Certified Authentic: 100% Made in Charleston

Treasures abound at the Charleston City Market, one of the nation's oldest public markets. The sprawling four-block retail venue, which dates to 1804 and houses more 300 local merchants, is the epicenter of handcrafted and reproduction products with local history and character.
 

Visitors to the Historic Charleston City Market will notice a unique square ceramic tiles proudly displayed by a variety of vendors throughout the four buildings. The tile, which bears the words "Certified Authentic: Handmade in Charleston" signifies that a product is 100% fabricated in the Charleston area.

 

The Charleston City Market has implemented an award program to recognize vendors who produce locally handcrafted products. Each honoree receives a ceramic tile with the City Market seal to display in their booth alerting shoppers that they sell certified local products.  The goal of the program is to recognize and support local artisans and bring awareness to the uniqueness of their craft.

 

“I think the award program is going to give local businesses an opportunity to stand out in the Charleston City Market," says Adam Fetsch of Rewined Candles, the global phenomenom that got its start at the Charleston City Market several years ago. "The Market is a great place for entrepreneurs to get started; it puts you and your products in front of thousands of people every day.”

 

The Charleston City Market continues to strengthen and develop the local art culture and small businesses with its seasonal Night Market, which is held on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:30 pm-10:30 p.m. from April - December. 

 

When Charleston's then Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. awarded 69 artisans and 47 sweetgrass basket weavers with the first-ever edition of Certified Authentic: Handmade in Charleston tiles on July 19, 2013, he proclaimed, "I want you all to know how proud I am of you and your hard work and your contribution to this city."

 

One of the recipients was Leola Wright, who has been weaving sweetgrass baskets for 52 years. Wright's mother made sweetgrass baskets as a means to support her nine children. Wright inherited the skill and, in turn, taught all six of her kids to weave sweetgrass in order to pass the artform to another generation.

 

"It's great to see how the city cares about the art and the people who do it," said Wright upon receipt of her Certified Authentic designation.

 

Other recipients included Ase and Stu Zablow, whose Southern Sisters line of benne wafers—authentic Charleston cookies that date back to the antebellum era—have been a staple at the Historic Charleston City Market since 1987.

 

LOOK FOR THIS: The green and cream-colored tile that reads "Certified Authentic: Handmade in Charleston" signifies that a product is 100% fabricated in the Charleston area.
 

 

 " I want you all to know how proud I am of you and your hard work and your contribution to this City." — Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.