As lovers of the Lowcountry, we understand that we have a choice in what we buy and from whom we buy it. We have a choice in what we eat – and from where and by whom it’s grown.
Collectively, our choices have great power. To build or break a life. A business. An economy. A city. A culture.
The people of Lowcountry Local First offer a simple solution: Choose The Lowcountry.
It’s an understanding that if we choose to neglect the Lowcountry, something beautiful, meaningful, and unique fades away.
Lowcountry Local First is a way of life that celebrates and supports what we love most: the local, independent businesses and farmers who reﬂect the unique character, ﬂavor, and culture of the place we call home.
You have a choice. To choose the Lowcountry with your dollars. Your vote. Your voice. Your heart.
So, choose – with everything you’ve got.
Lowcountry Local First cultivates an economy anchored in local ownership, because local-independent businesses are the cornerstone of our culture, economy, and character.
HONORS & RECOGNITION
- 2016 Charleston County Ambassador for Economic Development, Jamee Haley – S.C. Department of Commerce
- 2016 Winner Best Promotional Video and Best Non-Traditional Marketing Campaign – Charleston American Marketing Association
- 2015 Winner Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for Local Works Coworking Space – U.S. Small Business Administration
- 2015 South Carolina Small Business Ally of the Year – U.S. Small Business Administration
- 2015 Winner Best Event Promotion, Runner-Up Guerrilla Campaign – Charleston American Marketing Association
- 2014 Institution of the Year – Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
- 2014 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for Dirt Works Incubator Farm – U.S. Small Business Administration
- 2014 South Carolina Innovation Fund for Local Works Coworking Space – S.C. Department of Commerce
- 2012 Best Local Cause – Charleston City Paper ‘Best Of’ Awards
- 2011 Best Local Cause – Charleston City Paper ‘Best Of’ Awards
- 2010 Best Local Cause – Charleston City Paper ‘Best Of’ Awards
- 2008 Sustainable Communities Award – The Sustainability Institute
VIEW PRESS & MEDIA
See what local, regional and national media outlets are saying about Lowcountry Local First: VIEW
KEY FUNDERS & PARTNERS
Recklessly optimistic that the world can be a better place. She leads the organization with fierce determination to show the value our homegrown businesses bring to our community and quality of life. People connector, big idea thinker and new idea junkie.
Favorite quote (not just because of the name) Buckminster Fuller; "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
Community Development Director
Forever optimistic to change the traditional model of economic development and to prevent Charleston from becoming “Anywhere, USA,” Lauren works on advocacy and community development projects, as well as leads the Good Business Summit and Workshops. Armed with strategy, stats and process, Lauren works with independent businesses, consumers, and policymakers to cultivate place-based economic development with a grassroots-y approach. After going to school for city-preserving (B.A. @ College of Charleston), then city-planning (M.S. @ Pratt Institute), Lauren found a use for her 15-year strong boycott of Walmart and joined the team at Lowcountry Local First in 2013.
They say Rome wasn't built in a day... neither is a thriving local economy, or an epic beard. Larry is dedicated to both! As Community Manager his focus is connecting members in a way that strengthens the bonds of Localism. That means he has a deep understanding of the members who are engaged and because of that understanding, he can make sure the right people get a chance to meet each other. This love for making connections translates to helping businesses at Local Works, LLF's coworking space, make connections with the larger community of local businesses. When he's not playing business matchmaker, you can find him fixing the internet, cursing the printer, taking out the trash, or chasing lizards from under desks.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Jordan came to be the lead story-wrangler and cheerleader for the organization after 7 years in the marketing agency world. She claims to have the easiest job at Lowcountry Local First, promoting the many reasons consumers, policy-makers and the business community should support one another and create real prosperity. When not touting the local scene, you may find her on her bike, in Hampton Park, instagramming her cat, or listening to her husband perform spoken word around town.
Director of Sustainable Agriculture
Starting with his toddler days of being propped up next to a basket of peaches in his grandfather’s orchard and selling pumpkins at his family's roadside stand through his years educating high schoolers about food systems, production, and nutrition via schoolyard gardens, Brian’s background in plant science and deep connection to ecology have always been steering him towards educating and supporting farmers. Life in Upstate, New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota just got too darn cold for him and the idea of an extended growing season led him, inevitably, to Charleston where he helps to support and promote sustainable agriculture and ushers beginning farmers towards realizing their vision. Also an avid forager, cook, and musician, we would like to think his addition to the team sets us up nicely for any emergency/apocalypse-type situations.
Since middle school, Alex has had a knack for leadership and event management. She was that girl who was always sitting at a table fundraising for a good cause or planning a pep rally for her school’s basketball team. A Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate from the College of Charleston, Alex lends her experience towards fundraising, marketing and event design in the local nonprofit sector. Alex uses her positive attitude, high attention to detail and collaborative work ethic to create memorable experiences to those around her. At LLF she works closely with current membership, engaging new members, leading sponsorship recruitment, and coordinating events to support local-independent businesses. She enjoys the creative side of life - dabbling in photography, painting, wedding planning and being a "tourist" in her own city.
Never one to shy away from bright colors or bold patterns, Maud is the creative crusader at Lowcountry Local First where she brings visual awareness to the local movement in Charleston. Some might call her attention to detail and design fanatical —we call it brilliant. Maud has been conquering the design world since 2013 when she launched her own freelance graphic design business after earning a degree in Art History from the University of Virginia and mastering a multitude of various design courses.
Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant
Kaylee brings her love of numbers and organization to Lowcountry Local First with a background in nonprofit and small business bookkeeping. When not working hard to further the Local cause, she is completing her bachelors degree in accounting and finding time to enjoy Charleston’s beaches and booming food scene. In her past life she was a “mathlete,” on her school’s engineering team and rocked out in the math and science clubs. Lucky us to be able to witness her expertise at work! Her life motto? “If you aren’t happy with your life, change things until you are. If you can’t change something, change your attitude about it.”
Board of Directors
South State Bank
Wills Massalon & Allen, LLC
Central Park Accounting
Urban Electric Company
Garden and Gun Magazine
"Mini" Mariana Hay
Croghan's Jewel Box
Grassroots Wine Wholesalers
Medical University of South Carolina
Employment and Internship Opportunities
Growing New Farmers Program – Summer 2017 Intern
We’re always on the lookout for volunteers who can help with event coordination, office work (filing, mailing, phone calls, etc.), or even getting your hands in the dirt for a day. If you have the time, talents and passion, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.
Meet Our Neighborhood Captains!
Coastal Coffee Roasters
Park Circle / North Charleston Area
West Ashley Area
Wild Blue Ropes
James Island Area
HighVibe Media Group
Mount Pleasant Area
The role of the Lowcountry Local First Neighborhood Captain is to be a leader and a connector of local businesses, farmers, non-profit organizations and individuals in the neighborhood where their business is located. They are the “feet on the ground” in terms of the local movement and a peer supporter of local, independent businesses.
Please contact Alex Pappas at Alex@lowcountrylocalfirst.org if you are interested in becoming a Neighborhood Captain.
1630 Meeting Street Road, Building #2
Charleston, SC 29405