Design on a Dime

Design on a Dime offers a variety of gift items, from sparkly jewelry to bright nautical art, furniture and more. The store is open Monday through Saturday. 

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a wine lover, a beach bum, a pet owner or a fashion-forward diva, you’re sure to find something for everyone at Design on a Dime.

Located off U.S. 17 North in Surfside Beach, Design on a Dime is not your typical consignment shop.

The store’s exterior is painted with a colorful scene, featuring seagulls and palm trees.

The 3,000 square foot retail space is equally bright, featuring jewelry, furniture, home decor, new clothing, Trapp candles, Wild Berry Incense and more for sale.

Owners John and LouAnne moved here from eastern Pennsylvania and bought the store in May of 2015.

Their dogs Lizzie and Lexi are in the shop with them every day they are at work.

“ They keep the customers happy,” John said. “You can’t look at those guys without smiling.”

John has a background in advertising and LouAnne has worked in various retail positions. LouAnne said operating Design on a Dime is “a good fit for both of us.”

The store is considered a consignment shop in that the owners work with customers to fill the shop with furniture and handmade goods created by local artisans and craftspeople, but Design on a Dime carries a selection of new merchandise as well.

Crafters featured in the store include Joyce Stewart, who does hand-painted furniture and accessories, Tina Cornet, who works with wood and metal, Bob Cornet, who makes handmade jewelry, and Sheila Sanford, who specializes in beach decor made with glass. Cellars Treasures offers a selection of custom creations.

“We now have about 30 crafters featured in the store,” John said.

Handmade seashell ornaments and necklaces, colorful leather bracelets, Chala vegan handbags, funny magnets, clothing and accessories are among other fun items for sale at Design on a Dime.

“There’s something for everybody,” LouAnne said. “I’m trying to buy things that nobody else has.”

The shop even carries Aunt Mazie’s cobbler mix and mixes to make a variety of dips, perfect for anyone entertaining guests this holiday season.

LouAnne bakes a fresh chocolate cobbler every day and offers free samples to her customers.

Beach decor is certainly Design on a Dime’s specialty, though.

“We have the perfect accent pieces,” LouAnne said.

The store is divided into multiple rooms.

The shop’s front door leads you into the “living room” section.

To the side, there is a dining section and in the back there is a bedroom section as well as a few smaller rooms that hold miscellaneous furniture and home decor items, and an entire room dedicated to local crafters.

“You can walk around three times and in the fourth time see something you missed the first three times,” LouAnne said.

Design on a Dime has many fun, small items that would make great presents for Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays or any other special occasions, with prices starting at $2-$5 for many smaller items.

“We’ve stocked up on gift items at very reasonable prices,” LouAnne said. “You can easily find a nice Christmas gift for under $20.”

Design on a Dime offers gift certificates. If you can’t decide which gift to pick for friends or family, let them shop for themselves!

While certain items are nearly always in stock at Design on a Dime, the merchandise on the floor changes “almost daily,” LouAnne said.

She describes the store as “comfortable.”

“We want people to come in and enjoy themselves,” she said. “They can browse to their hearts’ content.”

Meeting new people is John and LouAnne’s favorite part of owning their shop.

“We’ve met some of the nicest people you’d ever want to talk to,” John said.

Design on a Dime’s customers are like family, and the shop owners are grateful for all the support they’ve received, especially over the past year.

LouAnne was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and completed her treatments in February 2019.

“Thank you to our customers,” she said. “I really feel the prayer and support that I have received from them has been invaluable for John and me both.”

Personalized customer service is important to John and LouAnne.

If a customer can’t get to the store before closing time, they will wait for them.

“If we’re still here, our doors are open,” John said.

The owners strive to carry the merchandise shoppers are looking for and will even call you if a consigner has a piece similar to what you’re looking for.

“We take customer feedback very seriously,” LouAnne said.

While the dedication to business is serious, Design on a Dime is a fun place to shop.

“People are always wanting to dance or sing,” John said, joking that the space has two different types of “dance floor.”

“Customers have walked in and caught us slow dancing,” LouAnne said with a smile.

Design on a Dime is at 1918 U.S. 17 N, Unit A, in Surfside Beach. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday.

For more information, call 843-232-1026 or find the store on Facebook at “Design on a Dime Consignments & Gift Shop.”

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