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      Eclectic small biz approach means a boom for Avondale

      WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCIV) - At the intersection of cool andeclectic near Magnolia Road, Avondale is redefining hip. Finding the buzz inthe neighborhood is as easy as stepping into a hot little salon called Lava.

      Geoff Richardson is the salon's owner and the neighborhood'sunofficial mayor. He grew up in the area and remembers what it used to be.

      "West Ashley was known as West Ashtray or West Nasty, oryou know, things like that. It didn't have a good aesthetic reputation. And nowwe do," Richardson said.

      He credits local establishments like Voodoo and Triangle forhelping revitalize the dining district.

      "People were allowed to be a little more independent intheir building design and expressing themselves as small businesses.{} And I think that's what allowed us to kind offlourish under the radar," Richardson said. "And now we've come up."

      Those small businesses are now surrounded by bigger ones.

      A few years ago, city leaders attracted Harris Teeter tobuild a supermarket just behind the iconic Coburg cow. Today, the constant flowof traffic brings more people to shop, eat, and live in Avondale.

      Others are moving into the nearby neighborhood of ByrnesDowns.

      "We do a lot of things differently here and we try to betrend setters, but not trendy," he said.

      It's an enclave of old and new Charleston building a futurein West Ashley.

      "Just keep coming and supporting what we do. Every wayyou can would help," Richardson said.

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