Start a Business in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina


Don Ryan Center for Innovation and Care Core

(Don Ryan Center for Innovation and Care Core )

Recently I attended our 2014 Economic Development Summit and once again I am excited about living in Bluffton/HHI.

If you have a business or would like to start up a new business and would love to enjoy the good life we have here in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton please read this! 

The Summit started with Beth McClurg from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation of General Dynamics sharing with us a bit of the vison and growth of Gulfstream, who is one of the major employers in our region.  I believe they employ over 10,000 people and are continuing to add more jobs this year.  I meet people all the time who live in Bluffton who work at Gulfstream. 

Combine business and pleasure in your life. I believe you can follow your dreams here, just as I did! When I was younger, I dreamed of starting my own businesses and I came from a family who showed me the way.  I tried to sell worms, sticks, rocks, and trinkets to name a few – I attended flea markets and yard sales where I honed my negotiation skills with only the that I had in my pocket to last the whole day of buying “good stuff.”  I wasn’t exactly on the path to becoming rich but I was creative let’s say.  I read a lot of books and kept the dream alive.  Today, I sell real estate – no business is more fitting to me than matching up just the right buyers and sellers and their homes.  With that said, when I’m not working, I’m on vacation in my own town! There’s absolutely no lack of wonderful things to do and see when you live here.

Hilton Head Beach

(Have a little fun after a day at work)

What about your business dreams?  Don Kirkman from The Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation welcomes creative and innovative entrepreneurs.  Marc Orlando from The Bluffton Public Development Corporation reminds us that we have an innovative economy.  We have pro-business incentives and help from many sources.  You could reach out to Don or Marc for ideas and assistance in getting started.  

If you have a startup business, you must find out about the The Don Ryan Center for Innovation. The Don Ryan Center for Innovation partners with the town of Bluffton, Clemson and CareCore.  It is the most successful of Clemson’s incubators.  You can contact David Nelems to earn more.  What is most unique I think is that these folks WANT to talk with you, they will take the time to talk with you, they want to help you make your dream of living here and owning a business here a reality. You may be pleasantly surprised by the way people treat you, listen and are genuinely helpful here and how much opportunity can be found in our area.

Bluffton Homes to ,000

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Bluffton/ HHI is the regional geographic center, with an easy drive to Savannah, Beaufort, Charleston, Jacksonville and even Atlanta. Bluffton has a median age of 33 years old but was also recently named one of the top 25 retirement community in the nation.  We offer a unique and special heritage, culture and quality of life. 

Bring your idea, bring your new or established business and be happy and profitable!

I hope to see you and your business soon! 

 

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Tis the season!


Tis the season for counting our blessings, holiday parties and decorations, and just lots of fun!  The other night our theatre group met for cocktails and an early bird dinner at a local restaurant. Then we all went to the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to see a favorite old musical –  “Singin in the Rain”.  It was just delightful!  There was a big cast of talented performers, wonderful costumes and choreography, and even actual rain on stage.  The main lead donned a yellow slicker and umbrella and danced and splashed while singing the hit song.  The applause was deafening!

Hilton Head Christmas

When I lived up North I often went into New York City to see live theatre.  Even though I could see the Empire State building from my living room window, it took an hour to get into the city, lots of money to park the car, the show tickets were very expensive, and we never got home until 1 AM or later.  One of the great things about living on this island is how convenient it is to get to all activities including our theatre.  There are five scheduled musicals or plays each year in addition to many other events.  The productions are very professional, the parking is free, tickets are definitely affordable, and we’re home by 11 PM.

Hilton Head Theater

To complete the evening we drove through the new Shelter Cove Town Center to see the Dove Street lights.  Every year since we moved here in 1994 until 2010 we would drive through Dove Street in Forest Beach to see the beautiful festival of lights.  The home owners on Dove Street would display lights on the overhead trees that made a canopy and it was like a fairyland.  There were bubbles and hot chocolate and caroling and visitors made donations to Deep Well for less fortunate folks.  In 2010 the generous home owners decided they were unable to continue the tradition because of the cost of electricity and also managing the heavy traffic.

Well, now it’s back in a different location but it captures the spirit and continues its tradition of good will. The row of shops and restaurants are illuminated by over 50,000 lights and volunteers are there accepting donations for two worthwhile Hilton Head organizatons, the Deep Well Project and Programs for Exceptional People which promotes independence for special needs adults.

If you are in town over the holidays plan to see the show at the Arts Center.  It runs through Dec. 28th. Of course, make the evening complete by driving through Towne Center to see the new Festival of Lights.  I’m sure you will enjoy it.  Happy Holidays!

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Dove Street Festival of Lights


The “Tastefully Tacky” Dove Street Festival of lights, a wonderful display of holiday lights can now be seen at the Shelter Cove Town Centre. The official lighting ceremony took place on December 8. On had to get the festivities started were the co-founder of the festival Paul Beckler and Hilton Head Island’s new Mayor David Bennett. It was a lovely evening; a crisp 48 degrees. A nice night for a stroll through the exhibit; enjoyed by all.

 A few hundred folks of all sizes were there for the lighting. HHITV was there to cover the story and well as the Handley Team. The festival was originally located on Dove Street in North Forest Beach. It was held there for 20 years the last of which was in 2010. The festival raised ,000, 40,000 canned goods, and 20,000 presents for children which benefited the local charities of Deep Well and Projects for Exceptional People. Some of the young people from PFEP entertained the crowd with bell music.

Dove Street Lights

The display featured 50,000 lights that took 1,000 man hours to set in Place. You’ll notice that the signature white dove is highlighted in the middle of the street. The festival ran for much of the holiday season with scheduled visits from Santa, a carolers, choirs, Cappy the Clown and a pianist featuring Christmas music. The Merchants of the Centre had their shops brightly lit to show their wares. New York City Pizza sliced up free pizza for the crowd.  Some terrific gift ideas to be found. Have your picture taken with the Nutcracker.

Shelter Cove Harbour-View Villas for Sale

Shelter Cove Harbour View Villas

7 Properties Found. Page 1 of 3.

Photo of Listing #406106

9 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,705 Sf

MLS # 406106


Photo of Listing #401048

9 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,890 Sf

MLS # 401048


Photo of Listing #405967

7 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 3 Beds, 3 Baths, 1,595 Sf

MLS # 405967

The festival will only improve with time, get bigger, better and more “Tastefully Tacky”. There will be more lights added in the future and additional entertainers for the visitors to enjoy. More shops and restaurants to open.  If you are on the island in December 2015 you need to make a point of stopping by the Festival. It is a Feel Good Festival!!!

Dove Street Lights

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Christmas on Hilton Head Island


“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR”……..If you are spending the holidays on Hilton Head Island, it is a very special time.

Hilton Head Santa Claus

The Season officially kicks off with the Hilton Head Dance Theatre’s annual performance of The Nutcracker. A tradition for the last 29 years, and one that many of the local children have participated in from the preschoolers as mice and Cooks, to the starring roles that have been danced by many local high school students.

There are 6 performances, November 14 – 22. For more information or to purchase tickets, all 843-842-3262 or purchase on line here The Nutcracker on Hilton Head.

The man of the season, Santa, along with Mrs. Claus and, of course, Rudolph will help kick off the holiday season at the Town’s official Christmas Tree Lighting at the Art Center of Coastal Carolina in Shelter Cove. This old-fashioned Yuletide celebration, complete with Christmas carols, holiday crafts and yummy treats is a great way to put you in the holiday spirit. Activities for children include face painting, holiday crafts and photo opportunities with Santa. Come enjoy this family friendly Island tradition!

Nutcracker Hilton Head
Here is my Daughter, Olivia, as a Cook when she was 4!

Hilton Head Santa

Also featured will be a musical performance from the cast of “Singin’ In the Rain” which is now playing at the Arts Center. Performances are December 3-28, 2014. Show times are 8pm Tuesdays-Saturdays; 2pm and 7pm Sundays. If you have never seen a play at our Art Center, you have really missed a wonderful evening on Hilton Head. For more information on this play and the plays and events for 2015, visit their website at artshhi.com.

Other light displays can be seen at Harbour Town where the Harbour is illuminated with seasonal figures and a towering 30-foot Christmas tree. Harbour Town is the perfect place to be this holiday season, with live entertainment and activities. The Harbour Town official tree lighting will take place just prior to the Gregg Russell Concert on Friday, November 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Speaking of Harbour Town and Gregg Russell, don’t miss Gregg’s very special Christmas Concert.
December 23 & 24, 7:30-9 p.m. Relish the spirit of the holidays as Gregg Russell plays his guitar and sings songs of the season for children and adults. The candlelit singing of Silent Night is one of the most moving moments you will ever experience.

Golf View Villas for Sale in Harbourtown

Harbour Town Golf View Villas

10 Properties Found. Page 1 of 4.

Photo of Listing #405997

New Listing

51 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head Island

,075,000 – 3 Beds, 3 Baths, 2,300 Sf

MLS # 405997


Photo of Listing #405067

68 Plantation Drive, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 3 Beds, 3 Baths, 2,020 Sf

MLS # 405067


Photo of Listing #402520

70 Plantation Drive, Hilton Head Island

,500 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,800 Sf

MLS # 402520

In the spirit of this giving season, while you’re enjoying the holiday season, you can help Deep Well make a difference in someone else’s life, too. Bring a canned good or two, or a new unwrapped children’s toy and drop them in the “Well” by the Liberty Oak Stage. Since 1973, the non-profit, volunteer-based Deep Well has been serving the basic needs of the less fortunate on Hilton Head Island.

If you are going to be here for New Year’s Eve, be sure to bring in the New Year at Harbour Town with the Big Ball Drop! Times Square has a famous ball drop and we have a New Year’s Eve ball drop also – a huge golf ball dropped from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse!

 

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Fall and Winter Happenings in Sea Pines


It’s hard to believe 2014 is almost over.  One of my clients asked me what happens here in the Fall and Winter.  Well, we’re busy as usual.  In early November there’s a horseshow at the stable here in Sea Pines which is hosted by the International Riding Academy.    We have lots of visitors over Thanksgiving and there’s a festive wagon ride through the Forest Preserve.  There are rides every day from Tuesday through Saturday and they serve cookies and refreshments.  It’s  a lot of fun!  Sometimes my family comes here for Thanksgiving but this year my husband and I are going to go back to New Jersey for the holiday.  Hope it doesn’t snow.  I’m spoiled with our beautiful Hilton Head weather!

Sea Pines Christmas

Thanksgiving weekend lots of visitors and islanders, too, enjoy the Stan Smith Tennis Academy which culminates with a Tennis Exhibition and Happy Hour with refreshments and raffle prizes.  There’s also  a fishing tournament in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.  The fishermen enjoy hot dogs and marshmallows around a fire.  Friday night Gregg Russell does a Thanksgiving concert for the entire family and just before the concert everyone watches the official lighting of the Harbour Town Christmas tree.  Folks bring a toy or a canned good and drop them in the well for the Deep Well Project which is for some of the less fortunate on our island.  Everyone enjoys strolling along the harbor and seeing the illuminated seasonal figures, holiday lights, and a towering 30 foot Christmas tree.  To wind up the weekend there’s an afternoon of fall activities at the Heritage Farm for games, crafts, and caramel apples.

Sea Pines Christmas

Sea Pines Villas for Sale

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25 Properties Found. Page 1 of 9.

Photo of Listing #394598

6 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,200 Sf

MLS # 394598


Photo of Listing #406246

New Listing

5 Braddock Bluff Drive, Hilton Head Island

,900 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,186 Sf

MLS # 406246


Photo of Listing #385630

2 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head Island

,500 – 3 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,128 Sf

MLS # 385630

Soon after our December fun begins.  Santa Claus comes to town on December 6th.  Everyone loves to watch the little ones climb on Santa’s lap, tell him what they are hoping he brings them, and then have their annual Christmas photo.  Parents treasure the photos and keep them for years and years.  Some of the young couples have photos that they took with Santa and now their children are keeping up the tradition.

Sea Pines Christmas

There’s live holiday musical performances , outdoor movies, s’mores around the fire pit, caroling on a wagon ride through the Forest Preserve and then on the last day of the year some brave guys and gals take an invigorating dip in the Harbour Town Pool.  That’s one thing I will NOT participate in.  I’ll wait until night time and watch the ball drop from the top of the lighthouse.  I hope to make it to midnight but if I’m tired from all of the other fun things there is a ball drop at 7 PM.  But no, that’s not the same – I’ll just have to stay awake.  Happy New Year!!!

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Bluffton Seafood Festival


The Annual Bluffton Seafood Festival is now a weeklong event Delicious smells and tastes, great pieces of art, and the beautiful May River. The Bluffton Seafood Festival was truly a feast for all senses. October 12th through the 19th in Old town Bluffton housed the tenth annual Bluffton Seafood Festival.

Bluffton Seafood Festival

This week long event was held in the unique and quirky Old Town Bluffton and showcased, of course, local seafood, as well as LowCountry cuisine, rich history, local culture and art, and the southern charm the South is known for. There were many events throughout the week, such as local artists shows, local musicians playing everywhere, dancers from Bluffton School of Dance, and The May River Theater, and that’s just the start. They also had paddleboard races, boat parades, Oysterfest, kayak & paddleboard tours, Gullah cooking demos, wine tastings, a 10k and a 5k fun run, fishing tournaments, Iron Chef Challenges, and a huge concert called Rockin on the Dock! So very much to do, and lots and lots to eat!!

Homes for Sale in Old Town Bluffton

Old Town Bluffton Homes

7 Properties Found. Page 1 of 2.

Photo of Listing #404412

25 Shults Road, Bluffton

,900 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,662 Sf

MLS # 404412


Photo of Listing #401943

15 Dustin Loop, Bluffton

,900 – 4 Beds, 2 Baths, 2,231 Sf

MLS # 401943


Photo of Listing #401163

42 Dustin Loop, Bluffton

,000 – 4 Beds, 3 Baths, 2,231 Sf

MLS # 401163


Photo of Listing #401430

208 Goethe Road, Bluffton

,000 – 3 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,900 Sf

MLS # 401430


Photo of Listing #396478

1 Hickory Trace, Bluffton

,000 – 3 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,904 Sf

MLS # 396478


Photo of Listing #401910

72 9th Ave, Bluffton

,000 – 4 Beds, 2 Baths, 2,051 Sf

MLS # 401910

Bluffton Seafood Festival Boats

The Iron Chef Challenge was the most fun event to watch. I’ve seen it on TV, but never live with the clock running down, delicious smells coming from everywhere, people cheering; it was an event like no other. This year’s highly sought after number one spot went to the Executive Chef from Red Fish Restaurant. And the Executive Chef from Mulberry Street Trattoria, my personal friend, Joseph Sullivan, following closely with number 2. Every chef there was amazing, and I know all of them are way better cooks then I will ever dream to be! All in, it was a great week. Every single sense was stimulated at every turn. Whether it be delicious seafood, an amazing painting or sculpture, or listening to some jazz, country, rock, or gospel, I was sorry to see it all come to an end.

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Hilton Head Restaurants


If you’re like most people, you associate Hilton Head with fantastic restaurants. But, because anywhere the tourists outnumber the locals, you can’t expect that to be a sure thing – the odds are stacked against you.

Because your vacation time is precious you don’t want to waste it by wandering around saying, “Where should we eat?” There are literally HUNDREDS of restaurants  on Hilton Head Island. But you don’t need hundreds; you just need a few awesome spots during your visit to make the experience awesome.

Hilton Head Restaurants

It’s refreshing to have the opportunity to dine at a casual seafood or steak house one night and at one of the more elegant four-star Hilton Head restaurants the next. With so many choices I am often asked by my customers “where to the locals like to eat?”. When weeding out the great from the good there are a few of my favorites that come to mind

With over 200 restaurants on the island you can just about find everything your taste buds desire. Choices range from seafood to Thai, steak to pasta, and burritos to pizza. Just about every type of restaurant you can think of exists on Hilton Head. I’ve found that these restaurants can fall into three categories: satisfactory, good and exceptional. So, where then, can exceptional be found?

First on my list is Charlie’s L’etoile Verte. Charlies opened in the early 80’s and has continued to be a fan favorite to locals and returning visitors for over 25 years. With their Low country French flare cuisine, Charlie’s offers the only fresh local seafood dinner menu prepared daily on the island, with 14 different fresh fish to choose from. If seafood isn’t what your in the mood for how about a beef tenderloin, filet mignon or many other meat entrees offered daily. Once you’ve decided on your entree you’ll have the pleasure of selecting the perfect wine from over 500 different options to pair your meal with, a true collection of taste from all over. With awards in “Wine Spectator”, “Locals Choice”, “The Food Channel Online” you’re assured to experience only the best food and service when dining at Charlie’s L’etoile Verte.

 Second on my list is OMBRA Cucina Rustica. When walking into Ombra you feel as if you’ve stepped into back its Old World look and charm a  just took a plane ride over the Mediterranean and ended up in Italy, with the décor true to Florence Ombra’s ambiance is impeccable. Ombra is one of Hilton Head Island’s most authentic Italian restaurants, staying true to the Italian culinary traditions, Ombra’s plates include some of the freshest local seafood and ingredients. When eating Italian wine is always necessary and luckily at Ombra you’ll have plenty of Italian wine options to choose from, creating perfect pairs for all plates offered.

Ela’s Blue Water Grille sits amongst the beautiful Shelter Cove Harbour, giving you a waterfront dining experience that won’t be forgotten. European atmosphere surrounds you as you wine and dine yourself with fresh seafood, steak and hand selected wines from boutique vineyards.  Offering brunch, lunch and dinner there are plenty of hours in the day to visit Ela’s, and if you are boating into the harbor dock fees are free with dinner reservations.

Shelter Cove

Vine located in Coligany Plaza offers locally prepared food, an excellent wine list and reasonable prices for “their farm to table” concept. Vines intimate setting is offers much to be enjoyed with your spouse or loved ones. With fantastic food and staff that goes over and beyond their call of duty to make you feel special Vine is one for the books.

Vine Bar Hilton Head

Catch 22 offers fresh local seafood and ingredients, U.S.D.A prime beef and fantastic plate presentation. More moderately priced than some of your more upscale restaurants but every bit as good. 

Java Burrito is one of the newest and most creative restaurants to join Hilton Head. Offering Mexican food and specialty coffee with the freshest of organic ingredients while promoting sustainable farming. There “pick and choose” buffet styled serving ties nicely into the urban city-life feel that can be enjoyed while dining in. If your looking for fresh food fast at a price that no one can beat this is the place for you.

Prepare your taste buds to be taken to a fiesta of flavors. Holy Tequila offers Mexican combined with American flavors creating new ways to enjoy some of your favorite foods in ways you never thought possible. While dining at Holy Tequila enjoy one of their many hand-crafted cocktails as you take in the “Day of the Dead” meets neon light show scenery that will leave you thinking “where is my sombrero?” With food prices all under and over 40 premium tequilas there’s only good times offered at Holy Tequila.

 

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Spa Day on Hilton Head Island


Recently I celebrated my birthday by spending the afternoon relaxing at Day Spa.  Hilton Head Island has a wide variety of spas to choose from including the Heavenly Spa by Westin, Arum Spa by Sonesta, and LeSpa in Sea Pines Center just to name a few. 

On this occasion I chose The Marriott’s Spa Soleil within Palmetto Dunes.  They have a beautiful multi million dollar spa featuring a relaxation room, sauna and steam room helping you to unwind before getting a treatment. 

Hilton Head Spa

Spa Soleil offers massage, facials, manicures and pedicures as well as a number of body treatments like sugar scrubs and algae wraps.  I started my experience by getting into a robe and lounging in the relaxation room while sipping on some hot tea.  Next I sat in the sauna and steam room to get my muscles warm and relaxed before getting a much needed massage.  I was beginning to feel like jelly as I was escorted from one treatment room to the other.  The last stop was a repairing facial to help hydrate and restore my sun exposed skin.

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15 Properties Found. Page 1 of 5.

Photo of Listing #401233

13 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,647 Sf

MLS # 401233


Photo of Listing #401312

77 Ocean Lane, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 1 Beds, 1 Baths, 862 Sf

MLS # 401312


Photo of Listing #402822

20 Queens Folly Road, Hilton Head Island

,000 – 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,342 Sf

MLS # 402822

Hilton Head Spa

Whether you are vacationing or live on Hilton Head Island full time consider visiting one of the Island’s Day Spas.  Believe me your body, mind and spirit will thank you!

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Christmas Memories


As I travel to West Virginia and Ohio to celebrate this holiday season, I am thinking of so many Christmas memories. I have been on the road for about three hours and have heard just about every Christmas song that has been written.  Each song stirs a memory inside of me.

 Sea Pines Christmas

One of my most exciting gifts from Santa was my hot wheel track including a 1969 Camaro! I was very creative with setting up my track starting at the top of the kitchen table and then through the living room.  Along the track I had hundreds of little green army men securing the perimeter. 

 

One of my favorite Christmas memories was watching my little sister get her baby doll buggy, along with her new baby doll.  Her excitement made me so happy!  I was 13 at that time while she was only 3. I saw the true meaning of Christmas in her little eyes! I believe that may have been the moment I realized that GIVING is better than receiving.

 

Every year I don a Santa suit and love hearing all the wishes from the little ones that sit on my lap.  Oh how I wish I could grant them all! HO HO HO!

 

A few nights ago we were sitting with friends sharing a meal and Christine asked the question “What is your favorite part of Christmas?”  After giving that question some thought I think mine is remembering all the special loved ones that made my Christmas memories so special.

 Happy Holidays to your house from ours!

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