Life as of Lately

Spring is always a busy time filling orders for wedding season, making crafts for friends, working in our own yard and enjoying the beautiful weather!  Here’s what’s been going on in our life lately..

Skinny Dip Charleston is officially open! Some of my wonderful friends came with me to the grand opening party in early April to enjoy some rosé and see the store. You can find my pillows, jewelry dishes, wine glasses, and canvases at the location on King Street!

Photo: Mary Beth Thomas

I’ve been busy with orders and these are some of the latest to go out the door. You can also check out my Instagram story for behind the scenes look into all my crafts & everyday life.Our friends are getting married, so I’ve been wrapping up little goodies for them like making some hangers for the bridesmaids.  I also got to see the drink spikers in action thanks to friends taking pictures of them down in Rosemary Beach.  I liked them so much I bought some in pastel colors and now have them in my shop!
The end of April brought Callee & Devin’s wedding and I was honored to be in it!  Had a lil scare with tree nuts at the bridal luncheon, but it didn’t kill me so we’re good! The wedding was beautiful and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  Congrats to the newlyweds!Occasionally I have time to make stuff for us and I wanted a new pillow for the rocking chair in the living room.  I’ve been loving everything pineapple lately, so made a pineapple “Welcome, Yall”pillow!  The pineapple is in a bright gold glitter too – who knew I’d love that??I also found these CUTE pillow covers with tassels on them and knew I had to get them. I’ve played around with designs for them, but started simple with just ‘Cheers.’  Have any other suggestions for what I should put on them?

The most exciting news lately is that 2 of my items were featured in Charleston magazine’s May issue!  They wanted to spotlight some local products for Mother’s Day gifts and asked for some of mine.  I totally flipped when I saw the feature (Hunter can confirm this) and it made me so happy to see some hard work pay off!Hope everyone has been just as busy and loving the springtime as much as I have! I have a feeling it’ll be one to remember..


West Elm Pop Up & Skinny Dip Hard Hat Party

Whoa – This past weekend was a whirlwind, in a good way!  I had my first pop up shop at Charleston’s West Elm location on King Street Saturday afternoon.

We got to the store early and started setting up my area.  I had a couch, coffee table & side table to work with, and access to any accessories in the store to use as well.  

Quite a few friends stopped by throughout the afternoon and I loved every face I saw!  Lauren got a cute picture of the two of us with all my items.

Unbeknownst to Hunter, we had The Skinny Dip’s Hard Hat party from 4-6pm after the pop up ended at 4.  Apparently I forgot to tell him that, oops.  We packed up, dropped everything off at the car, and continued walking down King Street to the next event!

The Skinny Dip is a new store coming to Charleston that opens in April.  The upstairs of the store will feature a wine / coffee bar, outdoor space and a ‘Charleston Vibes’ section where customers can buy pieces from local brands.  I was asked to be part of that (!!!) so had dropped off some inventory the week before to be at the party.

I introduced Hunter to The Skinny Dip managers I had been working with, and we met the owners and others involved with bringing the store to Charleston.

I also got to meet some of my “Instagram friends” in person at The Skinny Dip and really enjoyed that.  Mary Beth took some beautiful photos of the upstairs space in the shop.  Can you spot my pillows on some of the shelves?  I personally like the one of Hunter adjusting my pillows – always looking out!

After leaving the party, we were hungry and met friends at Hometeam to eat & celebrate.  After some wings & game changers, we both were beyond exhausted and headed home to get in pajamas and finally relax.

Overall it was such a fun Saturday!  I learned a lot about pop ups so I’ll change a few things up at my next one, but consider it a success.  I’m also counting down to the official opening of The Skinny Dip in a few weeks!

More than anything I just want to THANK YOU – my family, friends, & followers – for all of your support!  I felt such overwhelming support from everyone this weekend and it really meant the world to me. I loved every text, tweet, phone call and comment.  It really does make all the long nights & tired mornings worth it 🙂

Charleston Shop Local Giveaway

To help promote shopping local this holiday season, I reached out to some other Charleston creatives and put together a giveaway!

The winner will get some Charleston themed goodies valued over $160 including one of my pillows, a Charleston Window Box calendar & Christmas card from Texture Design Co,  earrings from Hermosa Jewelry, turkish towel from Charleston Weekender, and oyster bracelet from Right Coast Collective Jewelry.texture_11-28-16-2texture_11-28-16-5 texture_11-28-16-6 texture_11-28-16-8 texture_11-28-16-9 texture_11-28-16-10 texture_11-28-16-11

Check out my Instagram page for the post to enter, and remember to support small businesses and shop local this  December!


Oyster Shell Ornament

Yes, that says ornament and it’s only October.  You can never do holidays crafts too soon though, right?  Taylor gave me the idea to make some oyster shell ornaments  – how have I not made these before?!  A few hours after he inspired me, I had ~20 ornaments in 2 styles done.

Oyster Shell Ornament

What you’ll need:

  • Flat oyster shells
  • 9/64″ drill bit
  • Drill
  • Scrap piece of wood
  • Sharpie / paint
  • Twine
  • Scissors

To start, drill a hole into the top of the oyster shells using your drill & a 9/64″ drill bit.  I had a scrap piece of wood underneath so when the bit came through the shell, it would go into the scrap wood instead of into something else it could hurt.


I decided to leave some oyster shells natural and just write Charleston, SC on them with a sharpie pen.  The others were painted gold on the back, and then hand painted with a gold edge on the front.

Finally, just cut some twine, loop it through the hole and tie it so the ornament can hang.  Oyster shell ornaments are done!

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You can find all my holiday products, including the map ornaments from last year in my Etsy shop here!


Do the Work you Love

This month’s skirt! magazine is focused on self reliance and the work you love, so I took the opportunity to write about how I came about doing the work that I love.  You can find the original post on their blog here.


I think Confucius hit the nail on the head.  Do you ever notice that time flies by when you’re working on something you’re interested in?  It’s a no brainer that finding a job you love will make you happy, but getting a job you love is typically another story.

After graduating from College of Charleston with a finance and Spanish degree during the financial meltdown in 2010 I was just trying to find any job that would keep me in Charleston.  I eventually started working in the recruiting department at SPARC, a software development shop on Daniel Island.  The company was in the middle of a huge growth spurt and the recruiting team was in charge of hiring 100+ people.  I was in charge of the logistical side of recruiting, but I learned a lot and then had the opportunity to try something new, and that’s where things got fun…

How often do you have a job that asks what you want to do in your career and then makes it happen?  That’s exactly what SPARC did, and I moved over to our internal products team (with no software knowledge) and started to learn.  I got my feet wet working on different aspects of the software development & product lifecycle and eventually chose my favorite aspect to focus on and make that my career path.

As our Commercial Services teams grew, I took on more responsibility and have now helped launch several products internally and externally for clients.  I’ve even gotten my Certified SCRUM Product Owner certification with SPARC’s help. (Read more about my path in SPARC here)sparc_kelley

While all of this was going on, I had moved into my own apartment and started making things for my new space.  I started a blog to keep my family up to date with my life, but realized that it was slowly turning into a place where I talked about what craft projects I was working on and how to do them yourself.  That’s when Coastal Kelder was born.

What started as an after work hobby has turned into an Etsy shop and a true DIY blog.  Crafting (and having a glass of wine in the process) has become my stress reliever and I truly enjoy trying new projects and making things for others.

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I have also always loved giving back, and luckily I’ve been able to do that through SPARC and now my Etsy shop.  SPARC encourages team members to volunteer with all sorts of charitable organizations and I’ve worked with several in the area.  Recently I leveraged my Etsy shop and crafting skills by teaming up with my friend, Kelley O’Hara, to make Kelley O fan club t-shirts where 100% of proceeds go toward St. Jude Children’s Research.  I’m in the process of finalizing what the donation is, and hope to continue this type of work in the future!


It’s important to figure out what makes you happy and then make time for it. I’ve found that implementing a work / life balance is crucial to personal happiness.  Life can be busy at times, but even with my full time job I still have time to craft, blog, play sports, get involved and have a social life – it’s all about prioritizing my “to-do” list to get everything done while having fun.

If you happen to be able to make a living doing what you love, then congratulations!  If you don’t, don’t fret – my life has already taken paths I never thought were possible and led me to doing all sorts of work that I love.  Either way, make time to do what makes you happy!

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