Best Jewelry Designer
Danielle Hughes Rose
Must be fun and easy to make jewelry, right? You get to play with safe, harmless little things and make shiny pretty stuff.
Uh, not so much.
“I’ve taught a few jewelry classes, and people tend to think it’s a very delicate sort of thing to do. Then they realize it can be a little brutal,” says the inaugural winner in this newly added category, Danielle Hughes Rose.
“You end up cutting yourself a lot. I have actually burned myself, but thankfully that’s pretty rare,” she says.
All par for the course for the North Carolina native who “was always the kid at Christmas dinner constantly playing with the candles.”
Danielle is a SCAD grad, but jewelry was a late–blooming passion. But once that passion bloomed, it burned — literally.
“I originally came to SCAD for the photography department. They didn’t have a jewelry department yet. I started taking jewelry classes and I just fell in love with having a torch in my hand,” she says.
“Then I ended up finding I was just dreading going to my photo classes, putting all that off until the last minute because I wanted to go play with the torch. We all sort of fell in love with the toughness of it.”
Danielle’s main tool is a torch fueled by oxygen and propane. “It’s a little tiny torch with two big tanks. It’s hot enough it can solder platinum. I’ve got torches, files, hammers, saws. A whole workshop of tools.”
A mother of young children, it’s always a challenge to find time — and space — to practice her art.
“It’s not like other things where you can have your kids hanging around with you while you work,” she says. “My equipment isn’t very kid–safe.”
So Danielle often finds herself staying up late at night.
“A lot of times after the kids go to bed at 9:30 or so, I go up to my studio and work until 2 or 3 in the morning,” she says. “I don’t do that every night, though!”
Danielle’s signature look has a clearly modern, sleek feel, which she partly credits to being the daughter of an architect. (Wife of an architect too — she’s married to this year’s Best Recording Studio winner, the multi–tasking Kevin Rose, who’s also a fishing charter captain and local architect of note.)
“I used to say ‘minimalist’ — in school people used to say ‘architectonic’ – because I always had Dad’s sense of inherent structure to things,” she explains.
“I definitely like a clean line, just because I like to be able to see what’s going on. For a long time I think I was too minimal, but I think I’ve found a combination of textures to balance out the hardness and cleanness of the metal.”
Danielle displays her work in local galleries and crafts commissioned pieces as well.
“I used to sell a ton of necklaces, but a lot of people are buying earrings lately. They’re in right now,” she says.
One of a jewelry designer’s occupational hazards — besides occasionally cutting and burning yourself, that is — is the fluctuating price of metals.
“It’s been a shock to people within the last few years. They want something made out of platinum or gold, and I have to tell them, ‘I’m sorry, maybe your friend got a ring for that price ten years ago. It’s doubled and tripled since then.’” — JM
Best New Store
Graveface Records gets a new shipment of vinyl every week, which the owner immediately lists on the store’s website.
Uncrated just recently were titles from artists like Monster Magnet, My Bloody Valentine, Neu, Slowdive, Jack White, Sonic Youth, Johnny Cash, Herbie Hancock, Pulp, Kraftwerk, Jesus and Mary Chain, the Smiths and the Germs.
There’s lot of talk about how vinyl records are “making a comeback” after the ELE (Extinction Level Event) brought on by the arrival of CDs and then by downloading.
Ryan Graveface doesn’t exactly buy that — national sales figures prove that vinyl has only begun to climb out of the pre-recorded music toilet.
New titles — and re-issues of older ones — are only being pressed in limited amounts these days.
But Graveface is also smart enough to understand that music fans of today are intrigued by the larger and more complex artwork and packaging of the 12-inch long-player. This is, after all, a generation that grew up with teeny, tiny CDs accompanied by very little cool stuff to look at.
The Ohio native also owns a record label — it, too, is called Graveface — that specializes in colored vinyl, picture discs and the sort of ahh-inducing visual ephemera that makes indie labels like his special, their products coveted by collectors.
Prior to the tail end of 2010, he sold them primarily through a thriving mail-order outlet. He came to Savannah then, and opened Graveface Records and Curiosities, vending newly-pressed vinyl, along with some of the old stuff you can find at flea markets (used Journey, Kenny Rogers or Patti Smith albums, anybody?) and even the odd CD or two.
It has become Savannah’s browsing hotspot, and not just for the cool vinyl — the store has a massive amount of vintage toys, games, books and other examples of pop culture flotsam and jetsam.
Then there are items near and dear to the store-owner’s (admittedly dark) heart: Taxidermy. Fom the boar’s head on the wall to the bloody, roadkill squirrel mounted in a ferocious pose. From opossum and rat paws to snakeskins to bizarrely stuffed birds.
What does any of this have to do with music, vinyl and rock ‘n’ roll coolness?
Ask Ryan Graveface. And when he explains, it’ll all make sense. — BDY
Best Local Clothing Designer
The SCAD grad and former Project Runway and Project Runway Allstars contestant has wasted no time in continuing her upward career arc. Her Mangled Courtesan line continues her signature stark-but-compelling style, and her newest partnership is with JoAnn Fabrics nationwide.
Runner-up: Mamie Ruth
Best Furniture Store
Best Window Display
A dependable winner in these categories despite much increased competition. Under the leadership of Ruel Joyner, 24e is one of the most high-profile - and fun! - furniture stores in the Southeast.
Runner-up, Furniture: Whelan's
Runner-up, Windows: Paris Market
Best Place to Use a Military Discount
Home Depot displaces Lowe's for the first time in a long time in this category.
Best Indie Bookstore
Friendly and knowledgeable staff who actually, you know, like, read books and stuff.
Runner-up: The Book Lady
Best Comics Store
Longstanding downtown institution that features a range of comics and video as well.
Runner-up: Comic Books and More
Best Musical Instrument Store
Instruments, gear, rental, studio space, bring a complete audio picture to town.
Best Cigar/Tobacco Shop
Ye Ole Tobacco Shop
A whiff of the good stuff on Eisenhower Ave.
Runner-up: Savannah Cigars
Best Lawn & Garden Store
Hester & Zipperer
Longtime local institution with a wide range of offerings both living and decorative, conveniently located on Skidaway near the Truman Parkway.
Runner-up: Home Depot
Best Motorcycle/Scooter Dealer
They're not fast, but they sure are cute.
Runner-up: Savannah Harley Davidson
Best Bicycle Store
Full-service retail and fix-it shop for your fixie. And fancier bikes too.
Runner-up: Perry Rubber
Best Place to Buy a New Car
Best Place to Buy a Used Car
This longtime Savannah institution now occupies an empire of its own on Chatham Parkway.
Runner-up, New: Savannah Toyota
Runner-up, Used: Critz
Best Auto Repair
Mall Auto Repair
Drop the car off and go shoppin' next door! First-time win for this crew which actually has a very long history in town.
Runner-up: Savannah Tire
Best Car Wash
Savannah Car Wash
Over a million cars washed since opening 15 years ago.
Runner-up: Auto Shine
Best Rental Car Company
A wide range of locations in town in addition to the airport means more convenience for customers.
Best Toy Store
Toys ‘R' Us
Another dominant win in this category.
Runner-up: Four Kids
Calvary Day School
This nondenominational Christian school has served local families since 1961.
Runner-up: Maggie's Morning School
Best Arts/Crafts Store
Primary Art Supply
A wonderland of fun stuff for the professional artist and the dabbler alike in this locally-owned Broughton Street institution.
Best Frame Shop
Artsy's Art Gallery
This location on the east end of River Street offers framing services in addition to displaying work by local artists.
Best Women's Clothing Store
Best Thrift/Vintage Store
This delightfully peaceful upstairs oasis on bustling Broughton carries a full n' friendly range of high-quality gear from hipster to business. A win in the prestigious women's clothing category is huge.
Best Men's Clothing Store
J. Parker Ltd.
A longstanding Savannah institution, J. Parker is celebrating its 40th year of clothing local men in style.
Best Children's Clothing Store
Sara Jane Childrens Boutique
Owner Sara Jane Strickland has built on her extensive corporate fashion merchandising experience to form her own entrepreneurial venture.
Best Clothing Boutique
This downtown boutique features looks which combine color and playfulness with fashion-forward style.
A very helpful and attentive staff is the key to the success of their vision. Get it? Vision!
Runner-up: Iris Optical
Best Shoe Store
Globe Shoe Co.
This historic anchor business on Broughton isn't only a perennial winner in this category, but an important part of Savannah's civic fabric as well.
Runner-up: Fleet Feet
Best Bead Store
This Montgomery Cross Road location is so fun to shop in, even people who don't do beading enjoy browsing amongst all their pretty shiny objects.
A huge year for this iconic Savannah name, as they acquire the old Il Pasticcio building on the corner of Bull & Broughton, perhaps Savannah's single most prestigious commercial location.
Best Local Costume Store
This West Chatham staple is your go-to for the kids as well as those sexy nurse outfits for Halloween.
Runner-up: Party City
Best Local Novelty Store
It may be a recession-proof business, but the folks at Sunset go the extra mile anyway.
Runner-up: Joker Novelties
Best Green Firm
Savannah Green Dirt Design
This sustainable landscape design firm won awards for its work on Bryan Square adjacent to the Trade & Convention Center on Hutchinson Island. Their work on the Ranger Memorial at Hunter Army Airfield also won design kudos.
Runner-up, Green: Thrive
Runner-up, Landscape: Marc Wilson
Best Pet Store
Best Pet Boutique
One of the most notable newer businesses in town, TailsSpin's multiple outreach efforts have quickly gained it wide public consciousness over the big chain stores.
Runner-up, Store: PetSmart
Runner-up, Boutique: The Grateful Hound
Best Pet Grooming
Want a Blueberry Facial for your bulldog? This full-service Habersham Street salon is for you.
Best Gift Store
This Whitemarsh Island spot features several popular brands, including Vera Bradley, Aftco Bluewater/Guy Harvey, Lily Pulitzer, and Zou Baby water boots, among many more.
Runner-up: Paris Market & Brocante
Best Surf Shop
High Tide Surf Shop
Every beach town needs a great surf shop, and Tybee's is here.
Best Store for Beach Gear
This is where to go for your sandy swag when at Tybee.
Best Antiques Shop
Jere's European connections provide a constant supply of high-quality 18th-20th Century furniture and a range of
Chinoiserie pieces as well.
Runner-up: Habersham Antiques
Best Grocery Store
A pleasant shopping experience and a wider selection seem to be the keys to their success.
Best Health Food Store
Peter, Janie and the whole gang deliver wholesome organic livin' with a smile. Their recently upgraded checkout process has made things even more customer-friendly.
Runner-up: Fresh Market
Best Gourmet Grocery Store
Did someone say "Mexican Coca-Cola?" We're there.
Runner-up: Brighter Day
Heading his own group (Don Callahan Real Estate Group) and a partner with Keller Williams, the always-dapper Callahan has worked his way up the ranks to become one of the Southeast's most successful and highly regarded realtors.
Runner-up: Lori Judge
Best Real Estate Agency
This multinational firm with many local partners made news recently when about 100 local staffers volunteered to help spruce up the West Broad Street YMCA.
Best Sporting Goods Store
Best Place to Buy a Boat
Bass Pro Shops
Boats to guns, camo to Under Armor, they've got all your outdoor livin' needs.
Runner-up, Sporting: Thompson Sporting Goods
Runner-up, Boats: Thunderbolt Yacht Sales
Best Lighting Store
Savannah is actually the smallest market this regional chain (Houston, Atlanta, Charleston) has a store in. Their expertise often gets them a win in this category.
Best Maid Service
Free estimates and frequent promotions keep this franchise hoppin' and cleanin'.
Runner-up: Molly Maids
Best Shopping Center
The New York Times recently called Oglethorpe Mall "Savannah's town square," which is certainly the dumbest thing we've ever heard. But Oglethorpe Mall has never been more popular, and has several new tenants keeping things interesting.
Runner-up: Savannah Mall
John Davis Florist
John brings over 20 years experience to bear in garnering this win in what's actually a very competitive category every year.
Best Photography Service
Daly & Salter Photography
This husband/wife team of Steve and Kathy carry on a 40-year family business tradition.
Runner-up: Geoff L. Johnson
Best Pawn Shop
Welsh Pawn Shop
This local empire has four locations, three in town and one in Effingham.
Best Bed & Breakfast
Sixteen rooms of gorgeous Victorian furnishings, full Southern breakfast, high tea and an elevator! What more could you ask for?
Runner-up: Foley House
AVIA Hotel Savannah
A key part of the Ellis Square renaissance, this modern-style building with boutique furnishings also offers a great kitchen and hotel bar.
Runner-up: Mansion on Forsyth
Best Law Firm
Everybody hates lawyers until they need one, then they love ‘em. This attorney is marking his second decade of serving Savannah personal injury plaintiffs.
Runner-up, Lawyer: Ken Nugent
Runner-up, Firm: Hunter MacLean
Best Local Insurance Agency
Fifteen agents in Savannah mean you can conveniently get full coverage from a suite of products offered by this multinational company.
Best Local Moving Company
Two Men and a Truck
So do they go to Five Guys for lunch? (rimshot)
Runner-up: American Moving
Best Self Storage
24 Hour Self Storage
If "Storage Wars" ever comes to Savannah, this would be their set.
Runner-up: Units Mobile Storage
Best Local Homebuilder
Now that things are picking up again you'll see even more of their handiwork.
Runner-up: Landmark Construction
Best Wireless Service Provider
The addition of the iPhone plus their usual excellent network equals another win. Plus we heard something about a family data plan to be unveiled this summer.
Wells Fargo Bank
An up and coming local presence with roots on the West Coast.
Best Taxi Service
They're ubiquitous for a reason!
Best Limo Service
Above and Beyond
Did someone say chauffeur me in an Escalade?
Best Place to Work
Again setting the standard for quality of life in the workplace combined with dedication to mission.
Store or Business You're Most Sorry to See Go
At least you still have Barnes & Noble...
Runner-up: Kasey's Grille
Best Category We Forgot
Best Local Comedian
Trick category? The funniest people in town are the ones who take themselves way too seriously.