Two new businesses are paying homage to a simpler way of life by serving up small, subtle indulgences. Considering the tough economic times, little luxuries may be just the ticket.

With their new stationery shop, Mac & Murphy, Liz Macpherson and Ami Murphy are breathing life into the (almost) lost art of the handwritten note.

The two friends have long shared an interest in old-fashioned correspondence and, according to Murphy, they would cringe when forced to send a thank you note via e-mail.

Located at 74 1/2 Cannon St., Mac & Murphy is slated to open in February. Shoppers will find the shelves stocked with paper products such as stationery, invitations, desk calendars and journals.

Formerly a private residence, the 750-square-foot retail space was reworked by Anna Lassiter of Maisonne Interior Design. Stroll through French doors into the store's courtyard. It boasts a Zen garden and fish pond, where customers are encouraged to linger and write in their journal or address envelopes. "We'll even have a postal box for you to mail your cards," Murphy said.

If journaling in a Zen garden isn't your thing, seek relaxation with a warm cup of tea.

The Fuschia Tea Emporium is now open at 113 Church St., adjacent to the Forty Shades of Green art gallery.

Owner Mary Margaret McLernon has cultivated an atmosphere that's highbrow but accessible. The interior boasts original Irish art, a pub table and a few comfy couches.

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The restaurant will be serving breakfast and lunch, along with an afternoon tea package that includes scones, sandwiches, sweets and, of course, freshly brewed tea for just $26.

Retail radar

Folly fare: Conch at 11 Center St. at Folly Beach has closed. The space was recently acquired by John Davis of Trademark Properties along with Chip Roberts, Bobby Perry and David Miller of Kickin' Chicken. In March, they plan to open Center Street Kitchen, a family-oriented Southern diner in the building.

Dressed down: The Dress Barn chain's Citadel Mall location will close Feb. 21.