Choosing Bamboo, Naturally!
When New York native Maria Grant heard that the owner of the Bamboo Boutique in Calabash was retiring, she jumped at the chance to become a small business owner.
Maria Grant grew up on Long Island and had married and started a family when she and her husband got the idea to relocate to Little River, South Carolina. “The warmer weather and coastal communities sounded appealing,” Grant says, “so we made the move 30 years ago.”
While raising her five children, Grant worked as an office manager and as a lead teller in a bank. She didn’t know it at the time, but that type of work helped prepare her for her current job as the owner of the Bamboo Boutique in Calabash. The store opened in 2010, and Grant took it over in November 2015.
“I’ve got a short commute, I’m my own boss and I offer customers a wide selection of bamboo products,” Grant lists as a few of reasons she loves her job.
Bamboo Boutique’s customers really like the fact that bamboo clothing, sheets and towels are extremely soft. They are naturally hypoallergenic and are easy on the skin. Because the clothing is breathable, it makes you feel cooler in the summer and warmer during the winter months. Bamboo fabric is more durable than traditional cotton and has natural UV protection, perfect in this Southern climate where the sun is very strong. Grant says her bamboo shirts, blouses, t-shirts, shorts, leggings and scarves wash easily and don’t shrink in the dryer. “At home I remove them quickly from the dryer and hang them just to avoid wrinkles,” she says.
Socks are the most popular item at the Bamboo Boutique because once customers discover them, they stick with them.
“At Christmastime, the socks always sell out first,” Grant says. “They’re comfortable plus they are antibacterial and antifungal and aren’t clingy. Bamboo naturally wicks moisture so you feel dry even on the hottest days.”
Shirts are the second most popular item for men and women. “Golf shirts and blouses are popular and they last a long time since bamboo is such a sturdy fabric,” Grant says. “Personally, bamboo outfits are all I wear now because of the comfortability factor.”
Baby clothing, blankets, swaddles and hooded towel sets are available. So are household items like bamboo cutting boards, kitchen spoons/tongs/tool sets, dish cloths, an Eco-Friendly Unsponge, which is an alternative to the common sponge because it’s made with antimicrobial, reusable bamboo. Laundry solutions also can be found at the shop.
Local customers account for 85 percent of Bamboo Boutique’s business, and visitors also like to stop by the store.
“Many of today’s customers are serious about wanting to purchase products made of bamboo as opposed to other materials,” Grant says. “Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that’s naturally grown and is biodegradable. Without a doubt, it’s definitely good for the environment.”
When purchasing inventory, Grant makes orders for bamboo goods from American manufacturers a priority.
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10138 Beach Drive SW, Suite 8, Calabash