Business Profile: Callahan’s of Calabash
Location, location, location.
That’s the golden rule in real estate, and Callahan’s of Calabash certainly has a prime spot right on the corner of River Road and Highway 179 in the heart of Calabash.
But with 40 years under its belt, Callahan’s has proven that location isn’t the only measure of success. “We’re always trying to change the inside of the store, keep merchandise fresh, bring in new lines throughout the year,” says Eric Callahan, co-owner. “It’s become such a go-to tourist destination when visitors go out at least one night during their stay to eat in Calabash.”
Forty years ago, Callahan’s dad bought the business, which was an existing 2,000-square-foot gift shop that sold mostly nautical gifts and seashells. “My grandfather was already living in Calabash, and he talked my dad into buying the gift shop and moving here,” Callahan says.
Today, Callahan’s of Calabash has expanded to 35,000 square feet and offers an unbelievable selection of home decor, collectibles, t-shirts, souvenirs, homemade fudge, gifts, apparel and jewelry that draws locals and tourists alike. The recent addition of the Lifestyle Co., which took over the jewelry space, offers jewelry, accessories, handbags and sunglasses, a new experience at Callahan’s.
The appeal and the customer base extend to more than just visitors. It is a go-to retail experience for locals shopping for birthday, hostess or holiday gifts. Callahan’s features a large stationary section with greeting cards from brands like Hallmark and Blue Mountain. If you’re looking for home decor for yourself, they have that covered too. Whether it’s a traditional nautical theme you’re going for — think model ships and shell sculptures — or a modern or eclectic coastal vibe with bright globes and mermaids, Callahan’s can take care of any decorating needs with wall art, decorative pillows, lamps and other home accessories.
A visit to Callahan’s of Calabash wouldn’t be complete without browsing St. Nick Nacks Christmas Shop, which first opened in 1984. The year-round Christmas shop offers more than three million ornaments and 100 decorated trees. “People come in every year to get a keepsake ornament to take home,” Callahan says. “We saw an opportunity to expand on it, and now it’s a lot more than just a place for visitors. A lot of locals come here to purchase their Christmas decorations.”
The Town of Calabash might be famous for its signature seafood restaurants, but Callahan’s of Calabash has made a lasting name for itself since 1978. Family owned and operated, Callahan’s is more than a gift shop. The store is an experience from the never-ending product displays to the knowledgeable staff, many of whom have been at Callahan’s for years.
“It’s so different than anything else in the area,” Callahan says.
Even as the space has grown and evolved over the years, it still maintains a nostalgic feel that won’t be lost on newcomers, returning visitors or long-lasting locals.
Callahan’s of Calabash
9973 Beach Drive SW, Calabash