Giovanni Feroce will open Benrus in August, most likely the week of the 16th. Last year, Feroce said to Abigail Darlington of the Post and Courier, “I have a Main Street strategy — I’m not interested in opening in malls. The cities I choose will have a prominent Main Street and some sort of military nexus will also be a priority.” The military element comes from the Benrus history of supplying wristwatches to United States military forces until the late-1970s. Feroce plans to revive the American label and reintroduce it as a designer brand with clothing and accessories for men and women. The build-out is stunning at 161 King St.: Definitely go. This is yet another business launched in Charleston. We’re a perfect storm of activity, culture, architecture and enterprise.
If you haven’t been south of Market Street lately, you’re missing a lot — Rick Reinert Fine Art Gallery, for one. Reinert turned his courtyard into a sculpture garden, complete with mirrors, fountains and landscaping only an impressionist could create. The historic building at 179 King Street now houses Reinert’s collection as well as other invited artists. The sculpture garden is so inspiring, he was moved to begin hosting live jazz and serving wine by AuburnJames every Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. AuburnJames is the award-winning winery that features Rick’s work on two, going on three, of their fine Meritage vintages.
We already know West Elm will open at 484 King St. August 13. But, did you know about the Charleston local products that will include custom designs and a collection of prints and wall hangings designed by artists 42 Pressed, Kristen Solecki, Overton Iron Works, PerlaAnne and SunWoven; an assortment of stationery designed by Dodeline Design, Sideshow Press and artist Teil Duncan; and handcrafted wood cutting boards and rolling pins designed by Slab? Nice touch, West Elm — and wonderful choices all.
It’s nice to see so much happening in a city with so much heart. While we may bicker about cruise ships, nightlife and highway completion, when compromise is demanded, we eventually do it. The world is watching our growth, talking about our food, booking their trips and relocating their businesses. As we select a new leader to replace a legendary one, it’s something to keep in mind. Of the many forums in which you can hear the mayoral candidates, Small Business Lunch at Halls is one of the best. The long running series presents John Tecklenburg August 6, Ginny Deerin September 10 and Rep. Leon Stavrinakis October 1. As you can imagine, there will be thought-provoking Q&A sessions. The Halls setting is perfect — small crowd, good food and regularly attending business leaders from all walks. Tickets are available at SmallBusinessLunchatHalls.com … and it always sells out.
Effervescent businesswoman Christine Osborne will be the November speaker at Halls. No one is more qualified to discuss retail success (Wonder Works), local business and corporate giving — not to mention kick off the holiday season — another way Charleston excels. Have a cool August, don’t forget to come to Second Sunday on King Street and remember … fall is just around the corner.
Susan Lucas is a writer, photographer and managing partner of King Street Marketing Group, a project that supports businesses on the Charleston Peninsula.