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Retail: Loggerheads nest on store shelves

With part of its business coming from custom monogramming and embroidery work, Harbor Specialties doesn’t generally carry products that have logos already sewn on. But they made an exception for Loggerhead Apparel.

The store, located at the Hammock Shops, recently started carrying the Greenville-based company’s line of polo shirts, which feature an embroidered loggerhead sea turtle.

“It’s great to have a product in the store that’s manufactured entirely in South Carolina. That’s rare these days,” said Will Anderson, an owner of Harbor Specialties.

Add in the fact that Loggerhead donates 10 percent of all sales to sea turtle conservation efforts and he and his wife, Donna, were convinced to give the line a chance.

“They haven’t flown off the shelf, but people who have heard about the product line were impressed, first of all that they’re made here, and second that they donate some of the profits,” he said.

The company was launched in February and has already donated about $5,000 to organizations including the S.C. Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital in Charleston, the SEWEE Association and the Sea Turtle Conservatory. Further donations are expected to be made soon, said Sara Painter, who founded and runs the company with her husband, Zachary.

Sara, who grew up in Awendaw, said the company’s goal is to highlight the plight of the loggerhead, a threatened species that nests annually on South Carolina beaches, as well as the state’s declining manufacturing industry.

Sara’s husband grew up in a mill village in Spartanburg and his grandfather worked in textile mills.

“Like the loggerhead, the textile and manufacturing jobs in the South have been declining in significant numbers over the past generation,” Sara said. “The textile industry is all but gone.”

Loggerhead’s polos are made entirely of American-grown Pima cotton and are available in blue, white and pink. The company is preparing to launch new colors for football season — orange and black — and will add pastels in the spring.

It is also preparing to introduce more products. T-shirts will be available this month and hats, visors and belts are coming later this year, Painter said.

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