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Low country treasure

December 4, 2014

SC box

Goat Island is a small island located on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway near Charleston, SC. Accessible only by boat, the island is home to Sarah Sanders and her special-occasion Goat Island Treasure Boxes.

The artist: Sanders grew up in Greer, SC, and moved to Goat Island in 1969. She was the first full-time resident after the passing of Blanche and Henry Holloway. A former teacher and coach in the Charleston school district, Sanders rarely missed a day of teaching, even though islanders had no phone access for many years and her commute involved a boat ride across the waterway. She paddled by canoe in the morning and returned the same way to her humble home each evening.

Background: Sanders has always enjoyed woodworking and painting. Her best friend, who had a picture framing business, started giving Sanders scraps of wood molding, which Sanders turned into her now well-known Goat Island Treasure Boxes. She cuts, glues, nails, and paints each box by hand on Goat Island. Then Sanders transports the boxes from island across the Intracoastal Waterway by boat.

The goods: There are approximately 30 different styles of boxes. They are available in two sizes and range in price from $69.99 to $99.99. Many of the boxes are signed, numbered, and dated by the artist

Materials: New and reclaimed wooden picture frame molding with complementing suede inserts and custom-designed finials on the top.

By the numbers: Sanders made her first box in 2003, and has made approximately 2,000 a year since then.

Haute boxes: The most popular boxes highlight culturally important themes of the coastal area, including Charleston hospitality, wildlife, and the heritage of local islands. Custom finials include sand dollars, sea turtles, waterfowl, and the South Carolina palmetto moon.

Claim to fame: One box was commissioned for the set of the TV series, “Army Wives.” Sanders has made special boxes for charities, including the South Carolina Aquarium.

Fun request: The boxes are often used as a place to keep special mementos. The “Kiawah” box, which features a set of golf clubs on the top, is a perfect place to keep golf tees.

What’s new: Rustic molding has been extremely popular this year. Sanders also is featuring the “Sullivan’s Island” box, which is gray driftwood with dolphins jumping from the water.

Where to buy: Check or visit


hospitality open


GIB version2 (1)

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