The City Magazine Since 1975


March 2015

19. Bibliolabs

What it does: Works with leading publishers and cultural institutions around the world to find new audiences for the books, maps, images, documents, sounds, and videos the firm digitizes, publishes, and curates

Factoid: The company is basically the same team that founded BookSurge, the world’s first integrated global print-on-demand and publishing services company, in 2000. They sold that company to Amazon in 2005, where it was re-branded as CreateSpace.

Leadership: Mitchell Davis, founder and chief business officer


Location: Charleston

Employees: 15 (2013)

Revenue: $17.5 million (2011)

20. Callie’s Biscuits

What it does: Produces and sells seven varieties of biscuits, as well as other packaged Southern food products, via its websites, retailers across the country, and at its first retail location opened on King Street in 2014

Factoid: The annual number of biscuits sold is more than one million, and in a single holiday season, they use more than 10,000 pounds of butter.

Leadership: Carrie Morey, CEO


Location: Charleston and North Charleston

Employees: 20

Revenue: $500,000-$1 million

Years in Business: 10

21. Escapada living

What it does:  Designs beach and resort wear sold in 2,000 boutiques and resorts around the world, including the Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton

Factoid: Coastal Living named Escapada as one of its four “favorite best-kept secret fashion lines.” Since then, the company has expanded into retail, opening the doors to its flagship store in Mount Pleasant in November 2013.  

Leadership: Natalia Castillo, founder


Location: Mount Pleasant

Employees: 21

Revenue: $4.6 million

Years in Business: 6

22. High Wire Distilling Co.

What it does: Charleston’s first downtown distillery since Prohibition produces premium, handcrafted, small-batch spirits, including vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey, using an ingredient-focused, culinary approach.

Factoid: Last summer, High Wire partnered with Anson Mills and Clemson University Coastal Research Farm to grow a rare, nearly extinct variety of heirloom corn called “Jimmy Red,” which was distilled last fall, is currently aging in barrels, and is awaiting its late spring release.

Leadership: Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, co-founders


Location: Charleston

Employees: 4

Revenue: N/A

Years in Business: 2

23. Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

What it does: Designs and sells cocktail mixers, bar tools, and garnishes

Factoid: Last fall, named Jack Rudy bitters among the “12 Best Locally Made Bitters in the U.S.A.”

Leadership: Brooks Reitz, CEO, and Taylor Huber, CFO


Location: Charleston

Employees: 4

Revenue: N/A

Years in business: 5

24. Levelwing  

What it does: A digital marketing firm offering media, social, and analytics services to help businesses market with greater clarity and profitability (See profile on page 130.)

Factoid: Levelwing has made the Inc. 5000 list four times, ranking No. 688 in 2010 and 1,971 in 2013.

Leadership: Steve Parker Jr., CEO and co-founder


Location: Mount Pleasant

Employees: 46

Revenue: Increased by 155 percent from 2013 to 2014

Years in business: 13

25. Moondog Animation Studio

What it does: A feature film studio that aims to create substantial and life-changing animation content that is highly entertaining

Factoid: MOONDOG’s first feature film will encompass three years of work and utilize 375 “man years” to complete the project, i.e. if one man was working on it, it would take him 375 years.

Leadership: Bryan Ransom, CEO; Ben Davis, CTO; and Jean Marc (JM) Khayat, COO


Location: Mount Pleasant

Employees: 6

Revenue: Start-up

Years in business: 1

26. Vapor Apparel

What it does:  Manufactures customized performance apparel and accessories for sublimation printing and offers print-on-demand apparel solutions for e-commerce and specialty retailers under the Vapor Apparel brand. Owns and operates outdoor lifestyle brands Altered Latitudes and Meridian Line, which are available at outdoor retailers throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. (See profile page on 127.)

Factoid: Vapor Apparel recently broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Union, South Carolina, which will employ 110-plus people over the next five years. The company has grown consistently year-over-year and has made South Carolina Business magazine’s list of the “Top 25 Fastest-Growing Companies” two of the last five years.

Leadership: Jackson Burnett, president and co-founder; and Christopher Bernat, chief revenue officer and co-founder


Location: North Charleston

Employees: 50+

Revenue: N/A

Years in business: 11