It seems like the constant conversations I’ve had as of late circle around the fact that summer is basically coming to a hard and fast close. And no one is digging it. I get the sense that it’s less about saying “goodbye” to the carefree summer days, but more the realization that it was anything but… like the ultimate “Sunday scary,” that you’ve done everything and nothing and now that looming “back to the grind/struggle/monotony/busyness” is evermore present. It’s a feeling that’s both inexplicably jarring yet all too familiar… and this go round had me wondering, “WHY do I keep finding myself HERE?

I realize the quest for a life that feels full yet simple has been a reoccurring theme here on Harbour Affair (with its humble beginnings rooted in my early blog, Breakfast at Target). Embarrassingly, I haven’t made much headway in all these years, and these lessons have had to present themselves repeatedly. While there are some external variables that complicate that quest, ultimately I’m the only one responsible for where my life is heading – both in the big, slow moving string of events to the small, heavy-hitting moments.

In taking a big step back earlier in the year and looking at Harbour Affair’s mission and how it ties in with my “sister-frand” brand Celia G Photographie, I realized I was doing far too many things and trying to please (or appease, as the case may be) too many people. At the end of the day, while grateful for the opportunities, I realized I was trying to push Harbour Affair/CGP into a brand identity that others envisioned. On the flipside, exploring these prospects introduced to or further enhanced relationships with brands, businesses, and opportunities that did strike a chord with my little blonde heart… and I got really excited when the connections AND the products totally just worked.

It also got me thinking about what’s important to me as a consumer, and how can I more appropriately align myself with like-minded folks?

Enter Nick with JORD, a watch company that specializes in luxury wooden timepieces. We met – where else? – through the internet machine. I was so impressed with JORD’s social media campaign, their quality of influencers, and their presentation of the watches themselves… seriously, how do they pull it all off? Always the ever curious consumer, I asked a million questions before pulling the trigger. Nick got back to me in record time (ha! watch pun!) stating the following:

“We believe that watches can be more than something that just tells time, but an intricate, beautiful, functional piece of a wardrobe. We focus a lot on Sustainability. A great majority of the wood we use comes from furniture remnants. It takes very small pieces for us to create the cases and individual links so we are able to utilize what would otherwise end up in a waste cycle. Both Bamboo and the Maple we source is completely sustainable, and as is expected in the industry – all of our Koa comes from damaged trees or trees that were brought down by a natural weather event.

Moreover, we concentrate on Environmental safeguards as well. All of our watches are treated with natural substances, no hazardous chemicals. Not only for the sake of the environment, but for those who work on the watches. The watches are conditioned with natural tung oil. That’s it!”

You guys, the experience from the time I ordered the watch (I got the Reese Zebrawood & Emerald) to putting it on for the first time truly did feel luxurious. The box is displayed in – what else? – a beautiful wooden box that feels solid and smooth. There is a teeny little drawer in the box with cleaning accessories and even comes with an oil applicator to keep it conditioned and vibrant. The watch itself feels soft and light, kind of surprising for such a solidly crafted piece.

The best part about the JORD watch is how well it pairs with a range of coastal inspired looks (which thank the son of Neptune I have such great help in that department because #ididnotwakeuplikethis). It’s an easy statement piece for a night of rosé with the girls or a beach brunch with my handsome fella. Not surprisingly is the number of compliments I get when people notice it. And believe-you-me, they notice it. Functionally, the clasp is quick to put on (which is great for folks like me to struggle to put on barre pants not-inside out) and feels secure – and speaking of barre, I put it to the sweat test: while I wouldn’t go for a run in it, it stood up to an hour of shaking & tucking without feeling heavy or slimy. And I also think it’s made for less-than-graceful people such as myself because even after bumping into things and carrying heavy loads this weekend INTO OUR NEW HOUSE (more pics/post to come on that), it doesn’t have a single scratch.

Most importantly, I appreciated there was a real person on the other line I could ask a multitude of (dumb/overly curious) questions to and feel like they put some love behind the whole experience of the product. Being a part of the direct-to-consumer/e-commerce marketplace, it’s priced reasonably and shipped quickly. I even got follow-up making sure everything arrived safely and was as expected.

AND did you know you can get the watch AND the box customized with engraving for a special touch? Just reminding you all the holidays are basically around the corner…

Pssssst… I should mention these watches are hardly exclusive to the ladies.
Gentlemen, there are stunning pieces juuusssst for YOU.

———

As I’ve gotten into more introspective questions and thoughts around where Harbour Affair is going next, the words “quality” and “sustainable” keep coming to mind. Exploring JORD’s products and connecting with their brand made giving the watch a try an easy and well-intentioned choice. And as my curiosity (read: obnoxiousness) must’ve left an impression, JORD asked about teaming up to make one of YOU lucky readers a winner (although you already were in my eyes). That’s right, friends! JORD is giving away $100 gift card to – who else? – one of YOU and they’re making it crazy easy to do so. Click the link here or in my ‘gram profile and fill out the form. Ah-that’s-it. Bonus? Literally everyone who enters wins a “prize” of $25 towards one of their products. I mean, c’mon you guys; you don’t even win prizes out of cereal boxes anymore.
(But hurry, giveaway ends Aug 27, 2017.)

So, while I haven’t nailed the “simple fullness” I had hoped this summer would offer, I have taken the opportunity while swirling in the chaos to explore more what that means… and, hopefully, start taking steps to quit asking myself “how I got here” and just BE here to appreciate what went into making it all happen. And I am grateful for the people who meet along the way who encourage along the way.

What’s next for Harbour Affair?
Only time will tell, my friends (get it…? “time”…? JORD watch post…? heh?!).

… hugs & high fives,

C

 

End Note: A big crazy magical from-the-bottom-of-my-heart THANK YOU to Whitney of W Photography who came in on the assist with shooting and styling these photos. Team work really does make the dream work, people.

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You guys. I started writing this post almost two months ago.

I’ll never understand how the sweltering heat and humidity of a southern summer make the days feel like they’re moving in slow motion but the weeks fly by… how is 2017 already over half-way over?

——–

Does anyone remember the scene in Garden State with Natalie Portman’s character, Sam, does a weird little spazzy dance and says the following:

Garden State (2004)

 

This is your one opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before and that no one will copy throughout human existence. And if nothing else, you will be remembered as the one guy who ever did this. This one thing.

When’s the last time you did something, expressed something, moved and grooved, painted, blurted, sang, jumped, or danced or created just ‘cuz you have something uniquely and profoundly YOU for you by you and because of you? Something or some moment no one can take away because you gave it life and you, ONLY you, had the ability to do so?

And not just the ability? But the drive, the audacity, the life experience, the naive hope, the push, the call to do it?

———-

It may be the afternoon daydreams of the lunchtime glasses of rosé in an airy cafe or the perpetual fog of humidity, but it’s a weird thought that’s been on my mind recently. Not sure where it came from, but embarrassingly, I have some idea.

Y’all, I put a lot of pressure on myself to come back from my Euro-Trip (that was in mid-May, might I remind you – how has 2 months gone by so quickly?!) refreshed, changed, and ready to TALLY-HOOOO! into 2nd half of 2017. And, admittedly, I’ve wanted to don my over-sized cotton underwear and hide in a corner with a handle of gin and package of Oreos more than ever.

Being at a cross-roads with my business in the last few months and trying to transition it towards things that feel full and more inline with my personal skills, values, and desires has been daunting, if not a little terrifying (okay, a lot terrifying). Throw in the current workload and commitments that require my immediate attention and the surmounting anxiety with wondering if I’m taking the best steps in my new direction leave me feeling heavy and weird and never feeling like I can do anything “right.” I hoped I’d feel more refreshed coming back to tackle that; but instead, I was ready to jump right back on a plane (even if the airlines’ computer system completely crashed and left me stranded in Paris an extra night). I’ll hide in an Airbnb with my oversized underwear with a handle of gin and stroopwafels over there, a-thank-yoooou.

“Gin salad” in Amsterdam

2017 so far has been a year of break-throughs, breakdowns, heartbreak, and CAN-A-GIRL-CATCH-A-BREAK moments galore. Empty promises and major disappointments. I have succumbed to the proverbial traveling salesmen and believed in the snake oil more often than I’d like to admit… and allowed places and people that were once full of joy and fulfillment to be cast in a shade of resentful gray.

Saying good-bye to my favorite little furry bud was just the giant pickle in the crap-sandwich of it all.

Anyone who knows me for 5 seconds or more knows I barrell full force into whatever it is I feel I have to do. They also know I hold on to that idea that something magical is always possible and every decision and opportunity can and just-very-well-might lead to it, even if it takes a few drinks to remind myself of it. And because I want so badly to feel and experience everything so big and fiercely, I often let my bedazzled dreams cloud my judgement. It’s not naivete, I think (I hope?). It’s a force I have yet to describe – yet that journey to understanding it all and harnessing it for good is what gets me up in the morning (that, and the 8 cups of coffee I can’t function without).

I feel like I need to apologize that this isn’t a “Top 10 Awkward Moments I Had Abroad” or “Best Places to Exhaust the Waistband on Your Stretchy Pants in Amsterdam” post (but if you’d actually read that, I will write it). And I hope I never come across ungrateful for being in our wonderful little island community because goodness knows I’m thankful every day for it. Often, I’m even more thankful for the people who have done nothing but support my weird and wild attempts to find out what the heck I’m actually supposed to be doing here… including my handsome highschool sweetheart for who, after 15 years, still embraces the crazy and encourages me to seek happiness in the small moments.

Friday night beach walks with this hunk

I’m thankful to myself for leaving little nuggets along the to remind myself it wasn’t all bad, like printing off sweet emails from clients or taking time to order photos of favorite shots or special times. In fact, some moments of 2017 thus far were downright frickin’ fantastic. And you guys: I still pinch myself that I did get to travel abroad and explore cities some people only dream of with my bestest friend of 10 years AND observe her sweet little family trying to find out just how they fit in their community, too – and, boy, did it inspire me to enjoy our journey here a lot more. (And for crying out-loud, I got to see the childhood home of Audrey Hepburn! And drink rosé with lunch without any dirty looks!)

Paying tribute to the woman that brought us together in Brussels

Literally rosé ALL DAY in Paris

And by and large, my clients have been the sweetest, most fun people to work with, with good hearts and the best of intentions (and just #beautifulpeople to boot, MY GAH)… like I want to print and hang their photos on my walls because I feel so involved and obsessed with their stories. (And again, they’re really ridiculously good-looking.)

So here’s to looking at the latter-half of 2017, returning to my initial word of responsibility and giving myself the space to find that uniquely, uninhibited opportunity to create and to experience from a good, good place – whether I’m remembered for that One Thing or not.

Better yet, I’ve found it’s much more fun to get out of your own head and create space for others to discover and express their One Thing. And I hope that’s part of my bigger plan.

More importantly, I hope it involves lots of Oreo. Maybe gin. Oversized cotton underpants optional.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

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You’re probably wondering why I didn’t phrase the title as a question.

The truth of the matter is that it is a constant question of mine, and the following is my feeble attempt to explain the enigma that is my mother.

Ladies & Gentlemen.

Who is Planet Sheila.

To understand where “Planet Sheila” comes from, you have to understand that my mother operates by her own rules and communicates in such a way that seems cryptic and bizarre yet is so profoundly simple and earnest. I first introduced Planet Sheila as a “character” of sorts in my life, far beyond the standard role of “mom,” to friends who questioned some physically present as well as world-view oddities I carried with me; the only way to make sense of what I couldn’t easily explain (at least not without a million back stories and “you had to be there” moments, which let’s face it, are painfully boring if you weren’t) was to tell people she hails from another planet: Planet Sheila. Maybe the laws of society and physics and reason don’t apply here on Planet Earth; but in a galaxy far, far away, the rules for which my mother is bound and lives her life is perfectly sound.

You see, her out-of-this-world behavior(s) and communication style are not merely wacky or utter nonsense. Quite the contrary, in fact. It happens with such frequency and pattern that it can’t be chalked up to typical “my mom is crazy” rhetoric. No, no… this is a social scientist’s dream of a case study.

Or space scientist, as it were.

^Behold, the humble beginnings in the evolution of Planet Sheila (circa 1986?). Look at how happy we all were before my other 4 siblings came along. LOOK HOW HAPPY.

For instance, when the dawn of texting came about and the shorthand along with it (LOL, BRB, WTF, etc.), my mother essentially invented her own. It took me months to be able to understand it without staring blankly at the glowing screen, and I wasn’t sure whether to be proud of myself or worried of my own understanding of it coming so easily. She also texts exactly how she talks, long before voice-to-text was even a thing, complete with emphasis on her word choice and with the same speed and chaotic jumping around she does in real life. During those days of running myself ragged in college and to this day of trying to manage a business, reading her texts between those intense moments of work bring me some weird little comfort of “hearing” her voice.

Probably the most famous of the Planet Sheila character points comes from the goodie boxes she sends on the occasion, whether special or just-because. I am 100% convinced she doesn’t realize she does this because it’s just too perfect (and maybe it’s a Planet Sheila social custom). Since I went away to college years ago, she still sends several boxes of items meant to bring some small joy and touches of the heart, but not without wondering where some of this stuff came from… it never, ever fails that a Planet Sheila box comes with the following three things: a practical item (ex: a travel wallet, a notepad, an “as-seen-on-TV” type device, etc.); a fun & frilly item (maybe a bracelet, some chocolate, wine with a fun label, cute slippers, etc.); and a WTF item. As in, I have no idea where it came from or who or why they would sell it… so random and bizarre it can only come from a store on Planet Sheila. A bright green St. Patrick’s Day stocking with my name embroidered on it (because on Planet Sheila, the elves fill a stocking then, too). Statues of religious icons (Child of Prague? yup, we’ve got him). A bright red shoe covered in bedazzles meant to hold your wine (as if we keep wine around long enough to need a holder). The list goes on.

But then there were the things that she introduced my siblings and me to from Planet Sheila in my early years and kept the spirit alive so well I can’t imagine having grown up without some of those memories.

For instance, we didn’t listen to Top 40 in the car driving to school or running errands, but rather my mother loved show tunes and ballads from big musicals. It opened up the conversation to things like history and asking what certain words/phrases meant in songs, and it wasn’t until I was in college I realized how weird it was to my siblings and I to beg for the Les Miserables soundtrack (“Red, the blood of angry men; Black, the dark of ages past!”… not exactly Kidz Bop).

Then there were the Christmases we’d bake an absurd amount of cookies or fudge or rice crispie treats to deliver to the usual suspects, but then we’d have the real fun and drop off goodies to those who we generally just found to be fun people in our lives: the attendants at the mailroom; our family pets’ vet; the shop owner of the quirky general store; the owners of the eclectic restaurant; the lead pharmacist at our favorite local drug store; etc. I grew up thinking that’s what you’re supposed to do, and I remember year after year getting so excited to see what new friends we’d add to the list of deliveries, thinking my lumpy and awkwardly designed in colored icing treats were better than any grocery store could hope to make.

Friday nights growing up, if not spent watching classic movies (okay, and occasionally Dumb & Dumber because Planet Sheila would snort-laugh at how stupid it was), were spent going to the theatre or opera or ballet. We learned the etiquette of applauding through movements, dressing for the occasion, and were always treated to a late-night dessert and discussion of the production afterwards.

Planet Sheila prepared food in such a way that either made you eat until you exploded or questioned the meaning of life. There was the one time she made a wild attempt at making biscuits when we moved from the Midwest to the South, and I thought she was trying to murder us by choking on the chalky, dusty hunks of flour and water (true story, I didn’t touch another biscuit until I was 19 because I thought they were supposed to taste that way and I thought Southerners were insane for liking them so much). But then she could make the most incredible corned beef or rack of lamb that to this day rivals any gourmet restaurant, and her invention of the “Squirrel Gut Cake” (a layer of brownie and a layer of cake separated by a thick filling of gooey red colored icing and topped with ugly green colored whipped topping and “guts” – basically nuts and a crap-ton of sprinkles and gummy worms) had all the neighborhood kids asking for that hideously delicious dessert.

On Planet Sheila, there are no strangers – only friends, and interesting ones at that. It took me years to realize she and my father didn’t “know” everyone in town… but they, especially my mother, gave them the space to be themselves and found everyone they met exceptionally fascinating. While I operate from a place of caution with a guarded heart, Planet Sheila opens hers to people she knows needs it most.

The attitude of gratitude is hallmark of Planet Sheila, as is the necessity of showing up BIG when called to do so (for Halloween one year she went full zombie and wore one of those creepy beauty peeling masks with some strategically placed makeup that was so perfectly horrifying, I’m still shocked Hollywood special effect people haven’t figured out how genius that was).

On Planet Sheila, time is a construct and not a fact, which can be so endlessly frustrating yet liberating at the same time. (If she’s 15min early or late, she’s basically “on time.”)

Sharing really is caring on Planet Sheila; she carefully choose several angel tags off the Christmas tree at church and invited us to shop for the people those tags represented, to whom I only knew by name. But I remember getting really excited to pick out sparkly pens and stickers and clothes for them and hoped one day we’d meet and share stories about who we were going to be when we grew up (and what their favorite scene is from Guys & Dolls, because doesn’t everyone have one?).

Generous. Bright. LOUD. Overtly positive yet with a hint of doom and cynicism. Curious. Hungry for new experiences. Full of life. Full of surprises. There is no word for “dull” as it’s a concept that doesn’t even exist, and bathroom sinks are used for vodka and wine storage. #alwaysprepared

These are the qualities you’ll find on Planet Sheila.

While one may never know when you’ll receive a transmission or maybe when her ship unexpectedly lands in your backyard, but I will say I can always count on her presence to light through the cosmos when you need it most. She can find the humor in anything and remind even the most self-inflated personalities, HEY MAN, we all put our green corduroy pants on the same way.

I hope one day I get the chance to visit Planet Sheila, as it must be simply marvelous. But until then, I’ll look to the stars knowing she’s always orbiting like a bedazzled spinning tea cup ride in the sky, sprinkling joy and absurdities everywhere she goes.

In the spirit of Planet Sheila and this weekend being Mother’s Day, I’d like to take a moment to officially announce my start of a new weekly newsletter inspired by the woman herself. Each week you’ll receive another piece of junk in your inbox with links to three new discoveries on the interwebs: 1 practical item; 1 fun & frilly item; and 1 WTF item. Sign up here (if you dare) and prepare to be amazed. Or at least mildly entertained.

And with that, I bid you all adieu, Earthlings.

Hugs & High Fives to infinity – and beyond!

-C

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In the last couple of weeks I’ve had several intense experiences with people in seemingly mundane, everyday occurrences. I don’t know if it was some cycle of the moon or the fact I maaaay have been sneaking an absurd amount of leftover Easter treats (I mean, COME ON they were 75% off), but it left me feeling out of sorts and anxious.

Being someone who feels and experiences things REALLY big, I’m used to having to take a step back to make sense of how I actually feel about things. But this was different. Like some force decided to take me down a notch, and do so in ways that would chip away at my weird little spirit. Small passive-agressive jabs. Belittling questions. Back-handed compliments. Seemingly normal interactions that seconds later make you say, “Wait – what?!” I chalked it up to reading too much into things but for some reason I couldn’t shake it.

And then the tipping point.

So there’s this lady, a new neighbor, who just moved in on our floor down the hallway. She’s got that croaky, huffy kind of voice that is only made louder when she’s got something to complain about… which is pretty much every time I’ve spoken with her. Since the day she’s moved in a few months ago, I’ve tried to be helpful and offer ways to get her acclimated to the island and share what makes this place so great when I run into her, and it’s only met with angry, self-important remarks. She’d carry-on about her assortment of medical issues then bark at me how I’d better get ready for the “joy of old age.” Then there was the host of “problems” she’s discovered about living on the island she’d rage on about while I’d listen as intently as I could and offer suggestions on some of our favorite spots. She’d respond with a scoff and an eye roll. So, I quit trying.

During this heightened period of WTF with humanity, I was walking out to my car to teach at the studio and she was talking with our downstairs neighbor, an older gentleman who’s been nothing but nice to us since coming to the island. I politely smiled and waved and caught some teeny bit of the conversation about one of her latest health problems and maybe needing some help with something in her car (?) and she literally yells at me while standing next to our neighbor: “Well I wouldn’t bother asking HER, SHE doesn’t care. SO selfish, that one.”

Bwuh?

Stunned and a little disoriented, I didn’t have the time nor wit to respond… and it really threw off the rest of my day.

Ruminating over all the moments I’ve interacted and all the conversations we’ve had with our new neighbor, I wondered over and over what I had done to come across heartless and selfish to this woman. Of course, John being the kind and wonderful person he is (and having had the similar experiences with her as I had), he assured me it was her just being a mean old bat and not to think so much of it. Which of course only made me do so more.

A couple of days later, still feeling out of sorts with life and letting our neighbor’s angry words get to me more and more, I blew off my normal morning workout and took to the beach. It was a particularly cold and drizzly morning (the last of those April showers, I suppose), but I felt compelled to so anyways. As soon as I heard the crash of the waves and felt the squish of  sand under my shoes, things suddenly better. To my surprise there were several beach goers that morning, all of whom offered a wave or a smiley “good morning” as they power-walked the shoreline or trotted along with their equally as friendly dogs. A long, brisk walk listening to one of my favorite podcasts started to put a lot of my glitchy thoughts and feelings back into order.


Sure enough, later that day the sun came out my downstairs neighbor and I ran into each other. He assured me he put her in her place after her shouting at me and didn’t tolerate her being so negative. Even for a guy that has to be one of THE nicest people on the planet, he felt she was just a mean old woman. “Don’t let her bring to her level,” he told me.

I think being a person who likes to fix and help and generally is anxious when things are out of order, it hurts at even the thought of someone believing I don’t have the very best of intentions. I prefer direct and open communication, and try to leave the doors open to that as much as I can. And I have to remind myself there are people who don’t prefer these things – and people who are so broken after a lifetime of choosing to be unhappy. Misery is so easy; it’s so easy to be down and stay there. And it’s a lot easier to bring someone down with you rather than try to rise above.

For those people, there’s a part of them missing that only they can fill with a sense of wonder and curiosity and gratitude. They’re often jealous because they feel others’ success means they’re just that much further away from theirs. They like busting chops. They’ll never have enough and never feel like they are enough… and the only thing, I think, we can do is listen when we can and pray they take that step out of fear and loathing to a place of hope and fortitude.

Something that brought me back, too, is remember how many amazing, kind, supportive, and generous people I DO have in my life. The sweet emails from clients. The messages on social media saying incredibly kind things about my work. The unexpected hugs from friends. The late night night texts to check in. The smiles from strangers on the beach. The shnoogles from my favorite shark-dog.

I can’t say I’m out of the funk yet, but at least I know I’ve got a hug somewhere when I need it. And I’ve decided a long walk on the beach should always be in my repertoire.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

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Birdie James @ Shelter Cove Towne Centre // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

I am not exactly what you call a “fashionista.” I’ve spent more money over the course of my life on fitness clothing, and some of my favorite and most-complimented pieces were found in thrift stores. As mentioned in my last post, I was more interested in a good deal (and elastic waistbands) than I was in making investments in fashion. To be honest, I didn’t think I was worthy of having “style.” I enjoy a little retail therapy and always aspire to look put together when called for – but if I can’t compete with the bevy of fashion bloggers who eat $12 bedazzled donuts washed down with rosé and still fit in Size 2 pants that cost more than my monthly rent, what was the point? (DisclaimerI know they’re not all like that… but sometimes it feels that way…)

Coastal Bliss @ Shelter Cove Towne Centre // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

When approached to collaborate with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber for their inaugural Chamber Fashion Week, I thought there had to be some mistake. I went to the meeting anyways. When I met the initial group of women involved in making Chamber Fashion Week happen, I felt an immediate sense of powerful #girlboss vibes – and I LOVED IT. I may not entirely recognize the difference between vintage pink and blush, but dangit I know the smell of ambition and possibility. I told them to sign. me. UP.

After we sorted out the details and negotiated the what’s-what-and-wheres, I embarked on a two week adventure with the HHIB Chamber that included meeting with the boutique owners, learning about brands and trends, and taking a zillion pictures of the store interiors (while somehow winding up -in front- of the camera, which you can all rest assured my 15min of Instafame are up now). It was an intense and exhilarating experience… and I cannot tell you how lucky I felt to be a part of this experience. Every one of the owners and associates were so welcoming and attentive; each of the shops were so unique in their style; all the clothing and accessories were chosen to reflect our coastal community in some way; and most importantly, they each had a story to tell about why they chose and love Hilton Head & Bluffton.

Maluka in Bluffton // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

———-

Y’all, we truly have something special here in our little corner of the Lowcountry.

And if you think you need to venture to other big markets to find the latest in beautiful coastal fashions, unique accessories to go with your favorite pieces, or lovely finds for your home,  YOU CRAY.

Louette Boutique in the Village at Wexford // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

The best part?

Each of these stores knows and loves on their regular clients while always reaching out to new shoppers with a big smile and a handshake (or a hug, because huggers recognize other huggers). I felt free to wander and browse while knowing someone friendly was closeby to help when I needed it (and y’all know I NEEDED IT).

Seriously, it made me truly appreciate what we have here in terms of brands and variety; but also, as well as the hard work each of these stores does for it’s local and visiting clientele.

Overall? The experience was exhausting (you know, standing around trying to look beautiful) and a total whirlwind of putting all the puzzle pieces together (and wondering how I could afford all my favorite pieces and still be able to eat this month). But how magical to be around these hard-working, big thinking, down-right lovely people.

Suffice it to say I’m thrilled to know where to go to get my next ensembles, whether a waterside brunch or a fabulous soiree; and to do so knowing I’ll be greeted by new friends.

 

 

Traveling Chic Boutique @ Coligny Plaza // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

I’ll still most likely never be the called a “Fashionista.” And I doubt I’ll be able to eat expensive confectionaries and be able to pull off anything that doesn’t have at least a little elasticity to it (which is why Pure Barre HHI will forever have me on retainer as a client). But one thing I learned is that I am worthy of style. That choosing quality brands and supporting local vendors can be and very much is an expression of that. Because a true friend won’t let you walk out of store looking like a crazy person. And they’ll help make you feel beautiful no matter what.

Copper Penny @ Shelter Cove Towne Centre // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

—-

A very big THANK YOU to:

Dorothy, Hallie, and the whole staff at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

Too Belles Boutique @ the Fresh Market Shoppes // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

… and the following retailers:

Birdie James

Coastal Bliss

Copper Penny

Gigi’s Boutique

Island Girl

Louette

Maluka

Too Belles

Traveling Chic Boutique

….. and…. 

Island Girl @ Coligny Plaza // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

—-

And an even bigger shout-out to my better half, John, for not being too upset when I maaaaay have come home with a new new finds… and for always telling me I’m worth the $12 bedazzled donut.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

Gigis Boutique in Bluffton // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

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