Tiles now mark local products in city's market

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Lines are common in Charleston's city market, but a special line formed Friday morning to shake Mayor Joe Riley's hand and receive a special tile that shows the products being sold are made locally.

"We've been asked by so many that we speak to every single day out here for the last 10 years. I've been asked, 'Well, who's handmade and who does handmade things? I heard this was a handmade market,'" said crafter Kimi Cole.

Cole creates handmade aprons and baby items. She says it takes hours to create everything she sells and the tile means a lot.

"It gives us another opportunity to share with the customers that come through the city market just how special Charleston is," said vendor Conn Leithauser.

The Leithausers set up shop in the market a few years ago. They say the tile is a designation they will display proudly.

Brandie Leithauser says most customers already ask if they sell a local product.

Robert Johnson, a customer from New Jersey, says he didn't set out to buy local items on Friday, but he's happy to support the push to buy local.

"I asked them, I said, 'Tell me this is supporting the local economy.' Because if it had just been some place out of town, then I probably wouldn't have purchased it. But just supporting the local economy is something I believe in," he said.

{}"They pay a lot of attention to this detail so if we have the thing on our tables, which we will have starting today, it will help our customers to see that we are prized something for our work, that's really important,"said painter Sofya Dtsvetikova.

More than 100 tiles were handed out at the event. Forty-one of them went to sweetgrass basket makers.