Design on a Dime

Elves Patti, Gera and Ernestine, featured here with owner LouAnne, are among the crafters whose work is on sale at Design on a Dime. 

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.

Owner LouAnne Valleri and her partner John Landt moved to the Grand Strand from eastern Pennsylvania and bought the store in May of 2015.

2020 has not been an easy year for the Design on a Dime family. In addition to the shop being closed for two months due to COVID-19, LouAnne’s mother passed away on Memorial Day, and John passed away this June. He is greatly missed by LouAnne and the store’s loyal customers. His memory is ever-present in the shop, from the beautiful plaque a customer presented to LouAnne to the couple’s dogs Lizzie and Lexi who greet customers daily.

“I lost 2 of the dearest people in my life this past year,” LouAnne said. “I miss them both daily but I know they are both in a beautiful place with no pain.”

LouAnne is happy to call the Surfside Beach community home, and she plans on staying in the area and continuing to serve customers at Design on a Dime.

Design on a Dime 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 the store 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.

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.

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.”

Crafters have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19, and your purchase of locally-made art supports Horry County’s economy.

Design on a Dime also offers gift certificates. If you can’t decide which gift to pick for friends or family, let them shop for themselves! Purchasing a gift certificate is a great way to help out your favorite local retailers.

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.”

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.

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

Design on a Dime is at 1918 U.S. 17 N, Unit A, in Surfside Beach. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday.

“If a customer needs us sooner or later, we’ll extend or come early,” LouAnne said.

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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