The Bulls Bay Collection - Coming to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Sweet Charleston Designs Fine Jewelry Collections Honors History of Sweet Grass Basketry selected by the Smithsonian

Charleston, S.C. (July 11, 2016) – Sweet Charleston Designs announces that the National Museum of African American History and Culture Gift Shop selected several collections of the elegant fine jewelry designs to be sold in the Smithsonian Gift store. Sweet Charleston Designs jewelry will include selections from the Bulls Bay Collection, Beaufort River Collection, Cooper River Collection, Hamlin Sound Collection and Dewees Inlet Collection.  The NMAAHC is scheduled to open September 24, 2016 in Washington DC.  Sweet Charleston Designs is the South’s first designer jewelry company to honor the ancient art form of coiled woven rice winnowing baskets using precious metals and gems.

Janie Manning and Angie Caldwell Buxton, partners at Sweet Charleston Designs, first introduced several collections of designer jewelry as a way of honoring and preserving the Lowcountry art form. With this endeavor Sweet Charleston Designs will receive exposure to a broader market and a step closer in meeting their educational goal of sharing the rice winnowing basket history by way of exquisite jewelry designs. Great attention to detail is given with each design pattern to insure an authentic interpretation of sweet grass basket patterns is represented. Each piece is individually crafted in a custom format one at a time, using the talents of some of the finest goldsmiths and silversmiths in the USA.

Manning notes that Tonya White, a 5th generation basket artist from Charleston, assists Sweet Charleston Designs during special events. Tonya looks forward to providing hands on demonstrations of the art form during future trunk shows at NMAAHC. Tonya, along with her mother Mary Charles, Laverne White and sister Kemelar Charles, conduct educational sweet grass basket programs with Sweet Charleston Designs during jewelry trunk shows at various retail venues and trade shows. Tonya, an assistant teacher at Wando High School’s special education program is assisting Manning in gathering a collection of small sweet grass baskets to accent the Sweet Charleston Designs jewelry showcase at NMAAHC.

“Charleston is the nucleus of the federally designated Gullah-Geechee Corridor which begins just north of Wilmington, North Carolina, continues through South Carolina, Georgia, and ends south of Jacksonville Florida,” said Manning. The expansion of their jewelry to destinations beyond the South Carolina market grows along with global interest in all things “Charleston”. Charleston is a rising center for fashion, arts, literature and the world of design. The name Sweet Charleston captures the spirit of preserving a colonial art form and expresses the designers Interest in their passion for a part of history.

About Sweet Charleston Designs: Sweet Charleston Designs is a luxury jewelry design company, headquartered in Charleston SC.  Established in 2010 as an LLC, the company’s goal it to honor and preserve historical art forms that have become extinct or suffer the potential threat or loss if not brought to the attention of others.  Questions - email:

Roots of Design: The sweet grass art has roots as far back as 3000 years, as examples of the coiled woven pattern have been excavated and archaeologically dated from Egyptian tombs.  Enslaved person introduced the historically recognized art in America and the Caribbean during the late 1600’s. Concurrently produced in Africa in the same manner as it is created in the United States along the Gullah Geechee Corridor, the utilitarian tool and design is historical story worthy of sharing.