Christmas is still seven weeks away, but layaway has been in earnest since September and holiday shopping starts earlier every year.

Tapping into the buying season, when many merchants make up to 40 percent of their profits, are movements to keep dollars at home by buying from locally owned merchants or at least those in a certain locale.

In Charleston, Buy Local Month runs Nov. 15-Dec. 15, and Lowcountry Local First will offer a special after-hours shopping event featuring LLF-member businesses on King Street at 5-8 p.m. Nov. 14 to kick off the season.

The holiday shop mob will pick up complimentary shopping bags, a few drinks and “ShopMob” tickets for one-night-only deals 5-6 p.m. at The Kickin’ Chicken at 337 King St. before heading out 6-8 p.m. to locally owned participating businesses.

After shopping, LLF will offer the “Buy Local Bash” 8-10 p.m. back at The Kickin’ Chicken.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information and a list of at least 25 participating stores, go to

In Berkeley County, the chamber of commerce for the second year is offering its “Holiday Buy Local Program” through Dec. 17.

Shoppers spending $300 with qualified stores and vendors who are members of the Berkeley Chamber or are located in Berkeley County will be entered into a drawing to win $1,000. For contest details, call 761-8238 or 577-9549.

Clothes line

Women’s clothing and accessories store Haute Hanger at 307 King St. is adding a second location.

Owners Athena Crofts, Judy Casey and Rebecca Steinberg plan to open a new store at 10880 Ocean Highway in The Hammocks on Pawleys Island. They plan to open today.

More coverage

Insurance agent Tony Pope has been chosen to become the first multioffice State Farm agent in South Carolina. He will open a second office Dec. 1 at 3044 U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.

Pope has been with the nation’s largest car insurance provider more than 22 years and is at 1661 N. Main St. in Summerville. State Farm also offers home, life and health policies.

Piece of the pie

Cibo’s Bistro and Pizzeria at 608 Harbor View Road on James Island has changed hands and undergone some cosmetic renovations.

The restaurant of about 10 years is now owned by Half Baked LLC of James Island. It was formerly owned by BJL Enterprises of Johns Island. Megan Cliff is the principal with Half Baked. Her husband, Tim Cliff, is a managing member.

Giving back

Once each quarter, Whole Foods Market in Mount Pleasant donates 5 percent of one day’s proceeds to a charity of its choice. The most recent recipient was the Charleston Parks Conservancy, which received a donation of $4,265 from the high-end supermarket chain from sales on Sept. 18. The group will use the donation for its park and community gardening projects.

Fitting in

Pure Barre will open a second Charleston area location at 164-C Market St. in downtown Charleston. The franchised exercise shop next to Leaf Cafe is co-owned by Jen Leitch. The other location is in Patriots Plaza near Whole Foods in Mount Pleasant. The new site should open this winter.

New leases

Braeden Kershner Music recently leased a 936-square-foot retail space at 295 Seven Farms Drive on Daniel Island, and Practical Fitness Inc. recently leased a 8,450-square-foot retail space at 113 College Park Road in College Park Center in Ladson, according to Avison Young commercial real estate firm.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or