Monday, July 02, 2007

Successors to the Heavier Trades

Do you want to sell a Citadel cell phone (now required) case or a College of Charleston woven basket (interesting course) or a Clemson checkbook cover (tuition is up)? One major source is the Collegiate Licensing System which has agreements prepackaged and ready to go for vendors who want to market through old school ties. The folks who run the business pictured above have that option. The are found in the Collegiate Licensing System's list of licensed manufacturers.

We discovered this valuable information while researching the company operating out of the old store front at 747 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC. We at first thought we'd spotted yet another restaurant upon seeing the lady painted on the stucco. She looked like a distant cousin of the gal portrayed on north wall of Hominy Grill with some diversity of origin. Upon closer inspection this turned out to be Billy - Joe (heart over "JOE"), American's Favorite Homewares. The lady is washing dishes rather than serving them which doesn't seem entirely modern, but makes the point. Further research indicates that the company is Lee's Homewares, Inc., d/b/a Billy-Joe. We had always thought such goods were called "housewares", but "homewares" sounds, well, more cozy.

On their website [ ] one can buy a host of homewares such as sink strainers with pineapples, dolphins, and hearts. There are never enough refrigerator magnets in any home so they offer them with Happy Frog, Bernard the Cat and hearts. We couldn't see much of a walk in presence and this may be on line ordering only. Their offerings are extensive.

This building once housed Baker Brothers, a refrigeration supply company, where the HVAC contractor would go for parts when your system stalled out. We like the artwork and the irony which successors to the heavier trades often bring to the reused buildings on the Charleston peninsula. In this case the loading dock pit is the legacy. A popular King Street restaurant has kept the old neon bicycle which was atop the Robinson's Bicycle Shop many years ago. We also liked the old claw foot bathtub which is growing tomatoes at the moment. So, both building and bathtub are back to work at very different occupations. Putting old buildings and (some) old people back to work seems productive.


Blogger 4n0n3m0u5e said...

I'm confused but love the car pix

7:34 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Thanks for the comment, Fred. We, too, were confused thinking that we were pulling into the one restaurant in Charleston which did not have a long waiting line only to find that this is a mail order house and the only food was the nice ripe tomatoes growing in the tub.

11:24 AM  

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