Isle of Palms Office

1400 Palm Boulevard Ste. M
Isle of Palms, SC 29451

Real Estate Inquiries:
Vacation Rental Inquiries:

Folly Beach Office

31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439

Real Estate Inquiries:
Vacation Rental Inquiries:

Dunes Downtown

11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Real Estate Inquiries:
Vacation Rental Inquiries:

Kiawah Seabrook Office

1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455

Real Estate Inquiries:
Vacation Rental Inquiries:

Mount Pleasant Office

835 Coleman Blvd Ste. 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Real Estate Inquiries:
Vacation Rental Inquiries:

Join Our Mailing List

Tag: interview

10 Questions with Susan Rae Epstein

Susan Epstein

10 Questions with Susan Rae Epstein, Fall Tours Manager at The Preservation Society of Charleston

We ask the same 10 questions to very different members of Charleston’s diverse community. This week, meet Susan Rae Epstein, fall tours manager at the Preservation Society of Charleston.

 1.  If you’re not from Charleston originally, where are you from and when did you relocate here?

I am not a Charlestonian but my mother is. I grew up in Spartanburg in a small community called Boiling Springs. I attended 1st through 12th grade there and then went away to Clemson University, where I earned a degree in Plant Sciences / Horticulture in 1979. After graduation, I married my college sweetheart and we moved to Charleston. Since my mother was from Charleston, I still had a lot of family here so it was like coming home. We moved into a house on Wappoo Drive in Riverland Terrace and from there to Rockville. After I became pregnant, we moved back to Riverland Terrace and then West Ashley, where we live now.

2.  Did you go to college, and if so, where?

Clemson University

3.  Occupation, employer, and what your role entails?

I work as the Tours Manager for the Preservation Society of Charleston. My primary job responsibility is to organize the Fall Tours for PSC, which is our biggest annual fundraiser. Other responsibilities include organizing smaller and more focused private tours for organizations or clubs as well as helping out wherever I can.

4.  How does your company and/or your role affect the community.

One of the primary goals of the Fall Tours is to enlighten and educate our guests about the history, architecture, and the preservation of Charleston. As the oldest member-based preservation organization, it is our mission and our duty.

5.  Favorite part of your job?

The favorite part of my job is to be an ambassador for Charleston in many ways. In one regard, I represent the homeowners and it is an honor to meet them, be able to visit and hear the wonderful stories of these houses. The homeowners of Charleston are very gracious and generous stewards. They understand preservation and what it takes to care for the houses but also the city. The Monday following Hurricane Matthew, we were checking in with the owners to inquire if they were able to include their property on the upcoming tours and out of 90 properties, we only lost 4 due to damage. That says a lot about the dedication and commitment they make. It is also a privilege to work with the more than 300 volunteers it takes to run the Fall Tours. We are so very grateful to them and the many hours they give to make the tours a success. Plus the time they take to learn the history of the houses, neighborhoods, and the city. Last, I want the guest to have the best experience ever and want to return.

6.  What area of Charleston do you live in and why do you love it?

West Ashley. My husband, David, and I are fortunate in that we have an older property but not as old as most on the peninsula. Our house was built in 1934 and we have 2 acres with most of it being cultivated as a large ornamental garden. I can be anywhere in a matter of minutes and am spoiled with my short commute into town.

7.  Who’s your most-loved local venue/cultural excursion and why?

As far as my favorite local excursion, it is probably anywhere I can ride my bike. Whether it is the Coastal Cyclist Saturday James Island to Folly Beach ride, ride around the peninsula, or over to Mt. Pleasant, I love it. We are not even close but one day, Charleston will be a world-class cycling city!

8.  What’s your go-to local dining or takeout spot, and what do you like to order?

I am a creature of habit and love Cobb salads. My favorite is from Fleet Landing. The view is fabulous as well.

9.  Favorite Charleston day-trip destination?

My favorite day trip right now is Brookgreen Gardens at Murrell’s Inlet. I love the rich horticultural history of the plantations as well as the beautiful love story of Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Huntington. They did so much to preserve Brookgreen, support the arts at a difficult time, and care and educate the people who worked for the plantation. The plantings are of great interest anytime of the year and the sculpture collection is one of the best in the country, if not world.

10.  If you could live anywhere in the world other than the Lowcountry, where would that be?

If I could live anywhere in the world, I wouldn’t go too far. My family and friends are all here or in the Southeast. I am a mountain girl at heart and would love to live part time at Lake Lure. I spent so much time there as a child plus we took family vacations there are our children were growing up.

10 Questions with West Of Publisher/ Editor Lorne Chambers

We ask the same 10 questions to very different members of Charleston’s diverse community.  This week we met with West Of Publisher/ Editor Lorne Chambers.Lorne Chambers

1. If you’re not from Charleston originally, where are you from and when did you relocate here?

I was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. but moved to South Carolina when I was 10. So I became pretty southernized pretty quick. But I still bleed black and gold. I was raised in the small town of Greenwood, S.C. until I came to the College of Charleston in 1995. After that I had a brief stint on the Gulf Coast of Florida before relocating back to Charleston and have been here ever since.

  1. Did you go to college, and if so, where?

Yes. I attended the College of Knowledge (aka College of Charleston — Class of ’98)

  1. Occupation, employer, and what your role entails?

Newspaper publisher. I started West Of, a weekly community newspaper for the West Ashley region in 2005. I wear a lot of hats, but mostly handle the editorial side of the business. My wife Lindsey handles the sales side of things. In 2015 she and I purchased the Folly Current, a monthly newspaper for Folly Beach.

  1. How does your company and/or your role affect the community?

I like to think we have a big impact on the communities we cover. The two papers I own cover their respective parts of town exclusively. So we do our best to inform the community of what’s going on from a governmental level to who is playing Saturday night at the bar down the street. Because we are hyper-focused on these communities, I think we have a great responsibility to them.

5.Favorite part of your job?

Putting the puzzle together. I look at every issue like a puzzle — I have this space for news, this space for sports, dining, arts, etc. Of course, it all starts with the ads, and then you have to piece it all together from there. I like the challenge of it together every week.

  1. What area of Charleston do you live in and why do you love it?

I like to think I have dual citizenship. Since I am so ingrained in both West Ashley and Folly Beach, I have to be a citizen of both if I’m to cover either properly. I lived on Folly Beach for eight years until this June when Lindsey and I bought our first house together in West Ashley. It is an exciting time for West Ashley with all the revitalization and growth. So it’s great to be right in the thick of it. But we still are rooted in the Folly community and keep an office there. Folly is a special place, so that is still where I “hang out” the most because I love the bars, restaurants, and people.

  1. Who’s your most-loved local venue/cultural excursion and why? 

I’m a beer snob, so I’m super excited about Charleston’s booming brewing industry. I also love that as the laws change, these breweries are becoming gathering places. There are four new breweries slated for West Ashley in 2017, so I look forward to hanging closer to the house when they open. But Folly Beach is my spot. The owners of all the bars and restaurants are not only our clients, but our close friends. So we love just bouncing around Center Street and down the side roads and grabbing a bite, hearing some music, or just having a drink.

Also, before I started West Of, I was the music editor at Charleston City Paper, so I love live music and try to see it whenever I can. I’m really excited about what the Charleston Music Hall has been doing lately with their booking and Alex who owns the Pour House is an old friend of mine, so I like to catch as many live shows there as I can as well.

  1. What’s your go-to local dining or takeout spot, and what do you like to order?

This is a tough question. Charleston is overflowing with amazing places to eat. But whether I’m in town or visiting somewhere else, I always try and seek out small, hole-in-the-wall spots where you’d never expect creative food offerings but will find them. On Folly, Jack of Cups, Chico Feo, and ’Wich Doctor are three prime examples. In West Ashley, Voodoo Tiki Bar is a good example. I’m also a sucker for South Carolina BBQ. I went to Texas recently and ate so much brisket that I literally can’t touch the stuff right now. Maybe I’ll come around to it again, but for now, give me a good pulled pork sandwich with mustard sauce. We have some real good ones in West Ashley too — I could eat Home Team BBQ every day (and almost do), but also love what Anthony is doing over at Swig & Swine, and it’s still hard to beat a classic Bessinger’s BBQ sandwich.

But if we really want to treat ourselves, we don’t mess with all the fancy downtown spots, we head to Mondo’s Italian. It’s a tiny, unassuming spot in a strip mall next to Sonic on James Island. But it has the best Italian food in town, in my opinion. The owner is a great guy and the service is always good. We go there often, but it’s always a treat.

  1. Favorite Charleston day-trip destination?

I’m always amazed by the diversity and beauty we have right here in our backyard. Spending the day at Middleton Place is always a nice getaway. Just walking around the gardens and along the river is a special experience. We often try to parlay our Middleton days with a special dinner or beer tasting they’re hosting or a stay at the Middleton Inn. Besides Middleton, a short trip down the road to Botany Bay in Edisto is a perfect day trip. Its natural beauty is stunning.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world other than the Lowcountry, where would that be?

My wife and I have a secret spot along the Pacific side of Costa Rica. It’s not where all the American surfers go; it’s 45 minutes up a dirt road from the beach to a completely secluded spot in the mountains called Rancho Tranquilo. There are three tiny “ranchos” or palm-thatched huts up on stilts in the middle of the rainforest with literally nothing around but monkeys, toucans, and sloths. Most peaceful place I’ve ever been. We’ve been a couple times, so I suppose if I had to live anywhere other than here, that would be it. There or Chiang Mai, Thailand. A magical little city in the mountains of northern Thailand. Food is amazing, people are friendly, and there’s a just a chill vibe everywhere you go. Kind of like Folly Beach if it were in the mountains of Northern Thailand.