Southern-made gifts for graduations, weddings, house-warmings

Put it on paper

After Callie Burnette designed some stylish wedding invitations for a friend, word spread about her work. In 2011, a part-time passion became a full-time business for the Atlanta native and University of Georgia grad.

At Atlanta-based Calliespondence, the “Cheers” tags ($1 per tag) are popular year-round as hostess and house-warming gifts. Invitations in bright colors are always in demand. Printed on craft paper, the tireless combination of red and navy give off a natural, easy vibe that sets the right tone for a BBQ or backyard party. Navy and yellow (hot pink too) are other on-trend colors for notepads, note cards and invitations. Also hot: coral when paired with grey and navy.

Visit to see a selection of Burnette’s modern paper products. Prices for a set of personalized note cards with colorful envelope liners range from $25 and up. New address announcements, in demand now as families and young college grads are on the move, start at $2.50 each.

In the Atlanta area, find Burnette’s baby and children’s line, which includes birth announcements and birthday and shower invitations, at Marguerite Peele Fine Stationery, 2300 Peachtree St., Suite C-103, Atlanta.

Beach-side style

Growing up in South Carolina, Millie Burke spent many summer days on Hilton Head Island. Years later, the Lowcountry life lured her back. Last year, inspired by her love of textiles and a background in interior design, Burke launched Lowcountry Linens. Drawing on a coastal theme, the company offers a variety of hand-printed tabletop linens in colorful prints and patterns.

Flour sack towels are top sellers. The 30-inch-by-30-inch towels are $15.99 each. Other favorite hostess gifts include cocktail napkins (set of four, $19), placements (set of four, $58) and dinner napkins (set of four, $48). Aqua, coral and navy are color leaders. Popular, beach-inspired prints include the anchor, crab, starfish, turtle and sand dollar. For endless summer outings, nab one of the company’s new leather wristlets ($39).

Visit To find linens, check Atlanta-area stores, including the Swan House gift shop at the Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road (, and Marguerites on Dresden, 1430 Dresden Drive, Suite 200 (

Cup of tradition

For some Southerners, a mint julep cup is an entertaining essential at events such as graduations, weddings and hot-to-trot races, like the Kentucky Derby. Traditionally, the cups are made of pewter, silver plate or silver — when the price is right.

For more than 30 years, the family-owned Salisbury Inc. has been producing hand-crafted pewter and sterling products, including the elegant julep cup. Based in Salisbury, Md., the company employs two silversmiths, six pewter spinners and several craftsmen in training.

The company’s state julep cup collections are popular. The Georgia Julep Cup, with its modified pear-shape design, is patterned after the work of E. J. Johnson of Macon (circa 1851). Made from no-lead pewter, the 12-ounce Georgia cup is $47. The 9-ounce cup is $38.50. Other states, including Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana and Texas, have their own unique cup styles.

But the best-seller is the Kentucky Julep Cup — not just on Derby Day but year-round. With its straight sides, the classic cup is a keepsake. The 12-ounce pewter cup is $63. The 9-ounce is $52. A sterling silver Kentucky cup is also available for $780, based on current silver prices.

For information, visit Find Salisbury’s mint julep cups in the Atlanta area at Charles Willis, 465 E. Paces Ferry Road NE ( and L.J. Lewis Silver Co., 164 W. Wieuca Road, (

Best of the South

Do you have favorite finds from around the South that you give as gifts, buy for your home or rave about to friends? If so, please share them with us. Send your suggestions to: Please include your name and contact number.

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