Goldsmith to open jewelry shop; Buy Local gears up

Lowcountry Local First executive director Jamee Haley (foreground) kicked off the 2013 Buy Local Month from a store on King Street.

Downtown Charleston is adding another fine jewelry shop to its collection.

Corneau Goldsmithing, owned by local goldsmith and gemologist Michael Corneau, opens Tuesday at 92 Hasell St. The city's business district south of Calhoun Street is home to at least eight other fine jewelry merchants, such as Croghan's Jewel Box and Buckar Jewelry Architects.

Corneau said the store will seek to set itself apart by specializing in original pieces crafted by jewelry artists such as John Dyer, Donald Mac-Lachlan and Micky Roof, as well as Corneau's own designs.

"Our goal is to be the first high-end, hand-fabricated, custom design house in the area specializing in rare colored gemstones of exceptional quality," Corneau said in a statement.

Lowcountry Local First's Buy Local Month starts Saturday and will continue through Dec. 15. The local nonprofit holds the annual campaign to encourage holiday shoppers to buy gifts at local shops and purchase locally made goods.

According to a study cited by the organization, 75 percent of local businesses in cities with similar campaigns saw increased customer traffic and other benefits.

"As the Charleston region grows, Lowcountry Local First will be working to make sure those businesses who are invested here are able to stay here," said Jamee Haley, executive director of the organization.

A block party will be held Nov. 22 at the organization's co-working space, Local Works, at 1630 Meeting St. The event from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. will have a market of locally made wares, food trucks, live local music, a beer garden and screenings of short films created by locals.

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Out of Hand will celebrate its 20th year in business Nov. 20 from 5-8 p.m. with a free street fair outside the women's apparel and accessories shop that Lisa Thomas owns on Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant's historic Old Village neighborhood.

Vendors, artisans and entertainers will take over the street, which will be blocked off from Venning Road to the Village Bakery at 125 Pitt.

Local musicians John Landeo and Seth G. will perform live. Also, 10 percent of sales from the businesses along the strip will be donated to the Charleston Basket Brigade, which provides Thanksgiving dinners to families in need.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906.