There’s just something about the Lowcountry’s picturesque backdrop of winding marshlands, palmetto trees and live oaks with Spanish moss that inspire local artisans, artists and makers to create products that really can’t be found anywhere else in the country.
From Bluffton Candles’ aromatic wonders of delight (the coffee candle is out of this world) to Fire & Pine’s burnt wood-engraved wall maps, there is something for everyone in this area.
Luckily, there’s a way to see the most talented local artisans and their products in one place.
Lowcountry Made’s Katie Silva plans and executes artisan markets in Bluffton SC and Port Royal SC. These open-air shopping events include booths of local makers, so you can chat with artisans about their products. Silva has painstakingly vetted all of the market’s local artisan vendors, selecting only the best of the best local makers from Hilton Head to Savannah GA — including apparel, jewelry, paintings, bathroom self-care, home and garden, woodworking, light food products and more. Check out Lowcountry Made’s directory of artisans here.
Things to do in Bluffton SC — Artisan Markets
The Bluffton artisan markets always draw a nice crowd, who enjoy perusing the different booths. In addition to shopping, you can expect live music and food trucks.
Lowcountry Made’s Bluffton Night Bazaar is new for 2022. The artisan markets take place from 5-8 p.m. the first Thursdays of each month through July and then they start back up again from 5-8 p.m. the first Thursdays of each month October through December. They take place at Burnt Church Distillery’s parking lot, located at 120 Bluffton Road in Bluffton SC.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to support local artists and engage with the community,” said Silva, Lowcountry Made’s founder.
If you’re looking for things to do in Bluffton SC during the day, then check out the artisan markets at Buckwalter Place Commerce Park — from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of each month through December. This is a great location near Frankie Bones and the Kroger Shopping Center off Buckwalter Parkway in Bluffton SC.
This is a great event for parents of little kids, who are looking for ways to entertain their little ones outside in the fresh air. Bring your stroller, walk around the artisan market and take your kids to the nearby playground. Then, head over to Kroger or Publix to get your weekly shopping done!
Things to do in Port Royal SC — artisan markets
Less than an hour from Bluffton SC, is the beautiful coastal community of Beaufort and Port Royal SC. Silva chose the perfect location for the Port Royal artisan market. Framed by sprawling live oaks and play structures for kids, Live Oaks Park is located on 14th Street in Port Royal SC. The markets take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the fourth Saturdays of every month through November and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Saturdays from June through December.
Another opportunity to shop local, you can expect the Barbers of the Lowcountry’s mobile barbershop and Corner Perk coffee along with booths of local artisans.
Why Lowcountry Made’s artisan markets are different
Silva is best known for creating Don’t Park It Artisan Markets during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She found a way to unite the Lowcountry community, support shopping local and keep people safe by staying in their cars as they drove through a parking lot of local artisan booths.
“Lowcountry Made’s artisan markets started with a drive-through setup to create a safe, socially distant shopping experience with only 12 vendors,” Silva recalled. “I didn’t make any promises to the vendors. In the end, we were surprised when the community turned out in a big way — with more than 300 cars coming through to shop!”
Since then, Silva’s Lowcountry Made artisan markets continue to grow in popularity — attracting more than 1,000 shoppers for each outdoor artisan market. Silva curated the finest local artists, makers, woodworkers and artisans — only selecting those with high quality products, good customer service and up-to-date compliances.
“I have a passion for for all things lovingly handcrafted, the minds of creative people, and local life,” Silva said. “These events are a great way to have some fun and support our local businesses at the same time.”