Traci Smith absorbs and creates Charleston Culture

"My husband Trey and I originally came to the Charleston area on vacation and just fell in love with the city; its culture and history. We must have visited six times over a two-year period before we decided to sell our house in Nashville, pack up the U-Haul, bring our dog, Bugsy, and move to Mt. Pleasant.

"I discovered the art walks soon after we arrived and started going on them. I've always been passionate about the arts. On one of the walks, I had the good fortune of talking to local artist James Christopher Hill ( I admired his work tremendously and I just made the comment that if he ever was looking for some help with marketing, sales, or public relations, I'd be happy to talk.

"I've worked with him on several projects now. We did a huge fundraiser for tsunami relief last January and we worked together on other projects, including fundraisers for cystic fibrosis. I also worked with him during Spoleto; he sets up in Marion Square for that. I help him with all his special events. I work with another local artist, Anne Thames, as well.

"My husband and I run Boone Hall's Halloween event together; everything from the conception of ideas to planning and designing, building sets, event marketing, managing, and hiring the actors. We just returned from a major Halloween trade show and we brought back some great stuff to add this year. This will be the fifteenth year that we've managed a Halloween event, the third year at Boone Hall. In Nashville, our Halloween grew to be a very large event and we're hoping to grow the event here at Boone Hall as well.

"I also manage the strawberry patch and peach orchard for Boone Hall Plantation. We're getting ready to open those in about two weeks. In the fall, I manage the pumpkin patch.

"I love the feeling I get when I'm driving in this area. I can drive across the bridge, going across the marsh, and just feel peaceful. Problems take a back seat because everything is just so beautiful. It's like stepping back in time when things were easier and more peaceful, not as stressful, because of all that you see around you. As well, this is just a very friendly, compassionate, beautiful city." —as told to Jason A. Zwiker


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