One day we will look back on this blog post and chuckle.
We will chuckle at our naivety, our blissful ignorance. We will chuckle at our humble beginnings, our limited vision. We will chuckle to keep back the tears.
Today, though, we are not chuckling. We are smiling. We are dreaming. We are hustling. After many months of research, travel, planning, and numerous failed attempts to talk ourselves out of it, my fiancé Joel and I are now slowly but very much surely launching Sightsee: a retail and coffee shop inspired by adventure and dedicated to discovery. Through our carefully selected inventory and rotating coffee roasters, visitors to our Charleston, SC shop will be able to find and support independent brands in an environment that Internet algorithms can't replicate.
This concept was born out of deep conviction about brick-and-mortar retail and a desire to help shape the future of Charleston. We believe that small, unique storefronts play an essential role in the vibrancy and vitality of cities. But between rising rents and online shopping, it is harder than ever for our much-needed local retail shops to survive. In order to make it, we believe that the brick-and-mortar experience must evolve beyond a physical version of what you can find online. Shops must become communities — welcoming spaces where engaging conversation is as easy to find as your next purchase.
Sightsee will blend the energy and community of a cafe with the joy of product discovery, introducing our customers to new finds in a way that breaks traditional retail categorization. We’ll host events, collaborate with makers, and share stories that bring a bit of adventure to your day-to-day.
As we work to find the right physical space, we’re operating as an online shop and popping up around town with a mobile coffee cart. Our long-term vision includes product lines, travel experiences, and media opportunities that will extend beyond the brick-and-mortar space.
We hope you’ll join us on this journey so that, one day, we'll all have a good chuckle together about how far we've come.