West Columbia shops will get you ready for Back-to-School with the right apparel

The new school year is upon us. Teachers returned to school on Monday (July 31) and students will report for the first day of class on Monday, Aug. 7. 

There are several Lexington County School District Two schools in West Columbia. The district is comprised of 8,641 students in grades pre-kindergarten-to-grade-12. 

Amber Barrs of White Orchid Boutique

Also, Gray Collegiate Academy is a charter school in West Columbia. It has 670 students in grades 8-12. East Point Academy is a public charter school with 745 students at two campus locations in West Columbia for grades K-8.

Personnel from the West Columbia Police Department serve as resource officers in the schools. Officer India Taylor is the School Resource Officer at Riverbank Elementary and Chris Yaroborough is at Saluda River Academy for the Arts. Jesse Kaiser is the SRO at Northside Middle School. 

With the opening of the schools, certain West Columbia businesses see an uptick in sales.  Amber Barrs is the owner of White Orchid women’s clothing at 2261 Augusta Rd. It’s in the Georgetown Shopping Center, behind Chick-fil-A.

“We have clothes for middle school girls, high school students and we have clothes for teachers,” she said. “We have something for the moms, too. We’re a great place to shop for back-to-school clothing.” 

Barrs also said her clientele includes grandmothers. And you can find special or seasonal items at White Orchid. “I’m getting in a drop of Carolina and Clemson gameday apparel,” Barrrs said. “We will have you ready for the football season.”

White Orchid Boutique is not the only retail outlet  that gets more traffic in August.  

Barbara Jane’s is in  Granby Village, at 1505 Charleston Highway, Suite B-10, in West Columbia. The boutique offers shoppers an outlet to buy women’s clothing for back to school. The boutique has clothes for students, teachers and the parents of students.

SRO India Taylor, Principal David Sims

“At Barbara Jane’s we sell fashionable and stylish women’s apparel,” said Melissa Kaiser, boutique owner. “We have a huge selection of high-quality items at affordable prices. Come by and see us  today.” Barbara Jane’s also has accessories, including jewelry, purses, hats, and belts. 

Another option for women’s clothing is Tall Oaks Boutique at 128 State St. It’s in close proximity to the University of South Carolina and the many students who shop in West Columbia.

The University of South Carolina starts classes on Aug. 18 and Midlands Technical College classes begin on Aug. 22. USC is a major economic driver and impacts West Columbia businesses. The school generates more than $40 million to the local community, according to Moore School economist Joseph Von Nessen.

Lainie Lewis of State Street Trading Co. at 134 State St., in West Columbia said USC back-to-school shoppers boost her business. 

State Street Trading Co. artwork

“We definitely see more sales from the college student population,” she said. “I have some dresses and accessories to accent the student wardrobe. We have items that are popular for dorm-room decor, too.”

Lewis pointed to several West Columbia-themed paintings by local artists in her shop. Some of them featuring the Gervais Street Bridge and another depicting the colorful array of businesses that line State Street. 

And don’t forget West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market 2nd Thursday Night Market is Thursday, Aug. 10. The Saturday Artisan Market is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., on every Saturday. 

Schools are opening, so make sure you visit a West Columbia business and get what you need to have a successful school year. 

Where to shop in West Columbia:

  • State Street Trading Co. – 134 State St.
  • West Columbia Meeting Street Artisan Market – 425 Meeting St.
  • White Orchid Boutique – 2261 Augusta Rd. (Georgetown Shopping Center) 
  • Barbara Jane’s Boutique – 1505 Charleston Highway, Suite B-10 (Granby Village)
  • Tall Oaks Boutique at 128 State St. 

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