Ruta Smith / Scott Suchy

185 St. Philip St. Downtown

(843) 872-5252

cannonboroughcollective.com

Co-owned by Liz Martin and Mimi Striplin, Cannonborough Collective is the chicest boutique you’ll find in downtown Charleston, chock-full of goodies from a wide variety of local vendors. Located on the corner of Cannon and St. Philip streets, Cannonborough Collective is a neighborhood spot through and through, often participating in block parties and vendor strolls with other local businesses in the area. And it doesn’t get the title of best gift store for nothing: Inside you can find everything from balloons (the store boasts the city’s only “balloon bar”) to stationery to baby clothes — the list goes on and on. For Martin, Cannonborough Collective is everything she looks for in stores in places she visits: “Getting to have a shop in this city I love so much allows me to offer both locals and visitors a little taste of the thing I love so much about exploring a city and finding that special spot I can get lost in for far too long.” Martin admits that half the battle of owning a local business is showing up, day after day. Cannonborough Collective has been nestled on its cozy street corner for three years now, and Striplin credits the Collective’s staying power with the support of the local community. “Running a retail shop has its ups and downs,” said Striplin. “But I’ve learned through it all, if we’re able to truly support one another, whether sharing a social media post, shopping or cheering on a new or existing local brand, we all grow together.”
Connelly Hardaway

Runner-Up:
Island Expressions