investments and risk is a lost art. I think these things are paramount in real estate—anyone can show you houses, write a contract, etc. I differentiate myself is being an idea person, a deal maker. I help and advise my clients throughout the process. Clients pay us for our expertise, why not give them everything we have?

Why is it important to establish a working relationship with an agent? Establishing a relationship with an agent who has deep networking roots, vast knowledge of the market, great strategic game and is a good old-fashioned hard worker is so important. My philosophy is: become indispensable. You are their partner.

M Dumas and Sons

294 King Street, Charleston

www.mdumasandsons.com

Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Gary Flynn - Partner and CEO; Clark Hickerson - VP Sales and Buying

Describe the customer experience. Gary: We have a large store, about 9,000 square feet, and a wide selection of products to choose from. We try to create a fun atmosphere. Good music playing, friendly associates, compelling brands and products. We will offer you water, beer, wine or other drinks while you're in the shop. We carry everything for men from tuxedos to swim suits/dress shoes to sneakers. Head to toe, we have you covered. The sales team are professionals that have been in the business for a while and we are here to help. 107 years of being on King Street shows we are committed to our community.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? Gary: Personally, I love surprising customers! I love to hear things like "WOW, this store has ALL my favorite brands...it's like this is my Instagram feed!" We hear that often, believe it or not. I also love to hear "Do you have other stores that are closer to me?" "I wish I had a store like this where I live!" or "You're my new salesperson, I want you to be my store." These comments never fail to put a big smile on my face.

Michael’s Barkery

864 Island Park Drive, Suite 103, Daniel Island

Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. closed 

Michael Patrohay, owner/teammate and April Malott, pet chef

Describe a day in the life working at a Michael’s Barkery. Michael:  I love to go to work every day! I am always happy to see and greet all my co-workers and our shop dogs. Working in the kitchen is lots of fun. I like working together with the job coach and other teammates to make and bag treats.

What are the most popular items and services? It’s hard to choose! Everyone loves a doggie spa day! In our boutique, it is always fun to shop for that special collar, bow tie or sweater that brings out your furry friends' personality.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? April: My favorite part is getting an idea for a recipe and then trying to puzzle out how to make it dog-friendly, like our PupTarts, or a specific dietary requirement item made with love. Also, the crazier the custom cake design request, the better! 

Pitt Street Pharmacy

111 Pitt St., Mount Pleasant

Brandi Sherbert, PharmD. MBA, owner

Describe the history of Pitt Street Pharmacy. Pitt Street Pharmacy is an original 1930's soda fountain pharmacy with a fully functional and open soda fountain serving milkshakes, sandwiches and more. At Pitt Street Pharmacy, we specialize in compounding, meaning we hand-make the majority of prescriptions we dispense. This allows us to better customize therapy specific for you—or your pet’s needs! 

How is the business a unique addition to the community? Pitt Street Pharmacy is a family environment where kids and families come and enjoy an afternoon milkshake or ice cream and relive their childhood. It is truly like stepping back in time. When you walk in, there is a good chance that someone here immediately knows you.

What are some of your favorite stories from customers? My favorite stories are the memories people have from growing up here. The names carved into the fountain or the trouble they remember getting into as kids in the Old Village.

Pleasant Family Dentistry

1204 Two Island Ct., Mt. Pleasant

www.pleasantfamilydentistry.com

Dr. Gabrielle Nockowitz, Dr. Richard Jackowski, Laura Cordisco, Debbie Delong & Amber Strickland, Heather Rourk, Melissa Halligan

What do you enjoy most about being a dentist? Dr. Jackowski: I enjoy being a dentist because there is no better feeling than helping others. I have the opportunity to improve people’s oral health, alleviate pain and enhance their smiles. It is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. I also get to build relationships and get to know my patients personally and develop bonds with them over time. It’s a career that combines medical knowledge, technical skill and artistic abilities. We get to be creative and design aesthetically-pleasing restorations such as crowns or veneers. Dr. Gabrielle Nockowitz: My most rewarding days are giving people the smile they have always wanted or restoring a function they have been without for such a long time. For me, those things make all the hard work so worth it.

Why is Charleston a great place for your business? Pleasant Family Dentistry is centrally located in Mount Pleasant, off of the Isle of Palms Connector. We offer convenient hours and are even open on Saturdays to accommodate our patient’s needs. Charleston offers a diverse and well-trained workforce with a high quality of life. Several of our staff have been with us for 10 years or more.

Reinvented Upscale Resale

847 Savannah Hwy., Charleston

www.facebook.com/reinvented.resale

Beth Cook, owner

How does Reinvented stand apart in the retail fashion space? Reinvented is unique. We offer not only consigned clothing and accessories, but also many new pieces that I personally curate from respected vendors. Our attention to detail creates an experience that is just plain fun!

What are some of your favorite pieces in the store? That’s hard to say because our inventory changes daily! We welcome consignors and encourage them to call us for an appointment. I carefully select every item we display for sale so that our customers can be confident that they are purchasing quality brands that express taste, elegance and classic style.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? We’ve been voted Charleston’s best consignment store for six consecutive years. When customers enter the shop, they can trust that they’re in for a magical shopping experience. And they’ll leave with purchases that continue to reflect our motto: “We only LOOK expensive.

Restore at Carolina Park

1588 Bloom St., Mt Pleasant

www.restoreapts.com

Alex Alviz - Service Technician, Alicia Giordano - Assistant Manager, Amie Dufek - Business Manager, Nicole Spencer -  Lifestyle and Fitness Director, Mike Kovaleski - Service Manager

What inspires the staff at Restore at Carolina Park? Mike Kovaleski, service supervisor: At Restore at Carolina Park, I'm inspired by the opportunity to create a vibrant, fulfilling community experience for our residents.

What are some unique amenities that make you stand out among retirement communities? Unique amenities at Restore include state-of-the-art fitness centers, a movie theater and expansive outdoor spaces tailored for relaxation and recreation.

What are some of your favorite activities and events for residents? Kovaleski: My favorite activities for residents include interactive workshops, wellness programs, and diverse social events that cater to a wide range of interests and hobbies.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? Kovaleski: What I enjoy the most is seeing the positive impact that I have on our residents' lives, fostering a sense of community and well-being among them.

UASHMAMA

196 King St., Charleston

Mon – Sat 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Sunday- 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Sara Cusatis, Charleston store manager

@uashmama.usa

What is the company’s mission and impact? UASHMAMA is family-owned and manufacturing is managed in Tuscany, Italy, where each product is created to thoughtfully enhance your daily lifestyle. Our passion is to simplify your life with eco-friendly products that deliver state-of-the-art design and functionality. Established by Marco Marconi, UASHMAMA is proud to combine his lineage in handcrafting footwear with pioneering methods to reduce our environmental impact. His creative vision led us to develop our signature material, a washable paper that we’ve named “AGGO.” This material meets our top priority in providing products that are both ethical and durable. Plus, it feels and folds like a textile for an aesthetic utility that is sleek and fun.

What inspired the opening of a Uashmama in Charleston? The culture, the emphasis on good food and the kindness of the people in Charleston reminded us of the culture in Tuscany. Our goal is to bring a bit of Tuscany to Charleston, offering handcrafted Italian products that celebrate the rich heritage and traditions of both regions.

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