4 of 5
Blue Bicycle Books
Jonathan Sanchez was a bookstore employee for 12 years before buying the shop in 2007 and renaming it Blue Bicycle Books, for the bike that he parks out front. The warm and friendly Sanchez encourages customers to make themselves at home and read from the 50,000 volumes he has for sale.

Not quite a gallery or gift shop, the recently opened Aster Hall sells paintings, blown glass and small sculptures. "We're an art boutique," says owner Angela Hall, who estimates that local artists create 70% of her wares.

Charleston native Barbara Lesesne teamed up with her daughter, Bryte Lesesne Van Dalen, to open Lesesne, a sophisticated housewares and paper shop. The women's love affair with France (Barbara attended the Sorbonne, and Bryte worked for Paris-based Yves Delorme, a linen company) is evident from their selection of imports.

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LAST UPDATE: Dec 30 2009 | 12:38 PM ET
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