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When Nina Britton opened Mostly Made in the South in Mauldin eight months ago, she wanted to appeal to shoppers who love buying unique and handmade items.

Walking into her store, located at 161 Verdin Road, is like stepping into a Pinterest page come to life, a parlor full of candles, handmade signs, locally sewn pillows and other items.

“It’s like shopping on Etsy, but in real life,” Britton said. “Sometimes when you shop on Etsy, you don’t know what kind of quality you’re getting because it’s handmade. Here, you can see it before you buy it, and I handpick everything we sell, so it’s going to be good quality.”

Mostly Made in the South features mostly regionally made products that Britton buys wholesale from area crafters, such as wooden bowls carved by an 89-year-old gentleman. The store isn’t a consignment shop, she said. Her daughter, Allison, helps out in the store often and also hand sews many of the products in stock.

Visitors will find a selection of soy candles, handcrafted jewelry and hand-painted signs in a variety of sayings, with prices typically $30 and under, depending on the product.

In addition to its store, Mostly Made in the South also offers painting parties and craft classes, during which participants are taught to make the same products sold in the store.

“Anyone who wants to do a mommy and me project is welcome to bring their child to a class,” she said. “We’d like prior notice, but it’s not a problem to set kids up in our craft area, too.”

For example, recent craft classes taught participants how to make handcrafted letter blocks that, when placed together, spelled LOVE.

Britton said the store’s painting parties also make a great mom’s night out, and for $35, everyone leaves with a sign exactly like one she sells in the store. Private parties can be arranged, and hostesses who arrange parties with 10 or more guests get to paint for free.

“Our classes have themes, but if you have a theme you want to do or a specific saying or Bible verse or phrase you want to paint, we can do that for your private party,” she said.

Britton, who moved to the Mauldin area five years ago, said she wants to involve the community as much as possible and often features vendors at her store on weekends to give local artists more exposure. The store is also planning to host a Maker’s Festival March 5.

Mostly Made in the South is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Fridays – Saturdays, and 1 – 5 p.m. Sundays. It has an active Facebook page and Instagram account where visitors can preview products, find discounts, and notices of special events.

“There are so many talented people, and my hope is to help my customers discover some of them,” Britton said.

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