Some local companies reach well beyond the Lowcountry
Among the many reasons to live in the Lowcountry is a business-friendly climate where every creature comfort is readily available, as is access to the greater outside world from area airports and the tips of our fingers. It’s a testament to the region that so many businesses are based here, many with national or even international reach. Is it the temperate climate or soothing surroundings that feed the creative juices? Whatever, the Lowcountry is high-powered when it comes to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. Here are some iconic local brands with a global reach.
Have a seat
J. Banks Collections
Expanding on her signature interiors, J. Banks Design Group owner, Joni Burden, has created several J. Banks Collections specialty product lines popular around the globe. Fun fact: Burden names all of her furniture pieces after employees. Shown here are the Alyssa tufted sofa, Kathy end table, Lydia scatter table and Blake occasional table.
Best in show:
Salty Dog T-shirts
You see people wearing Salty Dog T-shirts everywhere — from Beaufort County to New York subways, Denmark to Dubai and parts in between. The famous shirts featuring Jake the dog in his Sou’wester have shipped to every state in the Union and several foreign countries, often to people who have never visited Hilton Head Island.
It’s in the bag
Inspired by Daufuskie Island, Kay Stanley created Spartina 449, a collection of linen-and-leather coordinated handbags. The company sells a broad line of products and accessories inspired by the saltwater marshes along our coast to a global audience. Inc. magazine listed Spartina as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States in an overall poll of American firms.
Rice, rice baby
Charlene and Esko Riikonen founded Cera Products, a Hilton Head Island company that sells rice-based rehydration products all over the world. As a long-chain carbohydrate, rice contains many times the energy of sugar and is better suited to people with allergies. Their products are found in major medical centers, all branches of the U.S. military, more than 200 travel clinics and internationally in South Africa, Central America and Canada.
Tight as a drum
Gretsch manufactures guitars, basses and drums and is one of the most prominent manufacturers of American musical instruments. Its drum factory in Ridgeland has made custom drum kits for some of the most popular musicians in the world, including Phil Collins, Art Blakey and Max Roach.
Cleared for takeoff
TSA (Transportation Safety Apparel), located on Beach City Road, makes safety vests, headwear, hydration backpacks and other equipment for airport, highway and hospitality workers. So the next time you look out the cabin window and see the ground crew in bright yellow reflective vests, they might have been made on Hilton Head.
Using her Southern background and touch, owner Millie Burke provides a unique selection of vibrant, hand-printed, coastal-inspired linens including napkins, towels, pillows and more. Her linens are sold at 500 businesses in the U.S. and multiple stores in the Caribbean.
Based on Hilton Head Island for more than 28 years, Gourmet Warehouse specializes in hand-crafted barbecue sauces, rubs and marinade injectors that pay tribute to the South’s culinary heritage. Its products can be found in the condiment aisle of grocery stores and supermarkets across the country. Owners Stephanie and Richard Camputaro also produce products under the brand name, The Flavors of Ernest Hemingway.
Keep it local
A few other local brands that reach well outside the Lowcountry:
• Real Simple Soap
• Hilton Head Performance Group
• CiCi Designs jewelry
• Selina King jewelry
• Fuel clothing brand
• Bloody Point Mixing Co.
• Little Fish Boateak jewelry
• Bulrush Gin
• Hilton Head Distillery spirits
• Burnt Church Distillery spirits
• Seaside Grown Bloody Mary mix
• Chase Allen sculptural art
• Heritage Shortbread
• River Dog Brewing Company
• Elizabeth Locke Jewels