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    « St. James comes alive with sound of classic musical | Main | News & Notes: Feb. 25, 2013 »

    Vintage Surcees offers unique, classic looks and handmade gifts

    Surfside Beach shop started by local crafter

    By Ettie Newlands •

    Owner Erin Adams shows of the accesories at Vintage Surcees in Surfside Beach (staff photos)Surcees is a distinctly Southern word that means “wonderful surprise.”

    And that’s exactly what Surcees Vintage Clothing and Handmade Gifts in Surfside Beach is.

    It’s a boutique, it’s a shoppe — definitely with that extra ‘e’ on the end — and it’s 
    certainly a surcee.  

    Everything is unusual, worth a second look, and not something your neighbor down the street will have.

    Owner Erin Adams says the vintage clothes “have lived and loved” and now need to be passed on to the next person who’ll treasure them.

    Every garment has a story, and as her business cards say, “Once upon a time there was a dress …”

    From black and white photography to earrings made from bottle caps, the work of about 20 crafters are scattered among clothing and accessories from eras gone by. 

    Adams anticipated her clientele would be women between 18 and 35 years old browsing through the merchandise that spans from the 1930s to the 1990s.

    But since the store opened in January, her biggest surprise has been the men who’ve come in to shop for vintage finds.

    Men are buying her hats, Western-style shirts and T-shirts, and she didn’t foresee that.

    Older women who come in aren’t necessarily looking for vintage clothes — “They already have them,” Adams says — but do shop for interesting items to give as gifts. 

    Racks of clothing and accessories at Vintage Surcees.

    Wondering at first how the store would be received because it is so unlike any other store around, Adams said her customers have been excited to see what’s available. 

    That in turn makes her enthusiastic about stocking more unique items.

    “I’m just now starting to find out I’m not the weirdest one around, and that other young people are thrifting,” she says, using her term for buying and using pre-owned clothes, accessories and furnishings.

    “I must be an old soul,” the 29-year-old who was voted “most unique” back in high school, says. 

    Adams is accustomed to being surrounded by creativity, doing whatever it takes to make her environment reflect her personality.

    “If I move into a house without a fireplace, I paint one on the wall,” she says.

    That imaginative fingerprint is all over Surcees. The ambience of the store, as interesting as the merchandise, is a blend of femininity and rustic earthiness that would be hard to pull off for someone less artistic.

    Bored if she isn’t creating something, Adams started making olive-oil based, anti-bacterial soap several years ago in Greenville, N.C.

    When more than 2,000 bars of Lulu Lathers sold, she realized she just might be able to make a go of the one-of-a-kind hand-made, hand-chosen lifestyle.

    Her natural gift for merchandising and marketing helps. So does the SCORE workshop she took to hone those skills.

    She’s hosted several “handmade markets” she says are “not your grandma’s craft show.”

    Now, she’s focused those skills and creative energy on Surcees, her ultimate goal.

    “I wanted a vintage store because vintage is unique,” she says. “There’s nothing fun about showing up at a party in the same dress as another girl. People are discovering it doesn’t take a million bucks to look like it, and vintage does it effortlessly.”

    Vintage Surcees is located at 700-B Hwy. 17 Business, Surfside Beach. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday from noon to 5 p.m. For more info call Adams at 315-5783, email her at or visit



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    Reader Comments (1)

    Erin is a sweetie, and her store is just what MB needed to help out it's current lack of character. Surcees is my new favorite go-to to look for vintage pieces for my prop shop, used in my business or just for myself - So excited that Erin has brought her vision to the beach!

    February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCori

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