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Trademark Attorney Working With Clients in Charleston, SC

If you're an entrepreneur, you know that protecting your intellectual property should be high on your list when it comes to safeguarding your company. However, as a successful business owner, you also know the steps and costs of filing a trademark in the U.S. can be expensive and arduous.

This conundrum can be even more overwhelming for new business owners who want to do everything possible to minimize the price of securing trademarks. They try to handle complicated tasks like trademark registration on their own, which can be a big mistake - especially when juggling the day-to-day tasks of running a business. You may be thinking, "But what about those set-it-and-forget-it services you can find online? All you have to do is plug in your info, and you're done." Using pre-made templates for trademark filing can be tempting, but doing so can leave you with inadequate protection and hurt you in the long run.

So, what is the easiest, most cost-effective route to consider that also minimizes legal risk? The truth is, before you spend money on a service like LegalZoom, it's best to consult with a trademark attorney working with clients in Charleston, SC.

At Sausser Summers, PC, our experienced trademark attorneys can help you understand the trademark process step by step. We can even help with U.S. trademark filing, U.S. trademark responses, and U.S. trademark renewals at a price you can actually afford. That way, you can make an informed decision regarding your business without having to break the bank.

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Sausser Summers, PC: Simplifying the U.S. Trademark Process

Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task, but at Sausser Summers, PC, our goal is to make the process as simple and seamless as possible for you. That's why we offer a straightforward checkout service. First, you choose your flat fee trademark service and fill out a short questionnaire. Then, we will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the details of our service. From there, one of our experienced trademark attorneys will get to work on your behalf.

Using a trademark attorney for filing in Charleston, SC, can significantly increase your chances of a successful registration. The U.S. government recommends hiring a trademark attorney to help with your application, and our team of trademark lawyers is dedicated to meeting your needs. In fact, we help ensure your application is filed correctly the first time so you can get on with your life and avoid legal risks.

At Sausser Summers, PC, we work closely with our clients to understand their needs and provide them with sound professional advice. We never offer incomplete services, such as simply filing for registration, because that would leave you open to legal risks. You can rely on us to handle your intellectual property matters, and our flat fee services can help protect your business in a simple, straightforward, and affordable way. It's really that simple.

In terms of filing a U.S. trademark, we provide an easy three-step process to protect your intellectual property:

1. You provide your trademark info to our team via an online form.

2. Our team performs a comprehensive trademark search. This search ensures that no other marks will prevent you from registering your trademark in the U.S. Once performed, we'll send you a legal opinion letter that details our findings.

3. Sausser Summers, PC, files your U.S. trademark application. We are then listed as your Attorney of Record on file. From there, we'll provide ongoing updates regarding the status of your trademark as it works through the registration process.

The bottom line? At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Online Trademark Attorney Charleston, SC
The bottom line?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Do I Really Need a Trademark Attorney for Protecting My Business in Charleston, SC?

It's not necessary to be a lawyer in order to apply for a trademark. Anyone can submit a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, registering a trademark involves more than just filling out a form. It's essential to conduct thorough research, accurately identify and clearly explain your trademark to ensure it receives adequate protection. And even after securing a trademark, you've got to monitor it consistently to make sure it's free from infringement.

The big takeaway here is that it's always a good idea to work with a trademark attorney to protect the intellectual property that you've worked so hard to establish. According to the Wall Street Journal, applicants are approximately 50% more likely to secure their trademark than people who file applications on their own. If your trademark application is rejected by the USPTO, you will need to revise and refile it, incurring additional filing fees. To avoid delays and extra costs, it is best to have a trademark lawyer help you get it right the first time.

Additional Benefits of Using a Trademark Attorney

Great trademark attorneys (like those you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC) will help with every step of filing and enforcing your trademark. Some additional benefits include the following:

Check to see if your proposed trademark is registered by another entity.

Conduct research to see if another business is using the trademark for which you're applying.

Provide advice and guidance on the strength of your trademark.

Draft and submit your trademark applications and application revisions.

Advice and guidance regarding trademark maintenance and protection.

Monitor the market for unauthorized use of your trademark.

Trademark enforcement to protect you against infringement.

 Online Trademark Lawyer Charleston, SC

Curious whether our trademark attorney services are right for you and your business? Contact Sausser Summer, PC, today. Let's talk about what you need, and how we can help.

What About Services Like LegalZoom?

Online services, such as LegalZoom, can provide you with basic assistance in filing your trademark. However, they will never be a legitimate substitute for an experienced trademark attorney helping clients in Charleston, SC.

 Trademark Attorney Charleston, SC

Although services like LegalZoom offer a step-by-step process, they take a one-size-fits-all approach to preparing legal documents. Even their advanced service only provides basic attorney assistance in completing your paperwork and helping with minor roadblocks. LegalZoom's disclaimer highlights the many limitations of its services, including the fact that communications are not protected by attorney-client privilege. In addition, LegalZoom cannot provide advice, explanations, opinions, recommendations, or any kind of legal guidance on possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

In other words, LegalZoom can offer you the necessary forms and point you in the right direction, but they cannot customize their services to your specific needs or help you with serious complications that may arise.

For the most comprehensive trademark service and protection, it's always wise to work with highly rated trademark lawyers, like you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC.

Understanding Trademarks Over Time

Trademarks in the U.S. can last indefinitely, but did you know that clients in Charleston, SC can file a trademark online, only to lose protection in some circumstances? Trademarks differ from patents and copyrights in that they do not have an expiration date. However, to prevent the cancellation of a trademark, you must maintain it. To ensure that your trademark remains protected, you must actively use it in commerce and renew it with the USPTO every ten years.

The Lanham Act tells us that "use in commerce" is the legitimate use of a trademark in the ordinary course of trade. In other words, you cannot register a trademark solely to reserve the rights to it in the future. In most cases, a trademark must be used continuously in connection with the goods or services it is registered for.

 Trademark Law Firm Charleston, SC

Steps to Renew Your Trademark

Trademarks are registered with the USPTO and generally need to be renewed every ten years. However, there is one crucial exception that you should be aware of. Within the first ten years of owning a trademark, you must file for renewal between the fifth and sixth year from the date of your initial registration.

During this renewal period, you are required to submit a Section 8 declaration, a specimen that shows how the mark is being used, and pay the required fee. You can also apply for Section 15 Incontestability status, which can strengthen your trademark rights. This application, although not mandatory, can make it harder for others to challenge your ownership of the mark.

After the first renewal, which falls between the fifth and sixth year of ownership, the next renewal filing is due between the ninth and tenth year, and then every tenth year thereafter. In the ninth year you will need to file a Section 8 declaration, attesting to your use of the mark or excusable nonuse. You've also got to file a Section 9 renewal application before the end of the tenth year to keep your registration active.

It is worth noting that the USPTO provides a six-month grace period if you fail to renew your mark within the required time frame, but it is best not to rely on it. If you don't file within the grace period time limits, the USPTO will cancel and expire your mark.

By hiring trademark attorneys helping clients in Charleston, SC, you can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that can arise and cause you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Abandonment

In the event that you stop using your trademark and have no plans to resume using it in commerce, it may be considered abandoned by the USPTO. This could result in the loss of your protective rights to the mark. Typically, a trademark is assumed to be abandoned if it has not been used for three years. However, you may be able to refute this presumption by providing evidence that you intend to use the mark again in the future.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Inappropriate Licensing

In addition to trademark abandonment, you should also be wary of improper licensing. It's important to remember that once you allow someone else to use your trademark, you must keep an eye on how they use it. You should monitor the products or services that feature your trademark to ensure that they meet consumers' expectations in terms of quality. Failure to do so can lead to a "naked" trademark license and the loss of your protective trademark rights.

How to Avoid Having to Refile Your Trademark

If you're wondering how you can avoid refiling your trademark, the answer is simple: file it correctly the first time around. Filing a trademark isn't inherently difficult, but when doing so, it's very important that certain aspects are filled out accurately in your application. If any information is missing or incorrect, the trademark application may be considered "void ab initio" or void from the beginning, requiring you to file again.

To avoid this, make sure that the information you provide in the application is accurate and complete, including the ownership of the trademark. For instance, if a corporation has multiple shareholders, it should not file under the President's personal name. The rightful owner should be the one/entity that ultimately controls the trademark and the associated goods/services.

It is also important to ensure that the goods and/or services description is precise. For example, if you sell electronic products, you should not file for research and development services despite having a research and development department. The goods/services description should reflect the goods/services you offer to customers, not the departments within your business.

Additionally, providing accurate dates of first use when filing for a trademark is crucial. The USPTO requires two dates to be specified - the date of first use anywhere and the date of first use in interstate commerce. Contact our trademark law office today to learn more about having accurate dates on your filing paperwork.

 Trademark Lawyer Charleston, SC
 Trademark Firm Charleston, SC

What Makes an Online Trademark Attorney Great?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we often get questions about how to distinguish run-of-the-mill consultants and others from great trademark attorneys. After all - when you're looking for an attorney to file or prosecute your business trademark, you should know their qualifications. Here are three ways you can separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff when it comes to trademark attorneys.

It's crucial to seek legal advice from a licensed trademark lawyer rather than relying on advice from non-professionals like trademark consultants. The USPTO even recommends hiring an attorney to help with the trademark process. Although trademark consultants may provide advice on trademark availability or name marketability, they cannot file the trademark for you or offer legal advice. According to the Rules of Practicing in trademark cases, "Individuals who are not attorneys are not recognized to practice before the Office in trademark matters." This rule applies to individuals who assist trademark applicants.

When searching for a trademark attorney, it's important to find someone with a strong background in trademark law. Look for an attorney who specializes in this area and has significant experience handling trademark-related cases. Avoid lawyers who don't have expertise in this field, as they may not be able to provide the guidance and support you need.

Ensure your attorney provides updates throughout the trademark registration process to avoid missing deadlines, including responding to any Office actions within six months. Failure to do so can result in trademark abandonment. The USPTO will only correspond with the listed attorney of record, so make sure your attorney keeps you informed.

In summary:

  • Be sure you're using a licensed trademark attorney helping clients in Charleston, SC.
  • It's best to work with a trademark lawyer who has years of experience filing trademarks.
  • Ensure that your trademark lawyer is willing to provide ongoing notifications relating to your trademark application process.
 Trademark Registration Lawyer Charleston, SC

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Trademark Attorneys Working Hard for You

Building your brand and gaining recognition for it is a significant achievement, and it's important to protect it. However, there are certain pitfalls and mistakes that can arise, causing you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it. By working with knowledgeable trademark attorneys, you can avoid these issues and file your trademark successfully.

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Sausser Summers, PC, offers comprehensive guidance, strategic advice, and reliable representation for a variety of trademark matters. Our attorneys have years of real-world experience and, having registered countless trademarks with the USPTO, provide our clients with individualized representation when they need it most.

If you're looking for skilled, adept, and experienced counsel, look no further than our trademark law firm. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you safeguard your brand.

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Painter Croft shows ‘Lazy Boy’ exhibit at Hed Hi Studio

Jeremy Croft has a knack for capturing textures of various materials using paint. He’s put that talent to good use in his new solo exhibition dubbed Lazy Boy, in which he uses acrylic and oil paint to depict mid-century chairs. The exhibition opens at Hed Hi Studio with a reception from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 14.The paintings are at once about and not about chairs: The bold use of negative space surrounding the empty furniture in Croft’s paintings introduces questions about presence, absence and existence.N...

Jeremy Croft has a knack for capturing textures of various materials using paint. He’s put that talent to good use in his new solo exhibition dubbed Lazy Boy, in which he uses acrylic and oil paint to depict mid-century chairs. The exhibition opens at Hed Hi Studio with a reception from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 14.

The paintings are at once about and not about chairs: The bold use of negative space surrounding the empty furniture in Croft’s paintings introduces questions about presence, absence and existence.

North-Charleston based artist Croft is self-taught. Born and raised in Williston, S.C., for many years, his artistic abilities were applied to trade-oriented jobs including carpentry and metal fabrication. These past experiences have served him well in his work as an artist thanks to his attention to detail and his deep appreciation and awareness of texture and material.

“Being around carpentry, sheet metal, wood and all these materials, you get a really good look at them,” Croft said. “When I’m painting metal, I have so many years, days, hours with this material in real life. I have this appreciation for all these little fasteners and things that hold the stuff together. That gave me this familiarity that I can bring to the recreating of them in paint.”

In Lazy Boy, Croft’s attention to detail — especially in how light clings to forms in metal, velour, acrylic and other materials — creates a miraculous modeling of furniture which feels both realistic and playfully painted at once. There are moments where a chair’s edge is decidedly blurry, or Croft decides to include a small rip in the chair’s fabric.

Croft is also skillful in his description of physical weight: A blue blown-up chair feels airy and bouncy next to a wooden chair designed by Rolf Sachs.

He started this body of work in April, initially inspired by a book on mid-century furniture design he found at the library.

“I’m open to being inspired by anything,” he said. “I saw this swan chair and something about it was like, ‘I’ve got to paint this.’ I loved the textures — the old leather and then this beautiful aluminum pedestal that it was on. And the outline, the form, it sucked me in.”

Upon further research, he found the chairs to be conceptually interesting because these mid-century furniture designers valued form more than function.

“I understood this furniture as going beyond what the utility of a chair is, because they don’t look necessarily comfortable. And after researching the period that these came out of, it seems like they are more an existential response than something to sit on,” Croft said.

The-art-object-as-furniture is in direct comparison to the reference material of the exhibition’s title: The undeniably American concept of the La-Z-Boy recliner chair, which allows its sitter to lay back ultra-comfortably, watching hours of television, with some even providing cupholders and a special spot for the remote.

“The Lazy Boy title is a counterpoint to these chairs,” Croft said. “That’s the chair that I know. I’ve never seen any of these chairs in person. I don’t have any history with these chairs, but a La-Z-Boy, I do. To pit these two against each other. That’s the part that’s up for interpretation.”

Though Lazy Boy is a series without any figures, the viewer may find themselves wondering, who does this chair belong to? When was the last time it was sat in? And what kind of clues do the backgrounds provide about where they might exist?

In Lounger No. 313, a white backyard lounge chair is set against a cool, deep green background — perhaps it’s near a pool, or maybe a grassy backyard — but all that Croft needs the viewer to know is that it’s somewhere cool, lush, zen, as he implies with his flat use of a pine green shade.

The colorful voids behind the chairs are in stark contrast to Croft’s meticulous handling of detail on the furniture. He said he hopes the painting’s void will pull the viewer in, further emphasized by the chair’s position on the canvas, offset from the center, even going off the edge of the surface in some cases.

“Moving the subject out of the center and into the periphery, it changes what the painting indicates,” he said. And in terms of color choice, for Croft, it all comes down to mood.

“The chairs and the period that they came from were very colorful. So I wanted to put them back into a colorful world, to put them in that context. And I was trying to use big, polarizing colors. I try to pick what color goes with the chair on a mood basis,” he said.

And in these moody, mythic proportions, the paintings become more about physical presence and interaction with the viewer than they ever were about chairs.

“When I’m thinking about people living with them, I want them to have an impact. When you’re around them in the evening, and the sun is setting, it gets this glow. … It will almost turn the whole room into that color and really make its presence known.”

View the work in person at Hed Hi Studio from 6p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 14 or by appointment until Oct. 21. Check out jeremycroft.net or hedhistudio.com to learn more.

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White House Event Offers Students Valuable Experiential Learning Opportunities

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited the College of Charleston on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, as part of her Fight for Our Freedoms college tour. The vice president’s stop in Charleston presented CofC students with some great opportunities and experiences.For exampl...

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited the College of Charleston on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, as part of her Fight for Our Freedoms college tour. The vice president’s stop in Charleston presented CofC students with some great opportunities and experiences.

For example, Lilli Taylor, the College’s SGA student body president, introduced Vice President Harris to the audience at the Sottile Theatre.

“It was a tremendous honor and unforgettable experience to have the opportunity to introduce Vice President Kamala Harris for her Fight for Our Freedoms college tour,” says Taylor, a senior Honors student majoring in public health with minors in music and medical humanities. “She personally inspires me because my mom also immigrated to the U.S. from Asia as a teenager. As the first Asian-American student body president at College of Charleston, it felt extra special to be able to introduce a vice president who has shattered multiple glass ceilings and serves as a role model to so many people across the country.”

Leading up to the event, Taylor worked with members of the White House, constantly communicating with them about logistics. And, as great as that opportunity was for her, she is most excited that the vice president had the opportunity to hear from CofC students.

“She truly is passionate about hearing from young people and believes that our generation holds the key to solutions for the future,” says Taylor. “One of the best ways for upper government administration to hear about what issues are important to college students is to directly hear from them. Given everything going on in the world right now, I am grateful that she took the time to visit our campus and speak with us! This truly was a day that I will never forget.”

The eight communication/political science majors who were appointed by their professors to serve as White House press volunteers (listed below) feel the same way:

“I was definitely surprised, yet so honored, when I first found out that I was selected to be a press volunteer,” says senior Honors student and Martin Scholar Sydney Long. “I had some experience with political communications over the summer while interning on the Hill in D.C., but I did not expect to get such a huge opportunity here in Charleston. I had to keep pinching myself all day to believe that White House staff were here and that the vice president herself was coming to speak. I have such a high respect for that office, and I was overwhelmed by how many students were excited to hear her speak today.

“As someone who wants to go into political communications, today was my idea of a perfect day, combining my passions of politics and press, while also getting to see so much excitement and the behind-the-scenes planning,” continues Long. “I was surprised at how tightly managed the press on site were, as the reporters there were not allowed to go anywhere without being escorted by one of the press volunteers. It made me feel like the event was put on for the students, and the press just happened to be there as witnesses.”

“Just being able to play a small part in such an important day was an incredible opportunity,” agrees senior Julia Heslin. “Seeing the behind-the-scenes action of everything that went into making this event possible was really eye-opening and exciting. There were so many moving parts, and we really got the opportunity to see how everyone worked together to make the day go as smoothly as possible!”

“During my time in college, I have dedicated myself to pursuing a career in political campaigning,” says senior Taylor Jade Schneider, adding that it was “an invaluable experience: It gave me a glimpse into the world of high-profile political events and reaffirmed my aspirations to work in this field. Moreover, the event allowed me to learn and develop new skills which I plan to use in my career.”

Sidewalk eases concerns over access to SC Commission for the Blind’s Charleston office

Physically accessing services from the S.C. Commission for Blind in Charleston is now a little easier.Construction crews this week laid down several hundred feet of fresh sidewalk outside of a private medical park along Tobias Gadson Boulevard in West Ashley.In doing so, crews replaced a strip of dangerous, sandy and overgrown shoulder that a former commission employee, who is legally blind, struggled to traverse every day to work.The agency’s mission is to provide resources, training and other services to South Ca...

Physically accessing services from the S.C. Commission for Blind in Charleston is now a little easier.

Construction crews this week laid down several hundred feet of fresh sidewalk outside of a private medical park along Tobias Gadson Boulevard in West Ashley.

In doing so, crews replaced a strip of dangerous, sandy and overgrown shoulder that a former commission employee, who is legally blind, struggled to traverse every day to work.

The agency’s mission is to provide resources, training and other services to South Carolinians with visual disabilities. And the sidewalk work demonstrated that the commission was following through on its word to address known access issues at its new office.

The commission worked with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, which owns the road, to build the sidewalk at an estimated cost of less than $30,000, said Mark Gamble, spokesman for the commission.

The action came in the wake of an Aug. 11 Post and Courier article that detailed a job discrimination complaint brought by former job counselor Amy Hatten.

Hatten described her departure from the commission in March as a constructive firing that stemmed from the inaccessibility of the commission’s new office. She alleged that management of the Charleston office retaliated against her for speaking out about access issues.

The commission has not commented on Hatten’s job discrimination complaint as it is a personnel matter with possible litigation, Gamble said previously.

The commission shuttered its old offices on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard after a 2021 flood and moved into its new location in March. It went a through a yearlong search process to find its current home in West Ashley. The process languished due to safety concerns and a breakdown in lease negotiations, fueled by Charleston’s hot real estate market.

Matthew Daughtery, director of operations for the commission, told the newspaper this summer that the commission signed its Tobias Gadson lease knowing accessibility improvements were needed and were coming.

When the commission announced it finally secured a lease, Hatten questioned local commission management about the safety of her commute to work and how others would access services at the office. She lived 2 miles from the office. The new commute required her to wait almost an hour for a 3 minute CARTA bus ride before navigating a route lined with tall grass, fire ants, speeding cars, narrow and winding sidewalks, and walkways that abruptly ended.

She said she asked for reasonable accommodations from the commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She requested that she be allowed to continue working from home as she had done while the commission searched for the new office or be compensated for door-to-door transportation. She said options offered by the commission limited her independence or increased her financial burden in attending work.

Ronald Coleman, who sits on the commission’s advisory board and is blind, said in an interview that Hatten’s descriptions of the road didn’t convey the severity of how dangerous that strip of road was before the state installed the sidewalk.

At 77, Coleman scoped out the road himself after speaking with Hatten this summer. He said he was thankful for the aid of his wife and a cane when he visited the site.

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“I was kind of horrified,” said Coleman. “It was barely walkable. I thought I was going to be stepping on a snake.”

To Coleman, who worked for Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration for 30 years and consulted on the accessibility of Washington, D.C.’s subway before it opened decades ago, the issue wasn’t just the lack of a sidewalk. The issue was Hatten’s entire commute, which other people with visual disabilities take, he said.

The other access issue that stood out to him was crossing through the parking lot of the medical park. He said he found no guides to take someone from the sidewalk entrance, through the parking lot and to the commission’s door.

While the commission told The Post and Courier in August that it consulted with blind employees on the new site, Coleman said the accessibility gaps at Tobias Gadson make him think otherwise. Coleman grew up on James Island and lost his vision at age 12. He is among the earliest cohorts of South Carolinians to receive help from the commission after it was created in the mid-1960s.

“You have to have your blind consumers involved in order to have them let you know what your needs are,” he said. “I don’t think there was any intent to harm the people they were designed to serve. I think that’s just the way bureaucracies work.”

While improvements to the commission’s Tobias Gadson office continue, Hatten said her complaint remains under investigation by the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

West Ashley thrives and has a bright future

The wide land west of the Ashley River is home to comfortable tree-lined streets with rows of homes, highways flanked by businesses and malls, villages like Avondale and emerging plans for revitalization.With a 2022 population of 83,996 people, West Ashley is the epicenter of Charleston, even though most people consider the peninsula to be more population.“What makes West Ashley special is the people,” said West Ashley Realtor Shana Swain, a former bartender with connections throughout the suburb. “It’s ...

The wide land west of the Ashley River is home to comfortable tree-lined streets with rows of homes, highways flanked by businesses and malls, villages like Avondale and emerging plans for revitalization.

With a 2022 population of 83,996 people, West Ashley is the epicenter of Charleston, even though most people consider the peninsula to be more population.

“What makes West Ashley special is the people,” said West Ashley Realtor Shana Swain, a former bartender with connections throughout the suburb. “It’s where the heart of Charleston is.”

West Of newspaper editor Lorne Chambers agreed, describing residents as having a “scrappy spirit.”

“They are not your traditional downtown Charleston people, but they are real Charlestonians,” he said. “In a way, this is the original Charlestown,” he said. “You have a lot of people over here who have a lot of pride in their community and hope for a better tomorrow.”

Dominated before World War II by farms and pastures, West Ashley bloomed into a middle-class suburban haven replete with everything from mind-numbing rush-hour traffic to chain stores that you can find in Columbus, Ohio.

But with a controversial development project being discussed at the former Piggly Wiggly site on Sumar Street and Ashley River Crossing, a planned pedestrian bridge connecting West Ashley and downtown, a question is what direction is the suburb headed.

The West Ashley Revitalization Committee has been spearheading the suburb’s path toward development. The committee’s Plan West Ashley aims for ambitious changes from economic development to flood prevention.

The Sumar Street development project was postponed in June, causing doubts about the strength of the committee’s plans.

City Councilman Karl Brady represents outer West Ashley. A board member of the West Ashley Revitalization Commission, he said West Ashley projects like the Sumar Street development project, were voted down by people who don’t have a vision for the future.

“They see West Ashley as it is but not as what it could be,” he said.

Brady, who currently is running for reelection, said that in revitalization it is important to remember where West Ashley started. It was the birthplace of Charleston when settlers landed at Charles Towne Landing in 1670.

“I think one thing lost on a bunch of people is that West Ashley is the birthplace of Charleston. That’s how we should treat it.”

Chambers, a former Charleston City Paper employee, said West Ashley is planning in the right direction, but there is not much to show for it.

“In people, you are seeing this shift away from these traditional big-box stores towards giving more community pride,” he said. “But we have to stay the course.”

Chambers said the community has historically wanted more than malls and commutes, but often ended up with Walmarts and chain businesses regardless.

Malls, he said, are a product of West Ashley’s suburban boom in the 1980s. The “retail apocalypse” of the 2010s crippled them. Now, West Ashley has a lot of vacant lots. Chambers said because the area is growing, some residents want to shed the concrete.

“Most citizens in West Ashley didn’t want another mall or gas station,” he said.

Donna Jacobs is a West Ashley historian and author. As a former board member of Plan West Ashley, Jacobs noticed a generational difference in what residents plan for their neighborhoods.

Jacobs said the West Ashley area has been split between two different models of how to live and build. It also is split between two different generations of Americans and what they want for the future.

In many ways, these splits are between those “inside the loop” and those “outside the loop,” meaning those who live north of the swath cut by Interstate 526 and those who live south of it — an area generally with more land and open space.

She said those who live inside 526 advocate for a walkable Avondale plan. But those outside of the interstate often want to keep West Ashley’s traditional shopping centers.

“Inside the loop, some of these younger residents would happily ride their bikes to work every day and walk their kids to school, regardless of the weather,” she said.

But others see cars as their primary way of commuting, “They kind of expect those old West Ashley malls to drive to,” she said.

Jacobs said the diverse lifestyles and history of West Ashley was a strength for living in the area. She added she thought West Ashley was a nice place to live regardless of whether you believe in the Avondale approach or the mall.

Alex Nettless, a former City Paper intern, is a student at Elon University.

Our Best of West Ashley 2023

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West Ashley by the numbers

Population 83,996

Ethnicity68% White26% Black3% Hispanic

Median age 38.7

Median household income $68,898

Percent above $100,000 31%

Households below poverty line 10%

Households above $200,000 7.6%

Households 36,864

Occupancy52% owner-occupied40.0% rental7.7% vacant

Education19.1% are high school graduates.30.7% have bachelor’s degrees.16.5% have graduate degrees.

Apparel and services $82M

Education $65M

Entertainment, Rec $121M

Food at home $201M

Food away from home $144M

Health care $213M

Household furnishings $83M

Shelter $734M

Travel $89M

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Today's Forecast for North Charleston, SC

Today's Forecast for North Charleston, SC64°Chance of Rain0%70°Chance of Rain0%63°Chance of Rain1%Next HoursWeather Today in North Charleston, SCHigh / Low70°/54°Wind8 mphHumidity86%Dew Point59°Pressure29.67 inUV Index0 of 11Vi...

Today's Forecast for North Charleston, SC

64°

Chance of Rain0%

70°

Chance of Rain0%

63°

Chance of Rain1%Next Hours

Weather Today in North Charleston, SC

High / Low

70°/54°

Wind

8 mph

Humidity

86%

Dew Point

59°

Pressure

29.67 in

UV Index

0 of 11

Visibility

10 mi

Moon Phase

Waxing Crescent

Hourly Forecast

63°

Chance of Rain1%

63°

Chance of Rain1%

61°

Chance of Rain1%

60°

Chance of Rain1%

59°

Chance of Rain1%Next 48 Hours

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Daily Forecast

70°

54°

Chance of Rain1%

67°

48°

Chance of Rain7%

68°

50°

Chance of Rain4%

72°

52°

Chance of Rain6%

73°

58°

Chance of Rain5%Next 10 Days

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