What I'm Wearing: Charleston Small Businesses

One thing that I've loved and been very thankful for since moving to Charleston is getting to know so many of the wonderful creatives based in Charleston. Over the past two years I've been able to work and collaborate with some of the best fashion based small businesses in the city, and have even seen them become dear friends. Whenever we work together to create gorgeous shoots, I'm always eager to jump on board!

Supporting local businesses in Charleston has been a huge passion of mine since starting Paper Meets Pearl. We are such a close knit community here that it works seamlessly to collaborate with one another. A few of my favorite businesses that I've worked with now is The Tiny Tassel, who originally started out making gorgeous tassel jewelry and is now creating her first ever clothing line! This gorgeous and fun gingham print top is one of her newest pieces out of that collection. I'm smitten with how colorful they are and love the various dresses and skirts she's since added to the collection. What's even better is, the pieces are all designed and created by Mimi and her mother. Now you can't get more local than that!

Now you can't have a good gingham outfit without pairing a fun tassel necklace with it! Conflicted Pixie isn't technically based out of Charleston, she resides in North Carolina, but her pieces have become a splash hit here in Charleston. She and I connected via Instagram and I love how our relationship extends past that of our screens. She's an incredible designer and I love the tassel necklace she created for me. The material is so soft, I didn't realize that she made her necklaces out of t-shirt material! Each bead is meticulously hand painted and she now offers custom colors for her necklaces. Her tassel necklaces have been such a fun addition to my outfits and really jazzes up even my most basic outfit of jeans, a t-shirt, and flats.

Now you can't go running around town without a cute bag to throw everything in! Trust me, I'm the biggest offender of having a messy bag when I run errands. I try to cram every nook and cranny with my wallet, lipsticks (yes, lipsticks. I have three on me at all times!), and any other "necessity" I might need during the day. Who else has a problem of losing a ton of hair bands and bobby bins in their bag? Thankfully with this gorgeous handmade leather bag from Be the Change Boutique that's no longer an issue!

Be the Change is a marvelous store off of King Street that only sells products where 100% of proceeds go back to charities. As someone who works for a nonprofit, this speaks volumes to me. It's incredibly that both Ashley and Ashleigh have been able to make a store like this come to life and have their mission be so powerful. This bag isn't just a beautifully handmade leather bag, all proceeds will go back to women who have suffered from human trafficking, a cause I feel very deeply about. Since college I have advocated for those enslaved by human trafficking and hope to see it end one day. Knowing that a simple fashion statement can help is a win-win in my book. If you ever visit Charleston, I highly recommend you stop in their adorable shop that overlooks King Street and say hello!

What better way to jumpsuit your wardrobe for spring than by shopping local! You can find some truly amazing pieces for the same price you would at a local big retailer; plus you can walk away with the added benefit that you helped someone achieve their dream of owning a small business.

Supporting local Charleston businesses is one way our city has remained so great. Everyone is always happy and willing to collaborate, connect, and work together for the greater good. I love have the opportunity to work so closely with this industry and help shed what little light I can in order to help them. I am only one voice, but I try to use it for those that I believe in.

What are some of your favorite small businesses in your city? I'd love to hear so I can visit them in the future!

Wearing: Blouse // Necklace // Jeans // Bag 

Photography: Jennifer Collins