A true Charlestonian knows that Ye Ole Fashioned has the best ice cream in town. As a young girl, a treat would be getting an ice cream (specifically banana pudding – it’s the best!) from the iconic ice cream parlor and taking a quick tour of downtown. It was such a thrill to ride down King Street looking at the beautiful store fronts. We’d come to the corner of King and Broad where Berlin’s sign flashes brightly. Mom and I would stare at the most beautiful dresses and pick out our favorite one. We’d then go left on Broad, approach the four corners of law, and then take a right onto East Bay, pass the bubble gum colored homes on Rainbow Row, and end up at the Battery, the most well-known spot in Charleston. When you see pictures or videos of Charleston, most likely it’s a jaw-dropping view of the Battery. We’d look at the water and all of the people walking around. Sometimes we’d get out and play on the old cannons. As a child, outings like this became a routine endeavor. You may be wondering why I’m sharing this information with you or why it’s even relevant. When I decided to become a realtor I soon learned that my passion for my career came naturally. Mom has always taught me that passion should be the driving force behind the decisions we make and paths we follow. As I entered the Charleston real estate market, I began to love this city even more and appreciate its beauty. My perspective has broadened to realize the beauty and history that Charleston holds. I also understand how blessed I am to have grown up in this beautiful city with such rich history.
At my realtor orientation, I heard the same question repeated over and over: “What sets you apart?” When I really started to think about this I instantly knew. My roots and upbringing. My grandmother has been a realtor for over 40 years. She knows every single one of her clients’ life stories. People that know her, love her. Real estate came naturally to her because real estate is about building relationships and truly caring about your clients. Grandma was raised to respect others and appreciate their stories and gifts. In order to find someone a home, you have to really understand them as a person. That came easily to Grandma, just like it comes easily to Mom and me. There’s no doubt we were both destined to be Charleston realtors. When other young girls were playing with dolls, my Mom was coloring in an MLS book. (My, my how things have changed!) When I was young, the tradition continued. I became very familiar with the words, “open house,” “MLS,” and “HUD statement.” I would join my mom at open houses and marvel at the different floor plans and uniqueness that each house portrayed. When I was in high school, I worked for my Aunt, who is currently a real estate attorney. Again, I became very familiar with the term “HUD statement.” I also had the privilege of watching my uncle excel as a realtor. He has the best taste and can see the possibilities that every home allows. To this day, he flips homes because his ingenuity is unmatched. Real estate is in our blood. It’s not only a career; it’s part of who we are.
When Mom and I decided to create our team, we knew we wanted a logo that represented Charleston but that also represented us. We looked at countless images on the web and discussed many different options. We were somewhat stumped. The next day, an article popped up about the Pineapple Fountain and the history of pineapples in Charleston. It’s symbolism stems from Charleston’s shipping history. I found this ironic because my dad and brother currently work at the ports of Charleston. My grandfather also worked at the ports so it’s definitely a family tradition. The pineapple carries a tradition as well. When sailors returned home, they would put a pineapple on their fence post to show they safely arrived home, and a celebration would commence that night. This tradition pulled at my heart strings because my paternal grandfather served in the Navy for 20 years and was gone for six months at a time. Even though he enjoyed his time in the Navy, he was always grateful to return home to his family and Charleston. After he retired from the Navy, he and my grandmother spent a lot of time with my brother and me. So many childhood memories were made in their house and it soon became a second home to us.
The symbolism that the pineapple holds is so precious. It represents hospitality which allows a house to become a home. Your home is a reflection of what makes you happy and what’s important to you. It’s where you make lasting memories that shape and mold you into the person you’ll become. I’m thankful for the people and places that shaped and molded me into the person I am today: a third-generation Charleston realtor. After all, it’s in my blood.